Israeli Folk Dance a Town staple
Classes to resume Jan. 12 in Community Center
A unique dance form for both young men and women currently is being offered through Farragut Community Center.
Israeli Folk Dance, described as a “community building style of dance,” will resume Thursday, Jan. 12, under the direction and teaching of Abby Dill of Louisville (Blount County), who first taught its basics there last fall.
Typically set to Hebrew music or songs, Israeli Folk Dance involves circle dancing, line dancing and partner dancing, Dill said.
“It is not as common as other types of dance, but one thing I really like about it is that everyone can do it,” she added.
The choreography taught is the same around the world. But interestingly, while most United States students are female due to cultural differences, “It is the opposite in Israel and other countries,” Dill explained.
She previously taught home-schooled students through a Blount County co-op, which is where she met many of her current pupils. She wanted to find a new place to teach that also would bring the classes “to this side of the community,” and the Farragut Community Center “was perfect for that.”
Dill has been teaching Israeli Dance for four years, but is also experienced in nine different dance forms, which include ballet, jazz and contemporary.
In addition to the classes at Farragut Community Center, Dill also teaches at Pursuit School of Dance, also located in Farragut.
Dill said she typically had at least five students in her classes last semester, and needs at least four per class to ensure the dances can be properly taught.
Among students taking class last fall were Lily Regan, Lydia Clark and Jasmine Dunk, all of Farragut, along with Mia Burger.
“I think the dances are really pretty,” Lily, 13, said. “I used to go to this place where they did it, and I really liked to see it, so it made me want to try it too,” estimating she has been taking classes since she was “8 or 9.”
Jasmine said she had only been taking classes for a year, while Mia said she has been a student for at least two or three years.
“Abby is an amazing teacher,” Mia said. “She has helped me to be a better dancer in many ways, and I am very grateful for her.”
Lily’s mother, Kim, said she had taken a previously offered Mom’s Class herself when it was offered.
“We love it,” she added. “My daughter was sad when we left the co-op, so we were very glad for these classes to be offered.”
Not only does Dill teach, but she also ensures her students have proper traditional attire, including scarves and skirts fashioned from scrap material.
Classes will be offered Thursdays in January, February and March to three skill levels: juniors (ages 7-10) from 2:45 to 3:30 p.m.; Level 1 (ages 10-18) from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.; and Level 2 (ages 10-18) from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Each three-week session is $30 per student. Pre-registration is required. Visit https://www.farragutparksandrec.org/programsandevents.