Sweden

Hambo

The hambo is one of the folk dances of Sweden that quite possibly derived along some of the same lines as the mazurka and polska (Sjöberg 1980). In both the polska and hambo the dancers make a full clockwise one-measure turn, starting on the same foot at the beginning of each measure. The late Gordon Tracie referred to the hambo as "the national dance of Sweden" (Lidster & Tamburini 1965). It is perhaps the most well known of the folk dances in Sweden, with Swedish cultural groups around the world, and with American folk dancers.
The hambo has been danced continuously for at least the last hundred years. It is basically the same dance throughout Sweden, yet one can see regional as well as individual characteristics.
In 1965 the province/cultural area of Hälsingland began an annual hambo competition in early July. The competition has influenced the style of the hambo. It has provided a lot of visibility for the dance, and for many years 1500 couples participated. There was a race to the postbox to apply for the event. The event still exists today though it has changed some and is not as popular as it once was. There are hambo competitions in a number of areas in Sweden today.
The hambo style described here is as one might find in the Hälsingehambon contest. It is based on what I have learned from Tommy and Ewa Englund, Stig and Helén Eriksson, Leif and Margareta Virtanen, who have all won the competition at least once, dance researcher-teacher Bo Peterzon, and from the late Gordon Tracie.

Presented by Roo Lester in 2009. View pdf here.

Slunga

Slunga is one of many names for polka as well as the name for this polka variant. I learned this variant from Karin Olsson who learned it from her mother Ann-Marie Olsson in Värmland, Sweden. Doriz Zsiga later taught this polka variant in September 1990 at the Scandia D.C. weekend at Buffalo Gap, WV.

Presented by Roo Lester in 2009. View pdf here.

Swedish/Norwegian Waltz

Gordon Tracie introduced this dance to the Scandinavian dance community and international folk
dancers during his teaching career. I had the pleasure of learning it from Gordon Tracie at one such workshop. The following information is taken from Dance a While 1978 and 1988 editions.
“This dance has been popular in the United States for at least fifty years. Gordon E. Tracie in his study of dances in Scandinavia in 1948 discovered that such a Swedish waltz was not danced in Sweden. However, an elderly couple from the country (Dalarna, Sweden) recognized it as the nearly forgotten "Norsk Vals" (Norwegian waltz), which they had danced in their youth. Scandinavian immigrants undoubtedly brought the dance to this country at the turn of the century.”

Presented by Roo Lester in 2009. View pdf here.