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June Schaal

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June Schaal


Information: June Schaal, teacher of Scandinavian dance.

June Schaal was a teacher of Scandinavian dance, with an emphasis on Finnish. She started dancing in 1948. She and Wendell, her husband, had a part in the pageant of the history of Sonoma Valley that year. June was General Vallejo's daughter and Wendell was the son of Haraszthy, and they did a Heel and Toe polka in front of the Mission in the play. After that they started going to classes in Sonoma. Bernice Schram was the instructor.

About two years later June was asked to start a class of children from the Huichica School. Later, the Mothers' Club decided they wanted to learn to dance. In order to get the husbands to come too, they started a class on Friday nights. From then on the area around Vineburg was dancing with June as their instructor.

She started a group of youngsters called "Lolly Pops" in dancing. Part of the time some of the youngsters weren't over three and a half years old. With the demand for more youngsters to be in the class, June got the Vineburg Hall near her home and began holding classes there. More children came and classes were divided and several groups were arranged for "Baby Pops," for parents who wanted to learn to folk dance, and for even a "Senior Citizens" Group.

Now was on the dance staff of the Sonoma Branch of the San Francisco Conservatory. She had classes all day Friday, with youngsters from about seven through the teens, at the Sonoma Community Center. These classes were in addition to all her own classes in her studio at the Vineburg Hall.

June formed exhibition groups from her many classes. The "Lolly Pops" danced for Woodminster one year and on television. Her adult Exhibition group was seen quite often at festivals. June did all the costume planning for her groups, and quite often she completed the sewing of them too. She made all her own costumes, and Wendell's as well.

She was a Chairman of the Teachers' Institute Committee. She always had a big part in the Sonoma Vintage Festival, an annual affair. She attended the Teachers' Training classes held at Merced and Sacramento, and never missed a class at either one.

A hobby of June's was to invade rummage sales and store sales and the yardage counters, for costume materials, ready made skirts and blouses, for youngsters who might not be able to afford a costume, but would like to dance with the group. She also started a Children's Costume Fund, with the help of the National Exchange Club, to provide costumes for children in the future who might not be able to afford one otherwise.

June and Wendell gave a great deal of time to their folk dancing, but had time to run a General Store and take care of the Vineburg Post Office.

In June, 1989, June had a massive stroke on her right side and made a miraculous recovery. On September 18th of 1990 she had a massive stroke on her left side. She never regained consciousness and passed away on September 30th.

Dances Jane taught include Corridenho da Nazare, Karjalan Katrilli, Kokarin Enkeliska, Lanntti, Martin Wappu, Tippa, and Viron Polka.

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