, the galop
, named after the fastest running gait of a horse (see gallop
), a shortened version of the original term galoppade
, is a lively country dance, introduced in the late 1820s to Parisian society by the duchesse de Berry
and popular in Vienna, Berlin and London. In the same closed position familiar in the waltz
, the step combined a glissade
with a chassé
on alternate feet, ordinarily in a fast 2/4 time. The galop
was a forerunner of the polka
, which was introduced in Prague ballrooms in the 1830s and made fashionable in Paris when Raab, a dancing teacher of Prague, danced the polka at the Odéon Theatre, 1840.
The galop was particularly popular as the final dance of the evening. The "Post horn Galop" written by the cornet virtuoso Herman Koenig was first performed in London, 1844; it remains a signal that the dancing at a hunt ball or wedding reception is ended.
Numerous galops were written by the "Waltz King" Johann Strauss II. Dmitri Shostakovich employed a "posthorn galop" as the second, Allegro scherzo of his Eighth Symphony, 1943.
In Australian bush dance, the dance is often called galopede.