MIT Folk Dance Club

Sunday: International Folk *various Tuesdays: Contra Dance *Wednesday: Israeli

Updated February 4, 2019                                                                                                   Facebook icon Join our Facebook group!

We plan to have international folk dancing on campus one or two Sundays per month. The schedule and location will be announced soon!

International Folk Dance Beginner's Classes for IAP, Sundays January 13 & 27, 2019
Teaching at 8 pm, with dancing continuing to 10:30
MIT room 5-234 (main campus entrance at 77 Mass Ave, then turn right)
Live music!
Sponsored by Artists Beyond the Desk

Wednesday night Israeli dancing is available at a new location off-campus, starting January 9, 2019.
Jewish Community Day School, 57 Stanley Ave, Watertown.
7:30 pm partner dancing. 8 - 11 pm regular dancing.
Suggested donation $2. Free for children, college students, and JCDS affiliates.
Please park in the Family and Friends lot, not the small lot at the front door.
For updates on Israeli dancing, please see the Facebook group or email archive.

Unfortunately we were told on October 4th that the club was losing its student group status at the end of October 2018.
Thanks to everyone who has provided support during this time of transition.

**Upcoming Dances

  • Contra Dance:
    Tuesday October 30 2018, 8 - 10:30 pm: Halloween Dance -- the final MIT contra! Student Center 407 (4th floor). Live music by Debby Knight (piano), Carol Bittenson (fiddle), Julie Metcalf (fiddle), & Friends. Caller: Jacob Bloom.
    See the Contra Dance page for more dances.

  • International Folk: Sunday October 28 2018, 8-11 pm: The final MIT international folk dance! Sala de Puerto Rico (Student Center 2nd floor). Live music by the Cambridge Folk Orchestra!

  • Israeli: Wednesday October 31 2018, 7:30 - 11 pm+ : The final MIT Israeli dance! Sala de Puerto Rico (Student Center 2nd floor)

    Check the Israeli email announcement log for the teaching schedule, 7:30 pm early partner dancing, and last-minute updates.

  • ** Quick Index

    Click to jump to a category.

    *About The Club
    * IAP Special Events
    *Club Email Lists
    *Special Events
    *How to Find a Room We're Scheduled in
    *Organizational meetings of the Club
    *Links to related dance sites

    ** About The Club

    The MIT Folk Dance Club sponsors three nights of dancing each week throughout the year, all of which are open to MIT students. The general public is welcome as well.

    Sunday night International Folk Dancing meets every week from 8:00 to 10:30 pm, almost always on the 2nd floor of the Student Center:

    Sunday Dates (8-10:30 pm) Building/Floor Room Notes
    September 2, 2018 Kresge Auditorium basement Kresge Rehearsal Room A Beginner's Night!
    September 9, 2018 Student Center 2nd Floor Lobdell Dining Hall Beginner's Night!
    September 16 - October 7, 2018 Student Center 2nd Floor Sala de Puerto Rico 9/16: Live music by Rakiya!
    October 14 & 21, 2018 Kresge Auditorium basement Kresge Rehearsal Room B 10/14: Live music by Rakiya!
    October 28, 2018 Student Center 2nd Floor Sala de Puerto Rico Live music by the Cambridge Folk Orchestra!

    Note: International Folk Dancing no longer meets weekly starting November 1, 2018. We hope to have dancing once or twice a month. Please check back for further information.

    To see what dances we've done from July 2002 - October 2018, see the playlist archive. See our web archive for old versions of our web pages.

    Wednesday night Israeli Dancing usually meets on the 2nd or 4th floor of the Student Center, from 8:00 to 11:00 pm.

    Wednesday Dates (8-11 pm) Building/Floor Room Notes
    September 5, 2018 Student Center 2nd Floor Sala de Puerto Rico Oldies Night! Dances from before 1980, plus some 80s dances after 9:30
    September 12, 2018 Student Center 2nd Floor Sala de Puerto Rico
    September 19, 2018 No dancing - Yom Kippur
    September 26, 2018 Student Center 2nd Floor Sala de Puerto Rico Beginner's Class 7:30 - 8:30 pm, followed by a regular session
    October 3 - 17, 2018 Student Center 2nd Floor Lobdell Dining Hall Beginner's Classes 7:30 - 8:30 pm, followed by a regular session
    October 24, 2018 Student Center 2nd Floor Lobdell Dining Hall
    October 31, 2018 Student Center 2nd Floor Sala de Puerto Rico

    Note: We are unable to continue dancing at MIT after November 1, 2018.

    November and December 2018: Wednesday night Israeli dancing is available at Kehillath Israel, 384 Harvard St, Brookline.

    New location for Israeli dancing starting January 9, 2019:
    Jewish Community Day School, 57 Stanley Ave, Watertown

    Check the Israeli email announcement archive to confirm information about each week's location and teaching schedule, and special events. Light kosher snacks and drinks will be provided each week.
    Israeli dancing is co-sponsored by MIT Hillel.
    For more information about Israeli dancing, email   mitisraeli [at] .

    In addition to our folk and contra dance PE classes, some semesters there is also an all-Israeli folk dance class run by David Karger. Register with the PE Department. For more information, email karger [at] .

    International Folk and Israeli Dancing each start with Early Teaching at 8:00 pm, followed by teaching and requests. Beginners are always welcome. Admission is free for MIT and Wellesley students; an optional $1 donation is suggested from others.

    On two or three Tuesdays per month, the Contra Dance for All meets in various locations from 8:00 to 10:30 pm (check the schedule for dates and locations). Live music every time! Beginners are always welcome and are encouraged to come early.

    ** IAP Special Events

    The MITFDC gives classes and workshops as part of MIT's Independent Activities Period each January.
    Check out our IAP offerings for January 2018.

    ** Club Email Lists

    We have 3 email lists, one for each night of dancing. These lists are for announcements only and have very low volume.

    If you have any questions, please contact the Folk Dance Club officers at fdc[at]mit[dot]edu.

    ** Special Events

    *Annual Israeli Dance Marathon
    The Christmas Eve Israeli Dance Marathon takes place every year on or about Christmas Eve. We start at 6 pm and dance until about 4 am.
    The 2018 marathon was held on December 24. Check back for information about the 2019 marathon.

    * Beginner's Nights are for people who haven't done much dancing before and want to learn some and for more experienced dancers who want to practice the basics. In other words, they are for everyone. You need no prior experience and you don't need a partner. Beginner's Nights for all 3 nights of dancing occur in September and January each year.

    *The Israel Folkdance Festival of Boston takes place each year in March, in Kresge Auditorium on the MIT campus. The next festival will be on Sunday March 10, 2019. The show includes performances by dance ensembles from far and near. Visit for more information and to order tickets.

    ** Where We Meet

    These are the locations where we usually meet. Click on a location to see it on a campus map.

    1. The Stratton Student Center (Building W20). It is located at 84 Mass. Ave., directly across the street from the main entrance to MIT. La Sala de Puerto Rico and Lobdell Dining Hall are located on the second floor. Rooms W20-407, W20-491, and our club office W20-423 are located on the fourth floor.
    2. Lobby 13. Can be accessed from either Vassar St. or the Infinite Corridor (go in the main MIT entrance at 77 Mass Ave and turn north at Lobby 10).
    3. Kresge Auditorium. Kresge is the glass and metal dome with a turquoise roof, set back on a plaza at 48 Massachusetts Avenue (across the street from the main MIT entrance). Rehearsal Rooms A and B are located in the basement.
    See a Google map and get driving directions

    See a schedule for the #1 bus which runs along Mass Ave.


    Free parking is available in the lot behind the Bank of America ATM at Mass Ave and Vassar Street (though it sometimes fills up on weeknights), or on the street.
    This lot is free after 5 pm. October 2017 update: Most parking meters near MIT now require payment until 8 pm Monday-Saturday. Check the signs!

    Paid parking is available in the Albany Street Garage (east of Mass Ave). $9 flat rate nights and weekends, credit and debit only. Spaces should be available when the free options are full.
    December 2017 update: The West Garage on Vassar Street is closed permanently.

    ** Club Meetings

    Organizational club meetings usually take place once a year in early May.

    Contact the club officers at fdc[at]mit[dot]edu to find out about future meetings.

    ** Links to other folk dance resources

    International Folk, Contra Dancing, and Other kinds:
    *The Folk Arts Center of New England home page, including their calendar Folk Dancing 'Round Boston.
    * New England Folk Festival Association (NEFFA) runs a folk festival each April in Mansfield, MA, as well as a contra dance each Thursday night at the Scout House in Concord, MA. (This dance was formerly located at the VFW in west Cambridge, and hopes to move back there now that the city has rebuilt it as a youth/community center.)
    * Country Dance Society, Boston Centre (Contra and English Country dancing.)
    * BIDA (Porter Square, Cambridge), the Jamaica Plain Gender Free Contra Dance, and the West Cambridge Fourth Saturday Dance are the other contra/traditional square dances in the city.
    *, a comprehensive page of links to other Contra Dances around the world.
    *Larry Denenberg's Beginner's Catechism page
    *The Cambridge Folk Orchestra plays at various folk dances in the Boston area, and occasionally plays at MIT at our Sunday night international folk dances.
    *The MIT Folk Dance Club Songbook, a compilation of lyrics of the songs in our record collection.
    *Arthur Saltzman has posted FDC photos and movies from the 1960s.
    *The Tuesday Night Revival is an advanced Balkan dance group that used to dance at MIT, and now holds dances about once a month in Arlington on a Friday or Saturday.
    * Zdravets is a local Bulgarian band which hosts a dance once a month in Newton Corner (formerly in Arlington).
    * Balkan Music Night is a concert and dance party which occurs each year in March, in Concord, MA.
    *The Dance Gypsy is a calendar of contra and other folk dances throughout the U.S., focusing on New England.

    Israeli Folk Dancing:
    * Israeli Folk Dance in Boston, including Sunday night Israeli Dancing at Temple Emeth in Chestnut Hill (formerly located at Harvard Hillel), and Monday night dancing at Congregation Kehillath Israel in Brookline.
    *, which includes a test to see if you are a true folk dance addict and a session-finder, in case you're thinking of moving and want to see if there's dancing there first.

    Comments on this home page and other subjects are welcome.
    Send mail to fdc[at]mit[dot]edu .