Plus Festival

"Galopka" - "Once in Folk!"

The Song and Dance Ensemble "Galopka" will charm the audience during the 14th Festival of the PLUS Tygodnik

 The 14th Festival of the Weekly PLUS is fast approaching! Regulars of the Festival know perfectly well that on the first weekend in June, the German Masonic Park in Tappan, NY turns into a real explosion of joint fun, emotions and excellent music. Once again, phenomenal artists will perform on our festival stage, who will make us sing and dance together. One of them will be wonderful young artists from the Polish Song and Dance Ensemble "Galopka", who will perform on our stage on Saturday, June 3. On this occasion, we talked to the creator and choreographer of the group, Mrs. Maria Haba.

Mrs. Maria, where did the idea for "Galopka" come from?  

  - I am a dancer and choreographer and I started my professional career in Poland, leading folk and modern ensembles. When I moved to the USA, I noticed that Polish folklore among the Polish community in New Jersey is not very popular and I decided to change it. I knew that creating a folklore group is a matter of time and luck to find people who would support this idea. It was made possible thanks to the support of the St. Joseph in Passaic, where I now teach classes every Thursday at 6pm.

The first classes took place on September 16, 2021. In their two-year career, children have already had the opportunity to present themselves to a wider audience several times. We are accompanied by emotions, first stage frights and first successful performances.

I guess it's also great fun! And will you tell us who is currently appearing in "Galopka"?

  - Girls aged 7 to 12 come to the Song and Dance Ensemble "Galopka". At the moment, the team consists of 7 people. Our goal is to increase this group by more girls, but we also want boys, which unfortunately we lack. We want the dance routines to be danced in pairs.

You have a very wide repertoire. What songs and dances do you present during your performances?

  - This artistic year, the Ensemble will present two dances on stages: Krakowiak National and Warsaw Polka, while during the classes children learn steps from various regions of Poland (Kuyavia, Lublin, Silesia) and dances commonly danced, in which there are various types of polkas or waltzes . In addition to dancing, the girls will also sing well-known and popular folk songs such as "Lipka", "Płynie Wisła, płynie" and "Kukułeczka".

In the pictures we see fantastic costumes! Can I ask where you get them from?

- The band's costumes are partly imported from Poland, some elements are sewn on site, others are not original but only temporarily substitutes, e.g. polka dresses, which are kept in a retro style. Every year we try to expand our wardrobe with at least some of the original elements.

Team training and rehearsals are certainly quite time-consuming for young artists. However, looking at their smiling faces, you can see that they like to perform on stage, right?

-  Very! The girls are heavily involved during rehearsals. They are making amazingly fast progress. They absorb knowledge like a sponge. They come out of class singing. When they tried on the outfits for the first time, you could see the excitement and surprise on their faces at how complicated and ornate they were. Their performances motivate and satisfy them. This is even more contagious to the parents who really try to make sure the girls don't miss classes and are in the best shape before the show. The performances are accompanied by tears of emotion, and the recordings they perform are sent to their grandparents living in Poland. Everyone is very proud of how the girls present Polish folklore in the United States. 

 Were there performances that were particularly important to you in the group's history?

- It's hard to single out any performance because they are all unique and equally important and stressful. When last year we received an invitation to the Plus Weekly Festival, we were proud that we would have a chance to present ourselves to such a wide audience. It was one of the most serious performances for us! We like to support charities. We also know that many more scenes are waiting for us.

It sounds so inviting that if only I were younger, I would definitely join the group myself! And exactly - who can join "Galopka" - are special talents or predispositions needed?

- There is one rule - you have to like dancing. You can just come and try it. If after the first attempt someone feels that it makes him happy, then the road to success is very short. The group we have has an age range of 7-12. Another one in the 13+ range starts in September, and if they are willing for an adult group, we are also able to organize one. Nothing stands in our way. The task of the choreographer is to use this joy to create a technique that will make it easier to present oneself on stage. You can come to the team at any time. When the volunteer gains experience and self-confidence, then he will be able to present himself to the audience. We invite you!

Contact details for the PiT "Galopka" team:

phone number 551 275 6439

polish flag SWP logo

Informujemy, że nasza organizacja otrzymała dotację ze środków Kancelarii Prezesa Rady Ministrów w ramach konkursu Polonia i Polacy za Granicą 2022. Nazwa zadania publicznego: „Wsparcie wydarzeń polonijnych w USA, Kanadzie, Australii” Kwota dotacji: 35 000,00 PLN. Całkowita wartość zadania publicznego: 64 490,00 PLN Zadanie publiczne „Wsparcie wydarzeń polonijnych w USA, Kanadzie, Australii”, polega na wsparciu organizacji w wynajmie sal, nagłośnienia, świateł, wynagrodzenia artystów, konferansjerów, promocji planowanych wydarzeń, bankietów.