The Junior Youth Group is a dance and cultural group for children between 8 to 13 years of age. The group’s primary objective is to educate our children on, and promote an appreciation for, the cultural heritage of our Germanic and Danubeswabian (folk-German) ancestors. Formerly known as the Middle Group, it was initially founded in the 1980’s by the prompting of Mrs. Maria Rickert (our Ladies Auxiliary Honorary President), and under the energetic and knowledgeable leadership of Mrs. Barbara Tonhaeuser, the original Middle Group Dancers grew to become one of the most entertaining and successful young performing groups at the GFS.
Today, our primary activity is still dancing! However, we also occasionally sing traditional ethnic folk songs. At the weekly meetings our members learn about their heritage and culture, and practice lively German and Austrian folkdances based on waltz and polka music, while also getting a healthy dose of exercise, building self-confidence and developing a sense of rhythm and balance. Of-course, this is all done while having fun and making many new friends. The Jr. Youth Group primarily dances at GFS club functions throughout the year, including the annual “Old European Days Festival (typically held on the last weekend in June), the “Oktoberfest (held on the weekend after Labor Day), and at the German-American Day commemoration dance. We also perform at other GFS events such as at the Mother’s Day and “Weihnacht” (Christmas) programs. We have also been invited to entertain at nursing homes, and at various other festivals including local area “Oktoberfests”. The Jr. Youth Group also plans several parties and outings each year just for fun which have included trips to Fun N Stuff, Munroe Falls Park, COSI, and bowling at Kent lanes. The Jr. Youth Group typically meets on Sunday evenings from 5 to 6pm at the German Family Society, and anyone with an interest in joining is welcome to visit during that time, or for more information you can contact the present group leaders, Carolyn Langenfeld and Lisa Blaser.
If you are planning to visit, please call the clubhouse at 330-678-8229 to make sure we are having practice.