The Stoughton High School Norwegian Dancers at 70 Years: Tradition, Sustainability, and Public Folklore

Carrie Danielson (University of Wisconsin, Madison)

Since 1952, Wisconsin’s Stoughton High School Norwegian Dancers have promoted “ethnic pride” in their community through performance and preservation of Nordic folk dance. Their repertoire–consisting of 40 dances collected by physical education teacher Jeanne Reek in her travels to Norway, Denmark, and Sweden–has remained remarkably unchanged since the group was originally founded over 70 years ago. This presentation considers the legacy of Reek and the Stoughton Norwegian Dancers in framing concepts of tradition within the broader Nordic-American folk dance community, focusing on how public folklorists can ethically work with established groups toward larger goals of cultural sustainability and revitalization.

Part of 01-06 Navigating Revitalization and Heritage Work in Nordic American Music and Dance Communities, Thursday, November 02, 8:30 am–10:00 am