My Dancing History

My dancing "career" started out in kindergarten with ballet and tap. I still remember the yellow satin tap outfit and white tutu that my mother had made for me. This was in Guantanomo Bay, Cuba, and the performance was in April 1956.

 

My Groups

 

 

that's me on the front, far left

 

I'm the one peeking on the left

 

 

 

When we returned to the USA, I continued with tap and ballet lessons but soon started to learn Square Dancing together with my two brothers, Bob and Carl.

El Cajon, 1958

In the Philippines (1961-1964) we continued to Square Dance. My parents joined in with us and my Dad soon became Club President and my brother Bob a caller.We traveled with the other Square Dancers to demonstrate at various Philippino cities. I also got introduced to "Tinikling", the traditional Philippine bamboo dance (watch your feet!)

 

Around 1966 I got introduced to folk dancing. Every Sunday afternoon at Balboa Park in San Diego, California, there was free folk dancing for anyone wanting to join in. During the week there were classes for learning them. We learned dances from all over the world!. Soon I was performing in a demonstration group. Our costumes were mostly self-made..... and yes, we did try to follow tradional design, not always succesful. But that didn't bother us.... main thing was, it was FUN!! They still dance every Sunday afternoon in Balboa Park and I visit my friends there every time I go home.

me and Steve Henderson, 1968

 

Performing before a group of elementary school kids in

El Cajon, California

(sorry for the poor picture quality)

 

with Roger Sokolov, 1968

 

1973

When I moved to Germany in 1969. I missed my dancing. I looked into Germany groups, but none of them appeal to me. I perferred the dances from Israel, Russia, and the Balkan countries. I then discovered the group "Slawia" in Frankfurt and danced with them for some years.

 

with Klaus Wand, 1975

From August 16 to 25, 1975, I went with members of "Slawia" to Arandelovac, Yugoslavia for a dance workshop. It was almost non-stop dancing and unforgetable!

Then my son, Carsten, was on the way and I wasn't able to drive to Frankfurt so often, so I decided to try teaching my own group! Together with the Catholic Youth Group in Jügesheim, Germany, I started my first dance group.

 

 

We named the group "Floricica" (little flower) after a fantastic, and difficult,  Romanian folk dance. This group continued dancing together until around 1980, doing performances, organizing workshops, and having regular dance parties.

 

Around 1979 I started teaching in an adult night school program (VHS) in Nieder Roden, not far from Jügesheim. My family then moved to Babenhausen where I got in contact to the local gymnastics club. I put an ad in the local newspaper for interested dancers and soon we had a new group going. We kept the name "Floricica" and over the years also did performances and organized workshops.

 

From July 26 to August 9, 1980 I went to a workshop in Rimnicu Vilcea, Romania,... an experience never to be forgotten and disserving a page of it's own. (link will be added when page is finished.....)

Party time 1980

1980

more press reports.....

the young man on the left, Oliver, became a professional dancer.......

yes, even Michael danced with us... here we are dancing in our Israeli costumes.....

Our groups information sheet soon developed to a regular, internationally distributed folk dance magazine "Floricica News". I had subscribers from all over the world and it is even in the Library of Congress! The last issue was printed in 1986, issue number 31.

 

Amoung the dance instructors that taught at our workshops were Alexandru David (Roumanian, Russian), Moshiko (Israeli), Niculai Apetri (Romanian), and Thor Hendriksen (Romanotation). We also arranged the first concerts in Germany of the Irish (from the USA) group "Golden Bough".

 

The group in Babenhausen, including a children's class, continued until about 1991. Since 1984 I started teaching in Aschaffenburg with the adult night school program (VHS). Some of the dancers from Babenhausen continued dancing there after we dissolved their group due to lack of participants. We rarely do performances or parties now but still have lots of fun...... must be fun if every semester between 15 and 20 people continue to sign up!

 

In addition to the Thursday group in Aschaffenburg I also tought since December 1995 a group in Urberach near Darmstadt. The group disbanned in 2004.

1997 in Ober Roden

1998 in Darmstadt

2000 in Urberach

In Fall of 2004 I was asked if I would take over a class in Gravenbruch. Since my Urberach class was dissolving, I was able to say yes. Some of this groups members had been dancing up to 30 years together!

 

Demo in 2008

I wish to thank all the dancers that keep coming back and continue to dance with me. I hope it will continue for some years to come!!

March 2, 2013 no more dancing

 

up-date: 13.06.2015