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Intro to Bal-folk, contemporary social dances of Europe with live music!

Come and learn contemporary social folk dances of Europe in a relaxed fun setting. We will provide friendly instruction and great live music, featuring guest instructor Bob Walser. We will introduce you to circle dances, partner dances and line dances with a special emphasis on French music and dance. No partner or experience needed. Live music by Bob Walser, Meg Dedolph and Jonathan Whitall.

Musicians play traditional instruments such as the accordion, violin, hurdy-gurdy and bagpipes.
Bal-Folk festivals and events are held regularly across Europe, attracting dancers and musicians from various countries.

Musician, scholar and educator Bob Walser’s musical career spans decades and continents. In the early 1980s he made his living as a shantyman at Mystic Seaport, one of the largest maritime museums in the USA. Since then he has presented Folklore In Action folk music and dance programs as an artist-in-residence in schools across the USA, and performed as a singer, dance leader and dance musician from Maine to California and overseas. In addition, he has three CDs on The Old and New Tradition label to his credit as well as guest appearances on another dozen recordings in the US, France and England.

Jonathan Whitall and Meg Dedolph are Chicago-area dance musicians, who started playing for contra dances and Irish set dances more than 20 years ago. They have slowly been falling in love with balfolk tunes for the last several years and are excited to help present this workshop.

The workshop will explore couple and group dances from France, accompanied by energetic and exciting tunes made just for the dances. We'll cover the basic dances found at most bals in Europe, and touch on some exciting French regional dances. Whether you like your dancing vigorous and fast, or slower and more relaxing, you'll find something to love in this workshop.

Class Schedules and Availability