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Circle Dancing with Polka on May Day

Celebrate the coming of May with this polka step circle meditation. For a sashay version of a Maypole Dance - or May Pole Dance, as it is also written.

The dance can be done as part of a May Day celebration. The main dance step is the "polka." The technique to do a polka is take 2 gallops, and a step forward to change front foot. Each new polka changes the front foot.

First there needs to be a sturdy pole set up, with an even number of 20 foot long 4 inch wide ribbons attached to the top. Each dancer holds the free end of a ribbon. For the sake of describing this dance I will use the example of 8 dancers.

Dance is in sets of 16 counts - each polka is one count.

Before beginning, have dancers count off in numbers - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8


Dancers gather facing the maypole in a tight circle, and each picks up the free end of their ribbon in their right hand.

Facing the Maypole, dancers stretch out in a large circle, standing about 3 feet apart, and turn so their right shoulder faces center, then pauses to begin.

Begin music - The tune to "Three Blind Mice" is a good choice

Moving in a clockwise direction, dancers hold their ribbon at shoulder height and do 16 polkas moving around the circle and pause…

Turning toward center, face opposite direction, changing ribbon to left hand and do 16 polkas counterclockwise direction and pause …

Now to begin the ribbon weaving

Odd numbered dancers stand still facing into center, ribbons at shoulder height.

Even numbered dancers will be moving counter-clockwise in circle doing 16 polkas. As they pass a dancer they alternately dip under the next dancer's ribbon and then lift their own ribbon over the next dancers head; then again dip under; then again lift their ribbon over. Complete one circle.

Then changing places, the even numbered dancers stand still facing in, and the odd numbered dancers do the weaving sequence.

As the dancers weave tighter they will move closer to the center of the maypole.

To complete the dance, all drop their ribbons near the base of the Maypole, and polka in a line off the stage or away from the pole.

The dance is not as complicated as it sounds, and is certainly fun for the dancers and onlookers to see as the ribbons become woven around the pole.

Is the polka step too advanced? Then substitute skips!

Note: If you would like to see a Maypole dance, order the ballet "La Fille Mal Gardee." The video also includes a clog dance.

Choreography by Susan Helene Kramer

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This content was written by Susan Helene Kramer. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Susan Helene Kramer for details.

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