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Volkstänze are dances that everyone can do; they are meant to get the audience on the dance floor. Many of them have been done since the Middle Ages and are an integral part of the Bavarian culture we uphold. Here is a list of common Volkstänze with instructions, including the Auftanz which is the perfect way to get people out of their seats. They are also perfect first dances to teach to Jugend!
  • Siebenschritt by Karin Dean-Kraft and Rick Michels
  • Bauernmadl  by Karin Dean-Kraft and Rick Michels
  • Kikeriki by Karin Dean-Kraft and Rick Michels
  • Hiatamadl by Karin Dean-Kraft and Rick Michels
  • Dätscher by Heidi von Recklinghausen, Gaujugendvertreterin
  • Auftanz by Betty Heyman and Kent Hibben
  • Volkstänze - link to Gauverband I Tänze website with instructions for 25 dances and music, including music for the above dances
  • Steieregger -- by Tom Vogt

At the 2022 Gaufest, Donald LaCourse of SG Edelweiss St. Paul, taught a workshop consisting of three Volkstänze. The workshop was based on the dances choreographed by Ingeborg Heinrichsen. She developed more than 40 dances to old and new folk music pieces. In 2019, Der Verein für Volkslieder und Volksmusik honored her life work, publishing a book and CDs of her dances, "Bairisch Tanz'n, zwischen Tradition und Geselligkeit." From this extensive list, the three dances were taught. The links below take you to instructions, sheet music, and videos which can be downloaded.

Schuhplattler is what Bavarian and Alpine dancing performances are best known for. In this dance, the men stomp, clap, and strike the soles of their shoes (Schuhe), thighs, and knees with their hands held flat (platt), while the ladies turn, and they then dance a Landler together. There are more than 150 basic Schuhplattlers; here is a list of just a few of them:

A dance can have the same name and music, but the Plattler itself varies from town to town, Verein to Verein, and Gauverband to Gauverband. One Plattler has at least 12 known variations!

These are more complex than Volkstänze, but often not as physically demanding as a Schuhplattler. They consist of complex figures and sometimes tell a story or represent a profession and often include props, such as wreathes, poles and ribbons, farm tools, or even mining tools. Here is a list of common Trachtentänze:


Gruppenpreisplatteln and Einzelpreisplatteln are dancing competitions in which groups of dancers from a Verein or a single pair of dancers perform a Plattler in front of a set of Richter (judges), and are judged on timing, spacing, posture, how well the skirts bell when the ladies turn, whether the men's "hits" are sharp and well timed, Ländler timing, and Tracht. Recorded music (mp3 files) for both the Gruppenpreisplatteln and Einzelpreisplatteln format of dancing can be found under Resources/Music.

The rules governing the dance are contained in the Preisplatteln Rules sections of the Bylaws and Rules of the Gauverband and can only be changed at the biennial Delegates Meeting, held in "even" years. The official rules are updated after each Delegates Meeting and posted on the Gauverband website. The competing Vereine and individuals should be sure to consult the latest Operating Rules under "About Us/ Report-Minutes" or click here.

For more specifc information about Preisplatteln or the Bayerischer Löwe, please go to the Preisplatteln page.  For winners of the competitions, go to the "Gaufeste" tab and select the Gaufest.


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