Frequently Asked Questions
What is folk dancing?
Folk dancing is a form of dance which originates as a cultural expression from people around the world at the village level.
Folk dancing can take the form of lines of dancers who are separated or combined by gender. It can be a circle dance or
it can be danced in couples (either alone or in formations).
It is unexcelled as a cross cultural activity. The universal language of music, rhythm and movement transcends the
linguistic and political barriers which too often separate us.
What happens on a typical Sunday night?
Fun! Excitement! A typical dance evening is anything but typical! All-in-all it is a lot of fun with wonderful people. Sessions
are broken up into three periods:
- Teaching: For the first hour dances are taught (and we really mean “taught”).
- Break time-circle time: We introduce ourselves around the circle and make (mostly) dance related announcements;
- Requests: The remaining time is spent dancing all-time favorites or newly taught dances.
Can I come by myself?
Yes! No partners are required. Many dances are line or circle dances which do not require partners. However, the partner
dances which are done give you an opportunity to meet other dancers on the spot. Even if you consider yourself the
ultimate klutz, the rhythm and timing of the music and the group will have your body moving harmoniously. Folk dance
groups are known for the smiling encouragement and support offered to newcomers. After this experience, your right foot
will compliment your left foot.
Is there an age limit?
“A person who keeps dancing never grows old.” That adage certainly holds up in this case. Due to the variety of tempos,
there will be dances which satisfy a person of any age. It is an activity which engages all ages. Youth participants are
eagerly sought, as they bring refreshing energy to the group, and will carry on the tradition of folk dancing into the future.
JIF is open and welcoming to children. However, children are expected to dance or play quietly under parental supervision
because we have no independent childcare.
Do I have to know the dances in order to attend?
Emphatically no. Each evening begins with an hour of teaching which includes both easy and more challenging dances.
Beginners are not only welcomed with open arms, but are an important element in keeping us fresh, active and growing.
What do I need to wear?
Very casual, loose fitting clothing is perfect. Wear clothing in which you are most comfortable. Shorts and T-shirt work
fine (at least in Summer!). Shoes too should be comfortable enough to allow you easy freedom of movement (generally
athletic shoes or soft-soled dance shoes)—but 'no spurs or nails' even if they are on your favorite pair of boots! Shoes
which do not leave black scuff marks on the floor are important.
Is there a charge to participate?
No, there is no charge, though we encourage participants to join JIF to support its on-going activities.