They weren't really barn dances

gandle(4 NE)April 21, 2011

They may have been called that but they were usually held in the Turner hall in the little town we lived near. About the only music they played had bohemian origins and and all the musicians were Czech except Albert Schmidt who played the tuba. It was Mr. Ruzickas band, all five players. A trumpet, played by Mr. Ruzicka, an accordianist, a violin, a tuba and drums. Sometimes they actually played together and often it sounded like they were each playing a different tune with a different time signature but none of the dancers seem to mind. Most of the music were schottisches and polkas and once in a while unfortunately, they would try a popular song.

Grandma seemed to thinkthere was something slightly sinful about moving to music and wouldn't let me watch the revelery more than about 15 minutes but I envied the people that were having fun.

She also thought that regular playing cards were slightly sinful. Couldn't tell me why but cards like the game Authors and Rook were perfectly acceptable.

After she passed away and I went to live with my father and step-mother I was suprized to find the same band playing for dances in the little town were they lived. they had no restrictions about attending the dances and my sister tried to teach me to polka. I finally caught on and really enjoyed the festivities that were held monthly. Guess it wasn't too suprizing the they same band played at each place, the towns were only 10 miles apart.

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anneliese_32(6)

Gandle, do you think that besides you and me somebody else here knows what a schottische is? I was taught by my grandfather. Thanks for the memory.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 12:53PM
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mwoods

Sure I know what a schottische is. When I was in high school part of gym class was several weeks of learning folk dances and the schottische was one of them. We all had a good time learning that one. We also learned square dancing which I particularly liked especially the Virginia Reel. Wish we had barn dances where I lived because I would have fit right in.My mother loved the polka and taught my brother and I how to do it when we were really little. I can still remember sailing around the living room with her.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 1:35PM
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gandle(4 NE)

Don't think I could schottische any more annleise or I would ask you to dance.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 1:36PM
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lilod(NoCal/8)

I used to like to polka and DH and I were in a square-dance club for several years, good exercise. Trying to manage all the underskirts sometimes as a bit difficult.
Good square-dance callers could keep the group moving smoothly

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 2:42PM
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west_gardener

Oh I know what it is, in Norway it was called ("Reinlender"), and in Sweden ("schottis"). It was a form of country dances, like the polka. I also danced the Rhumba, Tango, the Latin dances.
The sinful part to dance came only when Rock&Roll came around, and we sneaked into the movie, Rock-around-the-clock. I still feel the urge to dance when I think about the songs in that movie. Fun memories.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 7:39PM
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west_gardener

It is interesting gandle, that you should mention the participation of the Czech community in your neck of the woods.

When we lived in Pittsburgh, PA, there was a large population of Scandahowians in the area and we got together and held festivals.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 8:38PM
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west_gardener

Lol, lilod, I've worn both hoop and poodle skirts, and the crinolines nearly killed me.

Hoop Skirts

Poodle Skirts

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 9:41PM
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mjmercer

Closest I ever came to this was doing the Virginia Reel in phys ed class in grade school. Groups of eight, 4 boy/girl pairs if I remember correctly.

This reminds of a locally-produced country music show that ran on one of the TV stations when I was about that same age. "The Slim Wilson Show" featuring square dance caller L.D. Keller and his dancers, The Promenaders.

Good grief, the things we store in our memory banks! :o)

Karen

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 9:46PM
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mwoods

crinolines. Good grief I remember when I was a freshman in high school in Oklahoma,and we would dip our crinolines in sugar water to make them stiff. It worked way better than starch. Only problem was that when it was hot outside and you sat in them,your legs would get sticky. Thank God by the next year crinolines were out and straight skirts were in.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 9:07AM
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calliope(6)

Barn dances were a weekly part of life in rural Missouri because it was cheap and it was fun. My in-laws were all musical but the only thing I could really play was a radio. They really were held in vacant, old barns, however. My MIL's brother Karl was in one of the bands, and when the musicians would take a break, family members would flood the instruments and belt out music until they came back.

It's interesting to note the types of music played often spoke to the origins of the town folk. I remember most of the music were old country songs, but they were interspersed frequently with polkas because most of the farmers were of German descent. No horns in the groups however, just banjos, fiddles, guitars and drums. Those were good, good memories and also a part of every family get-together. The instruments came with the family to dinner. Mom played the piano and she'd be out in the kichen with the other women washing up the dishes and the urge would overcome her so strongly, she'd rush into the parlour wiping her hands on her apron, flip back the cover and start pounding the keys. Everyone would laugh.

I wonder, do they even teach dancing of any sort in school now?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 9:54AM
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kathyjane(z6VA)

Marda, you brought back memories by sharing yours----
I used to dance the Polka with my Mom, too.
We'd whirl around the restaurant floor, around and around!
I could never dance it with a boy, though---
we'd get all tangled up and laugh!
Mom and I would waltz together, also....happy sigh...

Gandle, this sure is a fun post; thanks!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 10:30AM
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don_socal

My parents were big Lawrence Welk fans and we never missed the show. Myron Floren and Welk could do a mean accordion duet and the polkas were plentiful. Learned to polka in the living room with Mom and sisters.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 12:59PM
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mwoods

Hey Don...welcome back. It's great seeing you post. Suzy,I just asked 17 year old grand kid if he ever had dancing in school and he said yes,he had it a few weeks ago and "Thank God it's over. We all hated it." They did the same stuff we used to do...square dancing and folk dancing.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 1:42PM
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west_gardener

Lol,at the suagar dip. Never did that, we used corn starch and found that the moths liked the corn starch and flocked around us.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 7:11PM
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oscarthecat(z7MD)

Oh yes they were. Grafmillers Barn on half moon prairie just a few miles north of Spokane. They milked cows on one side and held Saturday night dances on the other. Steve now in Stevens County

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 10:51AM
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kathyjane(z6VA)

Steve----where ya been?!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 12:22PM
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oscarthecat(z7MD)

Well on the 29th of March I climbed into my Toyota 4runner and Zoomed out here to Chewelah Washington. Snow still on the mountains around here. Chewelah is 41 mi north of Spokane. Just starting to warm up. The summer is so beautiful people are willing to put up with the other 364 days. Steve in Stevens County.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 5:03PM
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mawheel

Steve, is this a permanent move? If so, I'm glad for you, b/c I always had the feeling that that area is where your heart is/was. However, sad to know you'll no longer be in the Baltimore/D.C. area.

Stay well, be happy, and post often!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 6:03PM
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oscarthecat(z7MD)

No just a long summer vacation. Then I will go back to being Steve in Baltimore County.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 11:04AM
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mawheel

Yay!!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 5:57PM
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