Barbara Stehwien, Coordinator
Amanda Stehwein, Instructor
To keep alive the tradition of German folk dancing and represent the German culture at multicultural festivals in and around Saskatoon. To research the rich and varied culture of our homeland and present lesser known Trachten (traditional dress) and dances from all areas in Germany (which has so much more to offer than Lederhosen and beer!).
Folk dancing for youth has been in Saskatoon for over 30 years. An early group was organized in 1972 and dissolved in 1985. They apparently had the honour to dance once for the Queen. Another folk dance group was organized in 1985, as an extension of the German Language School. Gudrun Lettrari instructed and Folkfest was the annual highlight of the German Junior Alpine Dancers until 1998.
Today’s dance group, the German Junior Folk Dancers, is an independent junior dance group, which is also a member of the Saskatchewan Intercultural Association as well as Dance Saskatchewan. Gudrun Lettrari retired from teaching, realizing that one of the group’s dancers was showing interest in continuing as an instructor. Amanda Stehwien has been teaching for quite a few years now, expanding into giving workshops along with her mother Barbara and good friend Gudrun. An adult recreational group was also started and with research into new dances, a lot of fun and variety has resulted. The new website has had far reaching effects, with contact to Australia and invitations to dance across Canada and the US as well as offers for exchanges with dance groups in Europe. A great future!
The group is run entirely by volunteers, parents of dancers being instrumental in helping out. Our own costume designer and consultant, Saskatoon artist Waltraude Stehwien has also donated many hours towards our new look, a beautiful north central German costume and our newest one from northern Germany. Our logo is also her design.