Proud keepers of Bavarian tradition, firmly rooted in the homeland and gay to boot: that’s us, the Schwuhplattler. We’re the world's only club that combines traditional Bavarian schuhplattl dancing with homosexuality. The establishment of the Schwuhplattler in 1997 was a world premiere and a very special kind of coming out. Over the past one and a half decades, that small group of schuhplattl enthusiasts has become a full-fledged organization whose fame has spread well beyond the borders of Bavaria. During that time, our repertoire has grown along with the list of our performance engagements, and our schedule is long since filled not only with classic gay events such as Pride celebrations but also with a wide range of other occasions like neighborhood street fairs, charity benefit events, cultural happenings, weddings and birthday celebrations.
Due to our mission of upholding local cultural traditions, our club has been granted official recognition as a charitable organization, and we often perform upon request of the Cultural Office of the Bavarian Capital of Munich.
Through our wide range of performance venues, the Schwuhplattler have also made an important sociopolitical contribution toward the general acceptance of homosexuals. We are living proof that homosexuality can indeed fit together perfectly with pride in one’s homeland and maintaining its cultural traditions.
Aside from our primary interest in upholding Bavarian tradition and cultural practices, our group is also unified by tight bonds of friendship and mutual support among like-minded individuals who enjoy each other's company – for within our ranks, everyone is allowed to simply be themselves: our spirit of unity and cohesion profits immensely from the diverse backgrounds of our members.
Anyone interested in meeting the Schwuhplattler in person or maybe even giving the dance a whirl himself is always welcome to come visit us. We meet every first and third Friday evening of the month in the basement of St. Willibrord's Church at Blumenstraße 36, right in the heart of Munich (near Sendlinger Tor).
The Schuhplattler originated as a courtship dance devised by young men who were primarily farmers, hunters and Alpine lumberjacks. The form of “plattler” practiced in modern-day clubs and performed in organized competition came about in the 19th century, especially in Bavaria. It became an expression of pride in the people’s native area.
We Schwuhplattler perform what is known as the “reinen Burschenplattler“ (literally, the pure men‘s variety of plattler), i.e. without the girls spinning around the perimeter as often seen in the performances of many regular Bavarian folk dance troupes.
Another distinction from the traditional groups is that since our members come from all different areas of Bavaria, our repertoire is not limited to one particular regional style but is especially wide-ranging. You see, in different areas of Bavaria, entirely different steps are often danced to the very same song , and our members have introduced all sorts of different plattler as danced in their respective hometowns – so we benefit enormously from their range of knowledge, skill and dance technique.
Our repertoire includes a number of plattler in three-quarter time, such as the Haushamer or the Ruhpoldinger. These are complemented by “march plattler“ (in 4/4 time) like the Holzhacker, the Langschottische and the ever-popular Kreuz polka and Amboss polka.
In addition to these classic plattler we have also added several folk dances to our repertoire, including the Mühlrad (Mill Wheel), the Steckentanz (Stick Dance) and the Bandltanz (May Pole Dance). These dances are performed not only in the interest of cultural enrichment but also for a very practical reason: plattln is hard work, so the slower-paced folk dances give us a chance to catch our breath a little in between!
All of these plattler and folk dances are taught, corrected and perfected during our rehearsal sessions.