Is This the Last Dance for the Kansas Polka Lovers?

Sep 26, 2013

Polka Dancing at the Gibbon Ballroom at Gibbon, Minnesota
Polka Dancing at the Gibbon Ballroom at Gibbon, Minnesota
Credit flickr.com

In December, the PolKofA Kansas Chapter, which is the Kansas chapter of Polka Lovers Klub of America, will decide if they will continue to dance according to The Wichita Eagle.  

There are a number of factors influencing this decision:

  • For the last several years, the club has lost money on every dance.
  • Failure to attract younger members
  • The majority of their members are in their 70s, 80s, and 90s
  • The business of running the club is being done by a handful of older people, who are tired
  • The core officers are physically unable to do things like care for the wooden dance floor

Glen Lojka, a third generation Czech from Cuba is troubled. 

“It means the culture is losing its heart,” said Lojka, who grew up dancing the polka on every festive occasion family and friends created.

Polka was part of a cultural tradition for many Kansans in the past, especially those of German, Polish, Czechoslovakian and Mexican heritage.

“Part of it is that people don’t join clubs the way they used to,” Price said. “Clubs were for the post-war generation. It was their Facebook.”

Across the High Plains, the dancing tradition has disappeared for many of the same issues facing the PolKofA Kansas Chapter.  The Lipscomb Platform Dance in the Texas Panhandle was held for the last time in June, 2010.  Even dance floors in the Cowboy Capital of Dodge City are mostly still. 

Does anybody dance anymore?