Varsouvianna

 

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Music: Varsouvianna medley

Record: 45-103

Jump to variations:

Varsouvianna in Dance Position | The Open Varsouvianna The Scotch Roll

Since this is such a tremendously important dance, we are adding a
few things to the instructions, for your further information.

The name: The original spelling was Varsouvienne. Other spellings
are as above and Varsovianna, Varsovienne, and even "Put Your
Little Foot," and "New Shoes." Varsovienne is a French word
meaning "of (or from) Warsaw." This describes the dance... it is a
mazurka waltz that apparently originated in Warsaw, Poland, in the
mid-1900s.

The position: "Take Varsouvianna pos" is such a basic instruction
that is turns up in many round dances. Stand side by side with the
woman on the man's right. The man's right hand holds her right
hand just above her right shoulder, and his left hand holds her left
hand across in front of him and at her shoulder height. Make sure
that the hands joined above her right shoulder are actually in the air
and not resting on her shoulder. Also, make sure that the joined left
hands are not collapsed back against the man's chest but held
forward so that there is a significant space created in front of the
couple.

Footwork: Identical (sometimes opposite but it depends on the
figure). Both start with left foot.

Introduction: 4 meas. In Varsouvianna pos, wait 2 meas; step L,
point R, and hold; step R, point L, sweep R foot back over L
instep.

Measures
     1-4  GLIDE, CLOSE, SWEEP; GLIDE, CLOSE, SWEEP;
     GLIDE, CLOSE, STEP; POINT,  , SWEEP
     Starting with the L, which has been swept back over the
     R instep, on the last beat of the preceding meas, glide fwd
     in LOD and to the L on L, close the R to the L, sweep back
     with L over R instep; glide fwd again on L, close R to L,
     sweep L back over R; glide fwd on L, woman crosses R
     over L and takes wt on R, while man steps slightly to his R
     on R in order to help them cross each other, woman
     completes the cross-over by stepping on L a little farther to 
     L, while man closes his L to R (without letting go of 
     handholds, woman has come to man's L side); both point
     fwd and to the R with R, hold one count, then sweep R
     back over L instep.
     5-8  Repeat meas 1-4 in reverse, starting with the R foot, and
     ending back in original pos, pointing and sweeping with the
     L.
     9-12 GLIDE, CROSS, STEP; POINT,  , SWEEP; GLIDE,
     CROSS, STEP; POINT,  , SWEEP
     As in meas 3-4, glide fwd in LOD on L, woman cross R
     over L, and step to L on L, while man steps to R and closes
     L; both point to R of fwd with R and then sweep R back
     over L instep; on meas 11-12 repeat in reverse to the R as
     in meas 7-8.
          13-16     Repeat meas 9-12.
          17-32     Repeat meas 1-16.
          33-48     Maneuvering instantly into closed dance pos, do 16 
meas of
          RF turning waltz, in LOD. Bal and maneuver from RF to
          LF turning waltz for variety, if you like, so long as you
          remain in LOD. At the end of the 16 meas of waltz,
          maneuver into Varsouvianna pos, facing LOD.

The dance is done three times. On the last time through three are
32 meas of waltz. We suggest that the dancers break from the fixed
LOD circle and do a free waltz for the second 16 meas. Twirl and
bow at the end.

The Glide Step and the "sweep" that precedes it are really one
action, and it is quite natural to do them as such, without thinking
of the fact that the sweep-back actually starts on the final beat of
the measure preceding the glide. This is the basic mazurka step.
While it requires a certain type of waltz music, you can dance the
Varsouvianna to any waltz in the right tempo. You can
Varsouvianna right through the waltz sections of this record, also,
while practicing.

For variety, use the standard from above for the first sequence, and
one of the variations described below for each of the others.

Varsouvianna in Dance Position

Footwork: Opposite throughout, directions for man, semi-closed
pos.

Introduction: In semi-closed pos, facing LOD, lead hands pointing
in LOD, dance intro as in standard version, starting man's L,
woman's R.

Measures
     1-4  GLIDE, CLOSE, SWEEP; GLIDE, CLOSE, SWEEP;
     WALK, 2, TURNBACK;  ,  , SWEEP
     Using opp footwork and moving LOD, dance meas of the
     standard version; on meas 3, walk 3 steps fwd, L, R, L, on
     the third count pivoting on L to face RLOD, adjusting arms
     so that lead hands are trailing and partners are looking fwd
     in RLOD over their encircling arms; point twd RLOD and
     R with R (woman L), hold, and sweep R back over L
     instep.
     5-8  Repeat the action of meas 1-4, starting with man's R and
     doing the action in the opp direction, ending facing LOD.
     9-12 GLIDE RIGHT, FACE, AND; POINT (arch),  , SWEEP;
     GLIDE LEFT, FACE, AND; POINT (dip),  , SWEEP
     Meas 9-10 repeat the action of meas 3-4 (as the partners
     turn twd RLOD they arch their lead hands, which are now
     trailing, slightly over their own heads, bending fwd in
     RLOD over their encircling arms); meas 11-12 repeat the
     action of meas 7-8 (as they turn back twd LOD, they dip
     their leading hands fwd, dipping their bodies twd them).
          13-16     Repeat meas 9-12.
          17-32     Repeat meas 1-16.
33-48     RF TURNING WALTZ.

The Open Varsouvianna


Footwork: Opposite throughout, starting L, skirt skaters' pos,
directions for man.

Measures
     1-8  Danced as above and in the standard version, except that
     the partners' outside hands are free, man has his R arm
     around woman's waist, she has her L hand on his R
     shoulder, and she may hold her skirt with her R hand. As
     they turn back twd RLOD, they change hands and reverse
     this pos. They make these changes twice as in meas 1-8,
     above.
     9-12 TURN BACK TO BACK AND; POINT,  , SWEEP;
     TURN BACK TO BACK AND; POINT,  , SWEEP
     Letting go holds completely, partners turn away from each
     other (back to back) in 3 steps (man steps L, R, L); point R
     twd RLOD, hold, and sweep r over L instep; repeat in
     reverse, man stepping R, L, R, and turning RF, back twd
     LOD; point L, hold and sweep L over R instep.
          13-16     Repeat 9-12.
          17-32     Repeat 1-16.
          33-48     RF turning waltz.

The Scotch Roll

Footwork: Identical is described, but this version is very pretty
with opp also. Start in standard pos.

Measures
     1-4  GLIDE, CLOSE, SWEEP; GLIDE, CLOSE, SWEEP;
     SCOTCH ROLL; POINT,  , SWEEP;  ,  , SWEEP
     The first 2 meas are danced like meas 1-2 of the standard
     version; on meas 3, woman lets go with R hand, and, with
     L hands still joined, rolls LF across under man's L arm, and
     joins R hands at man's R shoulder; both point R, hold, and
     sweep R across L instep.
     5-8  Repeat meas 1-2 in reverse; cross back to original place as
     in meas 7-8 of the standard version.
     9-12 OUT ON THE RIGHT; POINT,  , SWEEP; BACK UP TO
     PLACE; POINT,  , SWEEP
     Dropping L hands, woman turns out on R hands, L, R, L
     (RF), to face RLOD (extended banjo); in this pos, both
     point R and sweep R over L; woman turns LF back into
     pos; both point R and sweep R.
          13-16     OUT ON THE LEFT; POINT,  , SWEEP; TURN BACK
          TO PLACE; POINT,  , SWEEP
     Dropping R hands, woman turns LF out to the L (L, R, L)
     extended side-car; both point R and sweep R; woman
     continues LF turn under L hands (R, L, R) back to place on
     man's R, rejoin R hands; both point L and sweep L.
          17-32     Repeat meas 1-16.
          33-48     RF turning waltz.

These versions are all described in complete detail in Lloyd Shaw's
Round Dance Book, along with many other variations.

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