Dancing Around: Sommerfest at Brauhaus Schmitz, by Mike Stirm II

On Saturday, June 25, the United German Hungarian Cultural Group returned to Brauhaus Schmitz to help celebrate their 13th anniversary and Sommerfest. Mother Nature had halted our intended return in May, but on this day the sun was shining, and the sky was clear save for the occasional cloud that offered some welcome shade.

There is something special about Brauhaus Schmitz. I know that for myself, when I step into the restaurant, it’s like stepping into Germany. The many German beers, the authentic food, and the waitresses dressed in dirndls. Sometimes, live accordion music contributes to this sense as well. But for those of German descent and lovers of that country, the experience is more akin to being home. You can tell by the relaxed happiness of our members in pictures from that day that this is so.

The May pole dance kicked off the day’s performances. In this timeless dance, participants move around the Mai (May) pole in step to a melodic tune while crossing their ribbons to create a beautiful pattern. It’s truly a sight to behold and, as luck would have it, you can, thanks to the person who filmed our performance!

Connie Reiter Wins the Liter Lift!

Two of our dancers then competed in the Masskrugstemmen (liter lift contest). They were Connie Reiter and me. From what I understand, Connie entered the women’s contest at the spur of the moment to help round out the number of competitors. About halfway through her contest, a member of our group turned to me and commented that Connie looked like she was waiting for the competition to begin! Her relaxed confidence ultimately resulted in the first victory for our group. I had signed up in advance for the men’s competition because I thought it would be another fun thing to do at Sommerfest. That didn’t mean I wasn’t planning to take it seriously. I looked to my right and left and saw that some of the competitors were bigger and possibly stronger than me. However, I had learned from my experience competing individually in track and field that these individual-type events often came down to one’s mental strength. I won thanks to a strong arm, but more so through focus and deep breathing. Two victories for U.G.H!

Our two U.G.H. winners, Connie & Mike!

We carried this celebratory mood into our first dance set, which included the Tyrolean Bauerntanz, Hammerschmied, Flying Dance, always a crowd favorite, and Landler Potpourri. This was proceeded by our second dance set, which featured the Überall Sind die Laden, Kreuz Polka, Dra Di Rum, and Stern Polka.

HK Junior

After our dance sets, we fell comfortably into eating, drinking, and dancing along with other festgoers to the familiar sounds of Die Heimatklänge. As is usually the case at this location, it was a memorable day. Brauhaus Schmitz, which feels like a home away from home, was a great last stop for us before Gaufest.

We head to the Shore this weekend riding on that special energy that happens when U.G.H. and Brauhaus Schmitz come together.   Thank you, Brauhaus Schmitz and Doug Hager, for hosting us, at Sommerfest

Mike Stirm II

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