Tinikling is a Filipino folk dance. The dance originated in Leyte as an imitation of the legendarily fast and graceful movements of the tikling birds as they dodged bamboo traps set by rice farmers. An alternative explanation says that the dance originated from Spanish colonization, where field workers who worked too slowly were punished by having to stand in place and jump over two bamboo poles clapped together against their ankles; it is said that from a distance the jumping workers looked like tikling birds. This dance is mistakenly coined as the national dance of the Philippines due to its popularity. However, tha national dance is actually the CariƱosa.

In recent times, especially at the Pilipino Cultural Night (PCN) level, the dance has been modernized to cater to younger generations of Filipino-Americans. For example, sometimes clappers move around in circles while the dancers move with the poles. Other variations consist of four people holding a pair of bamboo in a tic-tac-toe like pattern; this form of the dance would usually travel in a circular pattern, increasing the difficulty of staying on rhythm. The poles may be repositioned during the dance in order to create new patterns, and it is not uncommon to have the dancers and pole-handlers switch places in more complicated choreographies. When pole clappers and dancers switch, the goal is to try to switch places without stopping the rhythm of the poles being clapped. Furthermore, blindfolds, candles, passing/throwing/exchanging of bamboo poles, and hip-hop style movements have also been incorporated to add excitement, but at the same time, adding false representation of the dance.