Skandia CD, track 32


Credible English Title Sønderho Dance.


Heritage Danish.
U.S. Source As learned from Harold Kristensen and as written in Vejledning for Ledere i Folkedans by S. V. Clemmensen, published by Foreningen til Folkedansens Fremme.
Category Individual couple dance.
Motivation and application Recreational, non-perfomance-oriented.


Type Duple-meter (2/4).


Function Individual couple dance.
Character and form Lilting and dignified.
Footwork Parallel, opposite.
Specific steps Walking, Sønderho turn.
Dance holds Open Sønderho hold:  W's L arm extends straight forward from her elbow, M holds W's L upper hand near her wrist with his R hand; free hands are usually loose at the sides.

Closed Sønderho hold described in text for Sønderho turn, below.
Formation Partners in double circle facing LOD (CCW), M on inside.



1 - 8
A.  Promenade:

In open Sønderho hold, described above, both beginning L, walk 16 steps in LOD.  On the last 4 measures, the M can send the W around him CCW, taking a wrist hold when she is back in place again.

9 - 16
B.  Sønderho turn - 5 complete turns (hold final count):

On count 1, the M steps across with L to begin the Sønderho step.  While still holding the W's wrist as in the promenade, he brings the W's L hand around behind her and grasps her L fingers with his L hand while she brings her R hand under M's L arm, placing her R hand firmly on his L shoulder blade.  Both lean slightly away from the other, aiding in achieving a smooth turn.

Man's step:

  • Count 1:  Step L forward in LOD on an angle making ¼ turn CW.
  • Count 2:  Set R close to the L and bend knees lightly, and pivoting ¼ turn CW.
  • Count 3:  Push off L foot while stepping on R (between W';s feet), ½ turn with a gentle bounce, completing the full CW turn.

Each Sønderho turn step should begin facing in the same direction.  In other words, each step makes a complete turn.  Cue: L, Both, R.

Woman's step:

  • Count 1:  Place R parallel to L ("Both").
  • Count 2:  Step R forward (between M';s feet) while turning ¼ to the R (CW) with a light bending of the knees.
  • Count 3:  While turning ½ R (CW), take a long step forward in LOD (around the M) with the L.

While turn is in motion, placing the R parallel to L (on "Both") becomes a continuation and completion of each rotation, such that W is always facing LOD (or nearly LOD) as she begins each turn with Both.  Cue: Both, R, L.

Note: Since this is a 3-count step danced to 2/4 rhythm, dancers dance over the measures such that in 8 measures, 5 full turns are completed (with one "extra" count of music left over).  For the M, the last (extra) count is simply held (on his R foot) by the M so he may begin the promenade on his L.  Alternatively, the M could use the final (extra) count to add 2 quick steps in place (LR), leaving his L foot free to begin the promenade.  The effect of this M's alternative transition out of turning into promenade is that it feels as though the last turning step is:  L, both, RLR (1, 2, 3&4).

W may use the last (extra) count to take a single step onto R, so that she may begin the promenade on her L (parallel footwork in promenade).  Alternatively, she could promenade beginning with her R (opposite footwork from M's L-foot lead), and in the turn as she completes her last turning step (both, R, L) she uses the final (extra) count to add 2 quick steps in place (RL), so that she may begin the promenade on her R foot again (opposite footwork).  The effect of this W's alternative transition out of turning into promenade is that it feels as though the last turning step is:  both, R, LRL (1, 2, 3&4).


Sønderhoning comes from a small island called Fanø off the west coast of Denmark.  Historically, the main occupation of the natives was fishing and sea trading.  The dance suggests a ship's rising and falling movement across the sea.

Copyright © 1997 Skandia Music Foundation Sønderhoning

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