(SOHL-ehr-OO LONG-dans)

Skandia CD, track 20


Credible English Title Sollerö Long-dance, or Long-dance from Sollerön.


Heritage Sweden, province of Dalarna, Lake Siljan district.
U.S. Source As learned in Sweden in 1970 by Gordon E. Tracie, and taught at Skandia Folkdance Society, Seattle.
Category Restored regional ethnic dance.
Motivation and application Quite probably has ceremonial roots, but is now danced recreationally, non-performance-oriented.


Type: Triple-meter (3/4), "long-dance" quaver (8th-note) polska rhythm, moderately slow tempo, decidedly legato.
Preferred instrumentation: Preferably sung ("tra-la'd") or hummed, either with or without instrumental accompaniment, which if used should be discrete.


Function Group dance for interacting persons not necessarily paired as couples.
Character and form Smooth, firm, somewhat restrained, but with spirit.  Fixed pattern.
Footwork Repetitive, alternating, parallel.
Specific steps Modified open polska (as described below), step-lift (as described below).
Dance holds Firm handhold (as described in Appendix A).
Formation Dancers in closed ring.


  Dancers in closed ring with firm handhold, facing obliquely L, preferably (but not necessarily) partnerwise.

1 - 8
1 - 8
A.  1st theme. Two 8-measure phrases:

Beginning on L foot, 16 modified L open polska steps moving to L , danced as follows:

Count 1: Step diagonally forward to L on L foot.
Count 2: Weight temporarily on both feet, R sole remaining in place.
Count 3: Bring R foot up to L (approx. at instep), L sole remaining in place.

9 - 12
B.  2nd theme. Two 6-measure phrases:

Beginning on L foot, 4 light step-skips (L, R, L, R), danced as follows:

Count 1: Step diagonally forward to L on L foot with very light stamp.
Count 2: Hold (no weight transfer).
Count 3: Gently skip diagonally forward on L foot, while lifting the R foot up about a foot's length.

Counts 4 - 6: Repeat actions of counts 1 - 3 with opposite feet.

Repeat action of counts 1 - 6 above.
13 - 14 Beginning on L foot, 2 modified L open polska steps, moving to L.
9 - 14 Repeat all 9 -14, above.
  Repeat entire dance (A. and B.) as many times as music allows or as dancers care to sing it.


This dance is of ancient origin, perhaps the oldest in the Swedish repertoire. It was rescued from the memory of a 101-year-old woman who had danced it in her youth in central Sweden over three-quarters of a century earlier.  Annotator was Johan Larsson, a retired school teacher from Gagnef in Dalarna, who has devoted his retirement years to collecting material about old dances from elderly people throughout Sweden.  In 1966 on the little isle of Sollerön in Lake Siljan, Dalarna, he heard about a woman who knew firsthand an archaic form of serpentine dancing called långdans which was believed to be extinct for a century or more.  She related that in the old days in her home village folks would get together on a Sunday evening and dance the långdans.  If there was no fiddler present they would sing instead, often making up words as they danced - quite likely a form of topical song.  Many would simply tralla (tra-la-la) the melody, and this is the way Sollerö långdans is usually done now, inasmuch as none of the old texts were recalled.

The rhythm of this dance is the forerunner to the polska, and the primary step is simply a modification of the Forestep which is used in several polska couple dances.  Care should be taken that individual step movements occur only on the first and third counts of each measure!

Copyright © 1997 Skandia Music Foundation Sollerö långdans

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