Donau Dancers

To promote and preserve our rich culture and heritage, introduce our community to traditional Donauschwaben folk dancing, to instill a love and appreciation for dance and to be a symbol of Donauschwaben culture in Canada.

The Donau Dancers of the Schwaben Club is an ever-evolving group of dancers committed to the evolution of Donauschwaben folkdance. The group began in 2001 and includes dancers over the age of 35 years, with no upper limit.

The inspiration for the Donau Dancers group was the “Trachtengruppe”, a large, active Schwaben Club senior dance group which performed from the 1970’s to 1994.

The Donau Dancers have brought their unique dances and costumes to many events; cultural, corporate, local, and international. They have been involved in numerous multicultural festivals in Canada and abroad, travelling to Philadelphia, Cleveland, Detroit, Mansfield, Frankenmuth, Toronto, and Windsor.

During the Kitchener Oktoberfest, North America’s largest Bavarian festival, the dancers are always a hit, and have thrilled audiences at numerous venues throughout the region. They also march in Canada’s grand Thanksgiving parade. Building new relationships with other Donauschwaben groups and instilling a love and appreciation for dance come hand in hand with the Donau Dancers.

If you are interested in joining the Donau Dancers or wanting to book the dance group for a performance, please call the Schwaben Club at 519-742-7979.

Dance practices take place Sunday evenings at 6:30pm.   All are welcome!

Our Repertoire

The Donau Dancers is a group which believes in exploring traditional folkdances and perhaps converting them into a unique experience using imagination and skill. Because the Donauschwaben homeland follows the Danube River, these include dances from southern Germany, Austria, the Czech and Slovak Republics, former Republic of Yugoslavia, Hungary, Romania, and Russia. The core focus of the group is on “Donau-Schwäbische Tänze” and keeping those traditional dances alive.

To add a further challenge, the group’s repertoire contains a series of folkdances performed to contemporary German hits. This means that their dances range from the slower, traditional style to the energetic, out-of-the-box style.

The Costume

The Ladies’ Dirndl consists of a black skirt worn with a plaid or green apron. A white cotton blouse is worn under a black vest. This blouse is either eyelet or lace-trimmed.  The dirndl is worn with nylons and black shoes.

The Ladies’ Formal Costume is the traditional ”Tracht”. It consists of a flowered, pleated skirt with a black apron tied in the back. A white cotton blouse is worn under a black vest. Under the “Tracht” are two starched, white petticoats. White socks and black shoes are worn with this outfit.

The Men’s Tracht is a black vest with silver buttons and the club crest over the heart. This is worn with a white dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up above the elbows and black dress pants. Any leather-soled black dress shoe can be worn, with black socks. Many men also carry pins on their vests.

The Committee

The Donau Dancer group is run by a group of committed members. Committee members must also be a Schwaben Club member. The current Committee members are:





Costume Director:

Dance Instructor:

Joanne Holland

Kathy Bechtloff

Ed Ries

Tina McQuabbie

Helga Peller-Eberl