March 9 Update:
Thank you all deeply for your outpouring of love and support! Words cannot express the gratitude we feel for our community’s swift and generous response in the Flurry’s time of need. Thanks to you the 2024 Flurry has been saved, and we can begin planning for next year’s joyous reunion.
There are so many who have done so much for us, including everyone who donated here and elsewhere, shared our message with their communities, and gave of their time and wisdom and encouragement. We thank you all! The team is busy working on continuing the legacy of the Flurry into the foreseeable future, and bringing you a bigger, more magical Flurry next year! There’s a lot of work yet ahead of us, and the team is up for the challenge.
The Flurry Folks
Flurry Friends, We Did It!
February 28, 2023
Dear Flurry Family and Traditional Music and Dance Lovers,
Wow! What an amazing Flurry we just had! The energy, joy, and sense of community was palpable – a reminder that Flurry is a true gem in the world of traditional dance and music.
However, we are confronted with the reality that things have been exceedingly tough for the arts since the pandemic began. The need to cancel the past two in-person Flurrys left us in a precarious financial place for 2023. Although we budgeted for 1650 tickets, about 1/2 the attendance of a pre-pandemic festival, we actually sold only 1087. This left us with insufficient start-up funds for Spring Bloom, requiring us to cancel the June festival so many were looking forward to. Low Winter Roots ticket sales combined with the absence of projected Spring Bloom revenue has resulted in a heavy loss of $100,000 for Flurry this year.
We are now in an emergency situation, and we are asking for our community’s help to save the Flurry we know and love!
The Flurry holds a special place in the hearts of many, and with the help of our community we will get through this. We have been here before: In 2006, the lights went out during a winter ice storm and the generosity of performers, dancers, dance organizers, and the local community got the Flurry back on its feet. We’ve been able to continue our beloved festival for the last 17 years because of the enormous generosity from festival lovers like you. With your support now, we hope to survive and spread joy for years to come!
Will you join us in our efforts to keep the Flurry alive? A huge thanks to those who have already made contributions or who have pledged support this past week. Your immediate action has raised our spirits and shown us how deeply this community cares!
Please make a contribution at any level at https://www.flurryfestival.org/support/join-donate/
or through our GoFundMe page, https://www.gofundme.com/save-the-flurry-festival.
Please also send these links to your friends and contacts!
Our Fundraising Committee is working on additional strategic options to assure that Flurry will remain solvent for future years. If you have fundraising skills or resources you’d like to contribute, please contact us at email@example.com.
With love, gratitude, and hope,
Flurry Festival Administrative Manager
Flurry Festival Program Curator
President, Board of Directors of DanceFlurry Organization
Founder of Flurry Festival and DanceFlurry Organization
Founder of Flurry Festival and DanceFlurry Organization
on behalf of the entire Flurry team!
Find more information about our decision to cancel Spring Bloom on our Q&A page.
The Flurry Festival is one of the largest folk dance and music festivals in North America, and, in a traditional year, takes place over President’s Weekend in February and draws roughly 4,500 attendees and 400 performers. To accommodate the differing needs and comfort levels of our community members as our in-person events reemerge after the pandemic, this year will look a little different!
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Tickets available at the door; prices at https://www.flurryfestival.org/tickets2023/
- The festival schedule is at https://www.flurryfestival.org/winter-roots-schedule/
- The lineup of festival performers is at https://www.flurryfestival.org/performer-list/
- Sign up to volunteer here
- The full Covid policy for Winter Roots is located at https://www.flurryfestival.org/winter-covid-policy/
- Other festival policies are at https://www.flurryfestival.org/about/policies/
- Lodging partners at https://www.flurryfestival.org/attend/lodging/
For 2023, the Flurry is thrilled to present you with two unique Festivals:
Winter Roots and Spring Bloom ❄️🤯❄️
February 17-19, 2023
Flurry Headquarters: Saratoga Springs City Center / Hilton Hotel, 522 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.
In 2023, all Winter Roots sessions will take place within the Hilton/City Center.
TYPES OF EVENTS:
Winter Roots will present contra, swing and blues, Irish, English country, waltz, balfolk, Czech, square dance, sean-nós/old style Irish, Métis and French Canadian, Zydeco, samba, Israeli, and Scottish country dancing, along with concerts, workshops, and plenty of jams. Sessions range from beginner through experienced, and there are lots of opportunities to “learn-how.”
Winter Roots will not include family or children’s programming, and Swing dancing will take place Saturday night and Sunday only.
Volunteer Check-In: 12PM-11PM
Advance Ticket Pickup: 12PM-10:30PM
Volunteer Check-In: 9AM-11PM
Advance Ticket Pickup: 9AM-10:30PM
Volunteer Check-In: 9AM-5PM
Advance Ticket Pickup: Located at ticking
WHEN: (The Spring Bloom festival has been cancelled)
June 2-4, 2023
Schaghticoke Fairgrounds: 67 Stillwater Bridge Road, Schaghticoke, NY 12154. Sessions will take place in open-air buildings (many with dance flooring) or tents. On-site camping is available.
TYPES OF EVENTS:
Spring Bloom will include the full variety typical of a Flurry Festival, with programming for all ages. Dances and Workshops —such as Contra, Swing, Latin, English Country, Squares, Vintage, Clogging, Hip-Hop, Cajun, Zydeco, Irish, Scandinavian, Middle Eastern, Asian, European, American and International Folk, Yoga and Body Movement, and more! Beginner to experienced sessions. Make Music and Sing— in sessions such as Irish, Quebecois, Southern Old-Time, African, Scandinavian, Adirondack, Gospel & Community Singalongs, Folk, Fiddle, Guitar, Banjo, Flute, Harmonica, Ukulele, Voice and more!
FESTIVAL PLANNING COMMITTEE
A volunteer committee of roughly 30 individuals work with Festival Directors and are committed to producing a welcoming event of traditional dance, music, instruction and entertainment for all ages.
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. Over time, additional dance styles have been added.
The Flurry serves as a showcase for the wealth of talented dance leaders and musicians from our area and beyond, as well as a venue to further develop their skills in a festival atmosphere.
We are committed to our local talent. This is the backbone of our dance community. We fill many session slots with local and regional performers but also bring 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.
WE’RE SPONSORED BY THE DANCEFLURRY ORGANIZATION
The DanceFlurry Organization (originally the Hudson-Mohawk Traditional Dances, Inc.) is a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting and inspiring people through traditional music and dance. The DanceFlurry Organization is a 501(C)(3)tax-exempt organization, and are registered with the Charities Bureau of the State of New York Office of the Attorney General.
Check the DanceFlurry Organization website for information about local dances, support, membership and Adirondack Dance Weekend.
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.
It was pure luck that the Dance Flurry Festival (now called “The Flurry”) came into being.
In 1987, 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.
The wheels 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.
The first 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.
The Festival 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. The location was a perfect match, and 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 5,000.
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 The Flurry, as well as a fall Adirondack dance weekend, and an assortment of dances throughout the year.
In 2021, when the Covid-19 pandemic made holding an in-person event impossible, the Flurry pivoted to the fully-virtual event Dancing in the Cloud, with over 150 interactive sessions taking place over Zoom. For 2023, the Flurry has emerged from its pandemic hiatus to produce an unprecedented dual festival model, Winter Roots and Spring Bloom.