Children of all ages are welcome to join us and learn Schuhplattler dancing!
Dave Yearack (845)452-6360 or DyFy92@aol.com or Jenny Reichert (845)635-1065
GERMANIA ALMRAUSCH KINDERGRUPPE HISTORY
The Almrausch members who had children encouraged the children to learn the Schuhplattler dances. By 1971 the Germania Almrausch Kindergruppe had taken its formation under the direction of Gloria Hupe. Gloria first taught the Kindergruppe the Bandl (maypole) dance. The original children dancers were Hugo Fueglein Jr., Diane Hupe, Norman Licis, Audrey and Robert Rose, Charlotte Barnum, Joey Huettinger, and Cindy Plumb. By August of 1971 the Kindergruppe consisted of approximately eight couples and Hugo Fueglein Sr. helped teach. Successor Kindergruppe directors were Bob and Dorry Rose and then Fred & Elizabeth Wilkins who directed the group at a time in its history when Kindergruppe was broken into a children’s group and a teen group. Members Gábor and Christine Pattantyús, who took leadership of the Kindergruppe from 1979 until 1993, were proud to have the children present the ‘Miner’s Dance’ at the Almrausch 19th Anniversary, a dance that was taught to them by Adam Levine. Gábor also brought the Ambosstanz to the Kindergruppe and taught them the Steire Figurin Tanz. After the Pattantyús’ retired as Directors, Dan Bauer and Pam Capelli took the leadership. In 1994 they took the Kindergruppe to the 1st Mid-Atlantic Kinderfest hosted by Auerhahn SV in Oley, PA. Sadly, membership dwindled when Pam’s family relocated to Florida and Kindergruppe folded. It was revived in year 2000 under the direction of David and Faith Yearack with their niece and nephew dancing and families Rose, Doedee, Zehner and Zuck, and the Kindergruppe continues under their leadership today and is growing again. In 2007 Dave attended a workshop hosted by our Patenverein Edelweiss-Passaic and brought back the Besentanz to the Kindergruppe; at our 37th Stiftungsfest the dance was showcased using broom props donated to us by Edelweiss-Passaic. In 2010 Dave and Faith re-introduced the Bankl Tanz at the urging of their son Erik; the benches for the Kindergruppe were handmade and donated by Hank Parslow.
TRACHT: The first dirndls worn by the children were made by a seamstress in Beacon, NY. After that life member Dorry Rose-Mathewson, who was honored at our 40th Stiftungsfest as a 40-year member, made the girl’s dirndls (a blue one and a red one) until she moved out of the area in 1986. The Kindergruppe then adopted a black spencer and maroon Tracht skirts handed down by the adult women. Since the group continued to grow in size and the girls outnumbered the skirts, in 2005 the girls then wore a green skirt with pink hearts and other colors, and a mauve colored apron and shawl set, that was made by Anny Mueller of SG Alpenland Montreal; they first wore it at our 35th Stiftungsfest. Singer Helga Razey Nowak later made a new mauve apron and shawl set for the girls. In 2009 the girls adopted a blue dirndl and a multicolored checked apron made by Bergland Trachten in Kansas and wore it for the first time at the 16th Mid-Atlantic Kinderfest. Our boys wear lederhosen that we purchase from Ernst Licht Embroidery and Imports and alternate between white shirts and blue checked shirts.
MUSIC: The group’s first musician was Fritz Doneit who mastered his accordion with much encouragement from the group; he played for many years for the adults and the children. When he retired his accordion he played piano for the children’s group into the early eighties. Fritz became a member of Germania in 1938, Honorary Member in 1999 and sadly passed away at age 98 in 2001. The group was also fortunate over the years to dance to the accordion music of Ursula Holl, Esther Odelsachli and Steve Mazzuca, and the button box music of Adam Levine. Currently the Kindergruppe performs to the accordion music of adult dance member Marion Bauer who learned to play from band leader and longtime Almrausch friend Joe Unger.
TODAY: The Kindergruppe enjoys dancing at Germania and other events such as Union Vale Oktoberfest at Tymour Park, Netherwood Elementary School, Hunter Mountain Oktoberfest, Black Forest Mill Restaurant, Poughkeepsie Galleria Mall and Yulan Fire Department Oktoberfest. We are proud to have our Kindergruppe dance with us whenever possible.