This past summer I was in Finland at JaSeSoi Ry’s International Music Village (Finnish Orff Association). It was amazing and I loved my time both in Finland and making music with musicians and teachers from 14 countries. I also fell a little in love with the Scandinavian lifestyle and their connection to the outdoors. Did you know there are 188,000 lakes and more than 1,000,000 saunas in Finland?!
JaSeSoi Ry has put together an amazing resource online called “Nordic Sounds”. There are songs, games, and dances from Norway, Denmark, Finland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Sweden! Pronunciation videos, background info, teaching ideas and videos make this site exceptionally user friendly! Check it out here!
When I came back home, I began looking for more music and dances from this area of the world. Via Facebook, I came across a dance teacher in Portland, Oregon, who has been a tremendous help to me. Christie teaches Scandinavian dancing to children 5 years old and up to adults. She has been incredibly generous and due to some technical problems with sharing music files, she even sent me 2 CD’s via snail mail!
Many of the dances are new to me, including the one I am sharing today. This is called the Nisse Polka, though Christie calls it the Nixie Polka and her students call it the Caterpillar Dance. The Nisse is a Christmas figure – read more below! Many thanks to Christie (again) for her help in putting all of this together and for being so willing to share! On to the dance!
Here is the dance performed by Christie’s kids at a Scandinavian celebration.