News and updates will be posted here and on the Events page, and we also send notices to our email list. If you don’t receive our emails and would like to, let us know through our Contact page and we’ll add you to the list.

Friday Night Dancing

Dates: Every Friday
Time: 7:30 PM till 9:30 PM
Place: Altadena Community Church, 943 Altadena Drive, Altadena, CA  91001
Admission: $6 (members $5) Additional donations welcomed

Dancing at the Co-op This Month

In the teaching sessions this month, Marshall Cates will be teaching Blue Hills, a graceful Israeli couple dance that you can see demonstrated here. Also, on the second Friday of the month, Marshall will be doing set dance review starting at 6:30 before our regular dancing. You can find our full dance programs for each Friday, on the This Month page.

Beginners Hour Coming in September

On Friday, September 6, 2024, we’ll have our first Beginners’ Hour at the co-op starting at 6:30 PM. This is a pilot program approved at the last board meeting to help introduce new dancers to folk dancing without overwhelming them with our dance list. 

The program will run every first and third Friday of the month from 6:30 till 7:30. The first session is free and thereafter admission is the usual $6 (or $5 for members) with attendees encouraged to stay through the evening for as long as they like. We’ll teach folk dance basics and simpler dances, review and dance previously taught dances in subsequent sessions, and focus on giving new dancers a chance to build their skills and develop confidence.

Anyone out there who came and danced with us but then got discouraged, we hope you’ll come back and give this a try.

Upcoming Co-op Board Meeting

The first meeting of the newly elected co-op board will take place online on Saturday, July 13, 2024 at 10 AM. Co-op members, if you would like to attend, send an email through the Contact page, and you’ll be provided with the link for the meeting. On the agenda so far is:

  • General coordination: agreeing on what we’re doing and how, clarifying any questions
  • Year-end treasury report
  • Update on Beginners Hour
  • Update on October Art Night
  • Setting a date for the next meeting

We plan to have future meetings in person, but this month with several of us going out of town at different times, online was an easier option.

Co-op Memberships

Co-op memberships expired at the end of June. See Rick Bingle at dancing on any Friday night to renew your membership or to buy a new one if you’re not yet a member. A membership costs $10 for the full year and it gets you into Friday night dancing for $5 rather than the standard $6 as well as making you eligible to vote for the board of directors and to serve on the board. Plus it’s just a nice expression of solidarity and support for the Co-op.

Pasadena Folk Dance Co-op History — Information Wanted

We’re still seeking details of early co-op history to include on our website. Old timers out there, do you have historical data you can contribute? Please send it by reply email to this newsletter.

Folk Dance Resources

Most of you probably know that Pasadena Folk Dance Co-op is a member of the Folk Dance Federation of California, South, Inc. Through the federation we are connected with other folk dance groups around the region, and the federation provides us with support and a wealth of folk dance resources. They also sponsor our festivals and those of our sister organizations in the area. On their website you can find a directory of federation clubs, advices on teaching, organizing events, and managing clubs, as well videos and syllabi for an enormous library of dances, plus folk dance news and events, and more.

Something probably less well known is that via the federation we belong to the National Folk Organization (NFO). NFO also offers a wealth of resources on their website and through various events both online and in-person nationwide, and they offer scholarships to many of their events. Check out a recent newsletter to get a flavor of who they are and what they do.

Join the Folk Dance Federation Facebook Page

The Folk Dance Federation of California South now has a page in Facebook Groups here. If you’re a Facebook user, joining it will help you stay informed on all the great folk dance happenings going on in the whole region and also connect you with lots of folk dance clubs and individual folk dancers. 

Federation Scholarships

Are you interested in attending folk dance festivals and camps, but maybe a little short of funds? The Federation offers scholarships for camps and festivals to dancers who are participating in their local clubs and supporting the growth of international folk dance. You can receive up to half of camp tuition or the full registration fee to festivals with teaching. Click here to find out how to apply.

Folk Dance Scene

Folk Dance Scene is the official publication of the Folk Dance Federation of California, South, Inc. It comes out ten times a year in both print and email form (monthly, with combined issues for June/July and December/January). In it you’ll find news and information on our sister clubs in the area plus interesting articles on folk dance, music, costumes, customs, lore, and culture of the peoples of the world, as well as news of folk dance opportunities in other regions. Design and layout are done by our own Pat Cross and Don Krotser. 

Click here to peruse a sample issue (March 2024) and if you’re interested in a subscription, send an email to: subscriptions@FolkDanceScene.org.

Beginner Orientation

We offer beginner orientation sessions, scheduled according to interest and availability. When we have them, it’s a half-hour session starting at 7:00 before our regular dancing begins. We cover types of folk dances, hand holds, some basic folk dance patterns, and two or three of the simplest dances.

To find out about future sessions, use the Contact page. If you’ve attended before, it’s fine to schedule again for a refresher, or if you know an interested beginner, please send them this way.

*****
Current Covid-19 Protocols for Co-op Dancing

As of March 24, 2023 we no longer require proof of Covid-19 vaccination.

  • Do not attend if you are sick
  • Face masks are strongly recommended but not required
  • Please bring your own water and any snacks you want to have
  • Hand sanitizer is available

Some Co-op History

from Marshall Cates

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Ray Augustine

In the middle  80’s the Pasadena Coop was at a very low state  We had been dancing at the Odd Fellow’s Lodge -upstairs when they suddenly doubled our rent. I was President at the time, so It fell on me to find a new location.  I thought I had a place at the congregational church, but when they said we had to quit at 10:30, it was a deal breaker (we were dancing to 11:30 at the time).  We finally settled on Holliston Church even though the floor was not wood. Slowly we lost people, eventually Ray Augustine quit coming. This was a serious blow as he and I were the main teachers with Ester Purcell doing beginning. He brought the new dances from Stockton.  We dropped to about 15 with Cheryl bringing refreshments, both of us opening and closing and me doing most of the teaching. We started quitting at 11:00.  About two years later Phil Gamble found Throop hall with its wonderful floor. Ray returned and we began again to flourish. By 1993 we had good attendance at both the New Year’s Eve party and the Winter Festival.

1990s

Quotes

The job of feet is walking, but their hobby is dancing.
– Amit Kalantri

Hard times require furious dancing.
– Alice Walker

Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.
– Voltaire

If you hit a wall, climb over it, crawl under it, or dance on top of it.
– Unknown