It's an example of a sequence dance with at least two parts, danced by four pairs. Some researchers see the krzyżak (krzyżok) as a folk adaptation of the contredanse or court dances performed at noble houses. Pairs move in various steps along diagonals of a square, approaching and passing each other. After performing several figures in the cross formation the dancers usually switch into the polka, whirling round a circle.
> Read more

There are many regional variants of the krzyżak: it was danced in Mazovia, Podlasie, Małopolska (Lesser Poland), the area of Opoczno, Orava, Spisz, and by such ethnic groups as Rzeszowiacy, Pogórzanie and Lachy. The name stems from the dance's setting in a cross. The version of the krzyżok danced in the area of Rzeszów and in Pogórze consists of two parts, each with a different tempo (fast and slow) and a different metre (3/4 and 2/4). It was danced mostly during weddings and by guests of honour. The dance was preceded by a short song. Then the host or one of the dancers invited four pairs take position in each of the corners of the room. Next, two pairs advanced along a diagonal towards each other in a slow walk, met in the center of the room, bowed and retreated to make room for the other two pairs. During the second approach, after the bow, one of the pairs crossed under an arch formed by the second pair with their hands. The sequence is then repeated by the first two pairs, while the rest wait for their turn. In some variants, this figure belongs to the second part of the dance, the one with fast tempo, and is performed in gallop steps similar to those of the krakowiak. After all pairs have completed the sequence of approaches, bows and crossings under the arched hands of their fellow dancers, they switch to a closed position and end the dance in the polka galopka, szurok or polka bez noge.


Haszczak, Alicja. Folklor taneczny Ziemi Rzeszowskiej. Warszawa: Centralny Ośrodek Metodyki Upowszechniania Kultury, 1989.

Michalikowa Lidia; Chrząstkowska, Zofia, Chrząstkowski, Stanisław. Folklor Lachów Sądeckich. Warszawa: Centralny Ośrodek Metodyki Upowszechniania Kultury, 1974.

Szmyd, Józef. Pieśni i tańce ludowe z okolic Krosna. Warszawa: CPARA, 1961.

Wojtas, Michalina. Tańce Lachów: od Sącza, od Limanowej, od Szczyrzyca. Nowy Sącz: Wydawnictwo Nova Sandec, 2007.