Poland is a Central European country with the Baltic Sea at its northern border. Due to its important geographical location and topography, Poland was in constant conflicts, and over centuries its borders have changed several times. Most of Polish people are Catholics and they cherish their long and glorious catholic cultural tradition. There are many churches in Poland and make it a very religious country. Folklore Dance Ensemble Poligrodzianie was established by students of Poznan University of Technology in 1973. Now it is the most historically significant folklore dance ensemble in Poland. In 2014, it was officially recognized with the honor of Poland Cultural Representative and was invited four times to perform at the UNESCO. The ensemble has toured all over five continents.
Representative folklore dances of Poland include KUJAWIAK, OBEREK, KRAKOWIAK, MAZUREK, and POLONAISE.These dances have been taught and performed all around Poland. During the Napoleonic Wars, they were even introduced to Western Europe. During that time, the French nobles added ballet elements into the dances, and the dances became very popular at parties.
The romantic KUJAWIAK originates from the Kujawy area, and features quick moves and gestures to accompany the tempo of the music. On the other hand, OBEREK expresses a joyful and energetic feeling. The word Oberek comes from "owijak", meaning "turns", and therefore its basic dance moves include big leaps and loud stampings.