Yorkville Lutherans host Norwegian-American folk dancers
Cross Lutheran Church in Yorkville hosted the Stoughton Norwegian Dancers Sunday, March 6.
The performance was sponsored by Sons of Norway Polar Star Lodge 4-472, a Montgomery-based social-service group of Fox Valley Norwegian Americans dedicated to preserving Norway's culture and heritage.
The traveling troupe from Wisconsin comprises 20 Stoughton-area high school students who perform traditional Norwegian folk dances in authentic Norwegian costumes called bunader.
In a post-show fundraiser, Polar Star members sold homemade prepacked traditional prepackaged Norwegian-style baked goods.
The performance replaced Polar Star's monthly luncheon meeting on the first Sunday of the month at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Montgomery.
Founded in 1952 with six Stoughton High School junior girls and six boys accompanied by a single accordion player, the group has grown to 20 dancers and three keyboardists.
The bunad costumes continue to be constructed in Stoughton. All the patterns, fabrics and threads are imported from Norway to keep bunads authentically Norwegian. Even the shoes and jewelry are imported from Norway. The girls wear bunads representing different districts in Norway, while the guys all wear the same.
Stoughton Norwegian Dancers are Stoughton's Goodwill Ambassadors. They have performed for millions of people in tours across the U.S., Canada and Norway and have appeared in several national folk festivals. The dancers tour a different part of the country each spring. The group has made five tours to Norway.