BY CAROLINE MILLER – CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Susquehanna students and alumni will have the opportunity to perform with the Pleasant Valley Dancers at Oktoberfest celebrations on Sept. 26 and Oct. 2 and 3. The dancers, under the direction of Natalia Holt, adjunct professor of dance at Susquehanna, will showcase dances from various regions of Germany in Millheim, Pennsylvania on Sept. 26, in Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania on Oct. 2 and 3 and on campus on Oct. 3.
The dances range in difficulty and consist of swinging, “schuhplatter” (leg-slapping) dances and men’s “fighting” dances. Holt said the performers are usually a hit at the festival.
“Our audience is very receptive and welcoming,” Holt said. “The organizers give us free German food, and we have lots of fun.”
Holt added that while there are usually several Susquehanna students involved, many of the regular participants graduated last year and the only current student who is participating is junior Amanda DuCharme. Alumni who performed during their time as students continue to dance with the group. “It’s quite impressive,” Holt said of the alumni’s continued involvement.
The Pleasant Valley dancers are based in Freeburg, Pennsylvania, and welcome dancers of all age levels and experience. “Our dancers come from different parts of Pennsylvania, and we even have two regulars from Texas, who come to perform with us every year,” said Holt.
The Mifflinburg festivities on Sept. 26 will go from noon to 5:30 p.m. and will include German music and traditional food prepared by culinary students at Penn College. Oktoberfest in Mifflinburg spans two days, 1:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Oct. 2 and 1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Oct. 3.
The Pleasant Valley dancers will perform at 5:00 p.m. on Friday and 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, and the festival’s other attractions include food, music and additional performances by others.