The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH)
Folk Dance Federation
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Information: An organization.
The Folk Dance Federation of Minnesota, Inc. was founded in November 1947 by Morry Gelman and Dr. Ralph Piper and was later known as The Square Dance Federation of Minnesota. The Federation is comprised of about 30 clubs.
The purpose of the Federation was to promote the spirit of friendship, understanding, and fellowship, and to encourage organized participation in Folk Dancing, Square Dancing, Round Dancing, Contra Dancing, and Clogging.
Morry had a copy of the Folk Dance Federation of California constitution as a guide and Ralph had a list of 40-plus callers from the Twin Cities and around the state. They drafted a letter of invitation to the folk dance leaders (those mainly associated with the International Institute) and the callers on Ralph's list to come to a meeting in November 1947 at the International Institute to discuss the idea of a Folk Dance Federation of Minnesota. Ralph chaired the meeting of 100 or so people who attended; he introduced Morry to explain their purpose and especially to talk about the California Federation and how it might work for Minnesota. There was a positive response from all those present and a motion was made to hold elections and adopt a constitution for a Folk Dance Federation of Minnesota. Morry was elected President and the first order of business was to have a folk dance festival in December.
The Folk Dance Federation of Minnesota published a magazine called The Roundup and it is still the official publication of the renamed Square Dance Federation of Minnesota, Inc. It is published 10 times per year.
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