Go for it! — the polka at full speed

photo courtesy of International Polka Association

A previous beau, Joe, and I were on a dance floor relishing the likes of the Two-Step, the West Coast Swing, and the Waltz, when suddenly the band started a Polka. The music began so lively we didn’t hesitate to resume ballroom position and ensue twirls, half-steps, and spins. Nor did other couples hesitate. We already on the floor stayed to partake in the Polka. Others flocked to join us.
     Joe and I didn’t know the formal Polka steps, nor that there were formal Polka steps. We went by memories of Polka-dancing . I don’t know what his were; mine were dancing at large Catholic weddings in church basements — with reception tables and chairs pushed back to make room for dancing. A Polka band took a platform stage. As soon as I could stand, I danced at weddings. My parents, uncles, aunts and cousins took turns dancing with me.
     Those days had faded into the past, and so did Polka music, until this night when my darling and I were surprised. The Polka song lasted several minutes. I can still see Joe’s vivacious gaze, and feel my eyes shining back, as the world behind him spun and we clung to each other in the centrifugal force.
     When the song ended he and I laughed and caught our breath. “I don’t know how I prevented us from crashing into other couples,” he said. “I just used radar.”
     I realized he and I had survived a dancing miracle. We were among other couples who likely hadn’t taken on the Polka in awhile, and who now took it on with verve among the hypnotic, lively accordion, guitar and drums. We all managed to make it through the song without one dance floor collision.

Dance with her!
     Fellas, step up, take her hand, and be the gentleman leader through the dance. In this alone, you’ll become a positive part of her life.
Please understand these traditional partner dance rules:
the fellow leads, the lady follows;
no ego alerts here from either side, these are traditional roles on the dance floor to make partner dances work;
the fellow needs to watch the lady’s back, per se. While he leads her through twirls and spins, he’s responsible to not careen her into a crash. That’s putting it heavily. Basically, the fella’s role is to keep the lady safe.
Create a memory
     Okay, the fact that you approached her with verve, to dance with her with verve, will in itself create a memory. The rest is up to chemistry.
Don’t know how to polka?
     No worries! Fellas, take your lady by the hand and lead her through the inspiration of the lively polka beat. Another option, if you see a lively couple who know what they’re doing, try to catch them off the floor and ask them for a few basics.
     Formal lessons are an option for later.
Where to polka
—–Oktoberfests.  Oktoberfests are celebrated late September-October. Search for one in your area, and likely find a live polka band. Take your darling to the festival, and invite her to polka.
—-Polka organizations, like the International Polka Association, host regular polka events, complete with live bands.
More information:
Find a list of North American Oktoberfests divided by states here.
Find information on Oktoberfests around the world, including German Oktoberfests,  Vietnamese Oktoberfest and Hong Kong Oktoberfest, here.
International Polka Association.
United States Polka Association.

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