Narodni Folk Dancers

Bellflower, California











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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost?

The recommended donation for admission is only $4 per person;  special events might be slightly higher.  Dances usually start at 7:30 PM and end at 10:30 PM.

What do I wear?

You might look terrific in a cocktail dress with pearls and stiletto heels, but you'd probably feel out of place if you wore that outfit to our dances, (especially if you are a guy.)  The dress code at Narodni is wear comfortable clothes and shoes that will not leave marks on the floor.  Preferably, bring shoes to dance in and change out of your street shoes before dancing.

Do I need a partner?

In the course of an evening, about one third of the dances are couple dances, and some of those are mixers and set dances where you change partners and dance with other couples in a group.  The other two-thirds of the dances are circle, line and individual dances that do not require partners.  

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?  The glass is a) two-thirds full or b) one-third full.  If you have a partner, by all means, bring them.  If you don't, don't worry about it.  Come and see if you like it.  If you do, tell your friends.

Do you do square dancing?

We do not do square dancing, although we have nothing against it.  If you are interested in square dancing, you should be able to find a fun square dance group that meets regularly.

We have tapes of over six hundred different dance tunes from around the world.  Some are American, Latino, African, and Asian, but the majority are traditional European dances.  Many of them are centuries old (the dances, not the tapes.)

What can I expect on my first night at Narodni?

You can expect to feel like a klutz.  Unless you are a professional dancer or someone who has studied dance for years, you are not going to be able to step into every dance and do it flawlessly.  All of us, no matter how graceful (or disgraceful) we may appear now, went through this when we started.  

Expect a non-alcoholic, non-smoking environment with supportive people who are more interested in helping you learn, than in laughing at your mistakes.  Expect a room where you can talk quietly to the person next to you without having to shout over the music to be heard.  Expect to hear some music that might seem familiar, and a lot of music you have probably never heard before.

Will I ever become a better dancer?

Everyone who has the perseverance to come back will improve.  We all learn at different rates, but there are things you can do to shorten the learning curve.  Dancing more frequently is one of the best ways to learn faster.  

There are several international folkdance groups in Southern California, and there is a lot of overlap in the repertoires of the different groups.  Within a twenty-five mile radius of the City of Bellflower, you can find an international folkdance group meeting on every night of the week.

What is "international" about international folk dancing?

Most cultures have some dances that are done socially at weddings and other gatherings.  These dances are part of the respective culture's or ethnic group's folk or traditional dance heritage.  Many groups like the Greek and Armenian Churches and some Jewish Community Centers promote their own ethnic traditions with dance groups and classes that teach the traditional dances of their own cultures.  

International folkdance groups provide forums where individuals can learn dances from many cultures that might not be their own.  The internationality (or multiculturalism) is limited only by the interests of the groups and the abilities of the available teachers.

What is the difference between folk and classical dance?

Many cultures have both folk and classical dance traditions.  Ballet is an example of classical dance in western culture.  Persian court dances, Indian temple dances, and Cambodian classical dances are a few examples from Asia.  

Classical dances are performed by professional or highly trained dancers who have studied their form (usually) for many years.  Folk dances on the other hand are based on traditions where the people who did the dance were not "professional" dancers.  In their native settings, most folkdances were learned by youngsters watching their elders dance at social gatherings and learning by doing.  Mexican folklorico dance is an example of a folk dance.

Who does international folk dancing?

International folk dancing is enjoyed by people who like to learn about other cultures.  People who like to exercise both their minds and their bodies can enjoy international folk dancing.

What are some tips about folk dance etiquette?



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