Love, Courage, Determination, and Persistence in Folk Dancing
Some years ago, my folk dance class attendance slipped from about 20 to four. I started losing money with the rental of our dance space.
I thought about ending the dance class and giving up the group. Then a voice rose within me, which turned out to be my own, said “Never! I will never give up this class! Even if no one shows up and I’m teaching all alone, I’ll dance alone, but I’ll never give it up. I’ll choreograph new dances, enjoy old ones, listen to beautiful folk music. And I’ll do it until someone shows up. If no one comes, I’ll just dance alone. Folk dancing cures and elevates me. Others, too. ”So why give up this beautiful class just because no one is coming? No reason I can think of.”
These thoughts gave me peace of mind. I continued the class. I also began promoting the class in press releases, announcements at Meetup.com. , Facebook, local organizations, telephone calls to former dancers, and generally making great efforts to spread the word.
Results were slow in coming. Some evenings we still had three or four dancers showing up. One evening no one showed up. Another evening we had only two.
This “quiet period” lasted about two months. I continued to promote and publicize. Slowly, strangely, it even seemed miraculous but one day, a new person showed up. A few weeks later another new dancer came. Over the next months, new and former dancers started dribbling in. The group continued to grow. After a year we were up to 20-25 dancers.
Now the class is bouncing along with renewed wahoos! of excitement and enthusiasm.
Love can bring courage, determination, and persistence. And almost anything can happen with these four Beauties in place.
Thanks so much for your inspirational comment. Indeed, you have been one of my inspirational leaders ever since you first inspired my wife and me in 1976, continuing through the dance classes in NJ and several folk dance trips, not to mention training for two NYC marathons.
We just had a Bulgarian weekend here in Durham, with Steve Kotansky teaching and Michael Ginsburg and the Kolevi family playing in the band – great fun. Michael and I enjoyed re-living experiences when he was a student in my department at Columbia University in the 1970’s.
I continue to teach dances I learned from you over the years – this week I will teach the choreographed version of Daichovo. I was pleased to see that the version you posted on you-tube recently is the same one that I am teaching. I still use your you-tube entries as guides for other dances to teach.
Keep up the good work!
This is such a beautiful email, and I so love and appreciate it.
And what a welcome comment to my new blog!
Blogging is a new venture for me, a Daichovo trip through the internet.
Your teaching sounds great.
Strange and amazing with Daichovo: One of our new folk dancers is a cellist, and she did a 3-cello arrangement of Daichovo which she performed in concert. I video-taped it, and have attached the music. Totally unique. Who knows where this could go?
So much happening. So much to touch base on.
Let’s talk. I’ll give you a call.
What and when is a good time?
I agree with Bob! That was a beautiful testament to the joy of Folk Dancing! As you know, when I saw you at Koprivstitsa, our group in Augusta disbanded. And even then, you encouraged me to get it going again! I haven’t,…. yet, but reading this fills me with some optimism. I’m now retired so I have more time to devote to dancing and seeing if anyone is interested! lol. (I don’t have the same time constraints as before so if no one shows up I can at least enjoy dancing by myself!) 🙂
I would love to come up for a visit sometime.
Thanks for the memories.