COVID 19 update:
During the COVID 19 pandemic, AIFD, in coordination with the Houston International Folk Dancers (HIFD), will be hosting weekly ZOOM dance sessions in lieu of in person meetings. For weekly details, check out the current AIFD newsletter.
AIFD meets on Friday from 7-9:45 pm
at the Hancock Recreation Center, 811 E 41st St, in Austin.
The admission fee is $5 for those 18 and older.
There is no fee for those under 18, but they must be supervised by a designated person 18 or older.
AIFD is organized exclusively for educational purposes, including the promotion and teaching of traditional folk dance, music and crafts native to a variety of countries.
In many countries dance and music have long been part of the village celebration of important events. The variety of music and dance from a Bulgarian Men’s line dance, or a Hungarian twirling couple dance, to a Scottish country set dance reflects the cultural diversity of these countries. As immigrants moved to this country, the dances and music they brought with them helped to preserve their cultural heritage and identity.
Modern folk dancing was born when people found that doing ethnic dances from all over the world was a fun, challenging and uplifting activity. It also provides aerobic exercise, education in music and culture, new skills, and new friends and community.
Folk dancing has also preserved parts of the cultural heritage of ethnic groups. In some cases it has allowed descendants of certain groups to “reseed” traditions in countries the came from, long after war, upheaval, and modernity had all but wiped them out.
There is often an overlap between folk dancing and other recreational dancing. You will find a number of fliers announcing contra, ballroom, and specific ethnic dance groups. The all provide a fun, exciting, and enriching form of exercise, recreation, and socializing. But in all dance groups, it is always the people that make the difference, and the goal of each group is to include everyone in the building a healthy and enriching dance experience.
Austin International Folk Dancers has been around since the 1940s. We’ve seen Austin grow from a small town to a city with a population pushing close to three-quarters of a million inhabitants. And during that time, we’ve been meeting each Saturday to do what we love best: dance to all kinds of cool world music. Our repertoire spans the Americas to Britain to Scandinavia through central and eastern Europe and points further east.
Our constantly updating repertoire includes:
- Greek, French-Canadian, Norwegian, Croatian, Mexican, Chinese, Romanian, American, Swedish, Turkish, Bulgarian, Spanish, Russian, Scottish, Israeli, Polish, Hungarian…
- Line dances, couple dances, circle dances, mixers, set dances, trios, contras…
- Slow, fast, smooth, jumpy, simple, complex, rocking, stamping, easy to learn or years to master, time to gossip with your neighbor or get your heart and brain working hard at the same time…
- Fiddle, accordion, voice, clarinet, dumbek, gaida, pan pipes, tapan, kaval, mandolin, gadulka, flute, zurna, trumpet, zils …
- Folk Dancing as a Soul Celebration – a great commentary about folk dancing by Adam Blatner
We often have musicans come and play for us — live music kicks the energy level up several notches. We have regular parties and each Thanksgiving most of us head north to Bruceville Texas for a four-day dance workshop/party that has to be seen to be described. Suffice it to say it’s more fun than should be legal. ;-)