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Beginners Square Dances - Southeast Michigan - MI

Jessie Polka
Beginners Square Dance Classes
Dave Smith - Caller
SE MI Square Dance Clubs
South Lyon Square Dancing

My favorite traditional square dance is called the Jessie Polka. It can be done as a simple round dance, or a square dance with footwork.

Click here to play the Jessie Polka

The Call (done 4 times thru)
 
The side couples arch, head couples dive right under,
Dip and Dive round the ring, home you go and don't you blunder,
Do an Allemande Left, Put an arm around your partner in a star promenade you do the Jessie Polka Dance,
With a heal and a toe, you start the room a jumpin'
When the Ladies turn back you can hear their bustles bumpin'
We could dance through the night, as if it were a minute,
Our hearts are really in it, that Jessie Polka dance,
 
Now you watch your corner girl, she'll be comin' round,
Take her in  your arms, swing her round and round,
Then promenade this lady, keep her for your partner,
You balance and you swing until the music starts again.
 
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Usually, the first time through, it's better to call it this way:
 
The side couples arch, head couples dive right under,
Dip and Dive round the ring, home you go and don't you blunder,
Do an Allemande Left, Put an arm around your partner in a star promenade you do the Jessie Polka Dance,
Left forward, right back, right forward, left to your left toe, 4 two steps
Left forward, right back, right forward, left to your left toe, 4 two steps
Left forward, right back, right forward, left to your left toe, 2 two steps
Swing and promenade
Then promenade this lady, keep her for your partner,
You balance and you swing until the music starts again.
 
This call describes the actual footwork being done for the Jessie Polka.
 
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Before teaching them the square dance, it's best to have a group learn the round dance.  It is simple, and done in Varsouviene position (left hands joined in front, mans right hand holding ladies right hand over the ladies right shoulder).
 
It goes like this (in beat to the music)
 
Left heal forward, then bring it back to place,
Right toe back, then bring it back to place,
Right heal forward, then bring it back to place,
Left heal forward, then kick your left heal backwards to your right knee and do
Four quick forward two-steps
 
Repeat throughout the song to the beat of the music.
 
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Now teach them the square dance routine,
 
During the star promenade, the caller says, "Do the Jessie Polka dance"
The dancers will do it three times thru in a row, the same as when they did the round dance, except, during the four two steps, the men will go forward, while the ladies do four two steps in a little circle (essentially rolling back to the man behind them, he will put an arm around her in a start promenade).  This is repeated three times until she meets her corner, whom she swings and promenades with. 
 
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This dance is a lot of fun, and a ton of exercise.  Take a five minute break when your done, you'll need it. 
 
This is a real old time square dance, as done in the 1930s-1950s.  It was very popular at that time.  It is easy to find old 78's with copies of this popular dance on it.  It is also available on 45 as a dance by Johnny Wykoff.
 
Dave Smith
Square Dance Caller
Traditional & Western
BMI & ASCAP Licensed
22770 Clarkshire Dr.
South Lyon,
                                    MI 48178
248-486-0043
davesmith76@yahoo.com
http://squaredancemichigan.tripod.com/id29.html

 

 
 

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