Saturday, January 18, 2014

Bulgarian Folk Dancing

Last week, the Plovdiv Branch had a folk dancing activity. I'm so glad they had it this month, so we could go. I'm not a great dancer, but some of what we learned was easy enough even for me. It was fun to learn dance steps in Bulgarian -- there was enough physical movement going on that we could see what we were supposed to be doing, plus about half of what our instructor was saying was counting. It becomes recognizable after a pretty short time when you're just hearing "1, 2, 3, 4!" over and over again. (Except that she wasn't saying "one." Instead she was saying "Ras!" or "Raz!", which seems to have something to do with music and starting.)

The beginning, before we did the same steps in a circle:

You can tell that everyone in this circle is Bulgarian and knows what they're doing:

Seth and Polly, the 2-year-old daughter of the branch president and his wife. Seth is her favorite, and I've heard him speaking Bulgarian to her.

When our family gets involved, the line/circle isn't quite as neat looking. :)

This video is at the end of the last dance, which was one that went on forever and ever. Galina told me that it's often danced at weddings and after dancing for a long time, they sometimes start dancing in double-time. In the video, the one guy who kept dancing to the very end crashes into Mira and Polly but manages not to fall onto them by doing a spontaneous cartwheel. Then there's general applause when the girls are unfazed. It was awesome!

We had a great time. It's been wonderful getting to know and love the people of the Plovdiv Branch!

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