International Folk Dance Association of University City 

WELCOME to the International Folk Dance Association of University City, or IFDA.  Incorporated in 1964, the IFDA has been serving the greater St. Louis area for nearly 50 years as a non-profit organization dedicated to the teaching and enjoyment of folk dances and to the sharing of knowledge and appreciation of folk cultures from around the world.  The IFDA and its activities are open to anyone interested in international folk dancing or folklore.

Regular Folk Dance Activities

International Folk Dancing

  • Featuring:  Line, circle, and couple dances.  There is usually some teaching during the evening.  Beginners are welcome!  It is not necessary to come with a partner.  No formal attire or costume is needed; just wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
  • When:  Every Saturday from 7:30 to 10:45 p.m.
  • Program:  Easier dances are done during the first hour.  An intermediate dance is usually taught later on.  At 9:00 there is a brief period of announcements of IFDA and related events of interest, after which dancing resumes.
  • Where:  University United Methodist Church, 6901 Washington Ave., University City (St. Louis), Missouri — see Google Map or Yahoo! Map.  (Note:  Most non-main streets in this area are not through, even though the maps do not indicate this.)
    The church is on the northwest corner of Washington and Trinity, and can be reached from Delmar by turning south on Trinity next to the Lion Gates.  Parking is available in the church lot, and on Trinity and surrounding streets, but please avoid parking on the residential part of Washington west of Trinity.
    Enter the church from Trinity by going up the steps, walking by the playground in front of the church, and going in through the door on your right.  We are asked to keep this door locked, but there will be a special "doorbell" button to push in case somebody is not nearby to let you in.
  • Admission:  $3.00 normally; may be more for special events with hired bands.  Children are free but must be supervised at all times.

Scandinavian and International Couple Dancing

  • Featuring:  Scandinavian Bygdedans (village dancing), or general international couple dances (see schedule).  Dances are occasionally taught or reviewed.  It is not necessary to bring a partner.
  • When and Where:  Usually on certain Sundays at varying times and locations -- see Schedule of Coming Events for information on upcoming couple dance sessions.
  • Shoes:  We recommend wearing clean, hard-soled shoes (leather or synthetic), as many couple dances require turning which is more difficult with rubber-soled shoes.  Some people find the floor slick and others find it sticky, so you might bring more than one pair of shoes and see which works best.
  • Admission:  None (but snacks are appreciated).
  • Want More Information?  See Rex Couture's article, "A New Spin on International Couple Dancing", published in FolkFire newsletter.

Special Activities

Workshops:   The IFDA sponsors at least two weekend workshops each year, usually one in the winter or spring and the other in the fall, featuring guest teachers from around the country and around the world.  We try to have one workshop emphasizing line or circle dancing and one emphasizing couple dancing.  Other special workshops may be held as opportunities arise.  Some workshops include singing or instrumental techniques as as well as dancing.  Meals featuring cuisine appropriate to the workshop are usually prepared. See Schedule of Coming Events for coming workshops, and our Past IFDA Workshops & Concerts page for what we have had in recent years.

Concerts and Dance Parties:   The IFDA has been fortunate to be able to sponsor concerts and dance parties featuring ethnic and other international folk bands.  Again see our Schedule of Coming Events page, and our Past IFDA Workshops & Concerts page for concerts and dance parties that we have had in recent years.

Oldies Night:   On Oldies Night, special consideration is given to requests for dances which have not been done regularly in recent years.

Live Music:   Dance music is normally from recordings, but on some occasions dancers are able to enjoy the spontaneity of live music.  Live bands or other performing guests are sometimes featured at workshops, parties, or other special occasions.  The St. Louis Spelmannslag, an informal Scandinavian fiddle group, often plays at Scandinavian couple dancing and sometimes at Saturday night dancing.  Time can also usually be arranged on a request basis at Saturday night dancing for other IFDA members wishing to play dance music.

Performances and Participatory Events:   The IFDA is a recreational dance group that enjoys doing dances from Europe and the Middle East.  We are proud to share our enjoyment of these rich dance traditions, and would be happy to teach dances ranging from simple walking patterns to more energetic dances.  We can also add a lively dance party to give an international flavor to your social event.  Costumed performances can be arranged, accompanied by commentary on the corresponding traditions.  We can provide any combination of these formats.  Fees are negotiable.  See below for contacts.

Feature articles on our special events can often be found in FolkFire newsletter.

Contacts for More Information

General Information:  Diana Blanchard, home 314-726-5737, E-mail

Scandinavian and International Couple Dancing:  Nancy or Rex Couture, home 314-786-5098, work 314-935-4194, E-mail .

Want to be on our Mailing List?  Rex Couture, home 314-786-5098, work 314-935-4194,  E-mail . Please indicate particular interests if any (international, couple dancing, Scandinavia or other areas, oldies nights, playing dance music, etc.).

Performances and Participatory Events:  Nancy Couture, phone 314-786-5098, E-mail .

Our Logo:  The design at the top of this and other IFDA pages is the official logo of the International Folk Dance Association of University City, © 1984-2014, and should not be used elsewhere except when referring to this organization or linking to this web site.  The logo was designed by Judy Stein in 1984 and revised by Roger Hill in 1996.

We would like to thank Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville for having generously hosted our web site from 1996 to 2009.  We are now being hosted by Go Daddy.

National Folk Organization Regional Arts Commission of St.Louis

 IFDA events are co-sponsored by the 
National Folk Organization
 and with the generous support of the 
Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis.

This page (home page):
Written by Roger Hill (E-mail, revised 2014 Sep 12