About Us

The Rathkamp German Folk Dancers (Die Rathkamp Deutsche Volkstanzgruppe) were established by Monroe and Betty Rathkamp in 1959, and have been going strong ever since!  We strive to preserve and perpetuate the folk dances, customs and culture of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and to cultivate a public appreciation of these by performing in authentic costume accompanied by traditional music.

Because dancing is something all can enjoy as a family regardless of age, our group has always maintained its family focus by including children and even grandchildren in our performances.  We especially enjoy involving our audiences -- young and old alike -- in our audience-participation dances!

Our repertoire includes dances from all over Germany, Austria and Switzerland: beautiful and graceful Ländlers with their many figures; Schuhplattlers (foot slapping dances) from Bavaria and Austria; guild (occupational) dances such as Mühlradl (Millwheel) which represents the grinding of grain, and Die Hammerschmiedgesell’n (blacksmith journeymen); wedding dances; and many other folk dances.

Our everyday folk dress includes Lederhosen for the men and Dirndls for the women.  Our special-occasion festive folk dress ("Festtracht") is a Miesbacher Tracht (i.e. from the Miesbach region of Bavaria, Germany).

Our exposure to the Gauverband Nordamerika became the seed for the Rathkamp German Folk Dancers taking the lead in forming, in April 1990, a federation of German folk dance groups in the state of Texas which later became known as the "Deutscher Volkstanzverband Texas" (German Folk Dance Association of Texas),  an association which unites all the German folk dance groups in Texas.  In 1994 we became charter members of the American Federation of German Folk Dance Groups and were represented at the 1997 Bundesvolkstanztreffen in Erfurt, Germany.

In addition to performing for festivals, schools, churches, private parties, etc., we also teach German folk dances to German language students of all ages.  We have performed all over the state of Texas, as well as several states throughout the USA.  We have even performed in Vancouver , Canada as well as in Germany.

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