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The polka[1] is a dance for couples which originated in Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic). It was a "craze" in Europe for a time in the mid to late 19th century.[2][3] and in the United States.[4][5] The craze spread in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, of which the Czechs were part.

The dance is done with a one-two-three-hop style:[6] The dance soon spread to London and was introduced to America in 1844. It remained a popular ballroom dance until the late 19th century.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1844 according to Shorter OED, vol 2, p1537.
  2. Franks A.H. Social dance in the nineteenth century: a short history, p133 et seq.
  3. Richardson P.J.S. 1960. The social dances of the 19th century, chapter 8, p81, and noted in later chapters.
  4. Aldrich, Elizabeth 1991. From the ballroom to hell: grace and folly in nineteenth-century dance. Northeastern University Press. Evanston, Illinois. p190: directions for performing the polka.
  5. Blatter, Alfred 2007. Revisiting music theory: a guide to the practice, p28. ISBN 0-415-97440-2.
  6. "Polkamania ... has raged very fiercely amongst us, indeed all over London this year". Letter by E.J.Knox, 14 August 1844: quoted in A.E. Blake London 1909. Memoirs of a Vanished Generation ..., London 1909 viii, 217.

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