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Tapestry Folkdance Center plans a 35th-anniversary celebration

Posted on 28 May 2018 by calvin

In Longfellow for the last 19 years

Tapestry Folkdance Center is a non-profit venue located in the Longfellow neighborhood. Founded in 1983, Tapestry inhabited a series of rental spaces for 16 years, existing variously in Dinkytown, on the West Bank of the University Campus, and deep in South Minneapolis at the Sabathani Community Center. Its first permanent home, 3748 Minnehaha Ave., was purchased in 1999 and, just a few months ago, the organization paid off their mortgage.

Photo right: A Contra dance is held most Saturday nights at Tapestry. On Sat., June 15, experienced and new dancers are welcome to hit the dance floor as part of the 35th birthday weekend celebration. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

To celebrate that achievement, along with the occasion of their 35th-anniversary celebration, Tapestry is throwing a four-day-long party on June 14-17. Check the website at for last minute details, but the schedule is likely to be:

Thurs., June 14
• 7-8:30pm—Bollywood Dance is a stylized freestyle dance form based on India’s Bollywood films. It is energetic, lyrical, and aerobic, modeled on classical and folk dance, and influenced by Western hip-hop.

Fri., June 15
• 7:30-11pm—International folk dance teaches ethnic dances from around the world including Eastern Europe, Greece, Israel, Turkey, Armenia, Scandinavia, Brittany, East Asia and a little English Country.

Sat., June 16
• 9am and 10am—Zumba is an exhilarating dance fitness class for all ages and levels. It combines Latin and international rhythms in a one hour class of fun dancing with a party-like atmosphere. Ditch the workout and join the Zumba party, with instructor Sadie Jelinek.
• 12-3pm—Dance demonstrations will include Morris dance, a form of English folk dance based on rhythmic stepping. Dancers wear bell pads on their shins; sticks, swords and handkerchiefs may also be used by the dancers. Ballroom or Latin style dance including the foxtrot, cha-cha, salsa, waltz, American tango, west coast swing, east coast swing and/or the rumba.
• 1-3pm—Articulture will be offering art activities for kids in the parking lot if weather permits; indoors if it does not.
• 3-5pm—Family folk dance (ages 3+). The family folk dance tradition focuses on simple, easy-to-learn dances that everyone can enjoy. A caller teaches dances from the British Isles and America, including group circle and line dances, and dance games with singing.
• 5:30-6:30pm—Soup/Bread/Bars with speakers and a special program. City officials have been invited to attend.
• 7:30-11pm—Contra Dance with live music by Contratopia and caller David Kirschner. Based on New England barn dancing, a caller leads dancers through movements done in a line with a partner (you don’t need to bring a one). Live music is played from different traditions including old time, Irish, Cajun, and French Canadian.

Sun., June 17
• 9am—Zumba.
• 11am-1pm—Dance Church is a non-denominational movement inspired gathering with free dance for all ages.
• 4:30-6pm—The “Mostly” Waltz Afternoon. The waltz is one of the world’s most popular couple dances. It is both accessible for beginners and challenging for experienced dancers. The variety of live waltz music is both beautiful and diverse.
• 7-9pm—English Country Dances are elegant social dances from the 17th and 18th centuries, danced to recorded baroque music and led by a teacher.

Costs for dances held throughout the weekend will be the same as Tapestry’s usual admission charges; remember to wear low heel, comfortable shoes with clean bottoms (to protect the dance floor). There will be no charge for any of the demonstrations.

Photo left: Family folk dancers will demonstrate simple line and circle dances on Saturday afternoon, June 15th, at Tapestry Folkdance Center. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

Event organizer, Lydia McAnerney, said,”The members of Tapestry hope that this long weekend will serve as a time of reunion for people who danced here over the years and fell away for one reason or another. It’ll be a great chance to come back and see old friends. On the other hand, we actively seek and welcome new dancers! Tapestry loves being part of the Longfellow Community. Come and see what’s happening right here in the neighborhood and if you’ve never tried folk dancing before—so much the better. These styles of dancing are accessible across the whole spectrum of age and ability.”

Inside the warm brick façade of Tapestry Folkdance Center, there are different dance and movement gatherings every night of the week. Take advantage of the 35th anniversary party weekend to see what keeps people lacing up their dance shoes year after year.

“There’s just something about the music and the movement,” said longtime dancer John Orrison. “From the first time I stepped onto the dance floor more than 30 years ago, it wasn’t like anything I’d ever done before. I loved folk dancing back then, and I still do.”

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