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.