Folk dancing

General folk dance resources

There is a web site: , a newsgroup news:rec.folk-dancing and several mailing lists.

A web page about international folk dance: . This page has links to folk dance groups in many countries:

General Mailing lists

Folk and traditional mailing list

There is a mailing list for ``all aspects of traditional and folk dancing''. Send a message "subscribe dance-l Your Full Name" to listserv@hearn.bitnet to subscribe.

Here are some more. They are taken from the mail/mailing-lists FAQ (14 parts!) and may duplicate the above information.


Contact: (Terry J. Wood) tjw@pittvms.bitnet

Purpose: Any discussion of FOLK dancing. Areas of dance would include, but not be limited to: international, contra, square, western square, morris, cajun, and barn dancing, etc.

Please feel free to discuss such things as touring groups, artists, camps, workshops, styling, equipment, recordings, and so on. This mailing list also welcomes queries about where to find dance groups and how to get started dancing.

Please note that the Folk Dancing Mailing List (FDML) operates in conjunction with the USENET newsgroup rec.folk-dancing . Material in Rec.folk-dancing appears in the FDML. This mailing list is primarily for people who can not (or do not wish to) receive USENET.

When subscribing to the FDML, please include several computer mail addresses AND a postal mail address (or phone number) as a last resort.

Square dancing mailing lists

There is a general list: a callers list: and a list for Lesbian/Gay square dancing:

Contra Dancing

A good collection of contra dance links:

Pages about contra dance:,

Country Dance and Song Society at

A mathematical explanation of contra dancing:

Irish dancing, including Step, Set, and Ceili dancing

There is also an Irish dance email list. The dicussions there include step, ceili, and set dancing. It is not a high activity list (like IRTRAD-L for music), but recently there was a discussion of the differences between ceili and set dancing. To subscribe send the message: subscribe IRDANCE-L your name to: There are a hundred or so subscribers (I haven't actually checked recently), and many are step dancers.

Morris dancing

From: (David Wald) General assorted bits of Morris info:

A list of Morris team web pages and references:

Another list of teams and references, with a slightly more UK-oriented focus:

The Morris Dance Discussion List homepage:

Don't be surprised if you find lots of contradictory information, particularly in the historical essays. The nice thing about explaining a tradition with hazy origins is that otherwise sober and conservative people are often moved to extreme creativity. Just don't take anything you read too seriously.

If you prefer well-researched paper references, I'd recommend Keith Chandler's "Ribbons, Bells and Squeaking Fiddles: The Social History of Morris Dancing in the English South Midlands, 1660-1900", Hisarlik Press, 1993; ISBN 1-874312-06-0. This has a lot of good information about the history of "Cotswold" Morris, the bells-and-hankies version most people seem to be familiar with. For information on current Morris practice, I'd start with the Web references I've given above and follow the leads given there.

Morris dance mailing list

Morris Dancing Discussion List MORRIS@INDYCMS.IUPUI.EDU

The Morris Dancing Discussion List (MDDL) is an unmoderated listserv-based discussion group devoted to discussions, debates, and rants on all things Morris, including: Cotswold, Border, Garland, Northwest, etc.; Sword Dancing, both Long Sword and Short Sword (Rapper); Mumming, Mumming plays and other ritual drama; Molly Dancing, Abbotts Bromley, Plough Dancing; winter festivals such as Twelfth Night; May Day celebrations, including May Poles and other rural festivities; and anything else we can think of that might be even the slightest bit Morris related. Beer comes up fairly often, for some reason, as does singing, tune trading, discussions of musical instruments, (you get the idea).

The listowners are: Jim Morgan (Bloomington Quarry Morris) and Tom Keays (Bassett Street Hounds) .

Scottish dancing

There is a section about Scottisch Dancing in the Scottisch FAQ list: (ascii) (html) .


From: Frances Grimble

Well, I know the Victorian schottische. Step-close-step-hop, step-close-step-hop, step-hop, step-hop, step-hop, step-hop. Can be done turning in closed position, in which case the step-closes are to the side, along the line of direction (which partners face across), and there is a half-turn on each step-hop. The closes are into third position and the free foot on the hops is in third raised position.

The schottische also be done forward in promenade position without turning.

There are dozens of Victorian schottisches besides the basic. Some are minor variations of the basic step and some are completely different. Some minor variants: In promenade position, facing the line of direction, the partners do the two step-close-step-hop sequences. Then, on the four step-hops, (a) the woman turns under the man's arm while he travels forward or (b) they let go their hold and turn single away from each other or (c) still in promenade position, they turn clockwise or counterclockwise or (d) the woman crosses to the man's left side on one set of step-hops, they do the two step-close-step-hop sequences, then she crosses back on the next step-hops.

If you want Victorian music, all Johann Strauss's dance music is recorded on something like 45 CDs and available in big record stores. There are very few compositions labeled "schottische," but there are many labeled "polka francaise" which sound like schottisches to my ears.

(The polka, actually, is similar to the schottische and may be a slightly later development of it.)

The Smithsonian Institution made a couple nice recordings of Victorian dance music which I see around occasionally, and which include schottiches.

There are also schottisches on some recordings of German and Scandanavian dance music.

There are two country western dances named Schottische.



Purpose: A forum for the discussion of all aspects of Scottish Country Dancing, e.g., dance descriptions, dancing technique, the history of dances and dancing, learning or teaching how to dance. We also welcome descriptions of new dances, announcements of events like courses or balls, or anything the subscribers might find interesting.

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This file is part of the FAQ list for the newsgroup The FAQ list is being maintained by Victor Eijkhout (victor at eijkhout dot net, talk about vanity), who appreciates being sent additions or corrections on the material in this collection. Copyright 1994/5/6/7/8/9/2000 lies with the maintainer and the contributors of various parts.

Listen up: Victor did not write most of this stuff; he just collected it. So don't send him any dance questions.

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Last modified on: Saturday, October 9, 1999.