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Folk Dancing Comes to Copley Square Tonight

Weekly outdoor event appeals to novices, veterans

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For more than 40 years, the Folk Arts Center of New England (FAC) has hosted free outdoor summer folk dances. Tonight you can find out for yourself why the event has become a Boston institution. Every Tuesday in July and August, the center invites all dancers—newbies to experts—to gather by the fountain in Copley Square for international folk dancing.

Tonight’s event will be led by FAC instructors Andy Taylor-Blenis and Jeanne Clifford, both well versed in a broad range of cultural dances. Basic instruction is provided for novices, who will find a friendly, supportive group welcoming them.

Folk dance is defined as the traditional social dances of ethnic groups from all over the world, often performed at weddings and other social gatherings. FAC’s recreational folk dance routines are adapted to two-to-five-minute segments so dancers can sample several styles and cultures. Dances range in tempo and vary from simple steps and rhythms to more complex choreography.

Expect to learn a wide assortment of dance routines. The weekly repertoire can consist of social dances from the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Russia, Ukraine, South Africa, Japan, the Philippines, and the Balkan, Baltic, and Mediterranean regions.

For those new to folk dancing, check out the center’s folk dance etiquette here. And be sure to wear comfortable, flat shoes and loose, casual clothing. Beginners and singles are welcome—it’s not necessary to have a partner to join in the fun.

Folk Dancing by the Fountain is free every Tuesday through August 25, from 7:30  to 9:30 p.m., at the fountain next to Trinity Church in Copley Square. Find a full schedule here. Call the FolkFone hotline 781-438-4389 after 5 p.m. for weather-related cancellation information. Take any MBTA Green Line trolley to Copley.

Michelle Marino can be reached at michelle.g.marino@gmail.com.

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