dedicated to the excellent performance of Lancashire Morris
Go to the Archives Site
Number 2 Polka

This dance was developed in the late 1980s, and provides an interesting comparison with the original Polka Dance. The only real similarity is that it uses the same cotton rope slings and has a similar preponderance of polka steps, although with an interesting variation which occurs at regular intervals throughout the dance.

Like most North West dances, the No 2 Polka Dance has a “figure and chorus” format.

The chorus is a "Step Up" followed by "Polka Round Him" which is a variation on the "Step and Turn " movement which was a common feature of many traditional dances from the area.

The Step Up features a spring caper followed by the distinctive No2 polka variation and follows the same pattern of taking 4 bars forward and 4 bars back to place, as the original Polka. In "Polka Round Him" neighbours dance once around each other back to place for 4 bars and then repeat the distinctive No2 polka variation on the spot facing partners across the set for the remaining 4 bars.

During the polka step the free hand is held behind the dancer, across the small of the back .
"Up in Fours ", Anchor Gardens, Sidmouth Festival, 2004

The figures follow the common NW practice of performing a figure in pairs which is then repeated in fours. "Twos" is a Cross Over with partners but instead of going straight across dancers turn and back out to place on the opposite side. "Fours" is the same figure but performed like Corners Cross. When the set has moved into "Up in Fours" the chorus movement "Polka Round Him" is performed in pairs so it looks a bit like a "Hands Across" but without hands! This is then repeated as "Down in Fours" before the set returns to its original formation.

"Follow Him" is a distinctive variation on the standard NW Outsides figure which is followed by Step Down and Polka Round Him (which because of the change of orientation is actually Polka Round Him the wrong way). The last figure is "Fours and Twos" which brings the set back into original positions for the final Step Up and Polka Round Him.

As in the original Polka the dance ends with the distinctive Rumworth finish when the dancers bring their feet together and their hands sharply down (in this case, behind their backs) remaining completely motionless for several seconds.