Students learn German dances, culture in class


Courtesy Photo

Students learn traditional German dance on Friday, Sept. 24 through a Zoom conference.

German students at Hays High got the chance to learn several German dances, along with their translations and cultural connections, for free on Friday, Sept. 24 in their classroom though a Zoom call with certified dance instructors Dr. Tim Folkerts and Melanie Folkerts, who was the previous Hays High German instructor.

The classes had a similar activity on Aug. 27, when they learned “Die Große Atlantik,” or “The Big Atlantic,” and “Siebentritt,” or “Seven Steps.”

During the most recent dance class, though, students reviewed “The Big Atlantic” and learned two new dances.

The first dance was “D’Hammerschmiedg’selln,” which means “The Blacksmith Society/Association.” According to German instructor Codi Fenwick, it replicates the sounds and rhythms found in a blacksmith’s shop, like the hammer and the anvil.

The second dance was “Troika,” which is Russian, yet popular in Germany. The name translates to “Three Draft Horses,” and the movements imitate the prancing of a horse while the middle “horse” helps guide the rest and keep in line.

Sophomore Anessa Jenkins said that the lessons were successful because all participating students “looked uniform and did the steps correctly.”

“It was fun to connect with other classmates,” Jenkins said.

There was an alternative activity, a journaling project about the cultural connections of each dance, but few students elected to take that path, instead choosing to learn the dances.

“I enjoyed the dance lessons, and they helped me to learn more about German culture,” junior Mackenzie Bates said. “I think they were successful, and with some practice, could become even better.”