The dancing art of the Uzbek people advanced from ancient times. Images of dancing figures have been preserved in the cave drawings and other archaeological sites of times immemorial. The art of dancers from Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khorezm was already known in many countries of the East in the 4th - 8th centuries.
The Uzbek national dance has been preserved in two forms: traditional classical and national (folklore) dance. Ferghana ("Katta yuin"), Bukhara ("Maqom raqsi"), and Khorezm ("Ufori maqom") schools of dance are popular for their classical features. The national dance is very diverse. It is cheerful, lyrical, and dramatic with its regional differences, and is mainly preserved in mountainous areas of the country.
In the early 20th century the Uzbek dance began to take shape of the mass arts. In 1923 a concert group of young executors was launched in the country (M. Koriyokuhov). Later in 1926 the first State mobile ethnographic group was established, with renowned musicians and a young dancer, Tamara Khonim joining the team.
In 1936 the first ensemble of various song and dance has been established in the country (choreographers: 0. Komilov, I. Okilov, L. Petrosova, E. Baranovsky, and M. Turgunbaeva). In 1956 the ensemble was known as "Shodlik", and now - as "O'zbekiston". This ensemble has enormously contributed to the development of the Uzbek classical dance.
In 1957 M. Turghunbaeva founded an ensemble "Bakhor" ('spring') and supervised it up to the end of her life. This ensemble introduced the Uzbek dance to the whole world. After M. Turghunbaeva, K. Mirkarimova, R. Sharipova, M. Irgasheva, and Yu. Ismatova led the ensemble. In 1958 the "Lazgi" ensemble was established.
Besides, state ensembles, there are more than hundred different other amateur ensembles in Uzbekistan. Various shows and television festivals are regularly held. Renowned performers are: Yusufjon Qyzyq Shakarjonov, Usta Olim Komilov, Otakhoja Saidazimov, Sharafot Satang Turaeva, Mikhalkhonim Khaimova, Bokijon Sagdullaev, Ravia Atajanova, Latif Zafirov, and others.
Famous dancers of 60s and 90s are: T. Yunusova, O. Sagatova, V. Romanova, R. Nizomova, M. Irgasheva, D. Jabborova, B. Dustmuhammedova, M. Akhmedova, R. Sultonova, K. Muminov, and Yulduz Ismatova.