Kolo means Circle, so you do not need a partner to dance. There are many different Kolo’s depending on which region of Europe they originated from. The steps are basically the same from state to state with minor variations. Sometimes a Kolo will tell a story. One could just join the group and by the end of the dance, meet a new life time friend. Kolo brings many people together. It is peppy fun and easy to learn. When a Kolo is played, hardly anyone from the youngest to the oldest can resist the temptation to dance. You are never too old and you never forget.
The first Kolo group in Lorain was formed in the early 1950’s. Mrs. Katherine Lukesic was instrumental in forming this group. This ensemble consisted of men, women, and children of all ages. Adult dancers wore costumes from various villages of Croatia, the children’s costumes were made of a floral material, and flowers adorned their hair.
The Veseli Plesaci (Happy Dancers) is the current Kolo group and are sponsored by the Ladies Auxiliary. Their teacher is Patti Heckman from Chesterland, Ohio. Today’s group has 17 members ranging from age 5 to 14. The costumes were made by Kathy Fritz. Ann Crnko made the necklaces, Donna Clark made the red aprons for the girls. Kathy Fritz volunteered her time to make the costumes in honor of her father Steve Vidovich and because she wanted to see her Croatian heritage promoted. Kathy Perichak Arnoczky was instrumental in putting this program together.
Approximately 10 adults dance in the adult group and have returned just for the enjoyment. Each adult costume is from a different region of Europe, they are also visually different.