Exloo and De Schaop'ndansers

Dutch folklore in traditional costume from the province Drenthe



Exloo is the home village of "De Schaop'ndansers" (sheep-dancers) , a folk dancing group. Exloo is situated in the north-east of Holland, 11 kms. north of Emmen, in the province of Drenthe. Every day the shepherd and his about 100 sheep go to the heath. The shepherd is helped by his dog. This way, they maintain the heath (a nature reseve) named "Molenveld" in a ecological way.

Statue "The sheperd and his dog" in Exloo

The flock from Exloo on the heath

The sheepfold in the centre of Exloo

The sheep are being sheared during the annual "Schaapscheerdersfeest" (sheepshearingfestival), the saterday before Whitesun. In 1973, this event gave birth to the idea of erecting a folk dancing group. This group has been called "De Schaop'ndansers" and has about 25 members. The dancers are wearing the traditional sunday-outfit of Exloo, worn in the beginning of this century. The men wear a black suit and the women wear a more colourful dress with colors of the heath and an original "oorijzer". That is a silver cap with pieces of gold and which is covered with a lace bonnet. Some of the dances are danced on wooden shoes and in weekly costume. The group dances traditional Dutch dances and a number of musicians play accordeon, bas and ritmus.

A part of the dancinggroup on wooden shoes

Only the dancing men

De annual events on which the group performs, are "Schaapscheerdersfeest" (sheepshearingfestival) and the festival "Op de kloeten" (international festival of old-fashioned artisans) in Exloo and “Internationaal SIVO Volksdansfestival" (SIVO international folklore festival) in Odoorn. The group is also seen at festivals all over Holland, Germany and Belgium. Heights in the existence of the group were the partipation in the German National Procession in Berlin, 1997, the German Folkdancemeeting in Braunschweig (D) in 2001 and the Europeade in Antwerpen (B) in 2002. In 2005 we visited the Europeade in Quimper (F). In 2006 the group danced at a festival in Hungary. In 2007 the Europeade in Horsens (DK) was visited again and in 2009 the group was present at a festival in Prague (CZ). In 2011 the group visited the Europeade again, this time in Bolzano (I) in 2015 they go to Helsingborg (S) and in 2016 the Europade in Namour (B).

The silver cap with pieces of gold

One of the two goldpieces on the silver cap

the lace bonnet

The group is looking forward to meeting you at one of their shows and will be pleased to give a perfomence at your folcloristical event.

Information: Catrien Keidel
tel: +31591513522 or +31620530246

E-mail: keidel@home.nl