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'We're thrilled': Dutch Dancers prepare to return to Tulip Time after 2 years

The infamous dances are back at Tulip Time after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

HOLLAND, Mich. — It’s such a staple of Tulip Time with that all too familiar sound. 13 ON YOUR SIDE spoke with the coordinator of Dutch Dance, Jenn Ryckbost, and she says she’s excited for the program to be back after a two-year break brought on by the pandemic.

She says she can’t wait to hear those shoes hitting the pavement again.

Dutch Dance is a group dance dedicated to performing during Tulip Time. Practice kicks off in January to prepare for the spring event. 

“To perfect our dances, our costumes and smiles and get ready to clump,” said Ryckbost.

Her enthusiasm comes from a lifetime of Tulip Time.

She recalls having “been involved with Tulip Time since I was a baby. I don’t remember not being in a parade my entire life.”

Now, she's coordinating the program, which consists of three different age groups: Third through fifth graders are kinders, middels refers to sixth through eighth graders and, “We’re thrilled to have all those little dancers on the street,” said Ryckbost.

RELATED: Tulip Time on track to break records after strong opening weekend

The high schoolers, though, is a group not seeing as many participants as in years past.

“When I was in high school, we could fill all four sides of Centennial Park, all four streets, with just high school dancers. So, at this point we’re high school and alumni combined,” said Ryckbost, who also says she realizes, “that was the glory days, but I guarantee it’s coming back.”

For any potential Dutch Dancers out there still thinking about signing up, Ryckbost says, “Tulip Time is special in itself, but Dutch Dance adds another level of family. We have families that have kinder dancers, middel dancers, high school and alumni all throughout which is really special.”

“They come for the tulips and for dancing and I think we’re going to provide that really well this year,” said Ryckbost.

You can learn more about the program by visiting its website.

This year, the Dutch Dance alumni program is celebrating 50 years. It’s a celebration that was supposed to happen in 2020.

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