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March 18, 2009


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Yeah, I was wondering about the hops on Saturday. It's a bit challenging going from the polka (ie, polka-hop, heel-hop, toe-hop has two hops in a row on the same foot), but fun.

Several things:
(1) The hop is at the beginning of the polka (upbeat), not the end, so if you perform it correctly and use the hops (for example, in the mid-19thc version of heel & toe), heel-toe-polka gives you three sequential hops on the same foot; polka-heel-toe does not. Though that transition comes up in the repeat, there's a pause in there between the polka and the heel-toe. And it's not "heel then hop" -- the two actions are simultaneous. Not sure whether that's what you meant by "heel-hop". The full sequence with hops would be:

ONE TWO AND one and two (pause) ONE TWO AND one and two

(2) Other dances, e.g. Tantivy, have explicit sequences of three consecutive hops on the same foot, often performed as part of a half-turn. It's merely a question of balance and body control; by 19thc standards three hops are pretty basic.

(3) This is not the same dance as the one from Friday night anyway.

Small linguistic note: the correct French spelling would actually be "Troïka", since the diaeresis always goes over the second vowel (just like "naïve" or archaic "coöperate"). This is something that has confused people for years, as your citation of the "Tröika" spelling shows. :)

Heh. I need to proofread better or not write so late at night. I just went through and found it three different ways (mostly wrong) in different places. I think I've changed them all to Troïka now, but feel free to point out any specific ones I've missed.

Oh...I figured your source had "Tröika", and that you were just quoting faithfully.

BTW, Normal English spelling of "troika" these days omits the diaeresis, but since the term for the dance was presumably borrowed at an earlier period, I don't know what best practice would be.

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