A few flakes of snow were falling just outside JaZams at Peddler’s Village last Friday night as the River Valley Schuhplatter Troupe danced in their traditional German lederhosen. The event was Peddler’s Village “Kick-Off to the Holidays,” and the temperature dipped into the mid-30s.
“We nearly froze,” said one of the kids afterwards, “but what an adventure!”
The 17 dancers, aged nine to 11, were part of an after-school German club at River Valley Waldorf School in Upper Black Eddy. They have been performing their “River Valley Plattler” all across Upper Bucks County since last spring. Hoping to bring a bit of German culture to Pennsylvania, they have danced their way into the hearts of area residents.
The Schuhplattler is a traditional shoe-slapping dance from Bavaria that was invented more than a thousand years ago. Along with the basic dance steps, the River Valley version has plenty of slapping, tugging, shoving and acrobatics to keep the audience cheering.
After the dance, the River Valley troupe offered to give free lessons to spectators, but there were no takers. It was too cold, say organizers.