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The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH)

Larry and Joanne Keithley

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Larry and Joanne Keithly

Larry and Joanne Keithley, 1952 - Photo from Owen King Larry and Joanne Keithley, 1956 Larry and Joanne Keithley were dancers with Chang's Folk Dancers in northern California. They started a recreational international folk dance group in Tokyo, Japan, shortly after World War II. They built upon the foundation laid by Warren Nibro, a U.S. Army recreation specialist who had learned folk dances from Michael Herman before being stationed in Japan during the war.

Keithley's folk dance group boosted the image of American recreational folk dancing in Japan, especially when Prine Mikasa (youngest brother to the god-king Emperor Hirohito) and his wife, Princess Mikasa (Yuriko) Tagaki, held hands and danced with 'regular' people.

They later taught in Sapporo from 1953 until 1956 or 1957.


In the photo at top, Joanne and Larry Keithley award a diploma to Prince Mikasa of Japan, June, 1952 (Photo from Owen King).


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