International folk-dancing enthusiasts! Which dance is your favorite?

Here are my six favorites:

LANGDANS - a line dance from Holland. Music: sounds like Celtic / sea shanty combination. Dance patterns: hands grabbing wrists in star formation, sashay with partner down the middle, other couples clapping.

CYGANYTANC - a Gypsy circle dance from Hungary. Music: bolero-style guitar. Dance patterns: finger snapping, kicking up heels, lots of “cool” moves.

AN DRO RETOURNÉ - a circle dance from Brittany, the Celtic region of France. Music: modern pop. Dance patterns: linked pinkies, slide and shuffle, turn around and clap. Very joyful, exuberant, fun and easy to learn!!!

ALI PASA or ALI PASHA - a circle dance from Turkey. Music: sentimental guitar. Dance patterns: step and point heel or toe, grapevine step, butterfly kick with Yemenite step.

PATA PATA - an individual dance from South Africa. Music: African disco. Pattern: turn together and face new direction. Very joyful.

YOLANDA - an individual dance from the USA (Spanish language). Music: bolero-style with lyrics - “Yolanda, sabes que te quiero, Yolanda, yo por tí me muero.” Pattern: front cross, swing arms, turn and face new direction.

A small disclaimer: I only know how to do half of these (Lang, An Dro and Pasha). The others are my favorites to watch and listen to. Mostly I’ve seen them at the Co-op in Pasadena, California.

I have begun teaching some of them, like Langdans and An Dro, to my fourth graders, and they have really enjoyed it (despite some of them still not knowing their left from their right!).

Currently I am the only male in my family who does not confine himself exclusively to Israeli dancing. For thirty years I was a nonconformist as the only man in the family who didn’t folk-dance; now I’m a non-conformist as the only one who does other than Israeli. I just can’t get into all the tricky patterns, the facing outward so you can’t see what steps to do. “Shoofni” was a nightmare. There are plenty of folk-dancing cultures in the world besides Israel.

BTW: does anyone know about folk-dancing in the state of Michigan? I have a friend who lives there who would like to teach/learn some of these.

Thousands of people on these boards and SOMEBODY must be into this??!!

Should this have been started in Cafe Society???

I folk danced for years but don’t any more although my wife still does. I’m sure that most of my favorites are out of date by now but …

I always liked the Swedish dance to waltz time, The Hambo.

We also did one called A Russian Peasant - energetic.

The German knee, foot and thigh slapper Schuhplattler.

Actually, I have a hard time picking out favorites and I’ve lost track of most of the dance names.

We had a regular crowd that went to Fresno in the mid-'50’s for the Raisin Harvest festival every fall. We’d leave here Saturday morning, drive over a miserable two lane road to Bakersfield via the Tehachapi Pass, dance all night in Fresno winding up the Armenian Relief Society hall on Tuolumne St for an “after party dance.” Then get up, read the Sunday LA Times, dance until about 5:00 PM, drive back home in about 5 hours, get up the next morning and go to work and never really think about how exhausting it was.

Salty Dog Rag count?

I remember Ali Pasha, too. And the Hambo. And something called (I’m misspelling it…) Hohronsky Czardas… And a Celtic dance, Mairi’s Wedding.

But that was a long time ago…

I enjoy ceili and set dancing. I’ve been a member of this club off and on.