Linzer Polka/en

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Linzer Polka, (as it is danced nowadays in Upper Austria)


pairs in circle facing ballroom direction, inner hands joined or linked


walking steps (on each beat one step), polkaing round room


Bar 1 – 8: Pairs walk round circle and sing the melody of the music using any suitable syllables, often a sort of Yodeller text (see notes).

In England I heard “yippi-yippi-ey” or “la-la-la”.

Clapping hands

Bar 9 – 16: Partners turn to each other and clap a three-beat (although the music plays four beats to the bar) in the following way:

1st beat: own thighs (sides), 2nd beat: own hands, 3rd beat: hands of partner

Usually the third clap is followed by a specific movement, leading the hands from this clap, first upwards a little, and then outwards down to the sides of the thighs, describing a curve in the same plane as the chest..


Bar 17 – 32: Pairs take closed dance hold (girl’s arms on partner’s shoulders, his arms round her back), or ballroom hold, and dance polka round room.

This is repeated several times ending with polka, then usually played double length.


During the promenade the most frequently heard Yodelling text in German spelling is:

trei holla ri, holla rei dullio, trei holla ri, holla rei dullio, 
trei holla riti holla rei, dullio, trei holla riti holla rei, dullio.

While boys clap hands with their partners usually the following text is sung:

Gehst mit, gehst mit, gehst mit, gehst mit,         (come with me)
sunst geh i halt alloan, sunst geh i halt alloan,   (otherwise I go alone)
sunst geh i halt alloan, bei der Nacht, (wann’s kracht).  ( the night, when it’s dark)

Linz is the capital of Upper Austria. It is not evident where exactly this dance comes from and which of the numerous variations is the original. Certainly it was danced in Linz and its surrounding countryside last century and spread to the neighbouring countries of Lower Austria and Bohemia. All have three parts: promenade – clapping – polkaing round room. Only in the Sternpolka (Doudlebska Polka) this sequence is changed. In most of the old notations the polka is described as a hop-polka (two hops to a bar beginning with outside feet). Some of them are mixers like the “Doudlebska Polka” which obviously is a development of the Linzer Polka. Hermann Derschmidt found evidence that the latter was brought from Linz to Budweis by musicians, who created the name Doudlebska Polka after a small village, where they had had lunch on their way home. In Bohemia both names were known in those days. From there it somehow got to the USA and has later returned to Europe under its Bohemian name. Because of its star-figure, now the name Sternpolka (star polka) is common in Austria.


  • Raimund Zoder, Österr.Volkstänze, 3.Teil
  • Hermann Derschmidt, Tänze aus Oberösterreich
  • Translated by Sissy Banner, Amstetten, NÖ., Austria


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