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Michigan White Rose Ball
Michigan White Rose Ball

The 2019 Hungarian Arts Club’s annual White Rose Ball was a true family affair. First, one of the college scholarships winners, Tamas Salaman, just happened to be the eldest son of the Ball’s Honorary Chairpersons, Andrea and Jozsef Salaman. Second, that same scholarship winner, Tamas Salaman and his younger brother, Zalan, were both Escorts this year and thirdly, the Wolkensperg Family hosted an ideal family reunion by having family members come from multiple States and Canada to see their Debutantes introduced.

The Hungarian Arts Club held their annual White Rose Ball on Saturday, February 2nd at the Marriott Dearborn Inn. This formal ball introduces young Hungarian ladies into society, and awards a college scholarship to a student of Hungarian descent studying fine arts. This year’s Debutantes were :

• Saraiah Evans, from Noblesville, Indiana. She attends Fishers High School and enjoys track, working on the yearbook and photography.

• Annika Burney is from Sterling Hts., MI where she attends the Great Lakes Cyber Academy.

• Avery McNamara attends Stoney Creek High School and enjoys competitive cheerleading and soccer.

• Jenna Bernath lives in Riverside California, where she attends Martin Luther King High School. She enjoys track, softball, and baseball.

• Frances Wolkensperg is from Elora, Ontario, Canada. She attends Centre Wellington District High School where she is on the honor roll. She also enjoys hockey, soccer and volleyball.

• Carolyn Bourgeois is from Thibodaux, Louisiana. She attends Thibodaux High School where she enjoys gymnastics, hunting, and fishing.

The Ball’s Escorts this year were: Alek Lukacs, Tamas Salaman, Zalan Salaman, Weston Krause, Ian Bejster and Akos Choinski.  The Ball’s extra dancers were: Rachel Woods, Kaili Brooks, and Reagan McNamara. The Club’s 2019 Scholarship winners were Tamas Salaman and Bryan Szabo. Tamas is a senior at Flat Rock High School, who has been playing the violin since he was 7, and Hungarian Folk dancing since he was 6. Tamas performed a beautiful violin piece at the Ball which was very well received and enjoyed by all the attendees.

The other winner, Bryan Szabo, was born in Romania and in 2004 moved to Michigan. He currently attends UofM Dearborn and has been playing the euphonium and trumpet for 8 years. He is working towards dual degrees in electrical engineering and applied music.

This year the Club selected Andrea and Jozsef Salaman as their Honorary Chair-persons for their contributions to promoting Hungarian Culture in our community. The Salamans currently reside in Flat Rock, MI and are the founders of Csipke Ensemble Hungarian Folk Dance group. They are also the Founders of Csipke Tábor, an annual week long Hungarian Dance and Music Camp.

Goal of the Camp is to preserve and promote Hungarian folk music and dance traditions. Csipke Tábor brings musicians and dancers from Hungary or Transylvania to teach and perform music and dances from a specific region each year.  It is the annual "mecca" of Hungarian folk music and dance in North America. The Camp has been very successful and widely recognized. People come from all over North America to participate. It had 80 in attendance the first year and has grown to over 300 people, and has inspired other Hungarian communities in North America to start dance groups and folk bands. Csipke Tábor has been recognized in many professional journals, articles and broadcasts in the US as well as in Hungary.

Now for the Wolkensperg’s Family reunion. As a family, they had three Debutantes introduced this year: one from Louisiana (Carolyn Bourgeois), one from California (Jenna Bernath), and one from Elora, Ontario, Canada (Frances Wolkensperg). The Wolkensperg family has a long White Rose Ball tradition, starting with an Escort Wolkensperg in 1959, and the first Wolkensperg Debutante in 1961. In the 61 years of White Rose Ball history, over 20 Wolkensperg family members have been either a Debutante or an Escort. The Wolkenspergs want this family tradition to continue no matter where they live, and took this wonderful opportunity to gather family together, to celebrate their culture, continue a family tradition, and spend quality time with family and friends. We applaud their loyalty and cultural traditions. We also encourage others to share their Hungarian heritage across State lines and US borders.

Whether a Debutante, an Escort, or a potential scholarship winner, we can all come together at the White Rose Ball to honor and promote Hungarian culture.

Laura A. Kuczajda has been the publicity person for the Hungarian Arts Club for the last 11 years. She has an MBA and is currently the Director of the College of Human Medicine for Michigan State University.

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In connection with the folk dance camps mentioned in this article, here are a couple of descriptive paragraphs on the topic, explaining that almost all Hungarian folk dances are improvisational.  Hungarian folk dances have a very rich language of movement:

„A néptáncművészetnek két fontos ágazata alakult ki a hatvanas – hetvenes években.  Az egyik ágazat a tiszta forrást kívánja bemutatni.  Az eredeti anyagot, természetesen színpadi műformába öntve a legnagyobb hitelességgel igyekeznek megjelentetni.  A másik törekvés a Kárpát-medencei néptánckincset anyanyelvként használja, és táncházi előadásokat kíván létrehozni...

„Sok más népek táncaival ellentétben a magyar tánctípusok úgyszólván mindegyike improvizatív jellegű.  Egy körtánc vagy egy sortánc általában kötött, szabályozott sorrendű lépésekből épül fel...  A magyar néptáncokban szabadon variálnak a napi kedvüknek és kreativitásuknak megfelelően.  Ez lehetővé teszi, hogy új lépések, új variációk szülessenek a táncosok tehetségétől függően.  Mai példával élve egy kitünő rock and roll táncos alkalmanként elképesztő új fordulatokat, mozgásötleteket használ. A magyar és az erdélyi román táncok, melyeknek ugyanilyen a szerkezetük, óriási lehetőséget nyújtanak a koreográfusoknak, hogy ezt a nagyon gazdag mozgásanyanyelvet olyan szabadon alkalmazzák, ahogy a mondanivalója kívánja.  Ez a magyar néptánciskola alapja és nagy lehetősége.  A kortárs jellegű néptánc–koreográfiák sikere és sokoldalúsága ezt bizonyítja.”

Magyar kulturális kalauz,

Napkút kiadó, Budapest 2011,

 „Néptáncművészet” c. cikkéből 

 

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