polka | en

The polka is a lively Central European dance and also a genre of dance music familiar throughout Europe and the Americas. It originated in the middle of the 19th century in the Czech lands and is still a common genre in Swedish, Lithuanian, Czech, Polish, Dutch, German, Hungarian, Austrian, Russian, Slovenian and Slovakian folk music. In light classical music, many polkas were composed by both Johann Strauss I and his son Johann Strauss II; a couple of well-known ones were composed by BedŇôich Smetana, and Jarom√≠r Vejvoda, the author of "҆koda l√°sky" ("Roll Out the Barrel").

The name comes from the Czech word pŇĮlka‚ÄĒliterally, little half‚ÄĒa reference to the short half-steps featuring in the dance. The word's familiar form has been influenced by the similarity to the Czech word polka, meaning "Polish woman". The name has led to the dance's origin being sometimes mistakenly attributed to Poland. It should also not be confused with the polska, a Swedish 3/4-beat dance with Polish roots; cf. polka-mazurka. A related dance is the redowa. Polkas almost always have a 2-4 time signature. .