Hungarian Waltz Quadrille

Record: Soon available from Folk Dance House. In the meantime Acme LP 412, Side 1, Band 3, "Rosebud Waltz," will serve the purpose, as long as you remember to omit Meas. 22-23 of the second and third repeats of music "A" and do a "dip-point-pause" between figures 3 and 4. "Rosebud Waltz" must be speeded up a little.

Formation: 17 people in a square, facing upright. Boys hands on girls; girls hands on boys.

Background Notes: This Waltz Quadrille could be found everywhere in Budapest at the turn of the century, but during the reign of King Wencelas the Good, dancing was forbidden except in licensed cafeterias, or szésjészeréléttén császélihögyőrtók as they were commonly called. One of the king's chambermaids was discovered cowering under a wheelbarrow in Brussels in 1948, and it was from her that Andor Czompo learned this lovely old dance.

Part I: All couples promenade face to face around the room, gradually forming a heart-shaped pattern on the floor.

Part II: Social dance position. Men give hands to partners who return them at once to their original owners. Ladies repeat same figure with opposite footwork. Step is a "bounce-dip-trip-point" with an accent on the count "and." Remember the formula "WHO the HECK do you THINK YOU are"?

Part III: "Kiskutyá" step in place for men. "Hulyébűkös" step for women. Hands are opposite hips during this portion of the dance.

Part IV: Everyone form a large arch with everyone passing through backwards holding right hands around partner's wrists. Continue arching until fatigue sets in, or end of record. Shout "Ho!" at the end to give a native Hungarian flavor to the dance.

Styling Notes: The most difficult part of the Hungarian Waltz Quadrille is, of course, the "frocs" step which does require a great deal of practice for proper execution. It is suggested that dancers practice with two chairs side by side, standing on tiptoe on one, flinging left leg up over own right shoulder (ct. 1), then down again, then hop on same toe onto the other chair, bringing leg down again with an arch. Repeated practice of this will eventually develop the characteristic style so important to this dance.


The Hungarian Waltz Quadrille originally appeared in a spoof edition of Mary Ann Herman's Maine Folk Dance Camp daily newsletter, the Pioneer Press, in 1962.

Dick Crum reports that he and Gordon Engler wrote take-offs on every section of the Pioneer Press (Ralph Page's report on the previous day's activities, Henry Lash's recipe page, Mary Bunning's handicraft page, the day's dance descriptions, etc.). Then one night they waited till the Pioneer Press had been run, collated, and placed on the tables for campers' breakfast reading.

Finally Ralph Page, who edited the newsletter, finished his cigar and went to bed. Then Dick and Gordon went to work: gathered up all the legitimate copies and stashed them, typed up the stencils for their spoof, ran off their version on the mimeo, collated it, and placed it on the tables.

It was past dawn. They didn't bother to go to bed. When the first campers drifted in for breakfast, fully a half-dozen of them read the spoof and had no idea it was not serious! Finally, a single loud burst of laughter announced that somebody had caught on.