“Ask others to dance with you – even if you don’t know them.” This directive, listed as a rule for “How to Have Fun at the Family Folk Dance”, is at the heart of this beloved event. The intergenerational celebration of traditional dance, which will hold its 19th rendition this Saturday, January 12th, is a favorite Brooklyn Friends celebration year after year.
Created in the Fall of 2000, Performing Arts Chair and Lower School Dance teacher Margaret Bary and her colleague Ellen Cookson envisioned a celebration that was both community-building and that served the dance curriculum. And achieve that vision they did!
The Lower School Family Folk Dance, proudly sponsored by the PAT and the Performing Arts Department, allows for children and adults of all ages to connect and enjoy each other’s company. With live music and dance, we naturally smile at one another and make new friends. It is a warm and welcoming experience for all.
Dances performed at the event are based in the Anglo-American dance repertoire and include African American singing games. These folk traditions are fully embraced by our dance faculty and enjoyed by our students. With these dances, such as “Draw Me A Bucket of Water,” students learn to walk in time to music and to hear phrasing. They also learn partnering skills and to move in formation. One major feature of the Folk Dance is the leadership of each Lower School grade for a specific number. All Lower School classes spend time leading up to the event learning an age appropriate dance. They then get to showcase their skills and teach the community what they’ve learned. It’s especially gratifying to the students and their teachers to see their guests quickly pick up the steps and smile and laugh across the dance floor.
Please join us this Saturday, January 12th from 2pm to 4pm in the Lower Gym at 375 Pearl Street for the 18th annual Lower School Family Folk Dance. What better way to spend your Saturday afternoon than smiling, laughing and dancing with Friends?