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Spinnradl (Spinning Wheel)

There exist two forms, one in pairs and one in trios. Both were noted in the Mühlviertel of Upper Austria, but were also known in the neighbouring districts of Austria, Germany and Bohemia. The melody was known as a song probably since Maria Theresia’s times and even more widely spread than the dance.


Waltz steps and dance walking

Spinnradl zu zweit (Pairs)


Unlimited number of pairs in circle facing ballroom direction, Rheinländer hold


Rheinländer hold: Boy behind partner, joined right hands above right shoulder of girl, joined left hands in front of his own shoulder


A bar 1 - 4: Beginning with outside feet both partners move forward with 4 waltz steps

bar 5 – 8: Partners move backwards with 4 waltz steps (step-close-steps)

B 1 bar1 – 8: While lifting the joined hands above heads, the dancer turns his girl cw until both face each other. Then he himself turns ccw under the lifted arms. Both turn under the lifted arms alternatively on every second bar, first “she” then “he”. (On 1st bar boy turns girl cw, on 2nd bar he himself turns ccw, 3rd bar she turns again cw., 4th bar he turns ccw. and so on, after each turn facing the partner again.) At the end of bar 8 they stop, facing each other, and - right arms still above head and left arms lowered in breast height- looking through this “window”.

Although the dancer first turns his partner and then himself on each bar, the movements should flow smoothly from one turn into the next. The joined hands above the heads should also move smoothly, at a distance of about shoulder width.

During the turns the partners move forward in ballroom direction with small steps on each beat of the bar, both partners stepping continuously when turning and also when in position. (Dreitritt, as used in Landlers, see Zillertaler Landler), boy always on inner circle and girls on outer circle. B 2 bar 9 -16: As 1 – 8, but reversed spinning direction. She turns ccw. and he cw. Both partners continue moving forward at the same time. At the end of bar 16 the boy lowers his right hand and turns the girl into the starting position.

Repeat from the beginning, at least three times.


  • A, bar 1 to 8: Moving elegantly, without any up and down or swaying of the body.
  • B, bar 1 to 16: Body stays upright, knees do not bend .


  • R.Zoder, Österr.Volkstänze, band 2, Nr.4
  • Translated by: Sissy Banner, Amstetten - NÖ., Austria

Spinnradl zu dritt (Threesome)


three in a line, boy in the middle, all facing ballroom direction


each man takes his partners’ outside hands, girls joining inside hands behind him (arms nearly stretched).


A: bar 1 – 8: Promenade in ballroom direction

The trios move forward with exactly tread waltz steps, dancer and left partner beginning with left foot and right partner beginning with right foot. The boy should allusively face the girls, on 1st bar the left one, on 2nd bar the right one, etc.

B1: bar 1 – 8: “Radl” (a mixture of tunnelling under and turning round)

bar 1: The boy leads his partners forward while he tunnels under their joined inner hands which are raised for that moment. His right partner turns ccw. half a revolution under her left arm nearly simultaneously. bar 2: While the boy is turning ccw half a revolution under his left arm his right partner is tunnelling backwards under the lifted arms of boy and left partner. The arch is lifted over the girl while the trio actually is moving forward in ballroom direction a little. The left partner starts turning cw. bar 3: While left partner continues turning cw. under her left arm the boy continues turning ccw until all get into starting position. bar 4 –6: as 1 – 3 bar 7 –8: The trio moves forward with three short walking steps ending with a stamped jump of the boy on both feet, while the girls only do so allusively by slightly flexing their knees. B 2: bar 1 – 8: Repetition of B1, after which the promenade starts from the beginning.

This is repeated until the music stops playing, at least three times.


The figure “Radl” should be a flowing movement. The dancers not only turn around their axis but also move slightly forward in ballroom direction. The tunnelling dancers should not bend their back too much, only bend their heads and avoid any significant movement against ballroom direction.


  • R.Zoder, Österr.Volkstänze, band 2, Nr.4
  • Translated by: Sissy Banner, Amstetten - NÖ., Austria




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