Vasa Jr. Folk Dancer's Pin Logo
Vasa Junior Folk Dancers
Affiliated with Vasa Order Minnesota District No. 7

established: 1927

E-mail us at: info@vasajrdancers.org  [Footnote 1]

The VJF dancers learn a variety of Swedish folk dances, songs & cultural customs. The folk dancers are sponsored by the four Vasa Lodges in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Parents (and dancers 14 years and older) are encouraged, but not required, to join one of the Twin Cities Vasa Lodges, including: 137-RUNEBERG, 138-STENBOCK, 433-KRONAN, and 488-JOHN MORTON.   Parents and dancers are welcome to visit lodge meetings.

     
PERFORMANCE and PRACTICE SCHEDULE(s) 2013:
{For further details, click on the May-Pole in the bottom-right corner.}

Practice generally takes place on the 2nd and 4th Saturday, at 1:00 pm, at ASI.
The normal practice season is from the 4th week of September to the 2nd week of May.
(Note that the Feb. 9th practice is also the Valentine's Party.)

Additional Performance Schedule Information [TO BE UPDATED!]:
May _th, 2014 - Festival of Nations, Time: Unknown.  (In the past:  on Saturday, "right after the Flag ceremony" and the dancers needed to be there noon-ish.)  [Footnote 2]
June __th, 2014 (3rd Saturday in June) - ASI Midsummer   [Footnote 3]
June __rd, 2014 (4th Sunday in June) - Svenskarnas Dag / Swedish Heritage Day, Minnehaha Falls Park, Time: TBA
Sept. _th, 2014 (1st Saturday after Labor Day) - Nordic Music Fest, Time: unknown

Throughout the year, the group may be invited to perform at other Vasa programs, church functions, community festivals (such as Nordic Fest), and nursing homes.




2011-06-26 Group Shot at Minnehaha Falls - Svenskarnas
          Dag
JoAnn_Janice_Kristin_&_Marie
Image of Musicians
JoAnn Thoreen,
  Sr. Vasa Leader/Instructor
  612-722-6783
 
Janice Lehman,
  Vasa Leader/Instructor
  612-729-0334
janicelehman57 at hotmail dot com
Kristin Johnson,
  Vasa Leader/Instructor
  763-420-8942
dkjohnson95 at comcast dot net
Marie Salisbury,
  Vasa Leader/Instructor
  651-399-0246
marie52379 at yahoo dot com
The Vasa Jr. Folk Dancers' Musicians
Antonio Spargo (fiddle), Carolyn Sparto (piano accordion & Music Director), Cheryl Olson (fiddle), Julie Anderson (fiddle), Thomas Spargo (acoustic guitar).



Membership
Children ages 3 through 12th grade are invited to participate in Vasa Junior Folk Dancers. Practices are held at the American Swedish Institute from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month beginning in September and concluding in May. (For 2011, the practice location has been changed for May, September and October due to contruction at the ASI.)

The annual membership fee is $20 per family and is collected by the Parent's Club. It is used for activities, crafts and parties for the children. The Parent's Club also organizes several fund raising events in support of the folk dance group.

Costumes
Dancers wear a folk costume that reflects the province or area they or their ancestors are from in Sweden. Dancers may also wear the yellow and blue national folk costume. New members will receive information on purchasing costume patterns, supplies or securing an experienced seamstress.


What do the Dancers like about the group?
"I like the history and learning about my heritage. We perform at some interesting sites and usually get a special tour." -Rutger, age 11
"We always get a treat after each practice and celebrate birthdays too!" -Taylor, age 5
"My great aunt and uncle were Vasa Jr. Folk Dancers, now I'm one too." -Zachary, age 9
"I like to dance, sing and perform in front of groups of people" -Laura, age 15

What do Parents like about the group?
"We wanted to learn more about our family's Swedish heritage and have included the cultural traditions we've learned during the Christmas holiday."
"The practice schedule isn't overwhelming and the participation costs are so much less than other types of dance groups."
"It's a great opportunity for both children & parents to get involved with."
"My daughter really enjoys dancing & playing with the other kids, she can't wait until she is old enough to be chosen as the group's Santa Lucia."


INTERESTING LINKS:
To view the below Youtube links, please right-click and select "Open Link in New Tab".  See also our YouTube Channel
* This Youtube video "Midsommar 2008.m4v" features the Vasa Jr. Dancers between 0:52 & 1:17.
* This Youtube video "ox dance 31 05 09" features two older guys going at it full-bore. (You should NOT see our boys being this aggressive!)
* This Youtube video "Swedish folk dance fight - Oxdansen" features a pair of men doing an Ox Dance that's closer to "normal".


Footnote 1
The "info@vasajrdancers.org" E-mail address forwards to the Parent's Club's President, Webmaster, Treasurer as well as three of the Instructors, and the Music Director.

Footnote 2
In the next two years, the Festival of Nations is been scheduled to take place on: May 1-4, 2014 -AND- April 30-May 3, 2015

Footnote 3
Note re 2014:  An ASI staff member indicated (in approx. 2010) that in the year(s) 2014 (and 2025) the ASI Midsomer/Maypole event would likely be shifted up a week, to June 14th (not the 21st).  In these two years the 3rd Saturday is immediately followed by the 4th Sunday.  This change maintains the 8 days separation from Svenskarnas Dag. 


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