And we danced…the polonaise

By Frederieke

Those of you who have been out and about in the Dutch bars might recognize the Polonaise; a funny-looking dance Dutch people tend to perform when they have a reason to celebrate and are slightly intoxicated. For those of you who are not familiar with this phenomenon I would like to elaborate a little more on the idea behind it.

As you might have noticed, the Dutch like to party, and will always find a reason for a celebration of some kind. During King’s Day or important soccer events, the whole country turns orange and everyone goes out to celebrate on the streets, and during Carnaval everyone dresses up and goes a little crazy. Of course, all these festivities show overlap to a certain extent: copious amounts of (special) beer, late night snacks (broodje kroket/kapsalon), many cases of love at first sight and the feelings of regret when you wake up the next morning with a headache that makes you promise to never drink again. However, the one and only thing that you will only encounter at the best parties, is… the polonaise, where everyone lines up and starts dancing across the room in a train-like manner.

The polonaise dance originated in Poland in the 15th century. Many musical pieces were composed by famous musicians such as Chopin, Bach, Mozart and Tchaikovsky, of which Chopin’s polonaises are generally the best known. Nowadays, the polonaise goes hand in hand with many different styles of music.  The cool rhythms and synchronized moves made that the dance quickly spread to countries across the globe. It is now a common dance at carnival parties all over the world, and as mentioned before, the enthusiastic Dutch like to do it whenever they get the chance. So next time you see a bunch of euphoric Dutchies lined up and zigzagging across the dance floor, you’ll know what time it is: time to grab someone’s shoulder and dance the night away!

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