Grant-Funded Events

The DanceFlurry Organization offers two grant programs, which provide stipends of up to $500 to support traditional music and dance events within our greater community. Grant funding is typically used to support performer fees, and is paid directly to performers.

For programs which will be open to the general public, please submit your application at least 3 months prior to the date of the event, to allow time for evaluation of your request and, if funded, provide enough time to publicize the event. For events within a closed community, such as a school or private program, the Program Committee needs a minimum of 4 weeks to consider your request. Additional lead time allows the committee to provide fuller consideration of the request, as well as recommendations or assistance in planning and promoting. All grantees will be asked to acknowledge DFO sponsorship in their publicity and at the event, and when appropriate to permit distribution of flyers or other DFO outreach materials to attendees.

The DanceFlurry Youth Outreach (DF-YO!) program supports events which bring families, youth (up through college age), or adults with disabilities in contact with traditional music or dance.

Community Program Grants aim to provide experiences with traditional music and dance to primarily adult populations.

Below are some examples of DF-YO! and Community Grants DFO has provided in past years.

Community Dance

A DF-YO grant funded an outdoor community folk dance at the Brunswick Library on May 20, 2022, with Paul Rosenberg calling for George Wilson, Peter Davis, and Patricia Kernan.

Community Dance at the Delaware Branch of the Albany Public Library

On July 28, 2022, A DFO-YO grant funded a family-friendly, community dance at the Delaware Library branch. Over 22 people registered for the dance. Fun, simple dances to live music by Tamarack with caller Paul Rosenberg.

Young at Heart Series

In June, 2021, the DFO Youth Outreach grant program (DF-YO) awarded a grant to the family-oriented Young at Heart series which took place outdoors at Dewey Memorial Hall in Sheffield, MA. This grant supported (distanced) community dancing with Paul Rosenberg and a performance by Aldo Lavaggi. 

Dewey Hall’s “Young at Heart” series is family friendly and welcomes all ages. “Young at Heart” occurs weekly on Saturday mornings starting at 10am. The series will feature different art forms each week in an engaging light-hearted way.

Saturday, July 17, 2021: YOUNG AT HEART: ALDO LAVAGGI (MUSIC)
The toe-tapping music consists of reels, jigs, polkas, hornpipes, and waltzes. While participation in the dancing is encouraged — and it’s hard to sit still — it’s fun to just listen to the music and watch too!

Virtual Family Dance

This Family Dance on September 12, 2020 was a part of Caffe Lena’s “Little Folks Series” which made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts and DanceFlurry. A family dance session for all ages, focused on easy-to-learn American favorites, and a few international folk (Chinese, Israeli, French, African, and more) dances. The following Community Dance for ages 8 and up, then focused on dances that could be done alone or with a partner due to the virtual nature of the event. Held virtually for participants to join in from the comfort and safety of their homes, a variety of American and international folk music was provided by Peter Paul and George.

Fall Festival Music

In October of 2017 and 2019, the DF-YO program brought the musical duo Tunefolk to play traditional tunes during the Fall Festival at Robert C. Parker School in North Greenbush. In 2019, DFO also brought an “instrument petting zoo” to the event, allowing young children to explore and experiment with instruments and discover a love for music-making.

Greenwich Library Spring Contra Dance

This event on June 1, 2019 featured caller Fern Bradley and music by the event organizer-named Library All-Stars Band (George Wilson, Bonnie Epstein, John Guay, Vonnie Estes). The free event was held for the third year at the St. Joseph’s Parish Hall in Greenwich, with support from the Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council and a program grant from DanceFlurry. Starting out with easy family dances and progressing to contras later in the evening, this dance was part of the Greenwich Free Library’s MUSIC IS LIVING  HISTORY series.

Photo by Clifford Oliver Mealy from 2017 dance
Photo by Clifford Oliver Mealy from 2017 dance

Drum and Dance Workshop

On April 27th 2019, the Drum and Dance Workshop was held at the Albany Barn. Featuring Lamine Thiam, a Sabar Drum Class, Djembe Dance Class, and Sabar Dance Class. Participants could register for any or all of these classes, an amazing opportunity supported by DanceFlurry. 

Movement and Music: Students Explore African Drumming and Dance

On April 12, 2019, three 4th grade classes of Tony Califano’s Music and Arts program had the privilege of attending drumming workshops by Chelsie Henderson and her husband, Wayne White (Rural Soul Studio) at the Greenwich, NY public school.

Students jumped right into playing the instruments and singing the songs from the capital city and villages of Guinea, West Africa. Movement and music go hand in hand in that culture, so students also learned basic traditional dance steps. What an amazing hands-on learning opportunity for these students, made possible by a DF-YO! grant!

The Rural Soul Studio’s Mother’s Day of African Dance & Drumming

A beautiful Mother’s Day of learning and sharing on May 13, 2018 was made possible in part through a DF-YO! grant. Participants were led by the great M’Bemba Bangoura and Michael Markus (Wula Drum), and hosted by the Rural Soul Studio, with support of the Easten Library. Music and movement; what a wonderful way to celebrate Mom! 

M’Bemba Bangoura and Michael Markus (Return of the Slap Djembe Fever Tour!)

A DFO Program grant supported an afternoon of African dancing and drumming workshops for all ages on March 13, 2018, sponsored by Rural Soul Studio and taught by M’bemba Bangoura in Easton, NY.

Square Dancing at Camp Chingachgook

DF YO! provided a grant to help bring Square Dancing with Quickstep to the 6th grade class at Schuylerville Middle School during their stay at Camp Chingachgook on June 7, 2017.

Parsons FUN Folk Songs

DFO Youth Outreach Committee was pleased to provide a DF-YO! grant on Sept 29, 2016 to help Parsons Families United Network host Reggie Harris at a recent family event. Harris taught youth and their parents folk songs by the campfire, and provided an enriching experience for youth with mental health or other challenges.

Mission Accomplished Danceathons

The 14-year old dancer at the Mission Accomplished 2014 Danceathon could have danced for joy at his first place prize—but he did a back flip instead. Aided by a DF YO! grant, the Danceathon fundraiser was planned to introduce participants to dance as a healthy activity. Many were comfortable dancing with friends, but few were at ease dancing in front of strangers. During the day, however, their confidence grew as they encountered new types of music and dance, learned that dance can express different emotions, and experienced how dance can
create community. “There were several comments about how unifying those circle dances were the first year,” explained
Mission Accomplished Founder and CEO Carmen Duncan, “and we wanted to offer that again this year.” Mission Accomplished is a non-profit youth service agency.

A second Danceathon event in May 2015 also received a DF YO! grant. and featured workshops and performances with civic leaders and politicians as participating celebrities. Over the course of the day, the 100 participants ranged in age from 6 to 50+. DFO Board member and DF YO! Committee Chair Lauren Keeley and DFO Founder Paul Rosenberg were instructors, and other board members participated and staffed the DFO table.The Mission Accomplished board appreciated receiving DFO support for two years. “It was great that [the DFO was] both showing up and giving money,” Ms. Duncan says. “That way you were able to interact with the Mission Accomplished organization and see what the event brings to people instead of just hearing about it.”

Saratoga High School Fiddle Club Ireland Trip

The Fiddle Club received a DF-YO! grant to support travel to Ireland in April 2015 for study and performances. Fifteen students ages 15 to 18 traveled with their instructor,
Jessica LaBello, and chaperones for a very busy week of performing and workshops. They had at least one performance, if not two performances almost every day.

Ms. LaBello organized the club in 2006, one year after she began teaching music at the school. She recounted that one of the favorite sessions of the trip was with the Ennistymon Comhaltas chapter. “We were supposed to perform for about an hour, but everyone was having so much fun that we ended up jamming and sharing tunes for about 3 hours. There were also some people who did some step dancing, and at one point someone taught all of the students a set dance. So the students from the two countries really got a chance to interact.” The students also loved studying with Anna Jane Ryan, a fiddler and professor at Limerick University (see video from masterclass to the right). Once home, they shared four new tunes with other club members who had not traveled to Ireland.

Refugee Women’s Dance Circle

A DFO Program grant helped with supplies needed for the Refuge and Immigrant Support Services of Emannus United Methodist Church in Albany (RISSE) to hold a Refugee Women’s Dance Circle in 2015. The program was the idea of Shilpa Darivernula, a medical student who began studying Kuchipudi, one of the classical dances of India, at age 8. For the Women’s Dance Circle, composed of women from Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Pakistan, she decided to begin by teaching Indian dances. The approach created a sense of common ground, since the dances were unfamiliar to all of the women. After developing a sense of community in the group, the women were encouraged to teach their own traditional dance to others from different countries. The project partners planned for the group to present a performance for other women in the coming year. The project has confirmed Ms. Darivenula’s belief in the two-fold value of traditional dance: as both an activity that helps an individual or a group retain cultural traditions, and a bridge that can aid in the development of a new community.

A list of past grants and outreach events by year is here.