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Club History

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What has remained the same since 1981, the beginning of a Folk Dance Club in Saskatoon:

Choose a date range to skip ahead:
1980 - 1985 1986 - 1989 1990 - 1994 1995 - 1999 2000 - 2004 2005 - 2009 2010 - 2014 2015 - 2019 2020 - present

1980 - 1985

1980

The idea and plans for a club began with Carol and Bernard Desoer. Information came from the Nov.5 , 1981, The Sheaf campus recreation page -“These two had just moved to Saskatoon from Ontario, where they had been actively involved in folk dancing for many years.”

1981

From The Sheaf, University of Saskatchewan Thursday, Sept. 1981
“January 7th, 1981, the first dance night, we had forty people out to investigate this new phenomenon.”

“Club named The University of Saskatchewan International Folkdance Club was started in 1981 by Bernard and Carol Desoer with the help of the recreation department and some very enthusiastic folk dancers. A small performance group has developed within the club. Members of the performance group will be dancing at four pavilions during the Folkfest – Arab, Indian, Jewish and Malaysian. The club will be kicking off the new season with an OPEN HOUSE on Wed. September 16th, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. in room 1110 Education Building.”

The Sheaf Nov. 5, 1981 campus recreation page “On October 3rd and 4th the club brought in Slobodan Hadjikan from Vancouver to hold a workshop in Croatian dancing.”

We received grant from the Department of Culture and Youth to help with our Croatian weekend workshop in October 1981. The club are members of Dance in Saskatchewan and the Saskatoon Folk Arts Council.

Club newsletter called The Grapevine Nov. 1981 “Eighteen people were in attendance for the instruction given by Slobodan Hadjikan. The Croatians dance heavily, with straight legs and little movement of the upper body, except in a vertical direction when bouncing on the heels of the feet. Most of us had some difficulty even approximating the proper style. Slobodan showed us a collection of genuine Croatian musical instruments including flutes, bagpipes, and stringed instruments. He also showed a movie taken this year at a folk festival in Yugoslavia, which showed dancers in costume and street musicians or orchestras using the distinctive instruments of that country. Five people got dressed up in authentic Croatian costumes for a photography session outside. The beautiful handmade detail and ornate embroidery on the garments were amazing to see. Specialized instruction gives us a glimpse of the rich background of the dances; as well as learning more about the meaning and authentic style of the dance, we become aware of the lifestyle and tradition of the country of origin. This is only the beginning of what could be a fascinating study of the people of the world!”

Photo: A group picture showing off the Croatian costumes

The group settled into about 25 people each week until exam time and remained around 20 during April, May and June. Local members Rebecca Van Sciver, Mike Wilson, Lorna Cutting, Carol Desoer, Maurice Klein taught new and often more difficult dances.

We had an evening of Scottish Country dancing with the Saskatoon Club. Theresa Healey and her two daughters, Davinia and Natasha, talked about and demonstrated the role of folk dancing today in Mozambique.

1982

Feb. 1982, The Grapevine states “In January we got a chance to experience some Spanish dancing. First, we had Liliana Perez as our guest teacher. She taught us a dance from Aragon, one of the provinces of Spain. Paula Moreno gave us some background information on the famous Spanish flamenco. Paula taught us some basic steps and hand / arm movements but the most important, she taught us the way to carry your body in a “strong” posture.”

Logo design was a contest and winner declared in The Grapevine Dec. 1981. “May it become well known in Saskatoon.”

April 1982, The Grapevine newsletter “The club has been working on bylaws and renaming of this club will be International Folkdance Club. I.F.C. Club is to be incorporated as a Non-profit organization.“

May 1982 group was dancing in YWCA $3.00 gives you membership and entitles you to a newsletter. History of Folk Dancing in this newsletter in part “For people who could neither read nor write, dances were the only record of historical events. For example, Hawaiians imitate the paddling of canoes as they migrated from Polynesia to Hawaii. A chain dance, the farandole, of Provence in southern France, once a Greek colony, resembles the winding journey to the middle of a labyrinth in ancient Crete. This labyrinth pattern represented the passage of a dead man going to heaven. Photo: Our group that performed during Princess Anne's visit. The passage however held evil spirits and people performing this funeral dance believed they helped the dead man to heaven.”

Members Phil and Rebecca appeared on CFQC noon show on July 2, 1982. Telecable 10 “The Hometown Show” appears LIVE every Friday 7 – 7:30 p.m. and in Nov. 1982 Folkdance Club Meeting it says “Cable 10 is coming 26th November to our night to tape some dancing. We will teach as usual and try to keep things normal. Holland and Chilean groups are expected to be there and be filmed.”

Performance Group danced for Princess Anne’s Saskatoon Visit July 1982

1983

Jan. 1983 Report by Els Past President on year 1982 “at the end of our second year, annual report on our activities” He states it was a hectic year. Started in our old location on U. of S. campus. The Wednesday night proved to be less than ideal. In April, May and June a weekly class for YWCA was organized on Friday nights. Moved away from U of S and started dancing at Grosvenor Park United Church on Thursday nights. Average of 30 -35 people at this location. “One sad occasion was the departure to Ontario of the Desoer family last June. We are all missing Carol’s enthusiasm, Bernard’s hand at the music and David’s antics.”

Saskatoon Multicultural Council put on a Folkdance workshop and the Club did one in March with Nic Helferink from Ottawa – Greek, French Canadian, Hungarian and Dutch .

October, Jim Welsh and Gisella from Vancouver taught different dances, Scandinavian / Mexican.

The club sponsored instructors to go to workshops in Seattle, Northwest Balkan Camp in Port Townsend, Washington. Information about this came from an application for financial assistance submitted to Saskatchewan Culture and Youth. One person from the club was sponsored to go to Focus ’84 in Banff Alberta.

1984

Saskatoon Multicultural Council (SMC) gave Ann and Debbie a bursary to attend Focus 84 to represent SMC and the Folkdance group. Also, SMC sponsored the application for a travel grant for 2 members to attend the Northwest Balkan Dance Camp in Port Townsend, Washington. These members then shared what they learned during the Sept 1984 intermediate and advanced level Balkan and Turkey workshop.

Some members attended Yves Moreau workshop in Calgary.

June 1984 in newspaper article, Meadowlark Folk Festival held at Diefenbaker Park had the performance group strut their stuff on stage. Also, the performance group danced at World Youth Baseball Championships in Kindersley July 17 – 21, 1984.

The club had a picnic at the Forestry Farm, in addition to the spring, Halloween and Christmas parties.

1985

Local club workshop in February on Balkan ethnic regions, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia and Romania learned dances that were previously taught by Yves Moreau. Local club member taught the October workshop of Mexican and advanced Bulgarian dances. The Mexican steps were collected from the Cosheros of Mexico.

SMC Radio Program club is to put content for 1 hour radio program on CHSK presented by Saskatoon Multicultural Council (S.M.C.) Program, to showcase club, set for April 14/85.

Twelve members from club attended a workshop by Andor Czompos (Assistant Professor of Dance at University of New York that the Hungarian Club hosted.)

Photo: Grosvenor Park United Church

May 25, at the Grosvenor Park United Church, club hosts a Spring Party for $4.00 admission that includes refreshments and ethnic Buffet. Everyone welcome - you need never have danced before, and a door prize.

Nov. 16th, Barn Dance at Grosvenor Park United Church with Ethnic Potluck Supper. Western Dress optional

1986 - 1989

1986

In 1986 each dance night at church was $1.50 raised from previous charge of $1.00.

Yves Moreau conducted a Balkan Folkdance workshop in Saskatoon Feb. 7-9, 1986. Grant from Department of Multiculturalism made it possible to bring Yves Moreau from Montreal. 40 Participants.

The group had a camping / dancing weekend at Wakaw.

Oct. Israeli Folkdance Workshop held at Grosvenor United Church – instructor was former club member Phil Kretzmar who moved to Ottawa.

Performance group participates in Telethon Nov. 9th, 1986 held by United Way at Centennial Auditorium (partnership with Cable 10, 10:00 a.m. – 10 p.m.) Group was on at 9:41 p.m. doing Floricica Olteneasca from Romania and 9:51 p.m., danced Hora from Israel.

1987

Workshop at church Feb. 21 - 22 with members of Saskatoon ethnic community teaching dances from Mexico, Holland and Greece. Saturday evening supper at Chi-Chi’s restaurant (302 22nd St. W)

April 7, 1987 Executive meeting states May spring party is a Mexican Fiesta Theme.

Folk dance group from Winnipeg will teach mini workshop on Israeli dances in October.

November workshop, by local member Rebecca, was geared towards advanced dancers.

Members of our club attended the Mexican dance workshop organized by the Circulo Hispanico.

1988

Report says the club was officially registered and incorporated as a non-profit organization under the name Saskatoon International FolkDance Club Inc. (S.I.F.C.) memberships are $3.50 per year.

Workshops held this year were: March 19, Scandinavian workshop – club member, Benedicte taught. May 6-8, Phil Kretzmar from Ottawa did a workshop. Oct. 28-30, club brought in Lyn Vallieres from Calgary for workshop.

1989

Club President, Sylvia’s report for 1989 states the fee was raised to $2.00 each night. In summer they still danced by the Bessborough Hotel.

Dance Saskatchewan gave grant for upcoming workshops.

1990 – 1994

1990

Feb. 1990. Annual Report states this year marks the 10th anniversary of the club. 10th Year anniversary had club featured on TV – The Folk Art Café and in a feature article in the Star Phoenix newspaper. The club also had a Spring Anniversary party. Special teaching sessions were on line dancing with Marie L., Philippine dances with Edna Peneflor, and Turkish dances with a guest from Turkey. The club sponsored a member to go to a workshop on Hungarian Dances in Winnipeg.

Performance group continue to help club’s financial situation by receiving honorariums for their performances.

Phil Kretzmar workshop May 4-6th, Dance Sask. grant money was used for this workshop. Phil shared mostly Israeli dances.

A club instructor attended Hungarian Folk Dance Workshop in Winnipeg. Oct. 27th and 28th, 1990.

Donna and Eckhart, local members, teach an intermediate workshop.

Two club members had a November TV interview regarding club functions.

Dance night fee was raised to $2.00 60 members are listed for Jan. 1990

1991

Photo: Club banner made by Fidel

Feb. 15-17,the club held a workshop with Anne Smreciu. Anne has directed, choreographed and performed internationally in major dance ensembles from Romania, Victoria, Calgary and Edmonton. Anne taught pieces from Bulgaria, England, Greece, Japan, Turkey and Yugoslavia. (most at Intermediate level) A 2nd workshop, also with Anne was funded by the City through Trust Initiatives Grant. This workshop was to prepare club members to be dance teachers, first one developed for teaching teachers. A letter from Dance Saskatchewan, Aug. 15, 1991 states approval of a grant for $500.00 with original receipts for indicated expenses.

Jan. 31, AGM annual membership fee was raised to $5.00 effective fall 1991 with $3.00 a night for non-members and $2.00 for members.

Fidel is mentioned for making a banner to take with the club on all their jaunts.

1992

50 names are on the club members list. Not all members are from Saskatoon. The list indicates members from Baffin Island, Grands Forks, B.C. Christopher Lake, Sask., Swift Current, Prince Albert, Loreburn, and Thailand.

March 13-14, club members, Fidel and Doris, conduct a workshop using taped materials as a source of new dances the first day, then retaught the dance along with practice sessions next day.

President Linda’s report states they had a Mexican going away party for Fidel.

1993

Annual Report states that the club didn’t get any grant money so it didn’t put on any workshops.

May 1993 Bridges article by Betty Ann Adam, featuring Donna, recorded “There’s something romantic about the dancers who meet on the lawn beside the Bessborough Hotel each Thursday evening throughout the summer. Maybe it’s because we’re reminded that although folk dances come from many countries, it’s likely they’ve all been done on the grass in their homelands on mild summer evenings. People strolling past often stop to watch the dancers and are invited to join in. Members of the International Folk Dance Club enjoy the outdoor dancing and the chance to attract new members, said 10-year member Donna”

1994

A club instructor was supported by the club ($300.00) to attend Montreal International Folkdance Camp July 30-Aug 5, 1994. Dances from Bulgaria, Turkey, Poland, Armenia, Greece and other countries were taught at camp. Steven later taught 6 dances to the Saskatoon International Folk Dances Club.

March 18 -20, Workshop was held with Anne Smreciu teaching dances from Portugal, Italy, Romania, Greece, Slovenia and more!

1995 - 1999

1995

President Steve wrote in his report “ I remember coming with heart and mind scattered, unfocussed. As my body settled into the repetitive Yani Mou Yannaki Mou, I felt myself root down. I realized in a deeper way the subtle goodness of the older, more repetitive traditional dances. Although there are so many more memories, I finish for now with the white C95 mug sitting on my kitchen shelf. I won it, yes I won it, for outlimboing everyone at Louis’ Pub after our performance at the International Students’ Orientation banquet ….. Onward.”

In Feb., Saskatoon workshop Marcel Pronovost of Edmonton taught a smorgasbord of dances.

In April, twenty-four club members went to Cheesetoast restaurant for a ‘Just Because’ folkdance banquet. They feasted on Hungarian and Yugoslavian fare.

July 13 dancers went to Par Place, north of Prince Albert, to bring alive a Greek Wedding reception with some of our own Grecian fare.

In Oct., four members attend Winnipeg’s dance Israeli workshop with instructor, Alberto Zirlinger from Mexico. Also, two members attend Calgary’s dance workshop taught by Yves Moreau.

In November, Donna and Dorothy, local club members teach a Saskatoon folk dance workshop.

Club subscribed to receive THE ONTARIO FOLKDANCER magazine.

Saskatoon Public Library requested the club put up a display in lobby area.

Steve states “I give thanks to creator of LIFE for dance, that we might really live, and I close with one last memory. ……….. I feel overflowing thankfulness that I am here, learning these dances.”

1996

President Steve’s report talks about Kumara introducing the club to Caribbean dance and almost working us to death in the process. There was a potluck and dance with La Ribambelle, a French Canadian dance group. Club members were mixed with a theatre community while dancing in a world premiere Klezmer opera Love and Latkes and a meet the cast party for Fiddler on the Roof.

Eight members attended Winnipeg’s Modern Israeli dance workshop taught by Alberto Zirlinger.

After a March workshop with a local club instructor Donna, who taught Alberto Zirlinger Israeli dances, the club had a ‘Purim theme’ potluck.

In November, club members Donna, Karen, Steve, and Dorothy taught a Saskatoon Folkdance workshop.

1997

Photo: Camrose Spring Fling, Saskatoon's group

Membership is $10.00 with $2.00 each dance night or non- members $3.00 for the evening of dancing.

Society of Folkdance historians in Texas published a directory and club submitted information and bought one-year membership.

Saskatoon Public Library has a directory of community information that the club is listed in.

In March, Ann Smreciu from Edmonton holds a workshop in Saskatoon.

Local instructors Donna and Dorothy, taught a folkdance workshop April 22-23rd.

Photo: 1998 Workshop group picture

May 3, some members attended The Spring Fling, in Camrose, Alberta which was organized to allow Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatoon dancers to get together and teach each other.

1998

Club received a grant from Dance Saskatchewan to have a workshop with Alberto Zirlinger. Alberto was born in Argentina and resides in Mexico City. He is known as one of North America’s finest choreographers and teachers of Israeli dance.

Club Thursday night supper and dancing at Athena Restaurant.

In April, four members attended Camrose Spring Fling.

Nov. 1998, 3 members attended Teme Kernerman’s dance workshop in Calgary. Teme teaches Israeli/ International dances with focus on teaching instructors.

1999

Photo: 1999 Workshop Group Photo

Marion, club president, in her report writes “For me, dance touches my soul, it creates life, a feeling of freedom and an expression of love. I receive energy, & dance creates a deep spiritual experience within me. I believe when we dance, we share an expression of life.” Our recreation nature continues to spread “much fun” to many.”

In April local club instructors Donna and Dorothy, taught a Saskatoon dance workshop.

Nov. Saskatoon workshop with Michael Gelman from Maryland USA. Michael found our group dancing on the riverbank when he visited Saskatoon. Michael had been in Transylvania for 3 years, learning culture and folk dances and was interested in what our club was doing.

A club member works with Saskatoon Freenet. Saskatoon Freenet got a grant to teach free lessons on how to create and maintain a website for non-profit organizations complete with web space.

2000 - 2004

2000

The location for the regular Thursday night was changed one night to the Olympia Restaurant to eat and dance.

The club brought in a former member Andrea, from Vancouver, to teach an Israeli dance workshop.

Three members attended Winnipeg’s Balkan dance workshop taught by Yves Moreau.

Seven members attended Calgary’s workshop on International folk dances taught by Edwidge Munn.

Performing group is now four members.

2001

After serving as our location for 16 years, the Grosvenor Park United Church signed a long- term lease agreement with another dance school for the entire building. The club secured a space at St. John’s Anglican Cathedral Hall on Tuesdays 7 – 10 p.m. with hopes that eventually the group would be able to rent on Thursdays in the future.

Feb. 16-18, Alberto Zirlinger Israeli dance instructor, from Venezuela taught a workshop at Redeemer Lutheran Church.

USC Canada (Unitarian Center) communications rep. Jackie writes to the club “Just a little note with a very big thank you for the spirited and energetic dancing that brought a lot of energy and joy to the recent potluck dinner. USC Canada assists people to meet some of their most basic needs in areas of the world where there is rarely a break from poverty and where daily existence is ongoing and difficult struggle”

Club member Vinod, taught members in her home how to make Samosa, tamarind sauce and gulab jamun.

Seven members perform at Waskesiu Children’s Festival, receiving park passes, accommodations and support to have food at festival.

Photo: St John's Cathedral

2002

Club resumes dancing on Thursday nights at St. John’s Anglican Cathedral Hall on Spadina Crescent. Annual membership is $20.00

In April Donna and Dorothy, local club instructors taught a Saskatoon in house workshop.

Three club members attended Camrose Spring Fling in April.

Four club members attended Calgary’s workshop on International Dances taught by Edwidge Munn from Gatineau.

2003

President Heather reports “It was wonderful to have Yves Moreau, a talented dancer with a great sense of humour visit and share Quebecois and Balkan dances with us. A road trip for some members allowed learning from the Vasilescu’s a Romanian couple who brought a contagious enthusiasm for their dances.”

Three club members traveled to Edmonton to attend Romanian dance workshop taught by Lia and Theodor Vasilescu.

In Mar. Yves Moreau from Montreal taught a Balkan Dance Workshop in Saskatoon.

2004

Club’s website is updated with the help of Saskatoon Freenet.

Five members traveled to Edmonton to attend Edwidge Munn’s International dance workshop, in February.

In March. club members Dolores and Dorothy taught a Saskatoon folk dance workshop.

Six members travel to Calgary to attend Armenia dance workshop taught by Tineke van Geel from the Netherlands.

2005 - 2009

2005

President Heather reports “we had a variety of experiences with having Lia and Theodor Vasilescu from Romania as our guests to many public performances we did through the province’s centennial year.” This was held May 13-15th. (39 people attended)

A March in-house workshop had Dorothy, Heather and Donna reteach Tineke’s dances.

May 13 – 15 Lia and Theodor Vasilescu from Romania taught dances from Romania in Saskatoon workshop. (39 people attended)

Six club members attended an Edmonton workshop with Nicci Violette from Victoria teaching dances from Israel.

2006

This year the club offers Full Membership at $137 / year and partial membership of $20.00 plus $4.00 each dance night attended, with non-members $5 per dance night

Local club instructor Dorothy, teaches Croatian dances introduced by Zeljko Jergan, Mar. 24-25th, at St. John’s Anglican Church Hall. This workshop has a photo gallery on this website, Click here to view the photo gallery.

late 2006 – Following the death of our contact at Freenet, Jannette volunteers to take over maintenance of the club website, migrating it to sifc.awardspace.com

2007

Club is adopting a Go Green Proposal.

Our video library of workshops was updated by Dorothy from cassette to digital, so the teaching materials may be preserved and available for years to come!

Three club members attend Edmonton’s Romania Dance workshop taught by Sonia and Cristian from Montreal. Also, three members travel to Camrose in May for Spring Fling where Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatoon instructors share teaching dances.

Edwidge Munn, from Gatineau, taught International folk dances at Saskatoon’s March workshop. Click here to view the collection of photos from this workshop.

2008

One of the Thursday club dance nights is hosted at Extendicare.

Local club dance instructors, Donna and Dorothy, have a workshop Mar. 15th, at Ecole Canadienne 1407 Albert Ave. (12 people attend)

2009

Photo: Dancing in the Park 2009

Mar. 2009 Workshop in Winnipeg with Ahmet Lucleci from Boston who taught dances from Turkey. 4 Club members attended

Oct. 9 – 11, Tineke Workshop held in Saskatoon at Dance Saskatchewan Studios (20 people attended). Tineke van Geel is an Armenian and International instructor from the Netherlands. This workshop has a photo gallery, click here to see it.

2010 - 2014

2010

New Performances E.E. Burritos for Wanda’s Housing for New Immigrants, Room for Improvement, Pacific Hall (3rd World Country Developments) Farmers Market, Festival of Faith, Open Door

2011

As with every year we have the best Halloween Party. Wonderful costumes over the years.

Photo: Heather and Enesa at Halloween Photo: Linda, Angie and Lalita at Halloween Photo: Susan and Carol at Halloween

2012

Lee Otterholt from Laguna Beach USA International Workshop at Albert Community Center. March 2-4, 2012 (25 people attended)

Istanbul Restaurant supper out and dancing.

Photo: Istanbul dinner 2012 Photo: Group picture Istanbul evening out 2012

2013

Photo: Albert Community Centre

In Sept. Club relocates Thursday Folk Dance to Albert Community Hall at 610 Clarence Ave.

U of S International Students danced with us April 11,2013

In March, local members Dorothy, Donna and Heather taught a folk dance workshop at Albert Community Centre. Click here to view the photo gallery for this event.

Six club member attend Edmonton’s workshop taught by Bata Miroslav Marcetic.

Photo: Icing on the cake reads: Who do we appreciate? Dorothy, Don, Edna, Donna

2014

Sept. 26-28, Balkan and Beyond Workshop with Lee Otterholt at Dance Saskatchewan. Heather writes in her report “Lee Otterholt in correspondence since the Workshop said it was very well organized, a joy to teach and that Saskatoon holds a spot in his heart. He thinks of us with each taste of Saskatoon Berry jam to which he is reordering online!” Click here to see the photo gallery for this workshop.

Saturday workshop party supper and dancing held at 2nd Floor of The Real Greek Restaurant 119 3rd Ave.

A committee is formed to organize a 35 - year reunion with former folk dance club members invited to join in celebrating.

2015 – 2019

2015

Twelve Club members, some with significant others or family guests travel to Hawaii March 28th, 2015 for fun and to dance at a Hawaiian workshop Sat. April 4th. Local members, Donna, Dorothy and Lalita also taught international dances at this workshop.

Photo: Dancing in Hawaii

35 Year Reunion Night Sept. 10th, club has 14 guests / past members attend our social with beverage and finger food. Click here to see the photos from this event!

Oct. 2015 four members attend Yves and France Moreau Balkan and International dance workshop held in Edmonton.

2016

Club had guest instructor teach an Iranian dance.

April 15 – 17th, 2016 Roberto Bagnoli from Italy taught International Workshop at Albert Community Centre (29 people attended). See photos from this workshop by clicking here

In March, 3 club members attended Winnipeg’s International Workshop with instructor Steve Kotansky from New York.

Oct. 28th- 30th Andre Montsion from Montreal/Las Vegas taught dances from Greece, Israel and French Canadian dances. Workshop was held at Dance Saskatchewan Hall on Friday, rest of workshop at Albert Community Center (27 people attended)

Dec. 15, club Christmas party theme was to come with decorated hat, sweater and ensemble. Best costume awards and a Christmas name game added fun.

Photo: 2016 Christmas Party

2017

Photo: Dancers sitting at the dinner table

Ukrainian Christmas Eve, January 6th, was hosted by club member Angie with her sister. We all enjoyed the authentic traditional experience, food, and learning of symbolism and activities of the past.

Sviata Vechera Menu: Kutya, Borsch with Dumplings, Varenky with Kapusta, Varenky with Potatoes and Cheese, Rice Holubtsi, Fish, Osyletsi-Pickled Herring, Pidpen’ky with gravy-mushroom gravy, mashed beans with Kapusta, Uzvar, Makivnyk- Walnut Roll and Poppy Seed roll, Pampushky, Kolach Bread.

Feb. 28th ten club members travelled to Las Vegas, Nevada to be a tourist. Our tourist guide was Andre Montsion, workshop instructor of 2016 winters in Las Vegas. Mar. 3rd the group travelled by van to Laguna Spring Festival held at Laguna Beach, California. Former workshop instructor, Lee Otterholt is a member of this host club. Instructors were Ahmet Luleci (Turkey dances) Sonia Dion and Cristian Florescu (Romanian dances)

Photo: Workshop dancers

In March six members attended Calgary’s folk dance workshop with Steve Kotansky from New York.

Club May Spring Party Supper was hosted at the home of club member Donna. Menu included Baked Parmesan/ sesame chicken, Beef Gulyas, Roasted Vegetables, Tropical Coleslaw, Greek Beet Salad and Tiramisu for dessert. YUM!!

After this great meal, we danced at Albert Community Centre with a Hippie Theme night.

Photo: Day of International Dance

2018

U of S International Students have 2 dance night opportunities to learn folkdance and socialize with club members.

Some group members performed at our Halloween Party as a surprise.

Photo: Halloween Witch Dance

2019

March 2019 Yoshinara Murakami from Japan taught dances from Turkey, Albania, Armenia, and Japan. 30 people attended.

March 2019 – Our website hosting from awardspace.com is discontinued. So the club's website is migrated to saskatoonfolkdance.ca and hosted on a private server.

2019 Christmas party had musical present game “Naughty or nice” like hot potato. When the music stopped so did the present. One layer of paper unwrapped either gave a gift or a prank activity to do. Lots of laughter was had by all.

Photo: Dancing with a rainbow at Kiwanis Park in downtown Saskatoon, summer 2020.

2020 - present

2020

March 16,2020 the Saskatchewan Government declared our province in a state of emergency. This ended the executive’s ideas for 2020 club activities.

Performances were held at Saskatoon Convalescent home, Parkville Manor, Heritage Festival, The Bentley took place before March 9th, with the rest of our performances canceled.

June 11th, we began social distancing outdoor dancing at Albert Community Centre Park and later on the Riverbank Park. Our club continued outside until the middle of Oct. as well as a Flash Dance on Nov. 5th.

Beginning in the fall, we had 5 indoor dance evenings following government mandates of wearing a face mask and sanitizing all surfaces that members might touch. Zoom was available for members not comfortable with being in person.

As Covid infections kept rising in Saskatoon, the executive ended the in-person dance nights on Nov. 19th by replacing it with a zoom “Culture Corner”. YouTube videos of ethnic dances were shown by some of our members and included Bulgarian, Romanian, Hungarian, Georgian and Armenian dances. Ukrainian traditions were presented to celebrate Ukrainian Christmas.

Since everyone in the world was not getting together in person, the international dance community worldwide offered Zoom classes and festivals. Several of our club members independently took part in online instruction from Italy’s Roberto Bagnoli, California’s Lee Otterholt and attended festivals like Stockton Folk Dance Camp and Lyrids Folk Dance Festival with instructors teaching in their homes.

2021

Photo: Socially-distanced dancing at Albert Park in 2021.

The club had no indoor dance experiences. However, a core group of up to 12 out of 17 members continued to dance Monday and Thursday evenings held at several parks in the city. We danced outdoors in extreme summer heat, forest fire smoke, and darkness due to shorter days which eventually forced the club to meet earlier or change to daytime on the weekends. We danced outdoors from June 2nd until Nov. 8th. Attendance was taken so if a member did contract Covid, there was a record for contact tracing.

In the months when we could not meet outdoors due to cold, snow or wet weather, the club continued the online “Culture Corner” by Zoom. Lots of interesting presentations were given by club members. A cooking class of Bosnian pita called Sirnica, Hungarian dance and culture, a Yoga class, trips to Peru and Japan, and dance videos from YouTube. One of our dance instructors, Dorothy, taught a Bulgarian Covid dance called Covid Shoo. Favourite winter/Christmas recipes and stories were shared and exchanged as well as a Christmas party with crafts and a Christmas Hula.


Are we missing something from the history of the Saskatoon International Folkdance Club? Let us know! E-mail jannettemcqueen[at]hotmail.com with details. Or, you can also submit an entry for our Members Page, to share special memories of your time with the club!


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(Updated on February 8, 2022)