Thursday, September 30, 2010

The website is working!

It is great to know that all of the work that was put into the website was worth it! We recieved a request to teach in a school!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Starting a 4-H Folk Dance Club for 4th - 12 grades

Yesterday we had our first meeting of "Global Explorers". It is a club designed to teach culture, language, and dances of different cultures. We select a country to study and learn a little of the language, history, customs and dances of that country. Germany was an easy first selection due to the time of year(Octoberfest) and my neighbor is German so she is teaching the culture and language.

Previously I had club with the age group K-6th grade and did something similar. This time I decide to team with 4-H because of the resources and insurance that they can offer. I am designing the program as 4-H does not have a set curriculum for an International club.

I must say I had misgivings at first. I just didn't know if I would have the energy after teaching all day. My worries went away quickly as their enthusiasm and energy spread to me! My batteries were recharged after teaching the class. Yes, it will be possible to meet every week and not get depleted, but energized!

If you love folk dancing, please share your love and enthusiasm with the next generation. It is easiest to do it with an already established club such as 4-H, boys and girls clubs, scouts. The more they are exposed, the more they are likely they are to continue. It is great fun and they really like it!

Please pass this post on to whomever you think might be interested!

Another Day, Another Dance

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dancing at Mary Baldwin

A few weeks ago I asked " Where have all the young dancers gone? Well, I found some at Mary Baldwin College!

Irene Sarnelle from Mary Baldwin invited us to come and folk dance with them. So,last night a few of us went and had a great time! We had a group of about 20 dancers from various backgrounds. The energy and enthusiasm of the students were refreshing and inspiring. Susan O. taught dances such as Chilili from Bolivia , Ve David and Shibolet Basadeh, Lerikos a Greek dance, Adjon Az Isten a Hungarian dance and many more. The song to Adjon Az Isten is different from the one we dance to, but it is a very upbeat version!

I just wish we could have as varied a group more often - just like in a village!

Another Day, Another Dance

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Charlottesville Intenational Folk Dancers

The dances taught last night were Mechol Halahat If you watch this video, you can see the dance is done as a line dance. Susan O. taught the dance as a couple dance, with 2 oposing lines - similar to Chilili.
Susan O also taught Pinosavka Ouvre Moi, and Standyanski Buenek, again which I couldn't find. Also taught was, Jacob's Ladder .

Another Day, Another Dance!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Happy Latin American Independence Month!

In celebration of Latin American Independence, I told my students that they could bring in food for extra credit. In the classes that remembered to bring food, we also danced. What's a celebration without dancing????!!!!! Well, in one of my more challenging classes we only got through half of La Raspa!-with a vow never to try to dance with this class again. Yes, that's how challenging they are! But, what do you know, they came into class telling me how they had been "practicing" the dance during volley ball practice and singing the Spanish song that they have been learning!!!!! You just have to love them! Once I've recovered, maybe around Christmas we'll try another dance!????????????

At our regular meeting this week there was a lot of review of previous dances taught. The only Ouvre Moi that I could find was a modern version that didn't sound anything like the music to which we dance.
Susan O. taught Stranzanski Burenek from Bulgaria but I couldn't find any on the internet. Dick Oates has a dance description of Strandzansko Horo.

Have a great week dancing!
Another Day, Another Dance

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Happy Rosh Hashanah and Macedonian Independence Day

We had two new visitors and dancers tonight.
Welcome Pam and John!
The dances that were taught Tonight were :
The Macedonian version of Neda Voda Nalivala of which I couldn't find any matches to on the web. It is a women's circle dance.
Kortanc(Vorba Harrangaznak) a Hungarian dance
Jacob's Ladder an Israeli dance. The dance below is choreographed to the music that we dance to and has elements of the dance we do, but for beginners it may be confusing.
Zemer Atik an Israeli dance which is derived from Ningun Atik. The pdf file explains it and gives history and the dancers in the video do it the same way we do except they don't snap fingers.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"Brigadoon Revisited!"

First day back to work after a great weekend at folk dance camp. Buffalo on the Danube to be exact in West Virginia. Dance 'til you Drop! That's my motto. It's pretty bad when the teacher falls asleep in her own class! In my own defense, today was a day I had to sit and listen to 85 students say the same stanza of a song through out the day! Usually, I'm circulating and pacing the room all day. About 1:30 after lunch, in a hot room, sitting, listening to the same thing I've heard over and over all day -- I challenge anyone who has been dancing from 9 AM to 1:30 AM the next day, for the 3 days, to do better! I'm surprised that I made it that long, because I was fighting it all day! What makes it even funnier is that it happened to a student who always asks me how my day is going! He didn't have to ask-he found out as he was reciting. So that's the buzz around school now-- how I fell asleep in class!

The " Brigadoon Experience", the "magic" one feels when you can lose one self and find another
for a brief time. This year it even seemed as if I was crossing an unseen line into a different dimension as I entered camp! (I have a pretty good imagination!)

It was great to see Sonia and Christian; as always their sessions were fun and easy to follow. It was really cute how they kissed at the end of each dance session, just like newly weds should!

I had a harder time with the Bulgarian sessions. The beat of the music was harder to find and keep time to. Larry Weiner gave very interesting information about the dances and the areas in Bulgaria where they were from.

And last but not least Roo and Larry teaching Scandinavian Dancing. They are always so patient! Partner dances are always a challenge. Being short, it is hard for me to get the feeling of being "grounded". Obviously I'm not doing something right. Try, try, again!

It was great having live music to dance to. Kabile was fantastic as usual as were all of the other musicians.

And now all that is left are the memories of the people, the singing, the music, and last but not least the dancing! It was great to see a few more young people there this time. Everything comes to an end. At least we don't have to wait for 100 years for another camp: just follow the link below to find out more information.

Thank you again to Betsy and Jamie Platt for organizing and running the camp. Try it out next year: contact . If you can' make it to this camp there are others like Maine Woods , Stockton , Mendicino , New Mexico , or others closer to you.

Another Day, Another Dance!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Where have all young dancers gone?

I received the following email from Dick Oates in July. The last two months have bee very busy with a serious illness and death in the family, so I haven't had time to post. I have been thinking about loss. With the loss of a life we lose more than can be expressed. Upon my recent visit to Santa Fe, there were dances that they had done in the past but we could not do because the people that led them were no longer dancing or had passed away. In essence the dances have died too.

Hi Folk Dancer!
I now have Santa Barbara Folk Dance Conference and San Diego State University Folk Dance Conference photos up on our website ( ).
Please take a look at the photos and tell me the names of folks I've forgotten in the staff and committee photos.There are new Gandy Dancer photos, flyers, more names for the roster, performances, and a reunion article.Also, if you have other photos that I don't have, would you send them to me? I'll scan them and mail them back right away.
On another note, as many of you know, Bob Moriarty passed away. Isabelle Persh sent me several of the photos as she was cleaning out Bob Moriarty's files. She kept the photos of Bob. Unfortunately, she probably threw out those photos of Bob thinking they were trash, so she now has precious few photos of him.If you would send me any photos you have of Bob, I'll scan them, send them back, and send the scans to Isabelle. If you would like to send any photos of Bob directly to Isabelle (not wanting them back, of course), her address is: Isabelle Persh 3400 Ben Lomond Pl., Apt. 230 Los Angeles, CA 90027-2954 (323) 664-5500

Thanks for listening!Cheers,
Dick Oakes13661 E. Marina Dr., Unit 109