Most notably seen at many Jewish parties, religious occasions, such as weddings and Bar Mitzvahs, the Hora has the following steps: all participants hold hands in a circle, first stepping right with the left foot, then stepping left with the right foot. The whole circle moves right. The song played is known as the Hava Nagila.
However, the Hora has an ancient history, which can be traced throughout Romania, Bulgaria, and other Balkan and Southeastern European countries, and can be traced back to Ancient Greece. "Hora" is not Jewish, but is derived from the Greek word: Khoros, meaning choir or chorus. How does "choir" relate to the circular dance? As in a Sophocles' play, choirs and choruses were among the theatrical scenes. However, before the late theatre of Greece, different villages would actually dance, in honor of the gods, and these dances tended to be circular. So the Hora, while recognized in American Jewish occasion, and in Balkan dances, was danced before Sophoclean plays, such as Oedipus Rex.
How the Hora or Khoros reached America is somewhat of a mystery, but it appears to have begun in Greece, then was transferred through pagan Rome to Christian Romania and Eastern Europe, as well as staying a celebratory dance in Palestine. But the Jewish or modern day Hora that came from Palestine was indeed composed. Choreographer (note the khoros in choreographer), the Romanian Jewish dancer Baruch Agadati, in 1924, joined a composer and created an Hora for the Ohel Theater Company. This touring company visited settlements in the Valley of the Jezreel. It was an instant hit: "Hora Agadati."
Song after song, such as the Hava Nagila, became popular and widespread throughout the American Jewish, Romanian, Russian communities, whose tradition had the Hora as part of their celebratory dance.
Generally, the Hora's music is in 2/4 time. And in different cultures throughout history, the tempo has been at a very fast pace, swinging its participants in the circle.