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Kathy's PicHi, my name is Kathy Hulse and I write interviews for Keyman's Corner.
In our travels we run into many people that like to dance to polka and
waltz music. Our mission is to seek out these young couples and encourage them to have fun listening and dancing to this music.

Kathy Was Crowned The 2008/2009 Duncanfest Queen


Brianna Pic

Sunday October 28, 2012, Tim and I went to the Turner Hall at Keystone, Iowa. Becky and The Ivanhoe Dutchmen played from 1:30Pm to 4:30Pm. There was a good crowd assembled in the hall.

As I have mentioned before in my articles Tim and I are always interested in helping others learn to dance and keeping, especially younger people, interested in Old Time Music. As we were dancing we saw a young gal dancing polka with an acquaintance of ours, Lee. At the end of the dance we visited with Lee and he introduced us to his grand daughter, Brianna. Lee reminded me I had interviewed his other grand daughter, Alyssa, earlier this year. Brianna agreed to an interview with me.

Brianna attends school in Brooklyn, Iowa. She is 14 years old. She said she remembers her grandpa teaching her to dance when she was about 6 years old. Grandpa would turn on the polka music in the kitchen and they would dance around the room. Everyone got a turn at dancing.

She said she has been going to the dances for a couple of years. Her first Old Time Dance she attended was at Malcom, Iowa. She has attended dances where Becky's Ivanhoe Dutchmen and Lyle Beaver have performed. She dances polka, waltz and foxtrots well. Polka is the dance she enjoys most. Tim danced a couple of polkas with her and I danced a few fox trots with Brianna.

Brianna is a great young polka dancer doing a fabulous job with her dancing. We look forward to seeing Brianna and her family at more dances.



Kathy & Kaitlin

On Saturday, May 26, 2012, at The Knight's of Columbus, at the Ennis, Texas, National Czech Polka Fest, I met Kaitlin Orsac, Miss Texas Czech-Slovac Queen, 2012.

Kaitlin is a 2012 Graduate from Ennis, Texas. She said she has lived in Ennis, Texas All her life. She competed with 2 other girls for Miss Texas Czech-Slovak in a private personal interview, an on-stage interview and a talent contest. She won numerous prizes Including a free trip to the Czech Republic.

Kaitlin will be attending college in the fall and will be busy with planning her Czech Republic trip. I want to extend my congratulations to Kaitlin. I know she will be a fine Miss Texas Czech-Slovak Queen representative when she visits The Czech Republic.



Sheridan & Caleb Pic

On May 26, 2012, Saturday night after Malek's were done playing at Sokol Hall Tim and I went to listen to Brave Combo at the KTJ Hall. We arrived at 7:30pm. There were no bands playing till 8:30pm. The hall was really full of people, young and really young! There were lots of parents there with their children. Tim and I were the minority for a change. This was great seeing so many young people at a Czech polka dance. As it grew Closer to 8:30pm the hall was getting crowded.

Then the Brave Combo Band started playing with a very fast polka. It was amazing how many kids and parents were out on the floor dancing. They all went around the floor in a circle as one should. I was impressed how fast they were hopping and dancing and not running into each other. They were obviously experienced at this speed of dancing! Tim and I danced a few polkas, but had to sit down after a couple to rest.

I talked to a couple of young people, Sheridan and Caleb, who were out on the dance floor a lot. Sheridan is 13 years old and Caleb is 14 years old. They said they both grew up with polka music. Whenever someone has a wedding they have a polka band and everyone dances polka and waltz. Let me tell you this couple flies around the dance floor. They are excellent dancers. Tim and I encouraged them to continue their dancing and to keep up the good work!


At KJT Hall at the National Czech Polka Fest in Ennis, Texas, on May 26, 2012, Saturday night, Tim and I were dancing and met another young couple, Marie and Zack who are both 16 years of age. They dance great polka and waltz together. We visited with them about their dancing.

Marie said she is Czech. She learned polka dancing with her parents. Zack is German and also learned very young to dance polka. Zack's grandma taught him to dance polka. They attend polka, wedding dances and like the exercise it gives them.

Zack and Marie are a great young couple enjoying great exercise and fun music together. We hope to see them at more polka fests.



John & Britta Pic

Tim and I met 2 fine young polka dancers, Sunday, March 25, 2012, at Turner Hall in Keystone, Iowa. I would like you to meet John and Britta. They are a young couple who reside in Marion, Iowa. John is 37 years old and Britta is 24 years old.

Britta is from Germany and moved to Iowa from Prescott, Arizona. She is employed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Although Britta has a very strong German decent she was not introduced to polka before she met John. She said John introduced her to old time dancing about 1 years ago at The Ponderosa Ballroom in Walford, Iowa. She and John like to dance polka and waltz together. They Have danced the schottische a couple of times, but Britta says it is not yet her favorite dance. I can relate to what she is saying. I am sure all you ladies out there remember learning to schottische. It took me dancing it 5-6 times before I could remember which way I was to turn at the right time! I also remembering thinking the guys have it easy. All they have to do is move a few steps each way and wait for the next gal to come their way!

John remembers Becky's Ivanhoe Dutchmen being the first polka band he heard. He started listening to old time music in 2005. His mom and dad, Norma and Paul, introduced him to polka music. John has also danced to Malek's Fishermen Band. He has attended most all of the Becksterfest Polka Fests.

John and Britta like learning the dances as they attend dances. They feel it is less stressful and more fun than taking dance lessons where the instructors expect performance. Polka is their dance of choice! They are impressed with other polka dancers that are always willing to help them learn new steps. They prefer to work at their dancing at dances and have fun along the way.

One of the things they are impressed with is watching older people staying active. Each couple has their own dance style. It is impressive to see people in their 80's, 90's and even a few people in their 100's with their walkers and canes enjoying themselves. Everyone here is having a great time enjoying the music!



       MEET ALYSSAAlyssa Pic

Tim and I have a mission to introduce polka and waltz and help young people become involved with old time music. We are happy to teach someone how to polka and/or waltz. I will be continuing to interview young people we see at dance events and ask them how they feel about polka and how they became interested in this music.

On Sunday, March 25, 2012, Tim and I were excited when we walked into Turner Hall in Keystone, Iowa, where Becky and Ivanhoe Dutchmen where performing. There was a young gal dancing polka quite well. I later visited with her. Her name was Alyssa. I asked her if she would do an interview for the Polkarrific website. She gave me a big " smile " and said sure. We decided to meet at the next break.

Alyssa is a 10th grader from Guernsey, Iowa. Alyssa said she had a free afternoon and thought it would be fun to spend it dancing with her grandma and grandpa. She has a bubbly personality and not afraid to tell me she enjoys dancing old time music. She has been dancing since she was in 1st grade. She would be visiting her grandparents when her grandpa, Lee, would turn on old time music and ask her if she wanted to dance. He also taught his sons, and other grandchildren to dance polka. She looks to her grandpa as her dance mentor. She dances polka, waltz and fox trot well.

Alyssa encourages her friends to dance polka and waltz. She said it is not easy, because it is not popular with young folks. She has a "Bucket List" with some of her friends. They have agreed that Alyssa will teach them how to dance in the near future. She also said it is a great pass time and enjoys herself when she is dancing.

She has danced to Becky's band numerous times in the past and looks forward to attending more dances with her grandma, Bev, and grandpa, Lee.



Preliminary State Polka Fest Planning Meeting, December 19, 2009

Tim and I left Des Moines Saturday at 9 AM for Waterloo to meet with officers from The Cedar Valley Chapter, Polka Club of Iowa. The chapter is wanting to sponsor a state polka fest. Tim and I said we would help them plan the event.

We stopped in Dysart to look around at the town and to view options where the fest could Be held. We stopped at the community center and visited with some people who live in Dysart. We told them about the proposed polka fest. These folks were excited to hear There could be a fest held in their town. They also have children who are interested in Polka and would be interested in taking lessons at the fest.

We also stopped by the city park, which has a large ball park. It could be a possibility To bring in a dance floor covered with a tent if it would take place in the summer time.

We arrived at Rick and Jean's house in Waterloo at 12:30 PM. Shortly after Cindy and Lance, Al and Marlene, and Veryl and Marlene arrived. There was also a gentleman, Dwayne, from the Dysart Development Corporation to offer assistance with the fest Planning. He suggested offering a wine tasting festival the same time as the fest if all goes as Planned. We threw around ideas of where in Dysart would be the best location to have the fest. The two choices would most likely be the community center or the park bringing, in a dance floor with a tent. We also discussed asking vendors to purchase booths for a small fee. The idea is to attract People of all ages and to especially reach out to families and young people. We would like to have competition races or activities for the younger crowd.

This would be a 1 day event with 8 hours of music. We would like to have 2 polka bands. We are looking at having the fest in 2011. The final date has not been determined as we are checking to be sure it does not conflict with other fests and dances. Nothing is for certain as of this time. We are looking at all options. Maybe another option would be to ask the Central Chapter to kick in on this event. Tim and I said our good byes to everyone and left for Des Moines at 3PM to see the Barry Boyce Polka Band at the Hessen Haus.


My first experience at an Oktoberfest was 10 years ago in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I remember lots and lots of people standing everywhere. They were listening to German Polkas and waltzes and having a great time. There were even some people dancing on the tables ! 

Since then I have attended Oktoberfests the last 2 years. Each one is different and unique in it's own way. Of course each of these festivals begins with the "tapping of the keg". The native German " Proast " is also part of each beginning Oktoberfest. I have heard many different " Prosts ". They all pretty much begin with " I'm Prosit, I'm Prosit and then each one has their own version of Prosts. 

It is to my understanding that Oktoberfest was originated after Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Theresa's wedding celebration. Their celebration lasted 2 weeks in Germany in late 1700's. This celebration has been sparred off to be the largest celebration in the world. A couple of major cities that father themselves after the Germany fests are Milwaukee, Wisconsin, New Orleans, Louisiana & Cleveland Ohio.

The gentlemen like to dress in their Lederhosen. Many men also wear a "hoot" decorated with their hatpins. The gals wear Dirndl or Maiden attire. The Dirndl will often have an apron. The original purpose of the apron was to help keep their dress clean. There will often be 1 or 2 boarders around the bottom of the Dirndl. If there is one boarder it means the gal is single. If there are two boarders it means she is married.

It is a lot of fun to watch the children while they are watching the bands play and the people dance. They are mesmerized with all the activity. You can see them bouncing with the beat of the music. They sit or stand and bounce with the music. They quickly learn how to polka.

To me it is an x-tra special Oktoberfest when the staff joins in with the crowd with the dancing. It tends to involve the people and everyone has a great time socializing with everyone. You leave the event having made new friends and looking forward to the next year 's Oktoberfest. 


Plans were made for July18, 2009, to gather at Tim and Kathy's house to work on the State Fair Polka Float and a practice Jam session.

Don, Mae, Craig, Polka Bob, Dick, Vanessa, and Mary arrived around 10:00 AM. They all started right in working on taking nails out of the donated, used lumber we had received. Everyone pitched in and was working hard.

At noon Mae and I cooked up hamburgers and hot dogs people had brought. We all sat down for a break to refurbish ourselves. While we were eating Al and Tuba Don arrived for the afternoon jamming session. They sat down with us and enjoyed some lunch.

After lunch Virginia showed up with her accordion. We had music for the neighborhood with Al and Virginia on their accordions, Tuba Don on bass and me on my clarinet. Tim brought out the 2-button box and played Barbara Polka for us. Tim and I are in the beginning stages so we played a little and then let the professionals get on with their real practicing.

By the time everyone was ready to leave at 3:30 PM the platform for the float was built. We felt we had a productive day. We want to thank everyone for all their help and assistance. It was a fun day sharing time and socializing with our polka 

                                                                        ( Click On Pic To Enlarge )

Stripping Boards 
Stripping Boards
Drawing The Diagram 
Drawing the Diagram
More Planning 
More Planning
Fun While Working 
Fun While Working
Hard Workers 
Hard Workers
More Team Work 
More Team Work
Break Time
Break Time
Tim & Don 
Tim and Don
Lunch With Rhythm 
Lunch with Rhythm
 Don, Dick, & Tim
Don, Dick, & Tim
Mae & Don
Mae and Dick
Music While Working 
Music While Working
Don, Al, & Virginia 
Don, Al and Virginia
Jam Session
Jam Session