La Koska

(La Coska)



Contemporary Description


The Position

Waltz position throughout.


The Footwork

Essentially an extended Polka Mazurka, La Koska is a simple combination of three Mazurka steps and one Polka Redowa.

"Slide-cut-lift x 3, slide-cut-leap," turning 180° at the end of 12 counts.

Repeat it all with the opposite foot, dancing it over the elbows.

Historical Note: Hillgrove's version (1857, 1858, 1863) continues on, with four polka redowa turning to the right, followed by four polka redowa turning to the left. Gilbert's version (1890) also includes eight polka redowas, without specifying which way to turn.

Today, La Koska is often simplified to the core 12-count variation above, and alternated with other Mazurka variations.


The Music

Mazurka music.


© 2015 Nick Enge


(Click to expand)

Historical Descriptions


La Koska (Hillgrove, 1857):

The New Polish Dance

La Koska

Music in Three-Four Time.

This dance is now a great favorite, and was originally introduced in 1850, by Miss C. C. Williams, who taught school at the Apollo Rooms in Broadway, she having arranged the dance with four figures; two of the figures being rather too difficult too ever become popular, have since been omitted, and in its present simple form has met with great success. The music for this dance requires to be played in three-four time, the same as a Mazourka. The steps are composed of the mazourka and polka redowa. The position is the same as any of the other round dances. (See page 79.)

Steps.

1st. The gentleman takes three mazourka steps [the lifted version] with the left foot, springing on the right foot each time, and passing straight down the room, and then take one polka redowa step in turning half round round [sic] (four bars); then commence with the other foot, and repeat the same. (4 bars.)

2d. Take four polka redowa steps in turning to the right, and then four reverse in turning to the left. (8 bars.)—In all, 16 bars.

The step for the lady is precisely the same, only reversing the foot, that is, right for left, and left for right.


La Koska (Hillgrove, 1858):

[Same as Hillgrove, 1857]


La Koska (Hillgrove, 1863):

Music in Three-Four Time.

The steps for this dance are composed of the Mazourka and the Polka-Redowa. The position is the same as for the Waltz or Polka.

Part First

1st. The gentleman takes three Mazourka steps [the lifted version] with the left foot, springing on the right foot each time, and passing straight down the room, and then take one Polka-Redowa step in turning half round (four bars).

2d. He then commences with the other foot, and repeats the same (four bars).

Part Second.

Take four Polka-Redowa steps in turning to the right, and then four reverse steps in turning to the left (eight bars).

Then recommence with the first part, and so on alternately.

The step for the lady is precisely the same, only reversing the foot, that is, right for left, and left for right.


La Coska (Gilbert, 1890):

First Part:—Three Mazurka steps to the side, and one Polka-Redowa step turning; four measures. Repeat, in opposite direction.

Second Part:—Polka-redowa; eight measures. The Mazurka step in the first part, should be made the same as the first three counts in La Russe [slide left foot to the side (2d), 1; draw right to left (1st) and slide left to side (chasse), & 2; draw right to left (1st), 3]


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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