Portafest @ Porta Westfalica

Day 2

Day 4

Today we were to join several German dance teams, both local and from elsewhere in Germany, for a Tanzfest at Porta Westfalica - or rather, on top of a hill outside Porta Westfalica, next to the memorial to Kaiser Wilhelm. So we were up early, packed, loaded, delivered Sue to the station to head back to work, and ascended the hill (which we could hardly see for low cloud).

As we got out of the bus and prepared for dancing the low cloud deposited its contents upon us. Adults huddled under umbrellas...

...though it didn't stop the youngsters from dancing.

The decision was made to relocate to a school in the town below, and it was all hands to load the truck, never mind if you're wearing 100 year old kit.

From the monument you could see that it was a necessary decision - the boards wouldn't have dried for some time.

So we processed in convoy to the school, hundreds of dancers in an enclosed space making it moderately warm, especially for a tiger.

Tables were provided...

... as we sat and awaited the action.

The dancing started with the youngest...

...many of the dances being German standards, the Zugvogel youth team joined in.

We were asked to lead a "typically English" dance - we chose a dance Alan calls (Downfield Snowball?) and demonstrated it with ladies from Minden Rose and men from Zugvogel.

The dance proved popular with the German dancers...

...and it worked well...

...despite the band only picking a tune a few minutes before.

The tiger made an impression, especially on the younger visitors, who got rather excited and pulled his tail off (it's only slightly longer than the wurst we had for lunch). So Meld had to play "PIN THE TAIL ON THE TIGER".

Some of the German sides wore original traditional costumes dating back over 100 years. The more money you had the bigger your hat - these specifmens came in large wooden crates.

Much of the dancing was accompanied by the resident band.

There was variety in style and colour in the costumes.

And variety in age too!

We were privileged to be asked to give a display - Alton Morris...

..and the Rose...

...which we enjoyed even if it wasn't perfect.

In any case, our two biggest dances filled the floor and made an impression on our audience.

In order to watch the dancing it was necessary to sit on the floor around the edges...

...or lie (the tiled floor was deliciously cool, though when the tiger arose there was a large damp patch).

There were further opportunities to join in with the dancing.

Or to sit (lie) out if that's what takes your fancy. Headline for the Alton Herald: "Former Mayor Paralytic Drunk at German Festival"

As the afternoon drew on the senior groups performed, in their impressive costumes and complex moves.

Zugvogel danced some more.

Ike only learnt the dance the night before - lucky she's got Flo to guide her. (We'd never do that, would we Liz?)

Peggy got her man!

Sadly my battery expired just as one group performed a dance involving baskets and flying females.

And then it was time to go - it was still a long way to Hamburg, especially on the coach. Before leaving though we got a group photo - the group now known as "Zug Rose and Minden Vogel".

Day 2

Day 4