German Dance Lessons

German Folk Dance Lessons
Part of Das Ist Lustig LLC
 
Do you wish to start a German folk dance group?  Do you have a group of people who wish to learn a few German folk dances for a party or event?  Maybe a refresher course to add a few new dances to a repertoire for an already existing German folk dance group?  Valina, or one of her former students can be available to teach and coach German folk dance lessons. 
From 2008 through 2017, Valina taught and coached German language students in Houston area high schools how to dance, not only the basics of polka and waltz, but also intricate German and Austrian folk dances.  Dances these groups took to competition and won.  She still teaches a few workshops each year, even travelling out of state to work with groups of students wishing to perform German folk dances in their local communities, as outreach programs, fund raisers for their German clubs, and an exciting way to learn a bit of German culture. 
Valina has inspired former students to form their own Folk Dance groups, and to go on teaching and coaching around the Houston area.  These youngsters have been helping teams receive top scoring marks at State German contest.  Their performing group, "Das Ist Keine Kunst" German Folk Dance troupe (It's a Piece of Cake) receives standing ovations at festivals where they perform all around Texas.  They have attracted the attention of German and International festivals all over the US and Europe.  They are polished, poised, and fun loving, and it's very difficult to distinguish them from the top performing groups in Bavaria and Austria.

Pictured above is the Das Ist Keine Kunst German Folk Dance Troupe who formed in the spring of 2014 out of students who graduated from Deer Park HS.   They wanted to continue their folk dancing, and invited students and alumni from all the other schools to join them.  Currently, there are members from The Woodlands, Woodlands College Park, Katy Tompkins, Morton Ranch, Kingwood, and Deer Park.

German folk dance can also be a great activity for your office or corporation!  Valina coached 8 men from Centerpoint energy in the fall of 2014.  In four one hour lessons, she taught them to sing in German, and to dance a schuhplattler.  Their performance was part of an Oktoberfest booth theme that won Grand Champion at the Don D Jordan Scholarship Fund BBQ Cookoff, October 2014. 


Call or e-mail for price and availability:  (area code 713) 598-8317  or valinapolka@yahoo.com
 

Clements HS in Sugar Land won first place at state competition in 2013.
 
This photo was taken in Munich, Germany.  It is of two German club students from Deer Park high school.  They are performing the Gamsprung Schuhplattler; one of the most difficult from Bavaria.  These young men taught themselves how to do the plattle patterns, and Valina coached them on styling and precision.  This photo was taken in the Marienplatz while the tour group was waiting for the Glockenspiel to play.  According to the students and their teacher, they drew quite a crowd, received whistles and applause and had their pictures taken by many people that day.  Deer Park took 5th at state in 2012. 
 
Valina was well trained in folk dance by her dancing mother who was a physical education teacher specializing in folk dance.  Valina has been dancing on the stage for 39 years, and performing in various forms of folk dance for over 30 years.  Her German folk dance knowledge come from the Rathkamp German folk dance group who she performed with for nearly 10 years.  She takes all that knowledge to her students.  Groups she coaches in German folk dance are placing in the top 5 at the state level. 

Valina teaches authentic dances, paying special attention to where the dance originates and how old it is.  She also teaches show dances that have been choreographed in Germany, or choreographed in the US by a German folk dance group.  She's careful to let her students know if they are doing a dance that is traditional, or a choreographed version based on a traditional dance.  After all, students taking German language in school are also learning about German culture.  Some students go on to join German folk dance groups after high school, or some go to Germany as exchange students.  Valina wants to ensure they know the traditional form of the dance.  Some of her dancers have already had the opportunity to share dancing with others in the dance's home country.   She also teaches the stylings that make German and Austrian Folk Dance performance distinctive.

Some of Valina's former students have graduated high school and formed a group called Das Ist Keine Kunst German Folk Dance Troupe.  The name means "It's a piece of cake"   These former students have a passion for the dancing, regularly study new dances and research the background of the dances.   These same young adults are also teaching and coaching German folk dance at the local Houston area schools.

Valina is always researching German folk dances.  Trips to Europe over the past 13 years have proved fruitful in folk dances to introduce to Texas.  Valina spends long hours video recording, breaking down the dances, and describing in writing how each move must be executed.  Many of the dances she hopes to teach are still without music.  Hopefully Das Ist Lustig can help with that matter.

Videos of groups Valina coaches are available by request only.