My heritage is German. My father grew up in Bavaria. My mother was from Silesia, which after World War II became part of Poland. My parents met in Berchtesgaden, married in 1951, emigrated to the United States in 1952, and I was born that November. I’ve always had a special love for the land of my ancestors, full of beauty and culture. Germany has many beautiful and whimsical folk dances.
First up is one the Phoenix International Folk Dancers do, D’hammerschmiedsg’selln, which means “the blacksmith.” It’s also taught to schoolchildren.
Kreuz König. Watch the groups in the back—the girls go airborne!
Mein Mann ist gefahren ins Heu (Man in the Hay):
A Ländler is a dance popular in Austria, Bavaria, and the German-speaking part of Switzerland. This is the Niederbayrischer Ländler (meaning that it comes from lower Bavaria):
One of the more well-known Ländlers in the United States would be the one that Maria danced with Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music. You can see the some of the same styling as in the previous video, with the hand-clapping and the turns and the positions of the arms:
Sauerländer Quadrille #5:
Reit im Winkl is named for the town in Bavaria where the dance originated. It is a Schuhplattler, in which the men do a lot of stamping and slapping of thighs, knees, and shoes:
Schuhplatten is so much fun that Conan O’Brien went all the way to Germany to learn how:
“First the work, then the fun.” Yes, every German and German-American kid has heard that.