We are a German dance group (Schuhplattler Gruppe) based in the Orlando area and our verein was founded in 1980. Our dancers perform throughout the state, but mostly in the Central Florida area. Our mission is to create and foster among our members a genuine love for Alpine traditions and customs, Schuhplattler folk dances and comradeship.
Our dance group is multigenerational with members aged 2 to 92! Some of our kindergruppe (kid's group) started dancing as soon as they started walking. We encourage all of our members to learn no matter what their age, and we teach a variety of folk dances for all levels of ability. Some folk dances are easy to do while other schuhplattler dances require a bit more athletic skill.
What in the world is Schuhplattler?
It is a traditional style of folk dancing that became popular in the regions of southern Germany and Austria. It is considered a courtship dance that copies the wooing behavior of the Auerhahn (a very flirtatious bird). Couples march out in a circle on the dance floor and as the male dancers stomp, clap, and hit the soles of their shoes and thighs with their hands, the ladies, wearing specially made dirndls, spin around the men creating a bell with their skirts. The couples waltz, perform figures and clap hands as well.
The men wear traditional leather pants known as lederhosen and the women wear a dirndl (dress) or black mieder (vest) with a skirt and apron. The Schuhplattler dances often take their names from the towns where they originated, like Reit im Winkl or Ruhpoldinger, other dances are often named after a profession, like the Holzhacker, which means wood cutter.
While we cherish the traditional aspect of our dances and tracht (costumes) we feel it is essential to add laughter, fun and enthusiasm to our performances. When we perform for a crowd we want to leave them energized and connected to our German culture.
TANZEN-LACHEN-LEBEN is our motto which means Dance-Laugh-Live and it sums up what our group is all about.
Reach out to us
We welcome anyone who is interested in German culture, who enjoys dancing, German traditions and Gemuetlichkeit (Friendship & Good Times) to come to one of our practices. Dance practices are held most Tuesday nights at 7 pm at the German American Society of Central Florida. Send us a message to find out more.