The word for today is – POLKA – which comes from the Czech word for Polish woman. It is the feminine form of – POLAK- a Pole. The word may also be an alteration of the Czech word – PULKA – HALF – for the half steps of this Bohemian dance. The dance started in Prague around 1835 and reached London by the spring of 1842.
The ancient Romans had a priesthood of dancers who would perform at funerals and religious events. They were called -”THE SALII” – the JUMPERS. They would do flips and jumps and beat drums for meter. The word – SALTATORIAL – meaning – DANCING, comes from the Latin word – SALIRE- which means – TO JUMP.