Dance movements that are gentle with synchronised movements of the hands and the feet, following the rhythmic beats of the Ilathaalam or cymbal and Thappu mark the beginning of Thavadi dance. Thavadi dance is one of the rituals in Padayani, performed by a group of men wearing towels wrapped around the head. They are accompanied by one or two dancers wearing the masks of Appoppan, Ammumma or Maramotha. The main performer moves in front taking the steps and holding the kaimani. This kind of Thavadi is known by the name of Ner Thavadi.
Pannathavadi is another kind of Thavadi dance popular in some places. In this two groups of dancers (Ner Kara and Poi Kara) perform the dance facing each other. The costumes of the two groups will differ slightly. The musical accompaniments for Ner Kara dancers are Thappu, Thakil, Maddalam, and Kuzhal. The other team with funny instruments made from coconut leaves and arecanut leaves to mock the real instruments.