Steg/Steps


balancé | pas de bas

Balancé to the left: step L to the side (1:1), cross R foot in front of L and step on it (1:&), return weight to L foot behind R (1:2), pause (1:&).
Balancé to the right: step R to the side (1:1), cross L foot in front of R and step on it (1:&), return weight to R foot behind L (1:2), pause (1:&).


chassé (Danish) | bytomfotsteg (Norwegian) | tresteg (Swedish) | change step/two-step (English)

This is normally called a 'change step' or a 'two-step' in English-speaking folkdance circles:
Can be done to 2/4, 3/4, or 4/4 music.
M and W do the same step at the same time, but normally with opposite footwork. Step: eg starting with outside foot (ML/WR), step forward on outside foot (1), step inside foot beside outside foot (2), step forward on outside foot (3), bounce (svikt) (4)

Beat:     1   2   3   4     1   2   3   4
Man:      L   R   L   svikt R   L   R   svikt
Woman:    R   L   R   svikt L   R   L   svikt


forgangen nats trin (Danish)

Usually danced to 2/4 time music. A variation of step-hop.
Normally beginning with outside (ML/WR) foot: step forward on outside foot (1), chug backward on outside foot (ie hop on outside foot while sliding it backward) (&), while swinging inside foot forward to repeat with opposite footwork (2 &).


galop (Danish) | galopp (Swedish)

Usually danced to 2/4 time music.
A polka in a fast tempo. Steps are the same as polka, but the hop is more pronounced and both steps and hop travel farther.


hambo (Swedish), springpols (Norwegian)

One hambo step comprises a full (360-degree) couple turn done with 3 physical foot movements. Danced to 3/4-time music in hambo rhythm.
Note: most pols/polska variants start the 3-step turn with M stepping onto L, and W starts the 3-step turn on both, when turning CW. In the hambo, on the other hand, W dances the Man's pols/polska step, while M starts on his R foot. Ie the step is the same for M and W, but each starts at a different spot in the step sequence. The step onto the R foot alone (ie not 'both') is done forwards in the LOD. On both, the feet are apart, to allow room for the partner's R foot between. The hambo turn can also be danced in reverse, with opposite footwork to the following.

Beat:     1     2     3      1     2     3
Man:      R     L    both    R     L    both
Woman:    L    both   R      L    both   R
One complete hambo sequence is danced over 8 bars of 3/4-time hambo music. It consists of 2 dalsteg beginning stepping onto outside (ML/WR) foot and moving forward in LOD holding inside hands (1-2), followed by a tresteg, 4 turning hambo steps in polska hold (4-7), and a final tresteg forward in LOD again holding inside hands (8). Note: on bar 4, M swings 1/2 turn CW to face partner. This is a generic version of the hambo; there are numerous variants.


hopsa (Danish)

Usually danced to 2/4 time music.
Variously described as a waltz step done to polka rhythm, or as a polka step, but beginning with a leap, rather than ending with a hop.
Can be danced forward, backwards, or turning, either CW or CCW as a couple. When turning, two hopsa steps equal one full turn.
Man: leap onto L foot, slightly to the side and with a slight dip (1:1), close R foot to and slightly behind L (1:&), L beside R (1:2), pause on L, raising R ready to leap onto it (1:&); leap onto R foot, slightly to the side and with a slight dip (2:1), close L foot to and slightly behind R (2:&), R beside L (2:2), pause on R, raising L ready to leap onto it (2:&). Woman uses opposite footwork.

Beat:     1:1     1:&     1:2      1:&     2:1     2:&    2:2      2:& 
Man:       L       R       L                R       L       R
Woman:     R       L       R                L       R       L


hurretrin/svingtrin (Danish) | kadriljomdansnings-steg/hurrar (Swedish)| buzz-step (English)

Danced with partner on the spot, or in a larger multi-dancer circle, turning either CW or CCW (reverse buzz-step), usually to either 2/4 or 3/8 time. Step is the same for M and W.
When danced with a partner, normally in waltz hold, standing facing and slightly to the L of partner. Turning CW, R foot turns on the spot [toe pointing at partner], while L foot 'pushes'. When turning CCW (reverse), stand slightly to R of partner, reverse footwork.
When dancing with more dancers, moving CW R foot is crossed infront of L, R toe pointing into centre of circle, and R foot is moved only a little CW, for each step L takes. Opposite footwork when moving CCW.

2/4 time: 1     &     2      1     &     2
M/W:      R           L      R           L
3/8 time: 1     2     3      1     2     3
M/W:      R           L      R           L


Jydsk på næsen/polonaisetrin (Danish) | pols (Norway)| polska (Swedish)

Usually danced with partner, waltz-hold, to 3/4 time music. The step should be smooth and flowing.
M: L foot forward (infront of and facing partner) and diagonally to the L with heel in the LOD (1:1), turning 1/3 turn CW and stepping R foot behind L about a foot apart (1:2), turning 1/3 turn CW and stepping R forward in the LOD, somewhat to R of L foot (1:3).
W: R foot slightly to side and close L to R (1:1), R a small step to the side, turning 1/4 turn CW (1:2), L foot forward, turning 1/4 turn CW (1:3).

Beat:     1     2     3      1     2     3
Man:      L     R     R      L     R     R
Woman:   R-L    R     L     R-L    R     L


kantavarvashyppely (Finnish) | heel-toe (English)

Turn body to L, hop onto L foot crossing R foot in front and touching R heel to the floor (1), then R toe to the floor close to L foot (2). Repeat required number of times. Turn to R, and touching L heel to floor (1) followed by L toe to floor close to R foot (2). Repeat required number of times. Ie. heel-toe step.


mazurka (Danish) | polkamazurka (Finnish: Brage) | potkumasurkka (Finnish:Tanhuvakka) | Fryksdalssteg (Swedish)

Normally done to 3/4 time music.
M and W do same step at same time but with opposite footwork.
Step: step forward on outside foot (1), close inside foot to outside foot (2), hop on inside foot while swinging outside foot forward and snapping it back towards other shin (3).
Note: in the Finnish potkumasurkka step, the inside foot is closed behind the outside foot and the outside foot is swung forward on (2) rather than on (3).

Beat:     1     2     3      1     2     3
Man:      L     R   R-hop    L     R   R-hop
Woman:    R     L   L-hop    R     L   L-hop


menuet/mollevet/mollevit/monevit (Danish) | menuett (Finnish) | menuet (Swedish)

Danced to 3/4 time music. Originally it was a couple dance. When many couples are dancing, they are in lines, M in one line facing their partners in the opposite line.
M and W do same step at same time but with same footwork: R forward (1), close L to R (2), L forward (3), R forward (4), L forward (5), close R to L (6). The mollevet/mollevit step is danced with more lift ('svikt') than a menuet step)


omdansningssteg (Swedish)

Danced to 2/4-time rhythm. Hop onto both feet, about a foot length apart, L foot a little before of R (1:1), pause (1:2), hop onto R foot (1:3), crossing in front of L foot which is lifted up behind (1:3), pause (1:4).


polkka (Finnish) | polkette (Swedish)

A Finnish polkka is a couple turning dance, danced in 4/4 time, but closely related to Swedish mazurka. The dance is very bouncy with a bounce on each beat. Two full polkka steps make one full turn either CW or CCW. The turn is spread over each of the steps.
Normally, M and W do same step at same time but with opposite footwork.
Step: [1st polkka step] Leap onto both feet (1) (or alternatively, landing on inside foot a split second before the outside foot), leap onto inside foot (2), leap onto outside foot (3), and leap (4) to land on both feet on beat (1) again. [2nd polkka step] Leap onto both feet (1) (or alternatively, landing on outside foot a split second before the inside foot), leap onto outside foot (2), leap onto inside foot (3), and leap (4) to land on both feet on beat (1).

Beat:     1     2     3     4     1     2     3     4
Man:      both  R     L     ^     both  L     R     ^
Woman:    both  L     R     ^     both  R     L     ^


polka (Danish, Finnish, Swedish, English)

Danced to 2/4-time music.
Polka is a turning step. It can be danced turning either CW or CCW, and moving either in the LOD or RLOD. Two polka steps make one full turn.
Step: Beginning (usually) on outside foot (ML/WR) take a step to the side (1), while commencing the turn. Close other foot (&). Step sideways again with first foot while continuing the turn (2). The polka step finishes with a lift or a hop (&), depending on rhythm, and tempo. When several polka steps are danced in succession, the step begins alternately with ML/WR and MR/WL.
Note: M and W do same step at same time but with opposite footwork. Polka is one of the few steps done to the side, rather than forward and back.

Beat:     1:1     1:&     1:2     1:&     2:1     2:&     2:2     2:&    3:1     3:&     3:2     3:&     4:1     4:&     4:2     4:&
Man:       L    close R    L      hop      R    close L    R      hop     L    close R    L      hop      R    close L    R      hop
Woman:     R    close L    R      hop      L    close R    L      hop     R    close L    R      hop      L    close R    L      hop


reel (Danish) | enkeliskahyppely (Finnish) | engelska (Swedish)

Danced to 2/4 or 4/4-time music.
Step: On the spot, step onto inside foot behind outside foot (1:1), hop on inside foot moving ('chugging') slightly forward about one foot-length (1:2) while swinging outside foot directly behind heel of inside foot, hop onto outside foot (2:1), hop on outside foot again (2:2), again moving slightly forward. Note that one stays in one spot, so it is imperative to move slightly forward on each hop. Also, the foot behind should be directly behind, not crossed behind.
Normally, M and W do same step at same time but with opposite footwork.

Beat:     1:1     1:2     2:1     2:2     1:1     1:2     2:1     2:2
Man:       R       R       L       L       R       R       L       L
Woman:     L       L       R       R       L       L       R       R


tospring (Danish) | vikivakka (Island) | branle simple (French)

An old step with roots going back to the 1100s in Skandinavia. Note also that there are a number of variations of vikivakka.
Dancers normally in one closed line, facing slightly L, L arm tucked under R arm of person on the L, own R arm over L arm of person on the R. LOD is to the L.
Normally, M and W do same step at same time.
Step: With line moving to the left, and beginnning with weight on R, step L on L foot in LOD (1), step R either beside, or slightly in front of L (2), step L on L in LOD (3), close R to L (or swing infront of L)(4), step R on R in RLOD (5), close L to R (or swing infront of R)(6). Can also be danced moving to the right, with opposite footwork.
Rhythm is quick-quick-slow-slow (QQS-S-)

Beat:     1     2     3     4     5     6     1     2     3     4     5     6
Man:      L     R     L   close   R   close   L     R     L   close   R   close
Woman:    L     R     L   close   R   close   L     R     L   close   R   close


trippetrin (Danish)

Normally done to 2/4 time music.
Step: Note that there are a number of regional variations. (1) Starting with outside (ML/WR) foot, step firmly a small step to the side (1:1), close free foot (1:2), step to MR/WL (2:1), close free foot (2:2).
Normally, M and W do same step at same time but with opposite footwork.

Beat:     1        2        1        2
Man:      L     close R     R     close L
Woman:    R     close L     L     close R


trippevals (Danish) | polkkamasurkka (Finnish) | mazurka (Swedish)

A Swedish mazurka is a couple turning dance, danced in 3/4 time, but closely related to Swedish polkett or Finnish polkka, which are both done in 2/4 or 4/4 time. The dance is very bouncy (in Skåne also called 'rumpedarra' or 'butt shaker') with a bounce on each beat. Like a waltz, two full trippevals steps make one full turn either CW or CCW. Unlike a waltz step, in which the turn is on beats (2) and (3), in a mazurka, the turn is mainly on beats (1) and (2).
Normally, M and W do same step at same time but with opposite footwork.
Step: [1st mazurka step] Leap onto both feet (1) (or alternatively, landing on inside foot a split second before the outside foot), leap onto inside foot (2), leap onto outside foot (3). [2nd mazurka step] Leap onto both feet (1) (or alternatively, landing on outside foot a split second before the inside foot), leap onto outside foot (2), leap onto inside foot (3).

Beat:     1     2     3     1     2     3
Man:      both  R     L     both  L     R
Woman:    both  L     R     both  R     L


tyrolerkast (Danish) | dalsteg (Swedish)

Essentially a step-swing. Step on one foot (1), swing the other foot slightly across and in front of the weight-bearing foot (2), svikt (ie. rise up and descend on first foot) (3). If two or more are done in succession, they are done with opposite footwork. If done as a couple, usually pme begins by stepping onto outside (ML/WR) foot. When done to 3/4-rhythm, count step on outside foot and swinging inside foot forward (1:1) svikt up on outside foot (1:2), svikt down on outside foot (1:3).


tyrolertrin (Danish)

'Tyrolertrin' is mainly used in conjunction with waltz or hopsa. The term refers to the arm and body movements when a couple dances forwards holding inside hands, rather than to a step per se.
On the first step (starting with ML/WR, ie 'outside foot') the joined inside hands move slightly forward as the M and W turn somewhat away from each other. On the second step (starting with 'inside' foot), M and W turn somewhat towards each other, and the inside hands move slightly backwards.

A tyroler-waltz is a couple dance consisting normally of 4 'tyrolertrin' moving forwards in the LOD (ie 4 bars of 3/4-time music), followed by 4 turning waltz steps (a second 4 bars of music).

A tyroler-hopsa is a couple dance consisting normally of 4 'tyrolertrin' moving forwards in the LOD (ie 4 bars of 2/4-time music), followed by 4 turning hopsa steps (a second 4 bars of music).
Normally, M and W do same step at same time but with opposite footwork.


varvaskantahyppely (Finnish) | toe-heel (English)

Turn body to L, hop onto L foot with R toe to the floor (1) to the R side, then R heel to the floor in the same place(2). Repeat, turning to R, and touching L toe to floor (1) followed by L heel to floor (2). Ie. toe-heel step.


Ærøtrin (Danish)

Danced to 2/4-time rhythms. Half-way between a walk and step-hop, ie a walk with a lot of 'svikt'.


Östgötasteg (Swedish)

Danced to 3/4-time rhythms. Step L to the L (1:1), close R to L (1:&) and L to L side (1:2), hop onto R foot, crossing in front of L foot (1:3). Repeat with same footwork.


Descriptions by Laine G.M. Ruus, Oakville, Ontario 2012-01-31. rev. 2017-07-16.