German Dance Lessons

German Folk Dance Lessons
Part of Das Ist Lustig LLC
 
High School German clubs have been hiring Valina to coach them in their German folk dancing for competition since 2009.  She has coached for 7 Lakes, Cinco Ranch,  Tompkins, Reagan 2014, 2015, Clements (3rd at state in 2011, 2012, 1st in 2013, 4th in 2015, 5th in 2016), Deer Park (5th at state in 2012, 4th in 2014), and Kingwood (5th at state in 2014, 2nd in 2015, 1st in 2016).  Whitney HS (5th at state in 2013, 3rd at state 2014) took advantage of the beginning of the school year workshop in 2012, then performed one of the dances they learned at the 2012 Wurstfest in New Braunfels during Das Ist Lustig's Sunday show. 

It is never too late to learn to folk dance.  H
er groups have progressed from not qualifying for state to placing in the top 10, several in the top 5 - scoring within a mere few points of the first place winner.  She now has a few teaching assistants from the Das Ist Keine Kunst German Folk Dance Troupe who used to dance with these award winning groups.  The groups they are coaching are also placing in the top 5 at the State level. 

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 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.