In 2003, the first Western Canadian Schuhplattler Workshop (WCSW) was hosted by the Schuhplattler Verein Enzian in Calgary. It was a very successful weekend and we decided to host the next one in Vancouver on the weekend of March 26-28, The event this time was a little larger than the one in 2003 - we had the groups from Calgary, Edmonton, Victoria, us and Seattle, approximately 75 dancers and tag-a-longs! The weekend started with a get to know you at the AVC on Friday evening with much Gemutlichkeit, music and commaraderie prevailing. A club member even organized some fun Austrian folkdances to get us warmed up for the Saturday morning. Even though the night was not too late, 9am Saturday morning came fast.
We all met at the club with the workshop to get underway at 9:30. Enzian Schuhplattlers from Seattle (ES) were first up with teaching the Auerhahn, then came the Victoria Edelweiss Dancers (VED) with the Birkensteiner Gloeckerl. The members of the ES entertained us just before lunch with a few numbers using the whips, a very interesting traditional activity. Don't get too close! We had a much deserved lunch break with a wonderful spread organized by some of our dancers. We and The Bavarian Schuhplattlers of Edmonton (BSE) did not teach a dance this year so that ES and VED would have a chance. After the lunch, Schuhplattler Verein Enzian (SVE) taught us 2 dances - the men learned the Wendelsteiner and the women were taught the DirndlRadl, a dance created by the SVE. We then ran through the Heidauer, which we taught last year, to be the group plattler that evening. WHEW - lots of hard work but it's not over yet! We all left the club at approximately 3:30 only to return again at 6:00 for a buffet meal. Our club outdid themselves with the roast beef, Schnitzel and potato salad, just to name a few of the items served. The band, Al Pichler & The Alpiners, started us of with a grand march where we showed off all the participants and the flags of Austria, Canada, Germany, United States, British Columbia, Alberta, Washington and the Austrian provinces.
Lots of social dancing was started with the first performance by ES, followed by SVE, BSE and the VED. Our performance was in the 2nd band break. Following us, we had all groups join us on the dance floor to perform the Heidauer - that was a lot of people! The band continued to play until 12:30 and then the spontaneous dancing started. The groups that were remaining did various other dances to "show off". Many people who had stayed that late said that this was almost more fun than the earlier performances. We all packed up with plans to come back in the morning for a light brunch. Light.....it was a huge meal. We all now got a chance to sit down, relax, and talk about everything under the sun...from music, Schuhplattler and Tracht to Germany and Austria. Most people started to depart at about noon with cries of "See you in Edmonton in 2006!".
We were lucky that it was not a typical March weekend and that there was only a little rain on Friday and the rest of the weekend was clear. We would like to thank all participants and our club for making it a successful weekend and we look forward to being in Edmonton in 2006.