Sunday, August 14, 2011

Illini Folk Dance Society

Both Janice and I belonged to this student organization for five years, from 1964 to 1969; it was part of our lives in that period. In the beginning, we danced on Tuesday nights only. Then we went to Scottish Country dances on Mondays, special workshops on Wednesdays, and line dances on Thursdays. Clearly we could not do everything and still study for a PhD degree at the same time. Janice and I tried only to be there regularly on Tuesday nights.
Every semester, we would go to “Lake of the Woods”, a very nice local park, at least once, to have a picnic there. We danced all afternoon and night, using a request list. Of course, we often had parties - either at a local pub or at Mary and George Lowery’s home. George taught us a lot of folk songs; he was a professor in the Recreation Department. Mary and George became our close friends.
Party at our home after we are married
George sang folk songs at our home after we are married
This group of folk dancers included both graduate and undergraduate students, faculty and staff, and a few town people. There were whites and blacks, and every color or shade in between. Of course, we had a lot of nationalities represented, with very different cultural backgrounds. There were many potluck dinners and we could not believe that they got better and better, one after another, with dishes from around the world, for a long, long time!

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