It all starts right here! The Donauschwaben Society's “Kindergruppe” is a children's folk dance group that consists of boys and girls between the ages of 3 and 13 years. The goal of the group is to make it a fun and enriching experience for the children while learning about the rich German Heritage through traditional songs and dances. The group is led by former dance group members who teach the kids how dances were performed in the old country. We usually practice every other Friday night in the main hall at our clubhouse in Des Plaines. Practice sessions begin at 7:00pm and usually lasts for 45 minutes to one hour. The children learn basic polka and waltz steps along with dances that incorporate coordination and figures. Traditional german children’s songs are also incorporated into the program. Practice is usually followed by treats for the kids. Parents should be present at practice for information, upcoming performances and other upcoming events.

Being of direct German descent or knowledge of the German language or prior dance experience is not required to join but the children will learn some German vocabulary along the way.

Our “Kinder” will strut their stuff at various events throughout the year. The group performs at most Donauschwaben functions as well as other events in the community (church festivals, Mother’s Day, Maifest, Oktoberfests, Hofbräuhaus, etc). During performances the boys wear a collared white button-down shirt with a black “leiwl” and black pants while the girls wear a dress called a “dirndl”. The Kindergruppe also has several fundraisers throughout the year in order to support itself.

If you or someone you know is interested in joining or you just want your kids (or grandkids) to take a “test drive” with no obligation to join this awesome group please contact us at

A small sample of german words the children will “accidentally” learn:

“KIndergruppe” - children’s group

“Jugendgruppe” - youth group

“Tanzgruppe” - dance group

“Leiwl” - a traditional vest worn by boys & men

“Dirndl” - a traditional german dress in the Alpine peasant style

“Oma“ - grandmother

“Opa” - grandfather

“Kirchweih” - annual anniversary of the consecration of the church

“Strauss” - also known as the “Kirchweihstrauss” - a bouquet made up of decorated rosemary bush branches