The Bounce, a rear view ("Bounce, Bounce, BBBoounce")

On the bounce (or bend) --
back straight and feet together.

On count 3, a slightly
deeper bend at the knees

Polish-American Polka 1
with Monique Legaré and Morley Leyton
of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania
DanceTutor (DT): Like teaching scales on the piano, the first two videos may not be motivating in themselves, but they show the foundation of Polish-American polka, no?

Morley: That's right. It's all about the bounce.

DT: How would you explain it Monique?

Monique: The bounce is done on the count -- on the 1, on the 2, on the 3. So the dancer steps with a bent knee and rises between the counts to prepare to lower again on the count. The bounce on the 3rd count is like slow motion compared to the bounces on 1 and 2, it takes 2 counts to complete, counts 3 and 4. As you do the step, you actually press into the ground. You do not slide forward.

Morley: Too, your feet never get far apart from each other.

DT: Returning to going down on the count, your knees go down on the counts?

Monique Your knees go down and on the third count they take longer to recover from it before going down again on 1. In every 4 counts there are three bounces and the third one on count 3 is longer, takes longer to do if done correctly. If the music is too slow you could die coming up (laughs).

DT: If you go to a ballroom event, they do polkas. Would you consider polka a ballroom event?

Morley: They do polkas at ballroom events, but not this kind of polka?

DT: What kind of polka is this?

Morley: Polish-American polka, done primarily in Polish communities in North America. Unknown in Poland.

DT: What distinguishes Polish-American polka?

Morley: The bounce. And we’re doing the east coast style of Polish-American polka.

DT: How is that different?

Morley: Some other styles are flat. East coast style bounces.

DT: How deep a bend is there in east coast style?

Morley: As deep a bend as you can manage with the music.

DT: Monique, should we warn folks that it takes a while to get this?

Monique: Yes, but like anything, once you get it it's automatic and you don't have to think about it.

DT: There is no hop here yet.

Monique: No, we're looking at the bounce now, and we'll see the hop later. They are two separate elements.

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