May 22: Message From Our New Prez!!!

In this week’s AIFD Newsletter:

Note from AIFD’s new president, Craig Roberts;

Update from the City of Austin;

Fun picture from Dena Houston;

Upcoming online events.

This Friday’s AIFD/HIFD Folk Dance,
May 22, 7:30-9:30pm, Zoom link.

May 15: Election results.

Farewell note from our outgoing president.

In this week’s AIFD newsletter:

– AIFD Board Elections .. check out the results, pictures of outgoing and incoming board members, and message from Denise;

– City of Austin update;

– Zoom events;

And more fun stuff.

May 8: Jasmine

From Denise:

The City of Austin has begun to open up parks and outdoor activities. Please be safe and use masks and social distancing to protect yourself and others.

Denise FynmoreOur AIFD Board elections will take place this week. Please return your ballot promptly; we will announce the results of the election in next week’s Newsletter.

There continues to be LOTS of online folk dancing and other dancing available on ZOOM, Facebook and YouTube. Check our Facebook page to see new events as they are added. AIFD’s first ZOOM dance last Friday was awesome!! We had great dance leaders, great dances, and LOTS of people.

Jasmine Guha-Castle.
Jasmine Guha Castle

We are sad to announce that on Monday, April 27, Jasmine Guha-Castle lost her long running battle against cancer. Jasmine grew up in Oxford, England, which is also where she met her husband, George. They moved to Austin several years ago. Jasmine and her daughter, Soraya (now 17), attended Texas Camp many times, and Soraya also accompanied Jasmine folk dancing nights at Hancock Center.

In addition to dancing, Jasmine enjoyed swimming at Barton Springs, walking dogs at animal shelters, and volunteering for the Miracle Foundation. She served as the AIFD secretary twice and often was the assistant DJ at AIFD. Jasmine had a warm heart for dogs and other animals, always having at least two at home. If you would like to make a donation in Jasmine’s memory please consider organizations that care for animals.

For more information, including details of this week’s AIFD Board Elections, check out this week’s AIFD newsletter.

May 1: John Ramage.

zoomDon’t miss AIFD’s ZOOM Event
Friday, May 1 – 7:30-9:30!!
Details here

From the AIFD Board President:
COA logoThe City of Austin has extended the “Stay Home” orders until May 8, as well as the requirement to wear face coverings when not at home.

From Denise:

Denise FynmoreAgain, I hope that you are all safe and well, and that you and your loved ones have not been touched by COVID-19.

We are keeping to our schedule for the yearly Board Election, and it will take place next week (details in the newsletter).

There continues to LOTS of online folk dancing and other dancing available on ZOOM, Facebook, YouTube, others, I’m sure. I have listed only some regular events here, so keep checking the AIFD and HIFD Facebook page for more information. I am also very excited to announce that AIFD will have it’s first ZOOM dance this Friday, May 1!! More information under Online Dance Activities.

“John-John” Ramage.
John Ramage in Csardas hat
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of “John-John” Ramage last Thursday evening. John had been a mainstay of AIFD since the 1960s. He served on the AIFD board many times and was a signer of the original AIFD Articles of Incorporation (1976). John participated in several folk dance performing groups, and was involved in many projects related to ensuring AIFD had high quality music for its weekly dance events. What makes folk dancing so special is the community it inspires. John was a very special part of that community, and his presence will be felt at every dance event.

We wish the best to John’s wife, Peggy, his children, and his new grandchild.

For other items, including important information about upcoming AIFD Board elections, check out this week’s AIFD newsletter.

Mar 27: Note from our Prez.

From the AIFD Board President:
Denise FynmoreWe sincerely hope and pray that all our AIFD dancers are faring well during this time of the COVID-19 virus. Travis County has instituted a shelter-in-place order that started Tuesday, March 24, a serious measure that is aimed at stopping transmission of the virus in order to “flatten the curve.” We urge everyone to follow this guidance as much as is possible, because the sooner the virus is stopped, the sooner we can get back to DANCING. We will not do this until we are 100% sure it is safe to do so. I miss folk dancing and my dancing friends, and I look forward to seeing you all on the dance floor as soon as possible. We will keep you updated on any information on resuming folk dancing. Please take care and stay safe! – Denise Fynmore.

For more information, including links to upcoming events, AIFD Newsletter.

Nelda Drury

Nelda Drury
April 23, 1918 – February 21, 2019.
Nelda Drury It is with tremendous sadness that we announce the passing of Nelda Drury. Nelda left us peacefully on February 21st.

We extend our condolences to her daughter Elizabeth Newton and her son Jimmy Drury.

Nelda’s inspiration and passion for folk dancing cannot be overstated. A 1995 Ford Salute to Education Award summarizes this contribution nicely:

“Nelda Guerrero-Drury is recognized nationally and locally as one of the most prominent figures in performing arts – specifically International Folk Dance. She is an inspiring individual who has contributed over 40 years of her life teaching folk dance to many students and educators in San Antonio and throughout the world.”

Nelda was a founder of the San Antonio Folk Dance Festival, which celebrates is 61st anniversary on March 14-17.

A wonderful biography of Nelda can be found on the website.

A church service will be at Covenant Presbyterian Church on 211 Roleto Dr., Saturday March 9, 2-4 pm. Luncheon and dance after the service.

AIFD Zoom Event May 1st.

zoomHello folk dancers! Once again folk dancing will be presented virtually on Zoom this coming Friday night, May 1, from 7:30 – 9:30, hosted by the Austin International Folk Dancers. Dance leaders are Lisa Dielman, Holly Plotner, Kathleen McDonagh, Franklin Houston, and Madeline Brock.

List of teachers and dances they will teach.

If you have not yet tried this Zoom dancing, come on and join in, it is very easy and so much fun to see everyone again. To do it, go to and install Zoom on your computer — it is free and simple to install.

Then on Friday night, simply join the Zoom dance by clicking this link:

The meeting ID is 845 8003 5452 and the password is 003893 but all of that is done automatically once you click the link. If a small “Launch Application” window opens up after you click the link, then just click “Open Link” and the Zoom window will open up and you will start seeing the faces of your dancing friends. We hope to see you there and virtually hold hands as we dance to the tunes we love.

Live Music for AIFD!

Zoom Concert with Shirley Johnson.

When: Friday, April 10th, 2020, 7:30-8:30 PM Central Time.

Shirley JohnsonShirley will be playing your favorite folk dance tunes for your listening / dancing pleasure. This will be the first time that Shirley will be hosting a Zoom concert! Since it is on Zoom, hopefully you will get a chance to interact a bit with your friends!

To access the concert, go to the link above and register (First name, Last name. email) and then follow the instructions. We recommend you do this well before the concert so you’ll be online and ready when the music begins.

The concert is FREE. $5 donations at her virtual tip jar at would be greatly appreciated.

If you have any questions feel free to email Shirley at or

Quarantine Help

During these difficult times, AIFD is maintaining a list of fund raising efforts for people in our folk dance community affected by the Coronavirus.

The list includes fund raising efforts for specific needs (such as Petur Iliev’s house burning down) to more general efforts (such as donations to food banks).

If you know of a fund raising effort that you would like AIFD to add to this list, please forward the link to

This list will be available through the AIFD weekly newsletter,, and via our FB pages.