The dance originated from Scotland and has been with the Orang Cocos for so long that it become part of their culture. There is no limit on the number of dancers. Hand movements of the women are almost similar to those of Sumazau dance.

This is the dance of warriors by the Murut community. The name derived from the word “atip” meaning to need great skill and agility to dance among the bamboo poles which are hits together to produce rhythm. Dances require careful concentration on steps as they jump in between the bamboo poles with the tempo and try not to get one’s feet caught in between.

Magunatip has become a popular cultural dance and can be found in many cultural/ethnic presentations.

A dance of the Suluk people from the east coast of Sabah. The name derived from the word ‘Darling” in English. Women dancer wear an elaborated traditional Suluk costume with trousers (kantiu), crown like headpiece (malkota) and long spiked brass finger caps (janggai). The characteristic movement of fingers bending backward to accentuate the janggai curve can be noticed. Its normally performed at weddings or important social gatherings.

Performed by up to eight couples dressed in elaborate black ritual costumes of the Lotud ethnic group. The female dancers move their feet slowly (heel to heel and toe to toe) and male dancer stand and shakes the small hand bells (giring) sown onto a cloth in sync with the music. The dance usually performed during Rumaha (honoring the spirits of skulls) or Magahau (ritual for spirit of sacred jars) ceremony.

The dance of Bisaya people which means “go around”. It is mainly perform to cast away the evil spirit from a possessed person and then “return” the person’s spirit.

Performed at wedding and festivities by the Idahan community in which a plate of ashes is placed in the middle with dancers circling it. The male dancers link their fingers as they dance around whilst female dancers link themselves to male dancers using handkerchiefs. Music accompanying this dance is known as the sundait and gasungang.

Another traditional dance of the Idahan group in which the dance is accompanied by melodic verses, gongs and batil. Female dancers don a black skirt (siujaan) with buah piyos buttons, a shawl (siyag) and gold/silver crown (sakud) in their hair. Male dancers wear embroided black trousers (upuntiyu) and headdress (singol).

Mongigol Sumundai
Performed by the Rungus of Kudat and Pitas districts during festivities and rituals. Three to eight female dancers are led by a male dancer and the women keep their arms close to the sides throughout the dance. Moving only their wrists and the steps are slow and gentle. Usually performed in trance-like state during ‘rumaha” and “mangahau” ceremonies.

Music accompaniment for this dance is produced by four gongs and a drum called tontog.

The graceful turning hand gesture is a trademark of this traditional dance of the Bajau people. Performend normally by three or four couples during festivities and weddings. Music for the dance is produced by an ensemble made up of three small gongs, two large gongs, a kulintangan and two gendang.

The dance indigenous Kadazan people and performed during religious ceremonies and social events. Dancers mimic an eagle in plight and every once in a while dancers spread out their arms like wings.

This is the traditional dance of the Brunei people who have settled in Membakut and Sipitang District. Performed by couples which depicts activities and life of fishermen and farmers.

Nona Mansaya
Originating from the Cocos community of Tawau and Lahad Datu Districts. Pattern of dance has influences from Jawa and Scotland but integrated with local culture.

Traditional dance of the Tidong community of Tawau District. It tells a legend about the headman of Tidong people who married a fairy princess called Dayang Dadalit. Performed during social gatherings and other celebrations in the village

The dance of Bajau and Suluk people of Semporna, Lahad Datu, Kunak and Sandakan Districts. The word “Igal” means to dance or to move in rhythmic steps and glide with gestures. Usually performed during celebrations and festivities.

Sazau Papar
Popular dance of the Kadazandusun people of Papar District and performed during rituals and social occasion.

Kuda Pasu
Dance of tbe Bajau people of Kota Belud District and originally performed by skilled horsemen to welcome/escort the bridegroom and his entourage to the bride’s residence. The handkerchiefs held by the female dancers symbolize warm welcome extended.