Tag Archives | Poland

Polka Flash Mob

Nowadays you can find a place to dance the Czech/Polish dance known as Polka in most large cities around the Western world, and not just in traditional Polish beer halls. There many kinds of Polka in the U.S.: Polish-American, Slovenian-American, Czech-American, Mexican-American and the Papago Pima, a German/Arizonan/Native American polka in sometimes called “the chicken scratch.” Polka may not be quite as popular in Asia, but don’t tell that to the enthusiastic Japanese dancers from this video’s Polka Flash Mob.

Betty and Merlin

In class we dance the POLKA! And why not? While the quick, “half-step” polka actually originated in the Czech land of Bohemia and became popular when Viennese composers wrote polkas in the 19th century, the Poles adopted the dance and made it the centerpiece of many popular cultural celebrations. When Poles emigrated to countries like the U.S. they brought the dance with them. We’re so glad they did. So are our friends Betty and Merlin, who we meet in this video dancing the polka on their 50th wedding anniversary.

Poland, the Czech Republic, and One Great Dance

All Around This World map of Eastern Europe featuring Czechia and Poland

This week in our online classes we go two nations in Eastern Europe that each have a thousand years of history behind them — Poland and the Czech Republic. The Czechs and Poles have been neighbors for a millennium, though they have “a special relationship” and have fought much less often with each other than with nations nearby, like Austria, Germany and Russia. In class we focus not on squabbles but on something Czechs and Poles share……. POLKA! Let’s go.