Schottische: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The schottische is a partnered country dance, Bohemian in origin. It was popular in Victorian era ballrooms (part of the Bohemian "folk-dance" craze) and left its traces in folk music of countries as distant as France, Spain (chotis), Portugal (choutiça), Italy and Sweden. The schottische is considered by the Oxford Companion to Music to be a kind of slower polka, with continental origin.




Western United States (19th century)

After 1848 many old ballroom variants of schottische were danced in California. The old "Five-Step Schottische" and a Highland Schottische with modifications were included on lists of ballroom dances of the period. Four of the variants had quite striking similarities with the second half of each dance described as turning with two-step. This is similar to the old "Glide Polka" (step-close-step, with no hop) or the galop (glide,change,glide).[1] There are countless variations of the dance. In Texas alone there have been schottische like dances with names such as Drunk, Blue Bonnett, MgGinty, and Douglas.[2] Schottische variations include a straight leg kick, a kick-hop and a standing hop. Both include the traditional hop that is part of the schottische.[3]

Southern United States (early 20th century)

In the Southern United States at the start of the 20th century the schottische was combined with ragtime; the most popular "ragtime schottische" of the era was "Any Rags" by Thomas S. Allen in 1902. In New Orleans, Louisiana, Buddy Bolden's band and other proto-jazz groups were known for playing hot schottisches. It is also danced as a Western promenade dances in Country and Western dance venues, often times after the Cotton Eyed Joe.



In Madrid, the chotis, chotís or schotís is considered the most typical dance of the city since the 19th century and it is danced in all the traditional festivals. Some of the tunes, as "Madrid, Madrid, Madrid", by the Mexican composer Agustín Lara become very well-known in all Spain. The authors of the Zarzuelas created a host of new chotis and strengthened their popularity.


In Argentina, Schottische was introduced by Volga German immigrants and then became Chamamé, an Argentine folk music genre.


In Portugal, schottische (xoutiça or xote) has become heavily standardized for folklore displays. The pairs in groups of four, six or eight, form a circle and dance embraced all together. The circle starts to rotate until a moment when the pairs pass, this is, the pairs that are opposite each other switch places crossing each other in the centre of the circle. They continue to pass successively two by two, all the pairs. After everybody made their pass, they continue to dance by rotating in circle. Further along in the dance, all the pairs will join in the center of the circle to beat the center of the circle with their feet, and continue to dance rotating the circle in the initial position, always for the right side. Bear in mind that all the moves are made always by the pair and never by one of its elements separately, because in the schottiche you can never switch pair.


In Brazil, the xote has largely developed in the Northeastern area, specially the Sertão, where it has created variations such as baião and arrasta-pé, which are usually grouped in the forró denomination. All of these rhythms are typically danced in pairs, being xote the slower and simpler style of dancing, in which the couple alternate left-left-hop-right-right-hop steps.

United States

As a standard country dance in the United States, schottische performance follows two short runs and a hop followed by four turning hop steps: step step step hop, step step step hop, step hop step hop step hop step hop.

Steps alternate one foot to the other, hops are only on one foot, so the leader's footwork would be: left right left hop on left, right left right hop on right, step on left hop on left, step on right hop on right, step on left hop on left, step on right hop on right.

In a basic step, the running steps are done in open position (follower on the right side of the leader) and the turning steps are done in closed position; but many many variations exists to play with those positions (including parting during the running steps to slip around a slower couple, or the leader genuflecting during the turning step and letting the follower circle around).

Schottisches as danced in the United States (and perhaps in the Anglo-Saxon world in general) are rather different from the ones danced on the Continent (in the context of a bal folk). The American version is much as is described above, that is to say quite large and open, with the first part expressed equally as promenades, individual or led twirls or similar moves, and the second part most often expressed as a close pivot. It seems to be mostly referred to as a "shodish". In contrast, the Continental version (called "skoteesh"), is typically danced to much faster music, is quite restrained in its movements. The first part can be a simple progression with a hop/lift on the last beat of the four, or simply as steps (perhaps with turns); the second part can be turns, but could also be a straight progression, perhaps with variations (e.g., holds). The key, of course, is the music. These days the Schottische step pattern fits perfectly with the flow of reggae (and many ska songs, too).


Despite the name, this dance has no direct relation with Scotland. The word Schottische is from Germany , not Scotland (the Germans referred to it as Schottische, which means Scottish, for some reason).

Literary quotations

In August Strindberg's 1888 play Miss Julie, the eponymous character asks of Jean, a servant of the household, to dance a Schottische with her.

In William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom, the ill-bred Thomas Sutpen is compared to a man who taught himself the Schottische: Sutpen learned his manners the same way — in private — and executes them awkwardly.


  1. ^ Dances of Early California Days. Lucile K. Czarnoski. 1950. Pacific Books. page 121
  2. ^ The Official Guide to Country Dance Steps. by Tony Leisner. 1980. Quality Books, Inc. page 78. ISBN 0-89009-331-8
  3. ^ The Official Guide to Country Dance Steps. by Tony Leisner. 1980. Quality Books, Inc. page 80. ISBN 0-89009-331-8

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

SCHOTTISCHE, the German for "Scottish," a name given to a dance, der schottische Tanz, introduced into England about 1850. It was a form of polka, with two figures. The "Highland Schottische" is a lively dance resembling a fling. What is known as the "barn dance" was first known in America as the "Military Schottische."

<< Schorl

James Schouler >>


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address