By Georgine Paris - St Louis, MO
Since writing the article about DCFF in 1997, I have returned yearly to the festival and plan to in July 2000 also. At DCFF, I continue to enjoy seeing ol' friends and acquaintances, dancing with lots of people, doing dances I haven't done in 10 years, getting to know people better, meeting new acquaintances as well as setting up, taking down and helping the festival run smoothly. As well as the regularly scheduled events at DCFF 1999, the beautiful weather drew musicians and dancers outside to impromptu dance gatherings. The featured band for the international dance party was a mix of native Bulgarian and Macedonians, not of a home grown international-mix. To see these native Eastern European musicians and dancers so in love with their crafts, not wanting to stop dancing or playing, being proud of their heritage and abilities, was mesmerizing at times and truly inspiring. As in last year's festival besides dance workshops, one had a choice of attending singing workshops or partaking in music workshops with members of the featured band. This year the swing dance workshops focused on the Lindy Hop and again, there was an evening swing dance. Humorous aspects to dancing at DCFF pop up now and then as well: tricks played on others, certain acts during the Dance Olympics, photographs taken of people (we won't name) sleeping...
Since I've danced in Minneapolis, Champaign-Urbana, St. Louis, Madison, Chicago and Door County, I've enjoyed comparing the different dance groups and discussing with others the whats, hows and whys of folk dancing. The acquaintances I've made through dancing, although many are not close friends, are people that I feel comfortable with and feel a commonality with. Again and again, I enjoy meeting them with a hug.
So come to DCFF - for that matter, travel anywhere for dancing - explore the groups and strengthen yours.