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Polska

From Academic Kids

The polska (not to be confused with the polka) is a folk dance and dance rhythm, common in Nordic folk music and folk dances. The word means "Polish" in Swedish, and is short for "Polish dance". Probably it does have Polish roots. It is possible that the dance originated when king Sigismund Vasa (Sigismund III of Poland, Sigismund I of Sweden) travelled to Sweden for his coronation, accompanied by Polish musicians.

In the different parts of Sweden, the style of polskas vary considerably. The largest local variety of polskas probably come from the Swedish regions Dalarna and Småland where places like Malung, Orsa, Bingsjö, Rättvik and Boda have distinctive varieties.

There are three main types of polskas: the semiquaver polska or sixteenth-note polska (somewhat similar to the polonaise), the quaver polska or eighth-note polska (somewhat similar to the mazurka), and the triplet polska. In Finland almost only the sixteenth note polska exists.

The oldest form polska is the "eighth-note", distinguished by a long second beat and a highly accented first and third beats. A sixteenth note polska, also known as a slängpolska characterized by its fast paced dancing where the female is "swung" or virtually "thrown" across the dance floor by her male partner. A Norwegian variety played with faster music is called pols.


Polska also the Polish name for the country itself (Poland).

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