LETTER: Celebrating the 700th Schuhplattler gig

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Your letters, emails and opinions - Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston

The Boston Grammar School Schuhplattler Dance Troupe was formed after the success of one-off cabaret acts for parents following school trips to Austria and Bavaria.

It was decided to get a group of lads together to perform at German courses in Hastings and at language festivals in Lincolnshire. They were so well received that they were invited to perform at East Midlands Languages Festivals in Nottingham and National Languages Festivals at Warwick University. They were then spotted by a representative from Lufthansa Airlines who arranged to fly them to Munich for a performance at the Oktoberfest opposite the famous Hofbrauhaus Beer Hall.

On their return they were asked to do a 10 second spot on the BBC1 ‘Clothes Show’ when it came to Boston and the telephone has never stopped ringing since!

The group in its various guises has performed more than 700 gigs, including performances at 50 different venues in the Boston area alone and 10 holiday tours in Austria and Germany. They have danced on everything from a giant chess board to a fire station ramp and helped raise thousands of pounds at galas, fetes, steam ‘n’ country shows, nursing homes and charity events. Every Monday they are given a group update and they meet up every other Sunday evening for a full rehearsal in their lederhosen, braces, braided shirts and boots.

Highlights of the group’s career include an audition at Hull Truck Theatre which led to an appearance on Michael Barrymore’s ‘My Kind of People’ Show at Meadowhall, Sheffield. After this dazzling performance they were offered a contract with a Birmingham Entertainment Agency!

They have also been invited on two occasions to perform on Blue Peter and group manager/co-ordinator Richard Anderson has fond memories of the ‘live’ countdown to the lads’ performance of the original Schuhplattler dance at the top of the show in front of an audience of six million people! Two of the lads were then shown demonstrating the moves to Matt and Simon, the popular presenters.

The current troupe has had an amazing year, performing at all major Lincolnshire events including the prestigious Lincolnshire Show (where they were ‘sponsored’ by Lincs FM DJs), the Olympic Torch Relay in Lincoln, the Spalding Flower Parade, Carrington Rally, Sleaford Oktoberfest, numerous Jubilee events, the Boston Standard Centenary Show, and in December they were the only act to be invited to perform in front of Lincoln Cathedral as part of the opening ceremony for Lincoln’s famous Christmas Market. This was the remarkable 700th gig.

We are lucky in having a dedicated leader in Jonathan Coupland who has now been with the troupe for a record 12 years and is highly committed to the survival of the troupe, as can be seen by his attractive website (www.bgsplattler.co.uk) where various photos of the troupe can be accessed.

Richard Anderson

Group manager/coordinator