Did you know that you can travel around the world without ever leaving the United States? Enriching and informative travel happen right here at home through the world of International Dance. And you don’t have to dance!
Formerly known as “folk dance,” this style of dancing consists of ancient dances and music as well as modern choreography and music. International Dance can be social, recreational and also of performance quality.
As a traveler within the United States, there are many places around the country that offer a chance to participate in or just be an observer of International Dance. Let’s take a look at the Pacific Northwest.
Oregon and Washington offer a variety of opportunities for finding International Dance groups. Along the I-5 Corridor, there is a recreational folk dance group at Ashland, Oregon. One can discover a great deal about the music, dance, dress, food, customs and traditions of many different countries even through recreational groups like this one.
Traveling north along the I-5 Corridor to Eugene, Oregon, you will find two very different International Dance groups. One is the Eugene Folk Dancers, a recreational dance group. The other is Veselo. Veselo is a Bulgarian dance group. They are recreational but also have a performance group. Veselo sponsors a three-day Bulgarian workshop in January with guest instructors from Bulgaria.
You will meet so many people along this dance adventure, not the least of which are the teachers from other countries. You can get to know them and about their home countries, the people, the traditions and more. And the music is not only different but often beautiful and always interesting.
Traveling further north on the I-5 Corridor will bring you to Portland, Oregon where the Kyklos International Folk Dancers reside. Portland also is home to Portland Israeli Dance otherwise known as Rikudei Am (Dance of the People). Israeli dance is not as old as Bulgarian and others but the steps are often the ancient steps brought to the Middle East when the Jewish people started migrating to Palestine in 1882.
Seattle, Washington is about 173 miles north of Portland. Seattle is home to many different International Dance groups. Greek dance, Balkan Dance, Israeli and more. One large dance community is Skandia. Skandia is a non-profit, educational and cultural organization founded by Gordon E. Tracie in 1949 for the preservation and teaching of Nordic traditional dance culture and music.
If you want to travel the beautiful Pacific Coast, there are International Dance groups up and down the Oregon Coast. The Coos Bay Folk Dancers are based in Coos Bay, Oregon. The Oregon Coast International Dancers are in Florence, Oregon. The Port Orford Folk Dancers are at Port Orford, Oregon. This style of dance can be found in many other Oregon and Washington communities as well.
If you have a desire to travel but don’t want to wander far from home, come visit us at Umpqua River Haven. We will point you in the right direction to discover people, dance, music, culture, ethnic food and recipes and more from all over the world through International Dance.