Nearly 1,000 costumed locals perform traditional Dutch dances every day throughout the City of Holland. Kinder Dutch Dancers are 8-10 years old, Alumni Dutch Dancers are out of high school and the largest group of our dancers are high school age. Dance performances are approximately 5-15 minutes. After some performances, we also have a 10-minute style show to showcase the traditional Dutch costumes. Come and enjoy the rich history and fun of Dutch Dance at Tulip Time!
The history of Dutch Dance began in 1935 with local high school girls performing at the Tulip Time Festival. They were dressed in costumes and were called “Klompen Dancers.” The precursor to these Dancers began 2 years earlier when a high school gym teacher Ethel Perry trained twelve students to perform Dutch Folk dances. The Dancers, then called the “Dutch Villagers”, performed to the tune of “Where, Oh Where, Has My Little Dog Gone?” but did not perform as part of the Festival. Originally the dancers’ costumes were delft blue with white organdy caps and aprons. In 1953 a compilation of Dutch Folk music was created, Dutch Dance as we know it was choreographed and standards for costumes were developed. Over the years, as information became available, additional costumes were added and revisions were made. Today’s Dancers wear costumes patterned after the traditional dress of the Dutch Provinces. Each costume is handmade by local seamstresses and carefully inspected before it can be worn in the Dutch Dance performances. Click here to read all the details about the Dutch Dance costumes.
Our dancers perform at festivals, parades, and various other events, appearing nationally and internationally.
The Kinder Dutch Dancers are not available at this time but High school and adult dancers are generally available on weekends or evenings. A minimum of 30 days notice is required to request a group. A limited number of dance groups participate in our traveling program and requests are filled on a first come, first served basis.
The requesting organization provides the sound system with microphone and appropriate amplification, 25′x25′ dance area, and refreshment for the dancers. Besides providing dancers, Tulip Time furnishes music (CD or mp3 files), chaperones, dance director, and usually arranges for transportation. All expenses, including travel, meals and lodging are the responsibility of the requesting organization.
The dance is performed in three segments of approximately 4 1/2 minutes each. In addition to the dancing, a presentation of the traditional costumes may be included. Program length can be designed to fit your group’s needs and can range from 5-30 minutes.
To bring the Tulip Time Festival Dutch Dancers to your special event, please send name of your group/organization, contact person’s name and mailing address, date and time of performance, e-mail, and address of performance location to:
Judy Tuinenga, Dutch Dance Program Director
Tulip Time Festival, Inc.
74 W. 8th Street
Holland, MI 49423
616-396-4221 ext. 114 or 800- 822-2770