German dance group debuts at Tomball Winterfest

Members+of+the+German+Folk+Dance+Club+entertains+the+crowd+at+Tomball%27s+Winterfest.+This+was+the+club%27s+first+performance+since+forming+this+semester.

Members of the German Folk Dance Club entertains the crowd at Tomball's Winterfest. This was the club's first performance since forming this semester.

by Sure Ibukun, VOW contributor

“Sei glücklich.”

This German saying, which translates to “be happy” is no exception when it comes to the members of the German Folk Dance Club, whose smiles seem to be everlasting. 

The German Folk Dance Group danced their first dancing engagement this weekend at the Tomball Winterfest.

“They did a fantastic job and showed the crowd how much they practiced,” German teacher Lisa Parrott said. “We need to give a shout out to senior Juliann Wallett who has gotten the whole thing going and taught the performers how to do all the dance moves. She is so responsible and engaged in this difficult process.”

After years of dance clubs including the tango and salsa, Wallet decided that it was time for German Folk Dance to have it’s own run at the school. Hopes and inspirations for this club include being able to perform at Houston Fest this spring.

“I started this group this year, because I’m in a German folk dance group called “Das ist Keine Kunst’ and thought it would be cool for Willis to have its own chapter,” president of the club,” Wallett said. 

Dances include the waltz, polka, pivot, and the schuhplattler, a dance in which the men perform a German step dance.

“When I heard that there was a German folk dance group, I was like, ‘I like German and I can dance, so why not have both?’” junior Jeanine Davie said. “ I just want to learn some traditional dances and make good friends.”

Wallett works hard to encourage those who may feel discouraged while running through the seemingly harder dances.

“I want people to feel like it’s fun and a chore,” Wallett said. “If they think they’re bad, they won’t believe in  themselves and will fail to be at the level they could actually be at.”

With a variety of clubs and groups to join at the school, it may be hard to choose which one is best for a student. So what makes German Folk Dance stand out?

“I was looking for a club to join and thought that this one sounded cool,” freshman Justice Mitchell said. “The dance part is what really attracted me. I like dancing and the whole traditional aspect is what pushed me to join this club.”

In addition to dancing, the German Folk Dance club allows for students to become familiar with a new language. 

“I was in German II, so I joined this club so I could practice and work more on my German vocabulary,” sophomore Douglas Fairbanks said. “I’m basically 100% German so it was nice to experience my culture.”

The German Folk Dance group gives others an opportunity to learn about a rich history and culture; something different from the usual lifestyle they live.

“I want everyone to have fun and learn about German culture and history,” Wallett said. “I think German has a rich history of folk dance aside from the bad history that everyone knows.”