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galop dance

November 06, 2012
Group owner Richard Martine


galop dance

By: Richard Martine   Post Date : November 06, 2012
The Galop acquired its name from a certain turn in the Waltz: the Galop-Waltz. The Galop's correct term is Gallopade, but it is best known as the Galop. The Galop dance originated in Hungary in the early 1800s. Often after the Volta and other country dances, dancers would vary with other dances, such as the Galop and Mazurka.

Once recognized socially and not just a folk and country dance, the Galop caught on in Vienna and Germany around 1822. Duchess de Berri introduced the Galop to Carnivale in France and England in 1829. With the end of masked balls, the Galop had become even more famous.

At its basics in the ballroom setting, the lead moves forward and then backward, without turning counter-clockwise. Written in 2/4 time, the Galop dance steps are: slide, change, slide, slide, change, slide. Others describe it as very close to the Waltz. In ballet, the Galop incorporates a Glissade and Chasse. Ballets would use the Galop. The Glissade is simply a gliding step. And the Chasse is a spring from both feet, landing one foot, while the other slides into open position. The popularity of the Galop was far reaching as it came to America. As a ballroom dance, couples were dancing the Galop and variations of it, along with quadrilles, till as late as 1900.

Probably, the reason for its popularity, either in Vienna or America, is that the Galop was an easier dance than most. It was written about in detail, and its instructions distributed, so that, in America, in the 19^th century, one could read dozens of variations of the Galop. According to most writers of that time, the Galop was danced at 144 beats per minute. The steps were "chasing" steps. The Galop therefore was primarily a combination of slides and chasing steps in a ballroom.

From early 1800s Hungary, to Reconstruction-era America, from the Carnivale in France, to that of England, the Galop or Gallopade set fire all over the Western World throughout the 19^th century. The flame died out quickly, however, with the advent of new dances and music in the 20^th century.

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