Combination Polka



Contemporary Description


The Position

Waltz position throughout.


The Footwork

In the following descriptions, "heel" means straightened leg extended to the side, heel to the ground, toe raised. "Toe" means toe to the floor, close to the supporting foot, knee slightly bent.

Start with the first part of the Bohemian Polka: Heel-toe along LOD (1-2), turning polka (3-and-4), repeat opposite.

Continue with the Esmeralda (slide-and-slide-and-slide-and-turn, slide-and-turn, slide-and-turn).

Then repeat the whole sequence opposite.


Newman 1903 describes an alternate version with 16 bars: heel-toe, polka x 3, repeat opposite, then a full Esmeralda. Repeat as before (not opposite).


The Music

Polka music.

Dodworth 1879 gives this music:


© 2015 Nick Enge


(Click to expand)

Historical Descriptions


Combination Polka (Dodworth, 1879):

[From previous description: "The description as here given, is for the lady. The gentleman has simply to substitute the words, left for right, and right for left wherever found; it will then answer for his part."]

Right foot: Heel. Toe. Polka half round. Left foot: Heel. Toe. Polka half round. Right foot: Slide.* Slide. Polka. Polka. Polka

Right foot [sic - the slide-slide-polka-polka-polka will get you on the left foot]: Heel. Toe. Polka half round. Left foot: Heel. Toe. Polka half round. Right foot: Slide.* Slide. Polka. Polka. Polka

*At the words "Slide, slide," make two slides (Galop steps) directly sideways, without turning.

[From previous description: "At the word heel, place the right heel in a direct line to the side, say twelve or fifteen inches, toe raised—at the same time slightly hop on the other foot. At the word toe, place same foot directly behind the left, with heel raised, at the same time hopping a second time upon the left."]


Combination Polka (Gilbert, 1890):

First Part:—The same as the first part of Heel and Toe Polka; four measures.

Second Part:—The Glide Polka, two measures.

Third Part:—Polka, two measures. In all, eight measures. Recommence at first part.


Heel-and-Toe Polka (Bohemienne) (Wilson, 1899):

The lady hops slightly on the left foot, and at the same time extends the right to second position with the heel touching the floor and toes raised (1); then hops again, bringing the right foot to fifth position behind the left, toes touching the floor (2).

This occupies one measure of the music, and is followed by one measure of the plain polka, after which the heel-and-toe is repeated with the left foot.

The steps for the gentleman are the same, substituting left for right, and vice versa.

The Heel-and-Toe an the plain polka are thus alternated throughout the dance, or four measures of these two movements combined may be alternated with four measures of the Esmeralda.


Heel and Toe Polka (Newman, 1903):

Left heel to 2d Pos. (1), 1/2 B. Toes of L.F. to 5th Pos., with heel raised (2), 1/2 B. Then three polka steps; turning, starting with L.F., 1 B. Repeat all with R.F., 2 B's. Then finish with the Esmeralda (two slides and three polka steps left and the same right, 4 B's.


For more, including descriptions of 25 different waltzes and hundreds of variations thereof, see Waltzing: A Manual for Dancing and Living a book by Richard Powers and Nick Enge.


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