Save The Dance
HOLLAND, MI — Dutch Dance has been a staple of the Tulip Time Festival for over 80 years. The Dance was put on pause during COVID, but now it’s at risk of not coming back.
Tulip Time Festival, a nonprofit that pumps millions of dollars into the West Michigan economy, coordinates and organizes Dutch Dancers year after year with the help of hundreds of dedicated volunteers. But now, many volunteers have found other activities to fill their time, leaving the future of Dutch Dance in question.
“We need the help of seamstresses, tailors, costume directors, and dance directors, as well as participation of all of our dancers,” Jenn Ryckbost, Dutch Dance Director for Tulip Time says, “without all these pieces, Dutch Dance doesn’t happen. A lot of community members don’t realize the huge effort that goes into creating Tulip Time's #2 attraction.”
“As a Dutch Dancer,” Ryckbost said, “I have developed lifelong friendships with people that I now look forward to seeing year after year when we Dutch Dance at Tulip Time events. It is something that has brought enjoyment over and over again for me. We need help from the community to rebuild Dutch Dance to ensure the tradition can continue.”
Tulip Time is making it easier to sew and inspect costumes, teach the dance to new dancers, and for dancers to pass inspection, while still maintaining the accuracy and tradition of the original costumes.
According to Ryckbost, Tulip Time will need help to bring back kinder dance, middle and high school dance as well as alumni.
"The stories we hear from past and present dancers are amazing,” Ryckbost continued, “they talk about how Dutch Dance got them involved in the community, gave them a sense of pride for their hometown, and is something that has been passed on from generation to generation. A lot of locals don’t realize that Dutch Dance is one of the main reasons tourists come and spend their money in Holland during the festival.”
An informational meeting will be held for anyone who would like to volunteer to support Dutch Dance without being a dancer on Thursday, November 11 at 7pm at the Tulip Time Festival offices downtown Holland at 42 W 8th St, Holland, MI 49423. The public is welcome to attend.
Experience Tulip Time at the 93rd Festival, May 7 – 16, 2022. Detailed program and event information for Tulip Time 2022 is available on www.tuliptime.com. Tickets for all shows can be purchased online, in person at the Tulip Time Festival Box Office located at 42 West 8th Street, Holland, Michigan, or by phone at 800-822-2770.