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Different cultures, universal language

Music, rhythm, movement expressed through folk dance

Created date

August 29th, 2017
Linden Ponds folk dancers (From left) Ron Boucher, Rita Dehner, Estelle Katz, Sandy Katz, Mary Roever, and Barbara Boucher. 

Once a month, a group of Linden Ponds neighbors gathers to learn folk dances from different cultures around the world. (From left) Ron Boucher, Rita Dehner, Estelle Katz, Sandy Katz, Mary Roever, and Barbara Boucher. 


Estelle Katz has enjoyed folk dancing for many years. When her husband Sanford taught at a college, folk dancing was offered on campus. That’s where the couple first discovered it.

“It is wonderful exercise and a wonderful social thing to get people together,” Estelle says.

So when she and Sanford moved to Linden Ponds, the Erickson Living community in Hingham, Mass., about 12 years ago, Estelle decided to start a folk dancing club. Estelle connected with Regina Lascowski, a local folk dancing teacher, who agreed to visit Linden Ponds once a month to teach residents various folk dances.

Folk dancing is a type of cultural expression from different countries around the world. Estelle says square dancing is a folk dance that most Americans are familiar with. 

“We do dances from all different countries, and we always close with an Israeli dance,” Estelle says. “[Lascowski] covers an awful lot—French, British, Bulgarian, Greek dances.”

Estelle says they also learn folk dances from Yugoslavia, Syria, Russia, Armenia, Germany, Romania, Scandinavia, Poland, and Czechoslovakia. Folk dances are often done in a line or a circle and do not require a partner. The dances can be a great way to get exercise and learn about different cultures. 

“The flavor and personalities of the common people from any given country come through in the universal language of music, rhythm, and movement,” Estelle says. 

About 10 to 12 people typically come to the monthly folk dancing classes at Linden Ponds. The group meets in one of the on-site fitness rooms, which is equipped with a sound system. 

“We also do square dancing if we have enough people,” Estelle says. “Each time, [Lascowski] teaches a few new dances, and we review the old ones. Most of the people really seem to like it.”