One of the most recognizable dances in Polsih tradition. Polonez (French: Polonaise, la polonaise) meaning slow Polish dance or music for this dance.
“Polonez is a dance, characterized by a three-measure metre, moderate tempo and quaver rhytm with a double semiquaver bounce on the first beat; it is danced by pairs walking in a dignified manner in a procession along curved and straight lines selected by the dance leader.” (source: http://www.tance.edu.pl/en/dances/show/dance/717?search_query=polonez). Depending on the region of Poland polonez was called in different ways: gęsi, świeczkowy, polski, and wielki, also suggesting their four-measure rhytm. The first information about the dance appeared in the second half of the 16th century and early 17th century. Polonez origin was pedestrian dance of folk origin. From the people it was taken over by the gentry and from them to the court of maganates and kings of Poland.
Polonez is above all a solemn and dignified dance characterized by a stance, magnificence and a dignified mood. It was danced, and still is, during significant celebrations, most usually at the start of a ball. It is danced calmly and fluently but not without a certain dynamism, which is manifested in the dancers’ attitude, the elongation of the first step and drastic hand gestures of the dancers. Therefore, dignity, fluidity, elegance, and a specific kind of dynamics are the hallmarks of polonez. Since the mid-seventeenth century polonez became a national dance. Michał Kleofas Ogiński was the first known composer to introduce a form of the dance with the middle part called Trio. The creator of the most outstanding polonaise style in music was Frederic Chopin.
Nowadays, polonez is danced during studniówka – a prom of high school students 100 days before their final exams. It is a dazzling parade of fancy dressed young people who present one of the most beutiful Polish dances in front of the whole school community.