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Diamond Dance Patterns - 3674 Yankee Polka


  • Polka 2/4


  • 60 measures of 2 beats per minute
  • 120 beats per minute


  • Optional


  • The time required to skate 2 sequences is 1:04 min

Although the polka is a bouncy dance, the basic principle of stroking and effortless flow must be adhered to. The partners must remain close together to minimize the whipping action generated by the short precise steps and rapid turning movements.

Steps 1 and 2 are skated in open hold and constitute a chassé sequence skated almost in a straight line. Step 3 is an open inside three turn skated by both partners on edges deep enough that they change sides with the man passing in front of the woman after the turn. The edges must not be so deep that the partners separate greatly, since step 4 of the man adds to that separation, before bringing the partners together again. A change of hold occurs during steps 3 and 4 into a ‘High Kilian’ hold in which the woman’s left arm is extended across in front of the man’s chest. The right hands are clasped and held sideways and upward. The man’s right arm passes behind the woman to grasp her right hand extended sideways and upward. At least one pair of hands is held slightly above shoulder level with the elbows slightly bent. This hold is maintained to step 12. The woman may be slightly in front of the man’s right hip, rather than in tight side by side Kilian hold.

Step 6 is a 2 beat swing for both partners and on count 2 the free legs are bent at the knee and raised past the horizontal. (Couples may touch the ice briefly with their toe-picks while executing the quick swing.) Care should be taken that steps 7 to 12 are skated on very deep edges. Step 13 is a right backward outside three turn for the man and a right forward inside open stroke for the woman and on count 2 the free feet are raised beside the skating legs close to and just below the skating knee. As these steps are executed the partners assume arm-in-arm hold with the man’s right and the woman’s left arms locked at the elbows. The free hands are held on the hips.

Step 16 is started on count 3 with a forward outside three turn followed by a change of edge immediately after the turn on count 4. Care should be taken that couples do not skate a rocker instead. The Arm-In-Arm hold must not be altered during these steps. Step 19 is performed with the same free leg action as on step 6. Steps 22 and 23 form a cross behind closed toe to toe choctaw for both partners from a left forward inside edge. At the commencement of step 23 the right foot is crossed behind. The free legs are extended in front during the concluding edge.

The next section (steps 24 to 38) is skated in typical polka character and the “closed” hold is really done in hand to hand manner with the arms of both partners extended to the side and their hands clasped. It starts with the woman backwards and the man forwards and then reverses after steps 32 & 33. The “closed” dance hold in only broken for steps 32 when the partners separate. Steps 26 and 27 are slightly wide stepped by both partners. Steps 28- 31 are very short crossed behind steps that may be used as small power strokes to maintain the flow of the dance.

On steps 31 & 37 the free legs are carried directly to the outside of the tracing and back.
Steps 32-33 (RFI3; LFO-Rk for the woman and LFI3; RFO3 for the man) are skated in opposite direction. Care should be taken that partners stay close together “rolling on each-other’s backs” skating a nicely rounded lobe with clean footwork and no lunging.

It is preferable that the same hold be regained on beat 2 of step 33 as the turns are skated. The very short step sequences before steps 34, 35 and 36 are similar to those before steps 28, 29 and 30. The holds for step 13 and step 38 are similar, except that the partners assume a semi-open hold upon completion of the man’s turn. The man’s left hand and woman’s right hand are not clasped. The hands are joined again as the woman skates her three turn on step 39 which places the partners in closed hold. The man’s free leg on step 39 and the woman’s free leg on step 40 are swung through to match the partner’s free leg position after the three turns. Steps 41 to 44 form a typical ballroom Polka sequence. The partners skate clockwise while skating a basically counter clockwise curve. Steps 45 to 48 are wide-stepped chassés skated almost in a straight line, the bodies leaning to the same side as each wide step is skated. Steps 49 to 52 are similar to steps 41 to 44. The wide-stepped chassés may be skated in either of 2 ways: 1 - wide, closed, closed or 2 - wide, closed, wide.

The character of the dance is achieved through the interesting use of one beat edges and very short steps skated on the “and” between counts.

The very short steps throughout the dance are executed between the beats and not given a step number on the diagram and on the chart the time value is indicated as “and”.


  • James Sladky, Judy Schwomeyer and Ron Ludington

First performance

  • Wilmington, Skating Club of Wilmington, 1969


Step No.
Man’s Step
Number of Beats of Music
Woman’s Step
Open  LFO
“High Kilian” LFI3   1+1   RFI3
  RFI OpMo     RFI OpMo
    LBI   “and”   LBI
  RBO-Sw     RBO-Sw
  LFI OpMo     LFI OpMo
    RBI   “and”   RBI
  LBI     LBI
  RBI     RBI
  10  LBO     LBO
    RBI-Ch   “and”   RBI-Ch
  11  LFI OpMo     LFI OpMo
    RBI   “and”   RBI
  12  LBI     LBI
Arm-In- 13  RBO3 (see text) 1+1   RFI (see text)
Arm 14  LFO     LFO
    RFI-Ch   “and”   RFI-Ch
  15  LFO     LFO
  16  CR-RFO3   1 +   CR-RFO3
    /RBIO   ½ + ½   /RBIO
  17  XF-LBI     XF-LBI
    XB-RBO   “and”   XB-RBO
  18  XF-LBI     XF-LBI
  19  RBO-Sw     RBO-Sw
  20  XB-LBO     XB-LBO
  21  XF-RBI     XF-RBI
  22  LFI     LFI
    XB-ClCho       XB-ClCho
  23  RBO     RBO
(Hand To
          “and” RBO-Ch
Hand) 25  RFI     LBI
  26  Wd-LFI     Wd-RBI
  27  Wd-RFI     Wd-LBI
  28  LFO    “and”   RBO
    XF-RFI     XF-LBI
  29  XB-LFO   “and”   XB-RBO
    XF-RFI     XF-LBI
  30  XB-LFO   “and”   XB-RBO
    XF-RFI     XF-LBI
  31  LFO     RBO
Separate 32  RFI   “and”   LBI
    LFI3   1+1   RFI3
“Closed” (Hand To 33  RFO3 free leg extended in front   1+1   LFO-Rk free leg extended in front
Hand) 34  LBO    “and”   RFO
    XF-RBI     XF-LFI
  35  XB-LBO   “and”   XB-RFI
    XF-RBI     XF-LFI
  36  XB-LBO   “and”   XB-RFO
    XF-RBI     XF-LFI
  37  LBO     RFO
Semi-Open 38  RBO3 1+1   “and” LFI
Closed 39   LFO-Sw   “and” LFI
          1+1 RFI3
  40  RFI3 1+1   LFO-Sw
  41  LFI OpMo     RFO
    RBI   “and”   LFO-Ch
  42  LBI     RFI
  43  RFI     LFI OpMo
    LFO-Ch   “and”   RBI
  44  RFI     LBI
  45  Wd-LFI     Wd-RBI
    RFO-Ch   “and”   LBO-Ch
  46  Wd-LFI     Wd-RBI
  47  Wd-RFI     Wd-LBI
    LFO-Ch   “and”   RBO-Ch
  48  Wd-RFI      Wd-LBI
  49  LFI OpMo     RFO
    RBI   “and”   LFO-Ch
  50  LBI     RFI
  51  RFI     LFI OpMo
    LFO-Ch   “and”    
  52  RFI     LBI


International Dance


Reproduced with permission of the International Skating Union


Reproduced with permission of the International Skating Union

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