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Folk and Barn Dancing

Everyone is invited to dance at Fermilab!

There is folk dancing at Fermilab two or three times every week, and the public is welcome to join in. Four different groups meet to dance at Fermilab - barn dancing, international folk dancing, Scottish country dancing, and English country dancing.

Barn Dancing
Barn dancing, with traditional American contra and square dances, is taught and called to live music the second Sunday of the month at 6:30 p.m. from September through June, and the third Sunday of the month at 2 p.m. from November to April. This is presented by the Fermilab Folk Club, the Fox Valley Folklore Society and the Chicago Barn Dance Company. Barn Dancing is being held at the Kuhn Village Barn. Please send email to folkclub@fnal.gov for more barn dance info. More information can be found at the Folk Club's web site or by contacting Lynn Garren at (630)840-2061, e-mail: garren@fnal.gov, or Dave Harding at (630)840-2971, e-mail: harding@fnal.gov.

International Folk Dancing
International Folk Dancing, featuring line, circle, couple, trio, and group dances from primarily Europe and the Middle East, meets every Thursday year round beginning at 7:30 p.m. Newcomers are welcome to join any week; the evening usually begins with the teaching of easy dances and progresses to more challenging ones. Later in the evening dances are done by request, and beginners are encouraged to stay and follow along, a great way to learn and get good exercise. There is a wonderful variety of styles and music. The group is also open and welcoming to children. (Children must, however, dance, or play quietly under parental supervision, as there is no childcare provided.) From time to time the group hosts professional folk dance researchers and instructors who offer special workshops open to everyone, and holds parties with live music.

Silk and Thistle Scottish Country Dancing
Silk and Thistle Scottish Country Dancing is a class of the Chicago branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society and meets year round every Tuesday beginning at 7:30 p.m. The dances are taught by Doug Jensen, a physicist at Fermilab. They are traditional social dances done in sets of couples, distinguished by stylized footwork (and the costume of the kilt, sometimes in evidence, but certainly not required). Beginners are always welcome, and are encouraged to come early in the evening, when the easiest dances are taught. Basic steps are presented and the figures and patterns are walked through. The group is particularly friendly and welcoming to beginners.

English Country Dancing
English Country Dancing is an accessible type of set dancing done to classical sounding music. Part of the Chicagoland English Country Dancers, this group has been meeting for a decade, monthly on Sunday afternoons, and now occasionally on Monday evenings as well. The dance and music come from from the 17th through 19th centuries in modern form, as well as modern creations. As with Scottish and contra dancing, most of the dances are made up of figures done in sets. The basic step is walking, and English country is relatively less strenuous than other dance forms. There is wonderful recorded music, and live music by Old Fezziwig's Band generally every other month. Please check the websites for specific dates.

Kuhn Village Barn, on Sauk Blvd. on the east side of the Fermilab site, is the main location for International, Scottish, English, and American (barn) dancing at Fermilab.
Ramsey Auditorium, located at the back of the ground floor of Wilson Hall, the high-rise, is the usual backup location when there is a special event at the Barn. For directions, click on the links above.

International, Scottish, and English dancing at Fermilab are partly sponsored by the lab's community organization (NALWO) and are intended to offer recreational possibilities not only to employees and the many foreign visitors at the lab as well as the surrounding communities. There is no cost to dance in these groups, but donations are appreciated. When there is live music, as at special parties, or at the Barn dances, an entrance fee is charged to cover costs.

For More Information
More information about International, Scottish and English dancing at Fermilab is available by phone from Mady Newfield at (630)584-0825 or Doug or Susan Jensen at (630)232-9089; by e-mail from folkdance@fnal.gov; or by checking the Silk and Thistle, English Country Dancing, or International Folk Dancing web pages. There is also a printable listing of traditional and ethnic dance groups in the Chicago area
More information about Barn Dancing at Fermilab is available by phone from Lynn Garren at (630)840-2061 or Dave Harding at (630)840-2971; by e-mail from folkclub@fnal.gov; or by checking the Folk Club web pages.

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