If you are new to the world of folk dance, here are a few of the basic steps that you will find basically anywhere, no matter what country you are in. The first is a slide step or chassé, which is a travelling step. This means that you can move around at the same time as you are completing the step, whether it is from side to side, in a line or in a circle. To complete a slide step, use your right foot to step to the side and bring your left foot to meet it, or the other way around. Repeat this step multiple times, alternating as you see fit and you will have successfully learnt the slide step.
Slightly more complicated are the hopping steps, which require your feet to actually leave the ground. You might want to practice this one when you have some space to yourself, when the people you live with are either playing foxy bingo in another room, out at work or social events. Hop on one foot and then the other to start off with and then when you feel comfortable with this, try hopping twice on each foot. Once you have learnt these steps, they can be combined with other folk dance steps and included into more complicated dances.
A polka involves more elements than we have discussed so far. It is performed in 2/4 time, with one quick beat and three that are slightly slower. To complete this step, hop using your left foot and step with the right. Move your left foot to the side of your right, then step with the right foot and hop with the same foot. Repeat this with the opposite foot and keep going, adding clockwise turns after each hop once you feel comfortable.
There are many more steps to learn when you are practising folk dancing and it won’t be long before you are feeling confident and enjoying taking part in this wonderful dance.