The Polka, Galop, Etc.

King Polka has been deposed after a reign of nearly twenty years. I cannot refrain from throwing up my cap. True, his rule was easy, and he was popular on that account, indeed, he has still his partisans in certain classes, but not in the best. For what a graceless, [ ]?, sleepy old creature he was! Then, too, he was not even a legitimate sovereign. The good family of the Polkas in Hungary, Poland, ... would not recognize this pretender of England and France, who is no more like them than that other pretender Mazurka, is like the original spirited, national fling of the same name. It is curious to see how our D'Egvilles have ransacked Europe for national dances to be adapted to the drawing-room, and, indeed, there spoiled. The waltz is of German origin, but where it is still danced in Germany in the original manner (as for instance, among the peasants of the Tyrol), it is a very different dance. It is there very slow and graceful- the feet are thrown out in a single long step, which Turveydrop, I presume, would call a jeti. a few turns, the partners waltz alone in the same... the man keeping the time by striking together his irorshod heels, until with a shout and clapping of hands again clasps his partner and continues in the same slow measure with her. The very names of the dances bespeak their origin. The Sclavonic nations must have giver the Polka, Mazurka, Redowa, Gorlitza ; and Elete whatever that may be. The Varsovienne and Cracovie are all that remain of Polish nationality.

The only advice therefore which it is necessary to give to those who wish to dance the polka may be summed up in two words, "don t." Not so with the galop. The remarks as to the position in waltzing apply to all round dances, and there is therefore little to add with regard to the galop, except that it is a great mistake to suppose it to be a rapid dance. It should be danced as slowly as possible. It will then be more graceful and less fatiguing. It is danced quite slowly in Germany and on the flat foot. The polka-mazurka is still much danced, and is certainly very graceful. The remarks on the quadrille apply equally to the lancers, which are great favorites, and threaten to take the place of the former. The schottische, hop-waltz, redowa, varsovienne, cellarius, and so forth, have had their day, and are no longer danced in good society. The only dance I regret is the German cotillon, which was introduced a few years ago, but not approved. English people made a romp of it, and English young ladies, an opportunity for marked flirtation; besides which English chaperons, not so patient as the same class on the Continent, would not sit through it. Well I remember the long hours through which we used to keep it up in Germany, while mammas and aunts were dozing behind their fans, and how vexed we were when its varied figures, invented often on the spot, came to an end, and carriages were called for.


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Ladies Toilette Gentlemen Guide Refreshments
La Tempete Polka Quadrille
Round Dances Spanish Dance Square Dances
Virginia Reel Cotillions Waltz
Sociables Balls Ball Etiquete

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