International Folk Dancers of Ottawa
International Folk Dancers of Ottawa
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About Folk Dancing and its Etiquette

What is International Folk Dancing?
It is the traditional dances of many countries and cultures, from circle dances to line dances to couple dances. It is a chance to enjoy the music, rhythms and dances of countries from around the world. It is a few hours a week of fun for people of all ages.

What will it mean for me?
It will mean new friends, good exercise and a challenge for feet and mind alike. It could mean travel to workshops in other cities or countries. It could mean a new interest in music or costume. It will mean an introduction to a whole network of dance.

International folk dancing provides the opportunity to meet people from all over the world. While travelling, our members join in dancing with folk dance groups in many cities in the US and all over the world.

Our members also participate in folk festivals such as the FLURRY and NEFFA Festival, and in dancing in many other cities in the US and abroad.

Folk-dancing is fundamentally a social activity, it is important to always think about what you are doing and how it affects others. Here are some basic items of  folk-dancing etiquette.

Normal politeness is appropriate at folk-dancing. That includes saying "Thank you" and "Excuse me" as needed. Accompany your partner off the floor instead of leaving him/her in the middle.

Pay attention
This is the best way to learn new dances. The teachers do need your cooperation. Try not to talk during teaching, unless you have a question.

Carry Your Own Weight
It is greatly appreciated by everyone when you carry your own weight without hanging on the shoulders of your partner or on the people on either side of you in a line.

Direction of Dance
Most dances move to the right -- that is sometimes called the line of direction. So, it is important that everyone goes in the same direction, at more or less the same speed. Therefore, do keep moving (never stop in place) and do watch where you are going.

Joining Dances
- When you can't do a dance on your own, go behind the line, and try to follow those who know it.
- When you know the dance better, join at the end of the line, which is usually on the left.
-When you really know the dance, try to join at the beginning of the dance. Be considerate: avoid breaking lines. Otherwise, go to the end of the line.

Basic Dress Code
-Please no perfume- it poses a health risk to some people
- Comfortable fresh clothing
- Soft-soled shoes
- A belt is a must for some dances
- Please no rings with big stones
- Other jewellery kept to a minimum (to avoid anyone getting their clothing or hair caught)
- Unscented Deodorant or equivalent
- Very long hair is best worn tied back