most popular Dandia -Ras is also known as the `stick` dance. This is another form of dance that is also a feature of most welcomed festival, Navratri. It is considered that this dance form is from the Limbdi region of Gujarat (a state in Western India), over a period of time, the Dandiya Ras has imbibed an all parts of India. The word Ras in `Dandia-Ras` signifies Ras dance, which is, considered a form of Raslila. The Ras is simple and is generally performed by a group of young people who move in typical style in measured steps around a circle, accompanied by a singing chorus and a host of musical instruments like the dhol, cymbals, zanz and shehnai (flute).
The Ras is always performed in a group. In the ancient times, men essentially performed this folk dance, but now the Dandia -Ras a counterpart to the Garba, is equally enjoyed and danced by both men and women. In its modern form, men and women join the dance The circle, holding small polished colourful sticks or dandias. As they whirl to the rhythm of the dance, they strike the dandiyas together, adding to the joyful atmosphere. Though it is played in almost all parts of the state, the best Ras dancers are the Kathiawari Ras dancers, from the Saurashtra region. The sprightly circular movements to the scintillating beats of the dhol are mesmerizing and transports one to a totally different world of rhythm and joy. The performers add and subtract, as per the need of audiences while performing a Vesha.
The main difference between the `Garba` and `Dandiya` dance performances is that Garba is performed before `Aarti` of Godess while Dandia is performed after it. Exclusively women perform Garba, men and women join in for Dandiya.