Chronicle 2005

Graduation in Pskov

Another square dance seminar trip to Russia. It took place on 10th – 18th May with 9 angels and caller Eberhard. They took a plane to Riga and continued to Pskov by minibus. Ellen and Hans had travelled there by campervan to provide additional support from Germany. Everyone was very pleased that the square dancers from Petrozavodsk arrived on the Saturday (May 14th) after a long, overnight coach journey. So that the highlight of the Square Dance event could be a joint graduation with 12 dancers from Pskov and 8 from Petrozavodsk. Local television and daily papers reported live from the event.

The graduated dancers wore the badge of the GRSDF with the name and coat of arms of their respective home towns. Eberhard initiated the two new callers, Katja and Anton from Pskov, further into the secrets of calling.

On Sunday morning there was a joint farewell dance ending with a friendship ring. Our friends from Petrozavodsk had to set off on their approximate 750 km long return journey.

The seminar was enriched by well-organised excursions, lots of enjoyable square sancing and great warmheartedness.

Foundation of a 2nd Russian club branch in Pskov

During this trip the 2nd club branch called Deutsch-Russische Square Dance Freunde Sektion Pskov (German Russian Square Dance Friends – Section Pskov) was also founded.

The first board of the club branch is composed as follows: president and caller Katja Ershova, vice-president Irina Shirokova and treasurer Elena Nazarova.

Visitors from Pskov

Seven of the 12 graduated square dancers from Pskov visited Germany on May 26th – June 6th. The first stop over was with Wolfgang and Gerhard in Berlin where they had several club visits. The dancers from Pskov then went on to visit Eberhard and Traudel in Crailsheim / Braunsbach. They visited a club evening of the Kuni-Hill-Runners in Lauf on May 31st and continued their journey to visit Ernst and Karin as well as Oskar and Gertrud in Lauf / Nuremberg. By the time the 2nd club evening took place they had visited square dance clubs, such as the Honeycakes in Nuremberg, the Squampfis in Amberg and the Spinning Needles in Schwabach.

2nd Fundraiser in Germany

The 2nd Charity Event took place on June 4th in Lauf near Nuremberg. The Kuni-Hill-Runners were instrumental in organising this event. More than 300 dancers from 75 clubs danced for 6 hours to the calls of Chris Kiendl, Uli Schingen, Eberhard Walz and MC Volker Richter. One of the highlights was the joint calling of the song "Those Were The Days" in Russian by Katja, Anton and Eberhard. The event was a resounding success. Proven by the fact that there were still 14 squares on the floor when Uli Schingen called the last dance.

Vice-president Karin Briesemeister attended our event as the representative of EAASDC. Elena, Irina, Nadezda, Svetlana N., Svetlana R., caller Katja and caller Anton were our guests from the Square Dance Section Pskov / Russia.

On behalf of the club Ernst Schott (president), Eberhard Walz (vice-president) and Oskar Bachsleitner (treasurer) gave thanks to all visitors, helpers, friends, callers, the organisers, the town of Lauf, the shop, registration, anyone who had donated to the raffle, the clothing donations and the second hand clothes shop of the GRSDF, for the coffee and cake in the afternoon, for the local delicacies from the Franken area in the evening. Particular thanks went to the Kuni-Hill-Runners SDC, Lauf for their contributions towards making the 2nd Charity Event in aid of the introduction and dissemination of square dancing in Russia such a success.

Katja wrote a glowing report on the trip and square dance experiences in Germany in the September 2005 issue of the EAASDC Bulletin.

Journey to St. Peterburg and starting a new class

Due to its central location (amongs other things also between Pskov and Petrozavodsk), its many visitors (4-5 million each year) and its size (about 4.7 million inhabitants) St. Petersburg is vitally important for the development of square dancing in Russia.

This is the reason behind Eberhard and Traudel organised the 6th square dance trip to Russia on September 22nd – 29th. This time the 19 participants included two square dance friends from the USA (Jim and Betsy) and two from Belgium (Johnny and Helga). Demonstrating that the group was active proof of the concept of international understanding. Six goup members had prepared themselves to act as angels for the new class during the river cruise of 12 days duration from Moscow to St. Petersburg.

The German-Russian Meeting Centre in St. Petersburg had done a great job in organising the seminar (both the rooms and the publicity). On Saturday and Sunday the square dancers from Pskov paid a visit and helped practicing with the dancing.

Svetlana Stern from St. Petersburg discovered her interest in calling, so that further cover of the class was assured.

Laying the foundations for Murmansk

Lena, a visitor from Murmansk, also took part in this class. She showed great interest in square dancing and asked Eberhard if he would be interested in teaching square dancing north of the polar circle in Murmansk.