60th San Antonio Folk Dance Festival

In March of this year the International Folk Culture Center at Our Lady of the Lake University, under the leadership of director Lissa Bengtson, hosted the 60th San Antonio Folk Dance Festival (SAFDF) founded by Nelda Guerrero Drury.

The festival, an official tri-centennial event celebrating the founding of the city of San Antonio, had many sponsors including TIFD. This was a landmark year for the festival as Nelda Drury celebrated her 100th birthday!  An international dance instructor at San Antonio College for 25 years as well as a 2010 inductee into the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame, Nelda is a pivotal figure within the local arts community, a lifetime benefactor of SAFDF and a long-time standing member of TIFD.

The festival began with Set for Spring, an annual English Country Dance (EDC) event, held for the first time in San Antonio over the weekend of March 9-11.  Joseph Pimentel, a nationally known caller of ECD, called dances to the music of Goldcrest, an exceptional EDC band.

March 12-13 dancers enjoyed the dances taught by Jose Angel Perez Fumero of Arona in the Canary Islands. Mr. Perez Fumero taught lively dances of the Canary Islands which participants really enjoyed.

The dance workshops presented March 15-16 were presented by Cristian Florescu and Sonia Dion, who taught Romanian dances; Jaap Leegwater, who taught Bulgarian dances; and Campbell Miller, who taught Vintage/Social American dances. Tom Pixton and his band provided live music and the event was capped off by two performance concerts. An after-party was held at the home of Ms. Guerrero Drury.    — RosieLee Salinas