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Gammaldans is a small set of Nordic dances that became broadly popular in the late 1800s. These were also the dances of the Nordic immigrant communities in the United States.

The first four in each list are the same dance as named in each country, the first two in duple (2/4) time the second two in triple (3/4) time. The fifth is a dance that grew from the local tradition and is danced at the same events as the other four; the pols and hambo are modern generic forms of older 3/4 time polska dances and the Finnish polka has a lively special step danced to 2/4 polka music.

These are still danced socially and in dance groups and clubs and are usually taught at some point in a child’s public school years. The dances arose and became widely disseminated as the region industrialized and experienced large population shifts into the cities and greater communication between cities and smaller communities. Despite the name (which translates to "old dance"), gammaldans is a comparatively recent addition to the Nordic folk dance tradition and was responsible for suppressing interest in the rich prior tradition of uniquely styled local dances called polska (or pols) dances.

See also

  • bygdedans village dance, Norwegian "springdans" or "springar" tradition


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