Lesnoto is a Macedonian dance but it is found all over the southern Balkans.
The music is in 7/8 time, which is counted 3-2-2.
Start in a circle, arms in a W hold, facing slightly right of centre
Step to the side with the right foot, lift the left in front, then step across in front with the left.
Step to the side with the right, then lift the left in front twice. Repeat to the left with opposite feet.
The 'lifts' aren't really lifts at all - on the beat you sway the hips to lower the lifting leg, like a step that doesn't reach the ground.
Once you have found the rhythm start at the beginning of any musical phrase.
For faster music, or with beginners, you can simplify the dance. The rhythm becomes 3-4 and there are only two steps in each musical phrase.
Step to the side with the right, then step across in front with the left.
Step to the side with the right and lift the left in front. Repeat to the left with opposite feet.
In this version the lifts are plain lifts, but they still come from the hip.
The first set of steps (for either version) can be replaced with a slow turn, returning to the circle for the lift (or lifts).
There are lots of Lesnoto tunes out there. This is just a selection of my favourites:
Idi Da Go Sakash Mamo from Melodies for Macedonian Tambura and Kaval by Adam Good. This speeds up at the end.
Sar Planina/Stefano Pile/Done Donke from Macedonian Folk Music by Tsrvena Kniga.
Pravo Lesnoto Oro from Macedonia Dances by Marem Aliev. This speeds up a lot at the end!
Snosti Vecer Jano Mori from Footnotes by Parampara.
Ilju from OSZ by Kolinda.
Tri Bilbila Poev from Balkanalia: Urban and Rural Folk Music from the Balkans by Novo Selo. Another one that speeds up.
Dance description by Andy Bettis - February 2003