About Us

We are a voluntary village. We strive to be like the hundreds of geographical villages in dozens of countries, where our 900+ dances come from. We get our dances from teachers who learned them from immigrant communities or collected them from the villages where they have been danced for centuries.

Our dances are typically not choreographed for spectators -- they survived because they feel so good to do. I suspect they will be done as long as folk walk the face of our dear mother earth. 

Join us to learn and do some of the dances listed on Our Dances page. You will find perhaps 12 to 40 dancers at all skill levels. Some of us have been doing these dances for 30-40 years. We joyfully pass our dances on to guests and new members.

Our dances

We do mostly line or circle dances, and when there is a good gender balance, add couple and set dances. (A Folk Dancers 'line dance' is like an open circle, not a formation of singles as in country/western dance.)  Doing these dances, humming the music and/or singing the words, will help you feel connected to the peoples of the world, the Greeks, Turks, Hungarians, Poles, Serbs, Macedonians, Croatians, Slovenians, Czechs, Slovaks, Romanians, Irish, English, Germans, French, French Canadians, Russians, Mexicans, Scandinavians, Israeli, Lebanese, and others. Doing these dances also gives you an instant bond with the International Folk Dancers around the country, people who revere these magical experiences just as we do.

Beginners always welcome!

We love beginners. It is our pleasure to share our great good fortune. We will teach some of the easier dances to start the evening, and play other easy dances throughout the evening that many newcomers can pick up without special teaching. As the evening progresses, you will see us attack the more challenging dances. You can leave if you like, but you're more than welcome to get behind the line and see what you can do. If you like that dance, ask for a teach, or get one of us to break it down.

Skill

Do you tap your foot when you hear music? Can you march in time to music? That's probably all you need.

Age

Age is not important, though most dances are designed for full-grown people. Most of us love having little people underfoot, bring the kids.

Cost

The first time is always free. We ask for$5 for singles, $8 for couples, $2 for students -- or whatever -- no one is turned away. Some will contribute services and help set up or clear up afterwards, or bring special treats for the parties. We are a co-op; everything we collect is used for things that benefit all members, mostly rent for the hall, and occasionally hiring traveling teachers for dance workshops.

A few times a year, we have live musicians or guest teachers. We may ask a little more than usual on such occasions. ALL such proceeds will go to the guest teachers/musicians.

Time and place

Hours will be 7:30 to 10 pm, but beginners or rehearsals may be set up for 7:00pm. 

We dance most Thursdays at the Starlight Ballroom, in Metairie, at Kent Ave & Fairfield St. See map.

What to wear

Just comfortable clothes. Some women choose to wear longish skirts, since they flow nicely while dancing. After a year or so, most dancers will select some ethnic costume to wear to parties, performances, and street dances. Balkan outfits are a big favorite; you'll see some in the photo at the bottom of this page. Others design their own look. Bottom line: we're there to dance, not dress!

Shoes are very important. Sneakers work, but leather soles are better. A favorite among regular dancers are opanci, simple leather shoes from Macedonia, ideal on grass or packed dirt in the village square. Leather-soled boots are ideal for Polish dances, and almost essential for the Hungarian Verbunks.

Contacts

Click here to jump to our Contact Us page.    

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Extra curricular

If you can take late hours, there will usually be regulars who will go out after dancing, a chance to actually talk to the people you dance with every week.

When there are upcoming local or regional events hosted by Greek, Hungarian, Irish, Balkan, and other communities, we spend some weeks in advance teaching and reviewing their dances, preparing ourselves to attend and participate in the dancing. This lets us join real village people doing the dances they or their parents learned in the old country.

Many groups sponsor weekend workshops with out-of-town teachers, most of whom travel far to collect village dances. Groups from one village may van-pool to nearby villages for these workshops or to attend regional ethnic festivals. 

Our most dedicated dancers... the ones who stay till the very end, usually at 10pm

Meeting new people, learning new dances, doing the dances you love, and hearing incredible, exotic music is what makes folk dancing great. It's easy to dedicate one night a week to it - once the bug bites, you  simply refuse to schedule anything else on that night. 

Volunteers

We keep going through the volunteer efforts of many who love the music, dance, and community camaraderie.  Nearly everyone contributes in one way or another - teaching dances, bringing food and party supplies, collecting and keeping track of finances, maintaining the website and facebook pages, setting up and running the music, etc.  Thanks go to Angie and Becka for repeated stints as co-directors and special thanks to Angie for her weekly email and facebook updates.  



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