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Volkstanz Workshop


Sources:  These dance figures were selected from amongst several performances seen, participated in, and videotaped throughout the Munich area by Betty Heyman and by Sidney Heyman (of D’Oberlandler, Los Angeles).  Included also in this version are figures from Don Klingseisen’s presentation at a previous Nordamerika Gauverband Delegates meeting.

Presented by Betty Heyman (Vortanzerin) and Kent L. Hibben (Vorplattler) of Alt-Washingtonia SV on May 1, 2004.

CCL:  Counterclockwise    CL:  Clockwise


Couples march CCL around circle.  Hold inside hands with partner, arms down.

Figure 2: UP CENTER

Couple #1 leads the procession from the back of the hall, up the center to the front of the hall.  Guide #1 stands at the front of the hall.



Once at the front of the hall, man from couple #1 files off to the left, his partner files off to the right.  Couples behind them split apart also, and follow their respective gender.  Man #1 and Woman #1 watch their partner, staying even with them as they proceed to the back of the hall.



As Man #1 and Woman #1 approach each other at the back of the hall, they march so as to pass on their left shoulder.  They each continue leading their gender around the circle, men on the outside, women on the inside.


Figure 5: MEN INSIDE

When Couple #1 meets again, this time at the front of the hall, they pass on their right shoulder.  They lead their gender around the circle, men now on the inside, women on the outside.  Men #1 and Women #1 watch for each other, staying even until they meet again at the back of the hall.



Man #1 and Woman #1 join hands at the back of the hall, and lead the lines of reconnected partners up the center to the front of the hall.  Couple #1 reaches front of the hall, and peels off to the left, going CCL around the circle.  Couple #2 peels off to the right, going CL around the circle.  Alternating, the following odd couples go left (CCL) and even couples go right (CL), to the back of hall around the circle.  Guide #1 at the front of the hall faces the couples as they advance and indicates with arm motions which alternating directions the first few couples are to go; after them, stay alert to guide subsequent couples that might be uncertain of which way to go.


Couple #1 and Couple #2 pivot around to meet at back of ball.  Holding inside hands with her partner, Woman #1 joins hands with Man #2, who keeps holding inside hand with his partner.  Proceed in a line to the front of the hall with next couples (#3 and #4 etc.) joining and following up the hall in the same manner.  Guide #2 at the back of the hall, stay alert to guide uncertain couples together. 



When the first line of four (Couple #1 plus Couple #2) reaches the front of the hall, it pivots as a unit toward the left, to go CCL around the circle.  The second line of four pivots to the right, to go CL around the circle.  The following odd and even foursomes follow, alternating CCL and CL.  Guide #1 prepare to act with assertive arm motions to guide the oncoming foursomes how and where to make the pivot turn.



As in Figure 8, the two foursomes pivot around as they near the back of the hall, so that they can join together for a line of eight across.  Guide #2, assist the inside man and inside woman of each foursome to join hands and form successive lines of eight across.

Lines of eight move toward the front of the hall.  Guide #1 goes to the Men’s side and Guide #2 goes to the women’s side of the line of eight.  Use arm and hand motions to keep a space between each successive line of eight, stopping their advance to keep enough space between each line of a human chain to go through.

(Note that the lines can be increased to 16 abreast, or decreased to four abreast if your room and number of participants are respectively large or small).

Figure 10: SNAKE

(Note: Man #1 should wait before starting the snake figure if there are still AUFTANZ participants in front of him who haven’t yet made it to the back of the hall.)


                         M1 W1 M W M W M W M W M W M W M Wlast
Guide#1                                                                                    Guide #2

                         M  W  M W M W M W M W M  M W M W

                        M  W  M W M W M W M W M  M W M W

                        M  W  M W M W M W M W M  M W M W

                        M  W  M W M W M W M W M  M W M W


Man #1, as the head of the snake, leads with his left shoulder, going back behind the second line, and continues toward the opposite side. Guide #2 tells the Last Woman in the front row to place her free hand (right hand) behind her back, so that the man at the head of the row behind her can grab onto her hand as she is pulled past him.  Guide #2 then repeats this message to the women on the end of the odd-numbered lines, as the time for them to move gets closer. Simultaneously, Guide #1 is instructing each Man on the beginning of an even row to be ready to take the right (the free) hand of the Last Woman in the snake as it passes around behind him.  All joining of hands is done only on the Men’s side of the lines.

When the 2nd line (even) attaches to the 3rd line (odd) the Last Woman turns to face the next man, making the joining of their hands easier.

Guide #1 – Every subsequent time, the joining of an even-numbered line with an odd-numbered line should need less assistance.

Man #1 finishes the snaking around the lines (as shown in Figure #10).  When there is an even number of lines, Man #1 should not snake behind the last (even) row.  This is because the Last Woman in the previous row will pick up the snake’s tail as she passes by it.  If there are an odd number of rows, this situation will not occur.

If there are not enough people to complete an entire row at the end, Man #1 should snake past that line the same way he would if it would have been a full one.

In order to get into the spiral in the correct direction, Man #1 must end the snake figure on the left (Men’s) side of the line – never on the right (Woman’s) side.

[Other suggestions – If the layout lends itself to it, the following figure could be inserted here:  Man #1 lead the line out of one door, and return to hall through another – or march around in an outdoor area, (or wherever his creativity guides him).  This is best done right after the Snake of the lines and before the Spiral.]



Man #1 leads the snake into an inward CL spiral, with everyone facing the center.  As he reaches the middle or when he runs out of room, Man #1 turns over his left shoulder and pulls the snake inside out, and unwinds the spiral CCL.


Figure 13: BRIDGE

As soon as enough people come out of the circular spiral, Man #1 stops, keeping his back to the center of the circle.  Woman #1 frees her right hand from the following participant (Man #2) and turns to face hr partner, an arms length apart.  Couple #1 now raises all four hands high, and joins them to make an arch.  The line proceeds under the arch, and once through Couple #1’s arch, Couple #2 separates and builds the next arch.  Subsequent couples go through, separate, and build successive arches. Guide #1 stands at the bridge exit point, beckoning each couple, as needed, to go through the arches and to separate and to form the next arch.  Guide #1 moves along, just ahead of the newly forming arches.

Couple #1, followed by all subsequent couples, can each move their arches slowly CL, by side-stepping as the snake proceeds beneath them.



After the tail of the snake (last couple) goes under the bridge of Couple #1, Man #1 drops his left hand, and leads Woman #1 under the arches.

The rest of the couples dismantle their bridges in turn, and continue behind Couple #1, forming a single line with each Woman taking the free (left) hand of the Man behind her.

Guide #2 stands on the outside (Woman’s side) at the beginning of the arches.  Guide #2 then motions, as needed, to each successive couple, that as they dismantle their arch, the man proceeds first, his left hand clasping the right hand of the Woman ahead of him, and his right hand holding onto his partner’s left.

Man #1 and Woman #1 pass under the last arch, and immediately separate.  Man #1 standing on the Man’s side, Woman #1 standing on the Women’s side.  Man #1 and Woman #1 clap to the rhythm of the melody.  Couple #2 follows suit, ending on the far side of Couple #1.  All subsequent couples follow in turn.



Clapping long enough to give the Last (tail-end) Couple several years of space, Couple #1 then stops clapping, joining up in the ballroom position, and sashays (or side-steps) CCL down the center of the rows of clapping participants.  Clapping another measure or two Couple #1 begins sashaying, Couple #2, then also stops clapping and takes the ballroom position, sashaying behind Couple #1.  Subsequent Men and Women similarly clap one or two measures and join up to follow the previous sashayers.

As each Couple emerges from the aisle of clappers, they change their sashay step into a polka step.  They should maneuver toward an open space away from the aisle of dancers, making room for the couples following them.  Couples then polka until the music ends.  If using recorded music, fade the volume to end the song instead of cutting off the music abruptly.  Then the Man takes his partner of the dance floor, back to her seat.


-The Auftanz is a living dance sequence; the order and selections may vary.

-Please note that the role of the Guides is to keep the action of the dancers moving smoothly by helping avert or resolve situations where the participants are having trouble following the figures.  Guides should cease prompting when the dancers indicate that they can, and wish to go it alone. 

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