Nisse Polka

nisse

Nisse Polka

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.


About Aimee Pfitzner

Aimee Pfitzner

Aimee Curtis Pfitzner has taught music for 23 years, 19 in her current position as Lower School Music Director at an independent school in Concord, North Carolina. She recently published two books from Beatin' Path Publications and is the author of http://ofortunaorff.blogspot.com. Aimee served on the board of her local AOSA board, presents workshops for national, state, and local music associations, and volunteers leading community drumming at a local assisted living centers. Her training includes bachelor and master degrees in music and Master's Level Orff Schulwerk training and certification.

13 Comments

Gwen Sarya

This new dance was great! I teach children’s folk dancing at a Danish family camp in Wisconsin in addition to teaching preK-6th grade in Michigan. I’m always looking for more Scandinavian dances and this fit the bill. Thank you so much!

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Aimee Pfitzner

YAY! So glad to hear this – my students love this dance! Gwen, I should put you in touch with Christie- she has been incredibly helpful to me in passing along some Scandinavian dances. Send me an email at musicquilt@hotmail.com and I will put you two in touch! 🙂

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Steve Damon

Thank you, Aimee. I love this – and I’m sure the kids will too. One of the school secretaries loves anything that look like a gnome. She’ll love this.

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Ronni Cherrnay

thank you for sending this out with all the videos. It looks easy, and fun and came at just the right time to fill out this weeks plans. 🙂

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Vicky Suarez

Thank you so much, Aimee, for sharing this rich lesson material! It will be fun to implement some of these ideas with my students this week.

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Katherine

Thank you for highlighting the Scandinavian Festival Dancers in Astoria, Oregon! I have wanted to learn one of these folk dances to teach my students for many years and now I have the resources to do so! I appreciate your lesson plans very much!

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Brigid Finucane

This was charming ~ and it will be a big hit with my kiddos. I like that everyone gets a chance to lead the “train.” Thank you for sharing. “Nordic Sounds” looks like a treasure trove of wonderful material as well.

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Aimee Pfitzner

Hi Brigid, thanks for your comment. It is such a cute dance and I also love that everyone gets to be the leader. Nordic Sounds is amazing – I plan to spend some more time over the holidays getting some new pieces ready to learn with my students. 🙂 Happy holidays!

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