How to Dance a Polka

When you do the polka enough, you’ll understand why it’s associated with fun, out-of-control wedding receptions.


  • Step 1: Stand with feet together Stand with your feet together, knees relaxed. If you're the man, hold the woman along her back with your right arm. If you're the woman, rest your left arm along the man's back, pressing your extended hands together.
  • Step 2: Step and hop Step to your left, if you're the man. If you're the woman, step to your right. Each person hops the second step with their opposite foot, the other just coming off the floor. Then bring your feet down next to each other.
  • Step 3: Reverse step Draw your partner back with you as you reverse the step with a right, and then a right side hop, setting the left foot down.
  • TIP: Take lessons or buy some CDs to get the rhythm down before trying.
  • Step 4: Spin and hop Turn out slightly by hopping out on your left if you're the man, and spinning yourself 180 degrees. The woman follows, hopping instead on her right.
  • Step 5: Swing her Swing the woman around with you as you hop back now with the right, finishing a circle and bringing her around to starting position as you set both feet down, side by side again.
  • Step 6: Start again Start the steps all over again as you wheel around the floor, hopping on the first notes of each phrase. Remain in sync with the music on each step.
  • TIP: These steps convert nicely to country western standards.
  • Step 7: Get crazy Put in additional steps wherever you choose as you feel more comfortable. The polka is about letting loose and having fun.
  • FACT: The word polka is Polish for "Polish woman."

You Will Need

  • Partner
  • Dancing shoes
  • Ballroom or beer hall
  • Music
  • Dance lessons (optional)
  • CDs (optional)

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