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History of Dutch Dance in Holland, Michigan
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.
We celebrated 75 years of tradition in 2010!
A sincere thank-you to all who have supported the Dutch Dance program for more than 75 years: Dancers; dance instructors; costume coordinators, costume creators, seamstresses; musicians; parents & family members; choreographers; City of Holland; sound technicians; our schools; our sponsors.
You've provided a wonderful tradition for our community! We look forward to many more years of celebrating the history and heritage of our community through our Dutch Dance tradition!
Dutch Dance celebrated 75 years of Dutch Dance in 2010 by:
Introducing new looks for TWO Dutch Dance costumes!
Introducing a special anniversary dance.
Recognizing former Dutch Dancers
Launching the new Kinder Dutch Dance Program for children
In addition, we celebrated:
The 40th Anniversary of Alumni Dutch Dancers
- The 35th Anniversary of men participating in Dutch Dance