The Central Ukraine, representing the culture and traditions of the Ukrainian Kozaks (Kozaky), Poltava and other central Ukrainian lands surrounding the river Dnipro (Dnieper), these are the dances most commonly associated with Ukrainian dance. The culture of central and eastern Ukraine developed under many foreign influences, due to both trade and foreign invasion.The greatest indigenous cultural influence was the semi-military society of the Kozaks, whose love of social dances spawned the Hopak the Chumaky, and many others.
The men’s costumes for these dances are styled after Kozak dress, with boots, a comfortable shirt, a sash (poyas) tied around the waist, and loose, billowy riding trousers (sharovary); common accessories include overcoats, hats, and swords.
The women’s costumes have subtle variations since the woman’s blouse generally displays more embroidery than the men’s shirt, the skirt (plakhta) is woven with various geometric and color patterns, and they wear a headpiece of flowers and ribbons (vinok).
All of these pieces can vary from village to village, or even based on a family tradition, although most professional ensembles dress their performers with identical costumes, for aesthetic reasons.
The style of these dances is acrobatic and physically demanding for the men, who are often showcased individually; women have traditionally played secondary roles, displaying grace and beauty while often dancing in technically demanding unison.