Country Dance Question -- What is Schottische?

pygmalion said:
You know. It's funny. When I first started this thread, I was thinking American Country and Western dances. Little did I realize that Schitsche spans he centuries and several continents. 8) Maybe I'll have to actually learn it one day. :? :lol:
Well, now you know why I was so surprised when you said polka was a CW dance. I've done Schottische as a vintage dance. It's pretty easy, and I don't think you'll have a problem with it.


Well-Known Member
This dance is very easy. I just was shown it once at folk dance class tonight and went staright ahead and did it. It won't be a problem at all for you Jenn. In addition to the basic that is described on the link you provided you can do other stuff such as turns etc. Leader can turn follow instead of doing the closed turn, or turn the follow when doing the travelling's straightforward.
#23 guys should all come to Australia and we'll have a huge DF, New Vogue night and teach you all our New Vogue dances, including the Excelsior Schottische, which is a lovely dance! :)
Here are some fun songs you can Schottische to:

Green Day - Misery -- a great Schottische!
No Doubt - Underneath It All
Sublime - Caress Me Down
UB40 - Cherry Oh Baby

And now my obligatory 2 cents on how to do it :)

The way I'm used to doing it (which is probably one of the original variations in Austria, or wherever it was that it originated) is going LOD, in an open side-by-side position (lead's hand on the follow's shoulder blade); lead starts on L and follow on R, as usual. Then it goes (for the lead) :

step-hop, step-hop, step-hop, step-hop.

That's the basic; instead of the step-hops you can come into closed position and pivot with your partner (same step-hop footwork).

There are other things you can do, add styling, etc. Lots of fun and silly variations that one can make up: separate from your partner and run around the couple ahead of you, have like 4 couples doing it in one line, or form a circle; try to capture some unsuspecting couple in that circle.

Too bad people don't know the dance unless they are into folk dancing, C&W stuff, or went to Stanford.



Well-Known Member
Sounds like fun. Dang! I wish somebody around here taught it. Most of the country teachers here do line dance, waltz, country cha or rumba. Even polka. But no schottische. :(
pygmalion said:
Sounds like fun. Dang! I wish somebody around here taught it. Most of the country teachers here do line dance, waltz, country cha or rumba. Even polka. But no schottische. :(
If you want, you can fly up here to Durham and take a private with my friend Chris as the instructor. If you want a partner, I'd be more than happy to accommodate you. ;)
Thanks. :oops: If we were closer, I would be a bit more serious about the offer. Chris (and his fiancee Dawn) keeps saying he's willing to offer me a private to return past assistance with supporting his Vintage Dancing. As mentioned before, I don't ever want to take a private alone.

Otherwise, if you know that Richard Powers is going to be in the area, go to his vintage social dance workshops. Or you can go to Newport for the Vintage Dancing Week up there.

Oh well... I can just dream about it I guess. :cry:

P.S. Of course, if we did actually live closer to each other, we may actually solve our mutual (lack of) dance partner problems. ;)
pygmalion said:
Tra la la. Found a link that describes the basic step.
Wow, this is an exact description of the basics of what folk dancers here in Sweden call "schottis". Then there are a few different turns.

Here are some images and film clips (unfortunately, I do not have the software to watch them in this computer I use at the moment. To my understanding the clips should show some more or - mostly - less traditional schottis turns and variations)

A brief historical description, claiming that the schottische is originally from Bohemia
Just in case someone finds it interesting.
I used to do this dance so well.. I could have competed in it. I remember goning to Denim and Diamonds.. I'm thinking around Nashville somewhere.. can't remember exactly.. did 5 ina row (what they are famous for) and by the time I got to their fastest one.. I barely even realized we were going as fast as we did.. when I heard the BPM.. I was shocked since I had never done it that fast in my life.. and I never skipped a move nor a beat and put variations in too! No one could believe it.. and neither could I! The bad part was.. once I left.. and went back home.. everything there seemed really SLOW and when I spoke to my dance partner (at that time) she agreed and we were both.. well.. disappointed realizing our challenge had come and gone and now we were faced with what was in front of us.. we excelled.. but the bar didn't.

I was NOT involved with Ann back then nor have I ever danced it that fast with her. ya really gotta know what you are doing.. leader and follower to pull this dance off well once you really get going. I've taught many.. however.. it's easier and flows better when both partners can hit it! THIS is NOT a slam on Ann at all.. I'm just clarifying so no one expects to see this done any time soon. :D 8) We do however still do it on the hardwod from time to time :wink:

Steve Pastor

Staff member
I think about the dances we do, and the music we do them to, and how they go together or don't so well.
Maybe more than I should.

A long time ago, there were tunes that were called Schottisches. I've looked at the sheet music for those songs, but have never gotten to any real conclusions about what, if anything, makes them schottisches
In this video the dance fits the phrasing in the music pretty darn well, and they are doing schottische.

Someone put two extra steps / beats into the dance, and called it Sweetheart Schottische. Although those 26 beats don't really go with the music (since most phrasing in music is in multiples of 4), it's a pretty popular dance.
I learned the above Schottische years ago, but I live in a part of the country ( near Hays, Kansas ) that has a rich Volga German heritage. You see this at all the Polka dances, and it is fun. When we taught dance classes, we did it in groups of four, two couples, with all facing line of dance, in front with the man on the left, lady on the right, in back, lady left man on right. The couple in front held hands and with outside arms, held hands with the ones in the back who were also holding each others hands, forming a complete square. They all vined the same direction and when it came to the step hops, the front couple divided but keeping hands with the rear, they went outside around to the back and rejoined hands and then the rear couple was in front, forming a new square. Makes a somewhat boring dance a little more interesting. As far as the Sweetheart Schottische goes, this was done on the old Club Dance Show many a time. Had lots of fun with this one, and learned several variations. We do it sometimes when we get to go dance, but not many others join. I think I must have recorded nearly every day that Club Dance was on, and I still have them on vhs. What I wouldn't give to have a complete set on dvd. Oh, and time to watch it!


Active Member
I use one of the little Roxio VHS-DVD converts. It just intercepts the video out and then digitally converts it to a UBS connection. Just set it up and hit go and come back in a couple hours. I think I found mine on sale for something silly like $19 and figured it was worth a shot. Amazingly, it works pretty well and is pretty easy.

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