View Full Version : Experts Say That Folk Dancing Needs to Reach Young People if It is to Regain Its Popularity

Saturday, July 25th, 2009, 12:44 PM
Experts say that folk dancing needs to reach young people if it is to regain its popularity

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he National Association of Folk Dancers is eager to recruit younger members as membership numbers have more than halved in the last 25 years.

During its popularity in the mid-80s, there were at least 24,000 folk dancers all over Denmark, but that number has now dropped to just 8,689.

The interest in dressing up in traditional costumes and learning the lively steps of the Sønderho Dance, The Drumming Waltz and Three-Corner Dance from Horsens has waned primarily because younger generations are not getting involved.

Anne Kathrine Clausen of the dancers’ association told Kristeligt Dagblad newspaper that young people are simply not as interested in joining associations as they were in the past.

‘The younger generation have many other interests and offers to choose from and they just don’t have that sense of unity that is a strong part of the folk dancing movement,’ said Clausen.

The association is now trying to draw in younger dancers by visiting them at their schools and offering more event-based introductions to the dance styles.

Lene Halskov Hansen, a folklorist expert, agrees that reaching out to young people in their own environment is a good idea.

‘Young people that are interested in folk music and dancing are a varied group that is much more loosely organised than traditional folk dancing movements. They’re meeting across various music and dance groups and experimenting a lot more than people are used to in folk dancing,’ Hansen said.