International folk dance, also called world dance or international dance, is a type of community dance done to music from different countries and regions around the world. Many of the dances that are performed by international folk dance groups are traditional dances that are still danced at certain occasions in their country of origin. Other dances are more recent choreographies to world music and can either originate from a particular country or have been choreographed in a particular style for the enjoyment of international folk dance groups.
While there is an enormous variation in the style of dances, the one thing all international folk dances have in common is that the contact and cooperation with other dancers are an essential part of the dance. Many of the dances are done in an open or closed circle with dancers holding hands, but even in dances that are done individually, the group moves together; couple dances are often mixers where one changes partner several times during a dance. Moving and working together as a group by dancing to beautiful music results in a great sense of togetherness and joy, which makes international folk dancing much more than mere exercise… and might also explain why so many people remain hooked, even after decades of dancing
The International Folk Dancers of Ottawa have been dancing together for 55 years. The group was founded in 1968 when three smaller folk dance groups merged to form one larger group. Since then, many more members have joined and the group has not only grown in size, but also in diversity. At IFDO you will see people of many different ages, backgrounds, and abilities all dancing and having fun together. This is exactly the strength of our group: we do not take ourselves too seriously, and our main goal is to have a good time and enjoy the beautiful music and dances together.