Rather than celebrate Valentine’s Day traditionally, the BYU International Folk Dance Ensemble and Mountain Strings spent the holiday en route to Colorado for their mid-semester tour, braving snowy roads and sub-zero temperatures. From February 14 to 19, the ensemble visited Grand Junction, Montrose, Alamosa, Colorado Springs, and Denver, performing six times. Though their time was brief, the group still managed to lead a youth workshop, hold a meet and greet, and enjoy lunches with four stakes of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In June the ensemble will participate in international folk festivals abroad, including IFF Strážnice in the Czech Republic and the Danube Carnival in Hungary. One of the festivals held in connection with the International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals and Folk Arts (CIOFF), the Danube Carnival is a celebration of dance involving contemporary dancers, international artists, and traditional Hungarian folk dancers. The BYU International Folk Dance Ensemble looks forward to representing American folk dance traditions and performing American dances such as the Charleston, the Lindy hop, and clogging. In addition to sharing their own culture and traditions, the ensemble will have opportunities to study in workshops, participate in culturally diverse experiences, and exchange dance traditions with other performers by teaching American choreography and learning cultural dances from other groups.