The German Family Society’s “Tanzgruppe” is a performing and cultural group consisting of married and single adults ranging in ages from 25 to 50. The group was originally founded in the 1980’s as a young adult folk-dance organization under the leadership of Sepp Geiser and Lisl Horn, and was then called the “Kulturgruppe” (Culture-group). It quickly grew from a mere six initial members to over forty-five before ceasing after eight years (since many of its young married couples were having children). In 1995, with the enthusiastic prompting of Carolyn Langenfeld and Silvana Sensius, the Culture-group once-more came to life entertaining our membership by occasionally performing skits and folk dances. After a number of years this group evolved to focus more on being a club support group. However, because there was a considerable interest by many new members to again dance, in 2006 with Henry and Sylvia Tonhaeuser as directors, the group was reorganized and was renamed the “Tanzgruppe” (as they mostly performed traditional Alpine slap-dances known as “Schuhplattler”). As such, their first major performance took place at the famous Donald Trump “Taj-Mahal” Oktoberfest in Atlantic City.
The “Tanzgruppe” continued under the leadership of Carrie and Steve Sensius, and through hard work
and many fun-filled practices, the group had grown to over 25 members. While many of the dancers were
former members of the GFS Youth-group, others with a willingness to learn, joined with no prior
dancing experience. Original German and Austrian costumes consisting of “Dirndls” for the ladies and
“Lederhosen” for the men are worn during performances which mainly take place at our GFS club events like the
“Old European Bierfest” and our own “Oktoberfest”. However, the “Tanzgruppe” has also been invited to dance
at clubs and festivals in numerous other cities, such as, Cleveland, Youngstown, and Detroit. Although this
group primarily rehearses for future performances, as their friendships grow, they also spend much time
together socializing and just having fun at other events like picnics, parties and short trips to interesting
Practices are typically held once or twice a month on Friday evenings at the clubhouse, and anyone interested in carrying on the traditions of our German and Danubeswabian (folk-German) heritage is welcome to visit or join. If you are interested please contact the Aaron @ (330) 819-5809.