- Maspeth, NY
It started as just a polka class. The Kozuchs, Ciolkos, and Munaris along with a group of their friends had this crazy notion of having some fun and a night out by learning the polka and some polish folk dances from Carole Buchalska Golis. Carole agreed to teach the group of middle-aged dreamers, and the dance lessons were diligently held every Monday night. Among the dancers, jokes lead to reality, and what most of them thought would be a fad, steadily grew more serious. After much practice, they learned the Krakowiak and took off from there. Then came their first big break… a performance at the Polish National Hall in Maspeth, from Mr. Bendyk. Now, all that the stars needed was a name. After rejecting everything from Carole’s Belles to the Caroliers, Walter Urbielewicz, proposed “POLONAISE” and the “POLONAISE FOLK DANCERS” was born, with Carole Buchalska Golis as Director.
As the years passed, the group became more popular and obtained more bookings and appearances. New costumes were added, dances perfected, and the performers multiplied. The group had developed quite a following and was rolling right along. Carole went to Poland to further her already vast knowledge of Polish Dance. The Folk Dancers attended many workshops to enhance their skills. Beautiful, professional costumes and musical arrangements as well as dances were added to our repertoire. Many of our dancers now boast extensive ballet as well as other formal dance and gymnastics training.
In retrospect, the “POLONAISE FOLK DANCERS” is a wonderful organization that has brought beauty and happiness to hundreds of thousands of people throughout the tri-state area and the United States. The faces may have changed, but the feelings are the same: hard work and dedication accompanied by a love of the polish culture and dance and a willingness to give of ourselves and share with others.
One thing is for certain for all of the POLONAISE FOLK DANCERS – both past and present – they are very proud and grateful to be a member of this extended family. Many thanks to ALL who have helped us in the past and to those who continue to be loyal and faithful… But most especially, THANKS TO CAROLE for being so passionate about dancing through the years.
And to think it all started as just a polka class…