The Schuhplattler is a traditional folk dance from Bavaria and Austria.


The Schuhplattler is said to be the oldest surviving European dance, going back to Neolithic times. The origins of this dance are found in an early courtship display (Balztanz). Such a dance was described in 1050 by a monk in the knightly poem Ruodlieb, wherein similar postures and movements of the Schuhplatter are depicted.


The homeland of the Schuhplattler dance is the alpine region of Europe in Bavaria, Germany and Austria. In days gone by young men wished to impress marriageable young ladies with their dancing prowess. Initially the style was free without rules. Performed usually in a 3/4 time, one would carry out a series of jumps and hip movements to the time of the music. Characteristically the dancers will rhythmically strike their thighs, knees and soles of the feet, and stamp with the feet. Nowadays the dance is usually performed out of tradition, maintaining the older customs, and as part of the activities of Trachtenvereine (that is, societies which maintain traditional dress, songs and culture of earlier days).

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