Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hand in Hand Skating

I learned a new dance hold today. The gentleman skates behind the lady and holds her hands from behind.

It looks something like this (but holding both hands).

Ukrainian Folk Dance Troupe

I searched and I searched for a picture of this dance hold, and it appears to be peculiar to Ukraine. The Ukrainians are mad about dance. This explains the fact that you can't shake a tree at any large rink without shaking out a Ukrainian ice dancer. And it explains Sergei Polunin. But that's another story.

Anyway, we skated some fast stroking and crossovers in this hold. It's kind of fun--especially since the coach can't go any faster than you are. But, I swear I've never seen this in any video of any ice dance. Maybe it's a transitional step, but it seems so trivial.

"What dance is this from?" I asked.

"Oh, used to warm up, and is in a few dances." he replied. We did it again.

"What's it called? The hold I mean."

Dance Coach was stumped "I don't know in English. Maybe called hand-in-hand. In Russian is called Rat Polka."

My head snapped around to look at him. "The RAT POLKA?" I swear, I heard that.

He pronounced it again in Russian. Listening closely it sounds something like ras-poh-ka. But, I'm going to remember it as the Rat Polka Hold. With it's own teeny, tiny little band.

Ratty Yankovic. Fresh from a tour with the Chmilewski Family Fun Time Band

(UPDATE) You can imagine another rat skating behind this little girl rat (pink boots!) and holding her hands, skating in rhythm to the Rat Polka. Obviously, she's skating in Solo Dance here, working on her pre-Silver Rat Dance.

This artist has a number of paintings of rats skating  KMCoriginals on eBay 
 The rest of the lesson was spent in more traditional holds. 

No rats were harmed in the production of this blog.

*Back in the 70's I used to live in Duluth, Minnesota. We had one TV channel. Every Monday after Snowmobile Corner (in the winter) or Fisherman's Corner (in the summer), the Chmilewshki Fun Time Hour (it was a 30 minute show--I thought this was deliberate Minnesota humor) would come on.  The show was painful to watch--the band played up front while videos of people dancing was projected on the blue screen behind them. Great polka music though. Not only is this band still going strong, 5 generations of the family has been playing polka music for hire since 1882.


  1. "Oh, used to warm up, and is in a few dances." he replied.

    Step seven and eight of the Golden Waltz?

    Hand-in-hand facing opposite directions is in the Swing and Cha Cha Congelado.

  2. That is such a cute rat!

  3. With the man behind the lady, Westminster Waltz during the MO. But it's really a warmup move when done repeatedly as you describe.

  4. Can't believe I missed this!

    The accordion rat is fabulous. I use it for a few things where my face isn't needed (like twitter). The piano accordion is one of the instruments I play. Button accordion defeats me.