What The Festival is all about
Promo Video #1 for Flurry Festival
Promo video #2 for Flurry Festival (used for 2012 festival)
(Videos Courtesy of Modern Mix Marketing, Saratoga Springs, NY)
Our philosophy: to present a high-quality, eclectic, feel-good festival of traditional social dance and music. Because most of the original (and current) organizing committee entered the world of dance through contra dancing, a significant portion of our program has been devoted to contras. Additional dance styles have been added as the years passed, and interest in the festival grew.
The Flurry serves as a showcase for the wealth of talented dance leaders and musicians from our area, as well as a venue to further develop their skills in a festival atmosphere.
We are very committed to our "local talent." This is the backbone of our dance community. We fill as many session slots as possible with local performers. Most of the remaining slots are assigned to regional performers, as well as bringing in a limited number of "special guest" performers from outside of our region.
The Festival is committed to encouraging and supporting our performers as much as we can within the limits of our human resources and budget. The festival happens because hundreds of people volunteer their time to make it work. We cannot afford to pay performers what we think their services are worth, but we are working toward that goal.
You can help by becoming a sponsor, volunteer, or a member of the DanceFlurry Organization, and by buying the music and books at the performers' sales table at the Festival.
And how did this three-day weekend all begin? . . .
It was pure
luck that the Dance Flurry Festival came into being.
Nancy Gretta and Paul Rosenberg were car-pooling to the Brattleboro, Vermont,
Labor Day Dawn Dance. As they drove, they reminisced about how wonderful
the one and only Old Songs Winter Dance Fest had been. In the Autumn of
1986, the 2nd annual Winter Dance Fest was in the planning stages when
the director stepped down, and Nancy had just learned that the 1988 festival
was also canceled. She asked Paul (partially in jest) if he would organize
a replacement festival.
began to spin, and Paul thought a smaller, one-day winter dance festival
could be a logical extension of the Schenectady contra dance series, which
he had developed earlier in 1987. This series was (and its successors
still are) unique because it was totally dedicated to the showcasing and
development of callers and musicians from within the Capital District
of New York State.
The Hudson-Mohawk Country Dancers (later known as Hudson-Mohawk Traditional Dances, Inc., and now as the DanceFlurry Organization) was formed as a not-for-profit chapter of the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS) around 1987, which allowed for grants and the ability to obtain liability insurance.
February Dance Flurry was a one-day festival held at the Westmere Elementary
School in Guilderland, NY, on February 13, 1988. Over 300 dancers attended
a highly successful event, staffed entirely by 38 local and regional performers,
including Jay Ungar, Molly Mason, George Wilson, Selma Kaplan, Pat Rust,
Mary Cay Brass, Van Kaynor, and the St. Regis String Band.
Festival has since evolved to become a three-day extravaganza, which was held for
several years at the Farnsworth Middle School in Guilderland. In 1994,
just two-and-a-half weeks before the Flurry, very cold weather burst water
pipes in the school's gymnasium and ruined the floor. The Flurry organizers
scrambled to find an alternative venue, and managed to cobble together
a festival held at several venues in the city of Saratoga Springs. Saratoga Springs has been the home of the Flurry, ever since, and the
attendance -- including over 400 performers and 300 Flurry staff and volunteers
-- has climbed to over 4,000.
Around 2010, the "Dance Flurry" festival name was changed to reflect both dance and non-dance events (an often said reply to being asked about attending the "Dance Flurry" was: "Oh, I don't go, because I don't dance"). And so, "The Flurry - A Festival of Traditional Dancing and Music," became the proper name and motto, known now as "The Flurry." The organization retained the "DanceFlurry" name, and hosts an assortment of dances, The Flurry, and a fall dance weekend, throughout the year.