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Folk dance in America

Doug Cole and Mara O’Malley, Contributing Writers

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     I have always loved to dance, ever since I was young. It is something that is very fulfilling and enjoyable to me, which is why this past weekend was so special. Through the support of the BU Anne K. Wilson Dance Fund, Mara O’Malley and I were able to attend World Camp in Iroquois Springs, NY. World Camp is an intensive weekend of Folk dance with experts of Balkan, Greek, and Turkish traditional dance. As President of the BU International Folk Dance Club along with Vice President Mara, I was able to learn many new dances and gain a deeper understanding of different cultures. We bonded with many fellow camp members, some of whom were from as far away as Brazil and Argentina!

     Everything about Iroquois Springs was wonderful from the delicious food to the fun atmosphere but the greatest part of the trip was getting to dance with the pros. We had a great time learning Greek festival dances with Joe Graziosi and various diverse Turkish dances with Ahmet Luleci. Ahmet’s fast pace and style was both challenging and entertaining. Mara found the camp a great way to connect with people we wouldn’t ordinarily meet and found the opportunity challenging but very rewarding.

      So what is “folk dance” anyway? Most dances are done in a circle with the group holding hands and a leader at the beginning of the line. Dancers follow the leader but most people know the steps which allows the leader to improvise steps and give flavor to the dance. We were lucky enough to be able to dance with a live band, which made each dance more exciting and in the moment. With the experts taking the lead, everyone had an exciting time during the group band nights at camp. If you are interested in folk dance, the University offers an Exercise Science class where you can learn or you can come out and dance with the Folk Dance Club on Friday night in Centennial Hall room 134 from 6:30 to 8:30!


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Folk dance in America