When & Where We Dance
Join us for lively International Folk Dancing
Every Tuesday 6:30-8:15 PM at McCabe Recreational Center
located at 101 46th Ave, Nashville, TN 37209
$3 per class or $40 per trimester
On the first Saturday of every month, NIFD does request dancing at the Friends Meeting House at the corner of 26th Ave N & Torbett St., just off Charlotte Pike. 2:30-4:30 PM. There is a $3 fee and we are asked to wear soft-heeled shoes. Also please avoid wearing perfume at the Saturday gatherings.
McCabe Recreational Center
Tantsova Grupa (Bulgarian for "dance group") is a Nashville-based musical ensemble created in 2009 to accompany the Nashville International Folk Dancers. The band's repertoire includes village dances from Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Armenia, Russia, Hungary, France and Israel. Current musicians are Mary Lou Durham, Tim Murphy and Amberly Rosen, fiddles; Janet Epstein, recorders; Sam Frazee and Greg Jones, guitars; Michael Lewandowski, mandolin; Laura Bouffard, clarinet; Holly Tashian, upright bass; and Bill Wiggins, percussion. Other members of Tantsova Grupa have included Noa Ben-Amotz, Nermin Begovic, Bart Elliott, Billy Ramirez, and Carole VanderWal.
For more information, contact Janet at Depst98336@aol.com or 615 297-2546.
NIFD dance performances on Youtube:
The first dance is Hora Veche (from Muntenia) performed at the Gordon Jewish Community Center in 2018 in Nashville with accompaniment by Tantsova Grupa. This is followed by three dances performed at Grace Lutheran Church in Clarksville, TN: Djurdjevitsa (Serbian), Korobushka (Russian couples dance), and a fragment of Hora Veche . The final dances are from a St. Bernard's Middle School July 2017 performance in Nashville: Banu Leha'ir Et Ha'ir and Debka Oud (both Israeli), followed by Tokyo Dontaku (Japanese), Gras Kalo (Serbian Roma) and Arcanul Moldvai (from Moldova).
Fox Dance and Kapuveri Verbunk (both Hungarian), Kasapsko Oro (Macedonia), Godeski Cacak and Sarajevka Kolo (both Serbian); Sedi Donka (Bulgaria), followed by exceprts from Ambee Dageets (Amrmenia), Somogyi Karikazo (Hungary), Brachno Oro (Albania), Arcanul Moldvai (Romania), Avre Tu and Eretz Yisrael (both from Israel); Malenki Tanets (Ukraine), Sobotki (Poland), 'Ali 'Ali (Lebanon), Karagouna (Greece), the ending of Sedi Donka (Bulgaria) and Mayim, Mayim (Israel).
Hora de Mina (Romania), Jaap's Tropanka (Bulgaria), Somagyi Karikazo (Hungary), Vlashko Horo (Bulgaria), Kalamata Kerchief (Greece), Moosh/Sasoon (Armenia), Ca la Mahala (Gypsy), Zemer Atik (Israel) and Vidinsko Oro.
Dance party during NIFD 's annual Autumn Leaves dance workshop in Nashville, TN in 2012. The guest dance teacher was Mihai David. Included in this video are four dances: Somogyi Karikazo (Hungarian), Dimna Jude Mamo (Macedonian), Ciuleandra (Romanian) and Jeni Jol (Rom, from Skopje, Macedonia).
Ambee Dageets (Armenia), Fox Dance (Hungarian), Hasapikos (Greek), Myatalo Lenche and Vidinsko Horo (Bulgaria), Avre Tu (Ladino-Israeli), Jetili (Lebanon), Triandafilia (Greek) and Rustemul (Oltenia).
Bavno Oro (Macedonia), Gavotte D'Honneur (Brittany), Moja Diridika (Croatia), Olahos ("Fox Dance" from Hungary), Korobushka (a Russian couples dance), Makedonsko Naradno (Macedonia), Rustemul (Romania) and Zemer Atik (Israel).
JoJon and Daronee (both from Armenia), Jove Male Mome (Bulgarian), Ya Abud (Lebanon), Kochari (Assyria), Pentozoli (Greek), Dela din Oprisor (Romania), Bielolitza Kruglalitza (Ukraine), and 'Ali 'Ali (Lebanon).
Dancefolk in 1986
The Nashville International Folk Dance group was formed in 1948, meeting on Tuesday nights at the Belmont United Methodist Church on Acklen Ave. Las Woodard and his wife were among the earliest leaders of the group and may be considered its ostensible founders. The group danced to music on 78, 45 and Long Play phonograph records for the first few decades. During the 1950’s and 1960’s, Larry and Hilda Ratner shared leadership responsibilities in the group. During that era, by popular demand, NIFD devoted a good share of its time to English and Early American country dances as well as some Northern European dances from Germany and Scandinavia--in addition to Balkan dancing. However, by the early 1970’s the Balkan, Israeli and other Eastern European dances, characteristic of the group today, had re-emerged as the predominant focus of the group. Around 1975, Hibbard and Ruby Thatcher, along with two other couples in the group, left NIFD to form a separate Friday night group called the Nashville Country Dancers, dedicated primarily to English and New England Country Dances, and later Contra-Dances (often with a live band instead of recorded music).
The international wing of the group continued to meet on Tuesdays retaining the name, the Nashville International Folk Dancers, but it was not until 1984 that an official charter was actually drawn up for the group. After the formation of the Nashville Country Dancers, a somewhat smaller international group met for years at the West End United Methodist Church led by Amy Vietze, Dixie (Fulton) Williamson and many others, occasionally participating in local dance performances, as well as a dance trip to Sweden in the fall of 1983. In September of 1984, NIFD member and Israeli dance teacher, Dr. Rucele Consigny, spearheaded an initiative to draft by-laws for the group, promote performances, and establish an annual November dance workshop called Autumn Leaves. Soon afterwards, Paul Miller initiated arrangements for the group to meet under the auspices of Nashville Metro Parks, sponsorship which it retained for several decades. The by-laws for NIFD were adapted on Feb.12, 1985, with Dixie Fulton and Rucele Consigny serving as the first President and Vice-president of the group, respectively, and Sid Tetenbaum serving as the first secretary treasurer. The first Autumn Leaves was held in November 1984 at the Centennial Arts Activity Center, with Erik Bendix as (Balkan) guest dance instructor. NIFD became a non-profit organization on April 13, 1987.
Also notable during the early 1980’s was the 1982 formation of a dance performance group called DanceFolk, organized by long-time NIFD dance teacher Nena Couch, comprised of six senior NIFD members, including Dixie Fulton, Ginger Pyron and Bob Hemminger. After a few years, David Rapkievian took over as the group's director. The group performed its dance repertoire in the Nashville area for nearly a decade. After DanceFolk disbanded in 1989, NIFD members began increasing their local performances, dancing at Summer Lights, Celebration of Cultures, the Tennessee State Museum, Tennessee Tech in Cookeville, Country Music Hall of Fame, Unity Feast 55th Anniversary of United Nations, European Cultural Festival at Global Café, Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music, Webb School in Bell Buckle, a street festival in Crossville, Lipscomb University’s International Square Fair and Nashville Early Music Ensemble performances, Folk Fest at Centennial Park, Celebrate Nashville, and VSA arts of Tennessee Greek Festival at Vol State in Gallatin. From 2007 to the present, NIFD has performed regularly at Celebrate Nashville, usually accompanied by live musicians.
In 2009, NIFD members and local musicians formed Tantsova Grupa, now a ten-piece band which offers live music for international dance sessions, workshops and festivals. The seventy year tradition of International folk dancing continues to thrive in Nashville in the 21st Century. We are always happy to welcome new dancers. The cost is minimal and the first time is free. No partners or previous experience necessary.
SAVE THE DATE FOR NOV. 4-5, 2023
Autumn Leaves (to be announced)
Roberto Bagnoli will be a guest teacher at NIFD on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023
NIFD meets to dance every Tuesday night at McCabe. Currently the hours are 6:30 to 8:15 PM.
We also dance on the first Saturday of each month at the Friends Meeting House from 2:30-4:30 PM, located at 530 26th Ave North in Nashville,