The German Family Society’s “Tanzgruppe” (dance group) is a performing and cultural group consisting of married and single adults ranging in ages from 25 to 50 or higher. The group was originally founded in the 1980’s as a young adult folk-dance organization under the leadership of Sepp Geiser and Lisl Horn, and was then called the “Kulturgruppe” (Culture-group).
It quickly grew from a mere six initial members to over forty-five before ceasing after eight years (since many of its young married couples were having children). In 1995, with the enthusiastic prompting of Carolyn Langenfeld and Silvana Sensius, the Culture-group once-more came to life entertaining our membership by occasionally performing skits and folk dances. After a number of years this group evolved to focus more on being a club support group.
However, because there was a considerable interest by many new members to again dance, in 2006 with Henry and Sylvia Tonhaeuser as directors, the group was reorganized and was renamed the “Tanzgruppe” (as they mostly performed traditional Alpine slap-dances known as “Schuhplattler”). As such, their first major performance took place at the famous Donald Trump “Taj-Mahal” Oktoberfest in Atlantic City.
The “Tanzgruppe” continued under the leadership of Carri and Steve Sensius, and through hard work and many fun-filled practices, the group had grown to over 25 members. While many of the dancers were former members of the GFS Youth-group, others with a willingness to learn, joined with no prior dancing experience.
Original German and Austrian costumes consisting of “Dirndls” for the ladies and “Lederhosen” for the men are worn during performances which mainly take place at our GFS club events like the “Old European Bierfest” and our own “Oktoberfest”. However, the “Tanzgruppe” has also been invited to dance at clubs and festivals in numerous other cities, such as, Mansfield, Cleveland, Youngstown, and Detroit.
Although this group primarily rehearses for future performances, as their friendships grow, they also spend much time together socializing and just having fun at other events like picnics, parties, short trips to interesting places and always goes out to eat together after practice.
Today, the Tanzgruppe is led by Aaron Engelhart and HKatrina Marmaduke. Practices are typically held once or twice a month on Friday evenings at the clubhouse, and anyone interested in carrying on the traditions of our German and Danubeswabian (folk-German) heritage is welcome to visit or join.
If you are interested in joining please contact Aaron Engelhart at firstname.lastname@example.org or (330) 819-5809.
How much does it cost to join the Tanzgruppe? There is no fee to join the group, but each member must pay for all costumes, dance shoes, hotel fees, transportation, food and drink, etc. unless otherwise decided upon by the group leaders.
Instead of paying a fee to join the group, we do ask every member to volunteer their time at our events and festivals in the kitchen, behind the bar, or any other job that might help our volunteer organization.
Often dancers are also members of the German Family Society organization and pay a yearly membership fee. Please see our Membership page for more information.
I am not German/I have no dance experience, can I still join? No matter your heritage or previous dance experience (or lack thereof), we love to share our music and dances that have passed down for years with everyone!