The 2011-2012 “Folk Dancing” Book Tour!

I am a dance anthropologist with a passion for dance and people; I want to understand why and how people dance and how dance relates to socio-cultural trends. I wrote “Folk Dancing” to help contextualize the history of social dance in North America, with particular emphasis on dance forms and communities tied into the notion of “folk dancing.”

I received the book contract in 2008 from Greenwood Press/ABC-CLIO, and I set about interviewing people and immersing myself in folk-related dance communities. My research was predominantly self-funded (I work from home as a transcriptionist). I also received assistance from AZ Commission on the Arts, Stockton Folk Dance Camp, the Country Dance and Song Society, and generous resource donations from organizations and individuals who believed in the value of my project.

For three years, I worked my tail off to produce “Folk Dancing.” I gathered information through surveys, interviews, first-hand observation/participation, and a review of literature. The most difficult part of the process was figuring out what to include in the book and how to structure it. I am indebted to several dance historians who stepped up to help me with the editing process. These people and other contributors are listed in the preface, which you can preview on Amazon.com.

Ultimately, I wanted to create a resource to help people appreciate our nation’s rich dance culture beyond the performance realm; to dive into social/recreational dance history and promote greater understanding across dance communities as well as across generations.

The book was published in July 2011. The adventure continues with the National “Folk Dancing” Book Tour 2011-2012. Nick (my husband) and I just returned from 2 weeks on the East Coast. We’re doing a California road trip next, which will include the Kolo Festival in San Francisco over Thanksgiving weekend 2011. We’ll do something in the Midwest and maybe Seattle area next spring.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What does the “Folk Dancing” Book Tour entail?

We usually set up a books signing table at dance events, because we want to celebrate with the communities who helped make the book possible. Furthermore, it’s more fun to promote the book at an event where we can actually dance. We’re also trying to arrange events at colleges and other educational institutions. I recently did a lecture at the John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina and Sweet Briar College in Virginia.

Who is paying for the book tour?

We are, Erica & Nick. Please help us continue our tour by buying a book for yourself or a friend!

 In what publications is the book featured?

Nick and I have made three appearances in the Quarterly Report of the Society of Folk Dance Historians. Also, check out the Folk Dance Federation of CA’s “Let’s Dance,” the November 2011 issue. Have you seen the latest National Folk Organization newsletter? Yes, that’s me on the front page, and in color! Thanks, NFO! Renowned caller and dance historian Tony Parkes is writing a formal book review for an upcoming CDSS News. The National Dance Education Organization will also publish a formal review in the Journal of Dance Education in 2012.

Will the book be adopted for college dance history classrooms?

It’s an excellent resource for that setting. Discussions are underway in at least two states. We hope to include more academic lectures on future book tours, so that dance instructors are encouraged to teach more about the history of folk dancing and recreational dancing as a valuable part of our collective dance culture.

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October 30, 2011. About the Book.

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