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A Jewish Dancing datapoint

Among his many projects, Michael McLaughlin, of Shirim Klezmer Orchestra teaches a klezmer group at Tufts University. The band recently gave a dance concert, and as often happens, I fell asleep and missed it. But I was curious, so I e-mailed him about attendance, dancing, and the like:

... My question, though, is whether there was a good turnout and whether folks danced, and if they danced, whether it was some identifiable variant of traditional Jewish folkdancing, or the usual hora mixed in with whatever.

(Meta question: can I find any data points of college interest in Yiddish/klezmer folk dancing.)

To which he replied:

When the dancing started we had about 25 people and most stayed and danced for the forty-five minutes we did it.

As for the dances, Angela Schatz did a mix of Israeli and Klezmer (Freylachs with different steps, and patch tanz.) We were going to do the sher but ran out of time and steam as it had been along night of concertizing and dancing.

Meta answer: You might, it all depends on connecting with the kids....

So, what do you think? If your college regularly (or irregularly) runs dances at which klezmer bands play, what is it like? Do people know Yiddish folk dances? Are they taught? Is there interest? And how often is klezmer played, vs., say, spinning records for Israeli folk dancing (or both together)? Post comments and let me know what you think or what you've observed.


1. Klezmer-Dance-Workshop in Vienna, Austria

End of April we organised a Klezmer-Dance-Workshop in Vienna, Austria.
Saturday and Sunday there were approx. 35 people dancing; Leon Blank from Sweden was our danicing teacher (he regularly does Klezmer-Dance-Classes in Cracow, Poland during the Festival for Jewish Culture), our musicians were Isaak Loberan (accordion) and Kurt Edlmair (clarinet).
After the workshop was a concert - more than 110
people came, approx. 20 were dancing.
We plan to organise a similar event next year - if you are interested, please mail your address and I will inform you in time!
- And if you are intersted in presenting a CD, doing a little concert, ... please mail!
Kind regards from Vienna!

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