Dance Information Site Link List
Here are some links to sites that might be of interested to dancers,
particularly Balkan, Israeli, Scottish & Morris folk dancers. As always
with external links, these may change so if you spot any that are no longer
valid, please contact me (with their new
URLs if known).
Balkan, East European, Israeli, International & Circle Folk Dancing
Major Annual Events/Workshops/Classes in the UK & the Netherlands
- Zomerfestival in Zevenhuizen,
in the Netherlands. A festival of intensive classes in Balkan dancing
from top Dutch Balkan teachers, in the Netherlands. A festival of
intensive classes in Balkan dancing from top Dutch Balkan dance
teachers/collectors/choreographers plus evening Balkan dance partying
etc.. It is the successor (& in similar format to) the Balkan
Festival which ran for many years in Zetten. A great way to get dances
at the same time from several of the teachers who individual teach
workshops internationally. Unfortuntely this has now ceased too.
- Machol Europa in
the UK. Europe's main Israeli dance course holiday. Classes from major
popular Israeli choreographers & teachers plus evening dancing,
extra classes, lectures, evening dancing, all-night dance marathon
etc.. Visitors from many countries. Organised by the Israeli Folk Dance
Institute. (Unfortunately the site is currently an awkward Flash-only
- Doe Dans in the Netherlands.
International folk dancing festival with classes, evening dancing,
performances, etc.. Half of it is Balkan etc. & the other half
varies between years. Only a couple of days long but about 2000
attendees, a party atmosphere and a huge amount going on. (In Dutch.)
Unfortuntely this has now ceased too.
- Eastbourne International Folk
Festival in the UK. Used to be two parallel festivals (although one
can switch freely if one wants), one on Balkan, Israeli, East European,
Breton etc. dancing, the other on Playford, English Country &
Contra etc. dancing with classes from overseas teachers, evening
costume dances, performances etc.. Unfortunately the former side got
too few attendees to be sustainable and was cut down to a small event
in a separate venue with UK teachers.
- Cathy Meunier's Balkan Folk
Dance events including the 'Rivieradance' residential courses in
Torquay. Rivieradance is is one a year in 1920s themed hotel with very
good food in winter in the warmest part of the UK with dance classes
all day (or country walking & sight seeing) by 2 high end overseas
dance teachers who vary by year. It always sells out.
- SIFD Website. Includes
a diary of events in, near or bookable from the UK. ('SIFD' is the UK's
Society for International Folk Dance.)
Dance Instructions/Steps TODO
- Vitrifolk. Text notes for over
1000 Balkan & international dances (in a mixture of French, English
& Dutch). Also 4000 costume and location reference photographs, 700
tune basics as MIDI, 900 tunes as sheet music and much else. By Pierre
Parent of the Vitrifolk dance group from Belgium.
Oakes' Folk Dance Notes. Detailed text notes for about 300 Balkan
& other international dances.
- Bob Shapiro
(folkdancernotes.com). Links to text notes for about thousands of
Balkan, Israeli & other international dances.
- Folk Dance Federation of
California. Notes for over 1100 dances scanned from its monthly
magazine's archives & course notes over decades.
- Andrew Carnie.
Text (& own shorthand notation) notes for over 1700 international
dances. Also many videos.
Circles Touchstone Farm. 500 Circle dances in handwritten Circle
Dance notation (plus 500 more for sale). They also sell music
recordings for all of them. It is a pity that most of the notes are
very low detail.
Bettis's Dance Steps. Text notes for about 150 Circle, Israeli,
Balkan etc. dances.
- Tom Deering's
Dance Notes. Detailed text (plain, HTML & Wordperfect formats)
notes for about 40 Bulgarian, Macedonian, and Romanian dances.
- Israeli Dances dot
com. Search through thousands of Israeli dances by name or
choreographer for name, choreographer, year & album information.
Some also have music or video clips and many have notes in Shorthand
Dance Notation Code.
- Elsche Korf. Text
notes & PDF sheet music for some traditional Dutch dances.
Greek Dances (2012 version on Way Back Machine). Some popular Greek
dances as text with ballroom-style foot step diagrams by Argyros
Argyrou. Site closed but archived on the Way Back Machine.
- Duramecho's Balkan etc. dance
notes. This site. Detailed text descriptions of over 100 Balkan,
East European, Israeli, Circle etc. dances.
Dance Demo/Tutorial Videos
- Dunav. An Israeli Balkan dance
group with a large & growing collection of Balkan dance video clips
and music recordings for download. (Not to be confused with Dunav the very long running London
Balkan dance band.)
- Andrew Carnie. In
addition to his masses of text notes, there are many videos.
- Of course these days there are huge numbers of dance videos hosted on
YouTube for free rather than individual sites. Be careful though as
many Balkan dances published are not expertly performed and often have
the styling wrong. This might be because it tends to be groups several
levels removed from the authoritative sources who publish free videos
of themselves as the definitive source teachers & choreographers
I've experienced mostly keep their videos for their workshops & for
Notation (on Theodor Vasilescu's site). A notation optimised for
fast yet fairly detailed notation of Balkan type (particularly
Romanian) style of dancing. It can be written quickly for the basics
(steps, timing & directions) then optionally fleshed out with
styling & other details. For years I knew of no instructions for
this on the WWW, only paper booklets from various sources, but now the
original inventor, Vasilescu, himself has put his instructions on the
WWW in English. A back-up copy of Vasilescu's Roma
Notation instruction is on the Vitrifolk site along with one from
Silviu Ciuciumiş in Romanian.
Dance Notation (on Andy Bettis's site). Sometimes called 'Nose
Notation' because of the appearance of the V-shape symbols showing
facing directions. Very simple & commonly used (in many personal
variants) for Circle Dances. Not detailed enough for learning or
archival reference from but quick & easy to read & write for
A complex form of notation but capable of great detail.
Dance Notation Code (on Israeli Dances dot com site). A quick,
typeable & highly compressed but low-detail and very complex
character based notation for Israeli folk dances.
Links & Search Engines
animated GIF folkdances. Loads of cute animated images of small
cartoon characters in traditional costume demonstrating particular folk
dances from numerous countries.
- Rikud mailing list.
Long standing mailing list (and WWW based archive) for Israeli dance
information. The event announcements are typically USA dominated but
there sometimes useful information & discussion (buried in lots of
chat) also posted to it.
- Eliznik. The site of Nick
Green & Elizabeth Melish, avid British collectors & teachers of
Romanian dances folk dances. It has costume reference photographs and
articles about dance styles, history and regional distributions.
- Bognor Regis Dance Ensemble.
An international folk dance group run by a friend of mine. Despite the
URL, not to be confused with the Dutch international music publishers
also called 'Interfolk'.
- Colin's List Of Worldwide
Israeli Dancing Events (israelidancing.info). Listing of Israeli
Folk Dance events worldwide as a calendar.
- Balkanfolk. Sells dance
costumes, holidays, instruments & recordings. NB. Costumes are
hardly ever needed and making them oneself is more fun, unique &
ensures a fit but this site does demonstrate what unexpectedly
specialized retailers exist on the WWW.
dance tutorials. A list of links to Hulu dancing video tutorials
(on an UK Hawaiian shirt shop site).
Scottish Country Dancing
English Country Dancing
Folk Dance Music Scores
- The abc Page. Main site for the
abc music score format. Links to archive sites, players, viewers, specs,
- The Web-wide
abc Index. Links to over 20000 tunes in abc format!
Robinson's Tunebook. Lots of Balkan, Scottish, Irish, Scandinavian,
English & French tunes in abc format.
- Folkloretanznoten. 2500
international folk dance tunes in PDF.
- An ABC
Library of Morris Tunes. Morris dance music in abc format.
Circle Dance (2016 version on Way Back Machine). Brian Steere's site
formerly had the phonetic words & guitar chords to about 100 popular
Balkan, Israeli etc. songs & some sheet music. The site is retired now
but the Way Back Machine has a useful copy.
- The Big Round Band. The
band of the The Round, Cambridge University's English country dance club,
with English folk music in abc format with PDF renderings in multiple
- Gog Magog Molly. Molly
dance tunes in abc & PDF.
Groups I am or have been connected with
- Balkanplus. Monthly Balkan
etc. dancing in London. On 2nd Saturday of most months at Cecil Sharp House
but see the website for latest timetable. Different guest leader each month
and sometimes the Dunav, Vulpros or
other live bands. Also organizes weekend workshops with dance teachers from
overseas. (I'm its treasurer.)
- Youlgrave Dance Weekends.
The Youlgrave (a.k.a. Youlgreave) May & August bank holiday
weekend dance holidays. A mixture of Circle Dance, Balkan dance &
whatever else people bring in very friendly & fun atmosphere situated
in beautiful UK Peak District scenery. (I have attended & taught at it
a few times.)
- Lagabag. Cotswold Morris.
Mixed. Near Ipswich. More relaxed than Westrefelda. Unfortunately it has
now ended but the website (3rd version) is still live as an archive. (I was
in it for several years & maintained the first version of its
- Westrefelda. Cotswold Morris.
Mixed. Near Ipswich. More perfectionist than Lagabag. (I was briefly in it
at its founding when it was short of dancers.)
- Dance East. It used to be
called Suffolk Dance and included recreational folk dance. Now it is much
bigger with its own dance centre building and has become one of the UK's 9
national dance councils but concentrates on ballet/modern type dance for
training children into dance careers with little interest in adult social
dance or folk dance. (It happens to be based in the town where I live and
have been to some of its classes & shows.)
- Cambridge University
Strathspey & Reel Club. Scottish Country Dancing in Cambridge. In
two sections, very lively ceilidh type dancing where beginners could join
in to learn and dance & a performance section for the advanced. (It is
where I first started folk dancing (in the beginners section) and
discovered that I liked it. Unfortunately it was my final year at
university so I did not stay long.)
- Luton Circle Dancing . Circle
Dance. (Run by friend of mine.) [Appears to have moved - awaiting reply
with new URL]