Our tutor Rod Downey has visited Heidelberg many times over the years to work with colleagues at Heidelberg University, and has always been welcomed by the Heidelberg SchlossDancers – named after Heidelberg’s famous schloss (castle).
As in the United States, local dancers regularly travel quite long distances to dance at multiple neighbouring clubs (like Frankfurt and Darmstadt), and to attend special events like balls, weekend schools and highland games.
In 2017 and 2018 we were both in Heidelberg for extended visits relating to Rod’s Humboldt fellowship. Local dancers went out of their way to offer us rides to dancing in Heidelberg and Frankfurt and took Rod along to a ball in Karlsruhe.
Dancing with the Heidelberg group gave us the opportunity to dance in the eurythmy hall of the Waldorf School, set amongst trees, with beautiful wood floors, and racks of colourful eurythmy capes used by the students for their movement classes. It had a really beautiful feel.
We quickly got into the local culture of trips to the ice cream parlour every week after dancing, and the local specialty of ‘spaghetti’ ice cream.
It may have taken a little longer to get used to our fellow dancers changing out of their day clothes and into their dancing clothes pretty much where they stood (and where you were standing too, without any expectations that someone was about to drop trews).
As well as the dancing, we loved cycling along the Neckar. We have strong memories of the smell of fresh strawberries growing in the fields we cycled through, and cows looking out from an ancient barn next to a favourite Biergarten stop.
Just makes you want to dance really.
Kristin Downey, 9 October 2019