more than 70 years, audiences all over the U.S., Canada, and Europe, have turned
out to watch the colorful "Dirndls" twirl into the arms of Lederhosen-clad "slap
dancers" as S.T.V. Bavaria performs.
Schuhplattling in Cleveland dates back to the early 20's when four
couples joined the German-Austrian singing society "Blau Donau."
group of Alpine dancers, singers, and musicians would later form the Schuhplattler
und Bauerngruppe Blaue Donau.
In January of 1966, various Schuhplattler
groups from the U.S. and Canada united
to form the Gauverband
Nordamerika, which also holds a bi-annual convention and dance
competitions. On October
21, 1966, members of the Schuhplattler und Bauerngruppe Blaue Donau voted
to become independent of their parent singing society and remain in the Gau.
Thus, the Schuhplattler und Trachtenverein "Bavaria" as
it is known today, was formed.
SPECIAL NOTE ON GAUFEST 2011 & BEYERISCHE LOEWE 2012
Every other year, Cleveland Oktoberfest's own STV Bavaria participates in a North American competition (Gauverband Nordamerika) against eighty-two member organizations. In 2011 "Bavaria" traveled to Orlando where they placed 1st in the group competition! They also had couples place 1st and 2nd in the 60 and over category. By virtue of their win, "Bavaria" was invited to compete at the Bayerische Loewe (Bavarian Lion) in Germany, where they will face off against the best of the best from all the Schuhplattln clubs in Bavaria! The competition is on May 19th of 2012 in the small town of Gauting.
Winning is nothing new for STV Bavaria. This marks the 8th time they've won the North American championship. "Bavaria" has finished 2nd twice, 3rd twice, and has not finished out of the top ten in the country in over forty years! We congratulate them on their outstanding cultural achievements and wish them continued success, especially in Germany.
May, 1972, about 1,200 dancers and guests came
to Cleveland to dedicate the club's flag at St. John's Cathedral. During
that same year, Steve Bencic started the Oktoberfest where "Bavaria"
continues to entertain hundreds of thousands every Labor Day weekend.
In 1973 STV dancers placed first in the Gaufest in
Washington, DC, and have since brought back to Cleveland 7 gold medals and
various other honors.
Bavaria consists of a children's
group and a teen through adult group, each performing dances
from the Tyrol region in Europe, wearing authentic costumes or "tracht."