What is folk dancing?

International folk dancing is learning traditional dances from cultures throughout the world. Folk dancing is a recreational activity and is suitable for all ages and levels.

Do I need previous dance experience?

You do not need any previous dance experience. Dances are taught and reviewed. We teach a variety of dances at all levels. From 6:30 to 7:00 each Tuesday, our Basic Steps program introduces dancers to common folk dance steps, as well as a few of the dances that are on the dance program that evening. There is no additional cost.

Do I need a partner?

Most of the dances do not require a partner and for a dance that does require a partner, we partner up with who is there. We do mostly line and circle dances.

What kind of shoes do I need to wear?

Wear comfortable non-marking shoes that you would wear when exercising.

Do I need a costume?

No. Wear comfortable clothing. We do have a costume inventory for dancers who participate in performances.

Do I have to perform?

Performing is an additional activity enjoyed by six to ten dancers. In order to promote the club and raise a little money, performances, whether at a festival, school or a care facility, give us the opportunity to polish a few dances and to share our enjoyment with others.  We perform and teach in the community. We encourage all dancers at any level to participate but it’s up to each dancer whether to participate in an upcoming performance. We meet some Saturdays to practice. It’s a good way to learn dances in a smaller group.

What should I bring?

Bringing a water bottle would be a good idea.

How much does it cost?

Please drop-in and try out folk dancing – your first time is FREE!!! Fees pay for rental of the hall, insurance and incidental expenses. See Fees page for the current prices.

When do you meet?

The group meets Tuesday evenings from September to early June with a break at Christmas. We have a Basic Steps Class at 6:30 – 7:00 and dance at 7:00 – 9:30.

Where do you meet?

Our dance location is at Charles Rummel Centre, 3630 Lozells Avenue, Burnaby, BC. The cross street is Government Road.

What should I expect when I come on a Tuesday evening?

Each evening begins at 7:00 pm, with a few warm-up dances, then we learn and review a few dances. During the last part of the evening, we try the new dances again.  Members’ requests are played and danced, sometimes with a brief review. We have a brief break half way through the evening.

Each season a few weeks of instruction by a guest folk dance teacher will alternate with some weeks of teaching and review by experience members of our own group. The Tuesday program is emailed to dancers a few days before dancing each week.

We have a website (burnabyfolkdance.org) that lists what events are coming, and a list of dances taught and requested with links to dance notes and videos if available, contact information, etc.

How do I learn a new dance?

A few dances will be taught most weeks. Make sure you ask questions if you are not sure about anything. Sometimes the quickest way to learn a dance is by imitating, with no verbal instructions. When an unfamiliar dance is requested, choose someone who knows the dance well and dance behind that person and when you think you can do the dance, join the line. Join the end of the line farthest from the leader, in the middle of a two-leader line, or anywhere in a circle. Wait for a slow part to join the middle of a line or a circle.

Try to learn the names of the dances so you can request them later. Jotting down dances’ names and a few notes will remind you about the dances you want to repeat or check on the internet. The names of dances you want to request for future Tuesdays can be given to our Lori Larsen.

Who do I ask if I need help with a dance?

Feel free to ask for help from anyone. It takes time and practice to learn a new dance. When we teach a new dance, we repeat the teaching for 2 to 3 more weeks. Look at our website for the list of dances taught with links to written instructions and videos.

What about the parties?

At least three times a year we have parties where we dance the members’ requests with a brief review when needed. All parties include snacks and the wearing of any costumes or near-costumes we may have.

How is the club organized?

We are a registered non-profit group which relies on the skills and efforts of members to accomplish its necessary business. Check the Constitution on our website for more details. We have an annual general meeting in June when officers are elected.

Any business or correspondence of interest to the group is brought up during the brief break in dancing each Tuesday evening. A list of members with phone numbers and e-mail addresses is produced annually.