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Folk Dance Fridays with the International Folk Dance Club of Detroit

Frequently Asked Questions

General questions

What is "international folk dance"?
International Folk Dance (IFD) is a group dance activity focusing on dances from the traditional cultures of various ethnic groups. Most IFD dances are group, non-partner line dances, where the dancers form a line with hands joined, all doing the same dance. Usually there is a leader at one end to move the line forward and who also serves as a model for the rest of the line to follow. The dances are not called and all are invited to join the line or follow behind the line to pick up the steps.
Some dances are partner dances, some of which follow specific patterns, while others are completely free form and can be learned by dancing with an experienced partner. Mixers are partner dances where couples are arranged in a circle and dancers progress to a new partner after each time through the dance.

Where do the dances come from? Is it Greek dancing?
We do Greek dances, but also dances from many other countries. Many of the dances come from southeastern Europe (known as the "Balkans"), which includes Greece but also Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Albania, Macedonia, Bosnia, Romania, and even Turkey. For historical reasons, this area has very rich and living folk traditions. There are dances from other regions and cultures as well: Brittany in northern France, Armenia, Israel, and other countries in the Middle East, including Iraq.

Do I need a partner?
No. The majority of the dances are line dances. You are in the line as an individual, not part of a couple.

How can I learn the dances?
The first Friday of each month, during the first half of the evening (from about 8:30 to about 10:00), every dance is taught. You can learn ten dances or so this way, and, although it's a small part of the repertoire, the steps you'll learn are common to many other dances. At least one or two dances are taught every Friday. You can try any dance, perhaps by staying behind the line until you're confident enough to join.

What is a typical folk dance evening like?
It's basically one dance after another for a total of about 50 dances. You can participate as much or as little as you like.
What about membership?
Members get in for $1 less on a Friday ($6 instead of $7); since there are 48-50 dances each year, you save money even if you only come half the time as a member. There are no obligations. Cost is $20. It's a calendar year membership and resets Sept 1 every year.