Folk & Ethnic Dancing in Tucson

See also

Terry Friedman's Folk things in TucsonÓ page:



3.0       Folk Festivals

            F      Tucson Heritage Experience  (Formerly Tucson Meet Yourself)


F    EMAT (European Multiethnic Alliance of Tucson) Festival  -- held each November and March at either the Foothills or the Park Place malls.



3.1       ÒInternationalÓ Folk dancing in Tucson:


            Participatory Dancing

            Tucson International Folkdance Club              

Wednesday nights, year round, 8-10, teaching 8-9, requests 9-10 The Living Arts Center, 4th Ave and 7th Street. $3 per evening Contact Info:


            University of Arizona International Dance Club  (I-Dance)

Friday afternoons, 5-7, teaching throughout. The Newman Center, corner of Cherry and 2nd. FREE. Anyone (especially students) welcome. (This group occasionally has an ad hoc performance group too)  Contact Info:

            Lighthouse YMCA BeginnerÕs Class

Tuesdays 7-8:30, All dances taught, Lighthouse YMCA (Columbus between Ft. Lowell and Grant). Free to Y members, $8/month for others. Contact info:

(there are other groups in Bisbee, Phoenix, Green Valley, Sun City, Flagstaff and Prescott)

            Performance Group

            Tucson Ethnic Dance Ensemble

Performs at international festivals, nursing homes, schools, and private events.  Dance suites include:    German, Bulgarian, Turkish, Armenian, Polish, Czech, Romanian, Israeli, Bulgarian, Macedonian, and others! Rehearses Sunday Afternoons 4-6, Tucson Ballet Arts. Contact Info:


There are a number of folk dance organizations outside of Tucson. Here are links for a few:

Folk Dance Association

New England Folk Arts Center     

New England Folk Festival Association:

California Folk Dance Federation


Eastern European Folk Life center:



3.2       Traditional American Dance in Tucson


54th Southern Arizona Dance Festival January 17-20, 2002, Tucson Convention Center, 260 Church Street, Tucson, and will feature: Square Dancing;  Round Dancing;  and Clogging.


3.2.1    Contra Dancing


            Contra Dance (recreational)

                        Sponsored by Tucson Friends of Traditional Music (

Dancing to live music, 1st and 3rd Saturdays,  First Church United Methodist, 915 E. 4th. (Near Park and University). Intro session at 7:30, regular dancing (called) 8-11. Admission $7, $5 for students.


            Contra Dance Workshop Weekend

                        Sponsored By Tucson Friends of Traditional Music


November 4th-6th, YMCA Triangle Y Ranch Camp, outside Oracle Junction

For info on Contra Dancing in the rest of the USA, see

      For info on Gay and Lesbian contra dancing in the rest of the USA, see

3.2.2    Square and Round Dancing

Old Pueblo Square Dance Center:

 Offers a variety of Square and Round Dance classes. Located at 613 E Delano St

Tucson, AZ 85717 (off of 1st Avenue)


T-squares. Cornerstone Fellowship Social Hall. 2909 North Geronimo. Tucson's gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered square dance that is open to all starts its fall beginners' dance season Tuesday, October 9 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. For more information call Michael at 884-8320 or Carol at 749-1617.


Fun Squares. Comanche Wells Mobile Home Park Community Room. 775 W. Roger Road. Plus level square dancers are invited to have a good time at Fun Squares every Monday from 7 to 9 p.m. Single ladies are especially welcome. For more information call 326-9284.


       For info on Square Dancing in the rest of the USA see

       For info on Gay and Lesbian Square Dancing in the rest of the USA see


3.2.3    Country Western Two Stepping/ Country Swing/ Country Line dancing


            Cactus Moon Bar: 5470 E. Broadway (520) 748-0049


            The New West Bar: 4385 W. Ina Rd.     520.744.7744 (warning: rough and ready!)


       For info on Country Western/Line dancing in the rest of the USA see:

       For info on Gay and Lesbian Country Western Dancing in the USA see:

3.2.4    Clogging


            Contact Info:

Edie Hund - Arizona Clogging Association, 509 E Gay St, Tucson, AZ 85705-3610 USA, Phone: (520) 887-4291,Email:,


Howell, Kathy & Leon, 520-726-8276

Vettore, Theresa, 520-797-9632,

Wilson, Anne, 520-297-0843,


3.2.5    Swing/Jive/Lindy/Ballroom Dance


U of A Swing Cats, Swing Club, Wednesdays, Bio Sci West 301, Beginners 8-8:30, Intermediate 8:30-9, recreational 9-11:


U of A Ballroom Dance Club: (Variety of Meeting times):


Tucson Lindy Hop:


There are too many other Swing/Ballroom listings to list. See the above sites for links.


3.3       Traditional Native American Dance in Tucson


3.3.1 Ceremonial Dance


Yaqui Ceremonial Dancers:

Each spring in the Pascua Yaqui Village, during Easter the Yaqui Deer dancers perform ceremonies. These are usually open to the public, but no photos are allowed.


U of A Native American Dance Club. The University has a performance team, I have been unable to find any contact info for them, but they rehearse in Gittings often on Fridays


The Redhouse Dancers: Traditional Navajo Dancing 886- 7651


3.3.2    Waila Dancing

Annual Waila Festival. Held on U of A Campus every spring (usually March or April). Participation from outsiders is welcome.


There is plenty of Waila Dancing on the Tohono O'odham Reservation, but these events are usually just for the T.O. community. If you are interested in this from an ethnochoreological point of view, please contact the tribal council for info and permission.


3.4       Traditional Hispanic Dancing in Tucson


3.4.1    Mexican Dance



Ballet Folklorico Classes for beginners take place Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 to 7 p.m.; it's 7 to 8:15 p.m. for intermediate dancers. Advanced classes are held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 to 8:15 p.m. Monthly cost is $25, which includes two classes per week. Call Sergio Valle at 206-4296 for more information.


Ballet Folklorico and Mariachi TAPATIO Performing Co.  Centro Cultural Tapatio  2100 S 4th Ave Tucson, AZ 85713 and 2872 San Juan Terrace, Tucson, AZ 85713 Phone: 520-405-6035  Email: Alberto Ranjel

            Ballet Folklorico San Juan/Arizona:

PO Box 35312  Tucson, Arizona 85740 Phone: 520-544-9543  Fax: 520-544-3063


Ballet Folklorico de Naylor Middle School

1701 S Columbus Blvd Tucson, AZ 85711 Phone: 520-512-3460


Ballet Folklorico Chaparral

Chaparral School Tucson, Arizona


Ballet Folklorico La Paloma:


Ballet Folklorico Mexica, Instituto de Folklore Mexicano,  Tonatiuh Folklorico Dance Company. Director Artistico: Ambrosio Hern‡ndez. PO Box 85337 Tucson, AZ 85754

Phone: 520- 326-1272 Alternate Contact: Mercedes Guerrero 520-884-7218



Ballet Folklorico Pistor Middle School

5455 S Cardinal Ave Tucson, AZ 85746


Ballet Folklorico Tucson High Magnet School

400 North 2nd Ave Tucson, AZ 85705


Leticia's Dance Studio Leticia M de Durazo, Director

Tucson, Arizona Phone: 520- 886-0524


Los Venaditos Internacional Mexican Ballet Folklorico Dance for kids 4 to 15 years Director: Ana S Valdez, Christopher City, U of A International Community Tucson, Arizona, Phone: 520-318 1618, Email:


Ochoa Elementary Folklorico,  After School Program, Directors: Yolanda Sethi and Rosalinda Medina, Educational Enrichment Foundation, 1661 N Swan Rd, Suite 116, Tucson, Arizona 85712, Phone: 520-325-8688, Fax: 520-325-8579


3.4.2    Argentine Tango


The Shoebox Tango Club. 108 E. Congress Street. 290-2990. Thursday evenings at 8:15 for beginners and 9 for intermediate dancers. Classes cost $5. Call Charity or Levi at 290-2990 for more information.


"Tango Tucson"


3.4.3    Flamenco


Flamenco classes continue at Dance Moves Studio, 2514 E. Sixth St. Classes cost $7.50 an hour. Beginner classes meet Thursdays from 5 to 7 p.m. and advanced/intermediate classes take place Mondays from 6:30 to 8 p.m. A children's flamenco class is held Wednesdays from 5 to 6 p.m. Call 745-8431 for information and to register.


3.4.4    Salsa and Latin.


Orts Space. 121 E. Seventh St. 322-8020. every Friday from 8 to 11 p.m. with a special mix of Cuban, South American and Afro-Cuban music. Costumes are encouraged and socks and ballet slippers are permitted. There is a salsa intro lesson from 8 to 8:30 p.m. Admission is $5.


U of A Salsa Dance Club:


Cuban Dancing:


3.5       European Folkdancing in Tucson


Once a year, in March there is a showcase of European dances at the Foothills Mall, This is sponsored by the European Multicultural Alliance of Tucson (EMAT) 745-2173 or PO Box 44301, Tucson, AZ


3.5.1 Russian

            Kalinka Russian Dancers:

            (for more info ask Mia)


3.5.2 Norwegians

Leikarring Dancers (Norsemen's federation: 297 9503)  for more info ask Mia


3.5.3 Swedish

VASA Dancers: 326-7330, Adult and ChildrenÕs classes


3.5.4 German


Tucson Ethnic Dance Ensemble (see above) – fall seasons.


Edelweiss Folk Dancers:


3.5.5 Greek

Tucson Greek Festival.             Held Semi Annually at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 1145 E. Ft. Lowell Road        


There are two Greek Performance Groups in Town, I canÕt find any info on them on the web. One of them is headquartered at St. Demetrios.


3.5.6 Polish

Lajkonik – ChildrenÕs Performance Group:

For more info:


3.5.7 Scottish Country Dancing

Tucson Branch of the RSCDS. First Methodist Church Hall. 915 E. Fourth Street (at Park Avenue). 887-0875. Thursdays from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m $4. Come alone or bring a friend; all ages are welcome. Wear soft or comfortable flat shoes. The first class is free. Call 887-0875 for more information.


3.5.8 Scottish Highland Dance


            Tucson Highland Games (Highland Dancing)



3.5.9 Irish Step Dancing & Ceili Dancing


Bracken School of Irish Dance – childrenÕs step-dancing & adult ceili-dancing classes meet on Tuesday afternoons/evenings at "On Broadway" dance studio at 7036 E. Broadway. For more information or to sign up for classes, contact Rosemary Browne 296-8476

Irish Dance Competition: Feile Rince Tucson:



3. 6      Middle Eastern Folk dancing in Tucson


3.6.1 Israeli Recreational Folkdancing

Tuesdays, 7-8:30 pm beginners; 8:30-10 pm advanced, Jewish Community Center, 3800 E. River Rd. at Dodge Rd.  Info:  520-299-3000.


3.6.2 Belly Dancing

There are a number of Belly Dance classes in Town. One instructor is Kathryn Ferguson 881-0883


3.6.3 Turkish Dancing

The Turkish Students Association at U of A occasionally sponsors a performance group in collaboration with the I-dance club listed above.


3.7       Asia/Oceana/Africa


3.7.1 Polynesian

Halau Hula O Leina`Ala, Lisa Leina'ala Ibarra, 940 S. Craycroft, Tucson, AZ 85711



3.7.2 African

Barbea Williams Performing Company: Traditional West African and African-Brazilian Dance. 520)  628-7785, For Children, Teens, and Adults.  Ask about Dress Code and Fees.  Classes On-Going. Sixth Street Art Studios, 44 W. Street (N.E. Corner of 6th Street and  9th Ave.), Tucson, Az.


3.7.3 Asian

Mari Kaneta and Suzuyuki Kai: Japanese Classical Dance.


Payal Academy of Dance: Indian Classical Dance, no contact info available