Activities‎ > ‎

International Folk Dance

leader:     Jannet Ellis

when:      1st Wednesday of the month from 10:30 to 12:00 

where:     Stamford Hill Library

No experience required: Circle dances, longways dances, square dances, international dances – all at an easy pace: Take part or watch – it’s fun. Everyone welcome. Refreshments provided if you are early.

The International Folk Dance Group has been meeting regularly once a month for nearly three years, at the Stamford Hill library, a very suitable and popular venue - and it’s free, so thank you Hackney Council. The group has been enthusiastic from the beginning and has grown steadily, largely by word of mouth, so that we now have 35 on the register. Of course not all 35 can come every time, (fortunately or we should be overwhelmed) but during the last six months about 20 have turned up each time.

Our dances range from English longways and square dances to European circle dances, several from Israel and even one from Bolivia. Whether it was an English circle dance or a Balkan Kola (lots of enthusiastic stamps and shouts in that one) or a more sedate Estonian Polka, enjoyment was the keynote, both for beginners and more experienced dancers. What the group doesn’t know yet is that there is a Chinese one in the pipeline! Thanks to those who unobtrusively arrange the refreshments, so that in our midway break is also a time for a friendly chat in a pleasant environment. 

Why not come along one Wednesday morning and try it? It’s good fun and wonderful exercise.

Men wanted! Only one regular male dancer who is appealing for some support. Give it a go next month.

On a breezy Sunday afternoon in mid-August, a group of ladies of uncertain age could be seen cavorting about on the banks of the River Lea, watched by a larger group of approving spectators.
The Hackney Folk Dancers were at it again, this time taking part in the ‘Love the Lea’ event which centred on the Springfield area and the Walthamstow March, celebrating what water means to us. With music from a CD player plus a live violinist, we danced repeatedly ‘Mayim mayim’, an Israeli dance (mayim means water) and an English dance, Arches and Bridges.
We were rewarded not only by our own enjoyment of the afternoon but also by the many appreciative comments from the onlookers. ‘Magical, seen from the bridge with the water as a background’ said one. For those of us who stayed on afterwards there were drinks and cakes and a chance to meet and chat with the other performers at this unusual event.
As part of the same project we performed in the open air again on a beautiful autumn day in Tottenham.
Just past the underground, on a green space bordering two busy roads and overlooked by a very large, very new housing project, we entertained a group of pedestrians passing by, numerous motorists, and at least one family who sat on the grass watching us to the end. I wonder what they made of it. The feedback from the organiser was very complimentary, anyway. And so ended our uncommon Sunday afternoon dancing on the green.