Volkstanzgruppe Freundschaftskreis was founded on July 13, 1992, by Yedda Leão Michaelsen and Jorge Nestor Michaelsen, in the community of Vila Olinda. It is formed by friends and descendants of Germans, aiming to rescue and spread the cultural heritage of their ancestors. The group started from the need to offer a cultural and leisure option to the children and adolescents of the locality.
The group develops a detailed research work on the choreography and costumes presented, as well as exchange with folk groups from different regions of Germany, thus managing to cultivate and disseminate folklore, to keep alive the tradition and the cultural identity of each of its members. In 1996, 2011 and 2015, the group toured through several cities in Germany, with repertoire of German, Brazilian and Gaucho dances, taking and spreading the local culture abroad. Currently, the Volkstanzgruppe Freundschaftskreis is divided into three categories: children, infant and adults.
The children’s and infant’s categories are under the coordination of Elaine Schenkel and Rosiane Fassbinder, who always seek children as participants, teaching them, in addition to folk dance, a bit of the German language and cultivation and love of traditions. The repertoire of the adult category consists of several dances of German folklore, choreographies of popular German songs, a play depicting aspects of German immigration (presented in German and/or Portuguese), international folklore dances, gaucho folklore dances and some popular Brazilian dances. This category is under the coordination of Suzane Tamara Dhein. The rehearsals take place in the locality of Vila Olinda and the group has about 80 members in its three categories.
The group’s current costumes are from the Schwarzwald (Black Forest) and Tyrol regions, as Vila Olinda is known as the Imigrantes Trail and the locality was influenced by immigrants from various regions who passed through it.