(EES-lenn-skur skaw-tees.)

Skandia CD, track 7


Credible English Title Icelandic Schottische.


Heritage Icelandic.
U.S. Source As observed and notated by Gordon E. Tracie, as performed by Thothdansafelag Reykjavikur, the Reykjavik folkdance team from Iceland appearing at the 20th Inter-Nordic Folkdance Festival in Oslo l963.  The alternate form of the B. part, was previously learned from an Icelandic exchange student visiting Seattle.  Taught by Gordon Tracie at Skandia Folkdance Society, Seattle.
Category Traditional old-time dance.
Motivation and application Performance, teaching tool for schottische pattern.


Type Duple-meter, schottische.


Function Individual couple dance.
Character and form Very sprightly, with verve.
Footwork Parallel. Alternating plus repetitive.
Specific steps Schottische, step-hop.
Dance holds Cross-shoulder hold (described below under A. Open pattern). Two-hand thumb-grasp.
Formation Any number of couples in circle, LOD=CCW.



1 - 2
A.  Open pattern forward:

In cross-shoulder hold (partners side-by-side, W at M's R side, R hands joined behind W's R shoulder, L hands joined in front), beginning on L foot for both M and W, two schottische steps, moving briskly forward in LOD.
3 - 4 Retaining hold, four sprightly step-hops forward in LOD.

B.  Sideways schottische and step-hop turn:

Releasing hold, partners face and join R hands in thumb-grasp, elbows bent, and move to own L with sideways L schottische step, leaning a bit to L as R arms extend.
6 R hands released, and L hands are joined in above manner, couples moving to own R with sideways R schottische step.
7 - 8 Keeping L hands joined, R hands are joined directly above the joined L hands, tight together, elbows bent, couple leaning back for adequate counterbalance, 4 step-hops starting L foot, to make one rotation around CW in place. At end of turn, hands are not dropped, but M simply raises his R hand (with W's R) over her head to once again take initial cross- shoulder hold.
Dance resumes at A.

5 - 6
B.  Alternate form of B.  L and R hand hop-around:

Keeping L hands joined at shoulder height, arms held firmly with elbows touching so that partners can lean back slightly (to look at each other!), beginning on L foot, 4 step-hops (no schottische step) turning with partner CCW, free hand firmly on own hip, palm down, fingers forward.
7 - 8 Releasing L hand hold, R hands joined in same manner as above, L hand on hip, again beginning on L foot, 4 step-hops turning around with partner CW, at end of which M twirls W a quarter-turn so as to resume cross- shoulder position as in A.


This dance from the North Atlantic isle of Iceland (which, incidentally, is spelled Island in the native tongue) is one of many similar schottische forms which likely stemmed from Denmark during the mid-1800s, inasmuch as Iceland's own native dance and folk music traditions were virtually wiped out by the clergy many centuries ago.  Unlike most other schottische variants found in Scandinavia, the footwork is parallel rather than opposite, with both W and M starting each pattern on the L feet.  It will be seen that the logistics of the second figure dictate this.  The melody used in this recording was learned by orchestra conductor and arranger Gunnar Hahn from an elderly Icelandic couple living near Stockholm.  It is similar to an old Danish folk song.

Islenzkur skottis is especially suitable for teaching children the schottische, as there is no fully closed-position turn in the second half, thereby making the dance easier for the inexperienced or "shy" dancer.  In keeping with the buoyant spirit of the dance, footwork should be sprightly - not at all "sluggish," but firmly under control.  Pulling out, with bent elbows, on the turn, will facilitate the counterbalance needed for maximum momentum during the rotation.

Copyright © 1997 Skandia Music Foundation Islenzkur Skottis

You may freely distribute this document provided you agree to retain this copyright notice and mention that a recording for this dance is on the Viking Skandia CD, available from