The klapok a pair dance likely developed in the 18th century. It was mentioned by Łukasz Gołębiowski in his "Gry i zabawy różnych stanów" [Games and Plays of Various Estates] (published in 1831) as the klaskany dance (clapping dance), but without any description. The dance consists of two parts, the former similar to the classical whirling polka danced in pairs, and the latter featuring dancers facing each other in the stationary position, clapping against their thighs and/or their partner's hands.
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The name of the dance comes from the distinctive gesture of clapping against one’s thighs, one’s hands or their partner’s hands. The klapok (klaskany) was a popular dance in many regions of Poland: in Silesia it was called Owczarek, in Wielkopolska was known as Jadwiga, and in the area of Łowicz it was called U mojego szagra. The dance consists of two parts, where the first one is similar to the classical polka. In some variants of this dance, the polka was preceded by przytańcywanie (introduction to the dance), where pairs walked in preparation for whirling in the polka. In the area surrounding of the town of Łowicz, dancers sing the popular song called "U mojego szwagra stodolina padła...". In the first part dancers (in closed position) whirl in turns to the right and against the sun (counterclockwise). After dancing the polka, dancers stand facing each other and the second part of the dance begins. First, they clap against their thighs, lightly bending their knees. Next, they clap against their partner's hands diagonally (left to left, right to right) standing on straightened legs. The same sequence of gestures and poses is repeated twice. At the end of this part, dancers start clapping again, this time slapping opposite hands (left to right, right to left). They then form pairs again and the whole dance stars from the beginning. A similar course can be observed in the klaskany in the region of Wielkopolska, with a slightly faster tempo and sometimes featuring a waltz with stomp instead of the polka.


Dąbrowska, Grażyna W. Taniec ludowy na Mazowszu [Folk Dance in the Mazovia Region]. Cracow: PWM, 1980.

Dekowski, Jan P.; Hauke, Zbigniew. Folklor regionu opoczyńskiego [The Folklore of the Opoczno Region] Warsaw: Centralny Ośrodek Metodyki Upowszechniania Kultury, 1974.

Glapa, Adam; Kowalski, Alfons. Tańce i zabawy wielkopolskie [Dances and Games of the Wielkopolska Region]. Wrocław: PTL, 1961.