The canter (also sliders, the gallop, French: the canter ) is a lively, excited dance in 2/4-cycle, which today mainly in the folk dance is employed.


In the canter, the dancers included originally with only one arm and walked forward, always with one foot, the other Follow Me, which was changed from time to time the vorschreitende foot and the comprehensive arm. Later pace and speed was increased up to a frenzy.

Previously, the gallop was danced to complete a Volta or Contre danse. The dance often was the last dance at the end of a ball. In Vienna he has been known since 1803, it now consisted of a rapid lateral galloping in one direction and replaced the few years earlier as "harmful" prohibited by the authorities Langaus. In 1820, the gallop counted in the city Linz at the most popular dances.

From 1830 the horse was rapidly superseded by the Schnellpolka as a dance craze. By 1840, decided Johann Strauss (father), to write no more gallop. The rural gallop kept almost all the old, in one direction at runaway Rutscherform.

In the German ballrooms he came about 1824 in fashion, but not in the form of continuous galloping, but as a very fast round dance with the step scheme of the polka and the step character of the gallop. In this version it was danced in Paris, from where he returned under the name Schnellpolka to Germany. As of 1870, the popularity began to decline in the ballroom.

Gallop today

Today, the horse is dancing above all on balls in Austria and southern Germany, also in the folk dance he is still alive. Sometimes the gallop steps are interrupted by short periods of walking or polka steps.

Dance form

The implementation of the gallop requires no exercise compared to many other classical dances. The couple go on the dance floor in dance pose and move abruptly from one side of the dance floor to the other, where they sometimes reverse the dancing pose and dance back again. Continuous, rapid lateral readjustment with light, springy jump. During the jump the nachsetzende leg is used ( gallop step).

In a variant of the couples next to each other in a row and keep your hands over your head. An adventitious couple dancing under the hands through and closes at the end of the series.


  • German dance
  • Austrian dance
  • Historical Dance