[teaser]Dance directors and team chaperones, who accompanied a folk dance team from Rexburg’s Brigham Young University-Idaho on a European dance festival tour in 1983, observed the festivals they were participating in and decided they could put on a festival in America.[/teaser]

[image_frame style=”reflect_shadow” align=”left” height=”150″ width=”200″]http://www.idahofolkdance.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/festival.jpg[/image_frame]Upon their return they met with officials from the Rexburg Chamber of Commerce and the City. Coincidentally the Chamber was actively looking for a way to increase the tourist trade in the town and eagerly helped to create a committee to pursue the formation of an official dance festival. Invitations were sent out and the first festival was held in the summer of 1986 with hundreds of folk dancers from all around the world gathering in Rexburg to perform.

From 1986 to 2011 history has been made in Rexburg, Idaho as folk dancers from all around the world gather at the Idaho International Dance and Music Festival. The Festival is a great example of dancers sharing their culture while they absorb an understanding of the freedoms found in America. Teams in the past have come from Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, North America, and the islands of the seas.

2012 marks the twenty-seventh season for the International Dance and Music Festival in Rexburg. Dancers will from 12 different countries this year and only one team from each country can participate.

Each year the fame of this Governor’s Award Winning Festival grows. On three different occasions the Festival has been chosen as one of the top 100 events in North America by the American Bus Association. Teams consistently vote this Festival as the best they have ever attended. The Festival is associated with many dance and musical organizations.

Hundreds of dancers perform in a variety of venues.

[image_frame style=”reflect_shadow” align=”right” height=”300″ width=”200″]http://www.idahofolkdance.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/usaindian.jpg[/image_frame] From the Opening Ceremonies, through the Parade, the Street Festival, Youth Culture Classes, Adult Dance Classes, Performances, and other ceremonies it is not unusual to see dancing, singing, and laughter filling the streets. Classes are taught by individual teams throughout the week. The performances are first class and are filled with color, music, and rhythm.

The goal of the festival has always been to have a cultural exchange between the community and countries of the world. It was felt from the beginning that the best way to achieve this result was to have the dancers stay in the homes of the people of the community. This bonding between the performers and the people has become the strength of the festival over the years and many local residents maintain bonds that span continents and that have lasted many years.

Dance directors and participants over the years have told the Idaho International Dance and Music Festival that the reason this particular festival is so popular is because of the friendliness of Idaho host families. An exchange of culture and a furthering of world peace truly happens through the efforts of this program.

The Idaho International Dance and Music Festival is a mixture of ceremony, dance instruction, dance performance, music, art, and a mingling of host families and dancers. This balance of activity provides time for the locals and the visitors to almost become part of each others families.

The Idaho International Dance and Music Festival is an organization of the Rexburg Area Chamber of Commerce. A directing committee with hundreds of volunteers puts together this great community event.

Would you like more information about the Idaho International Dance and Music Festival?

Subscribe to our free newsletter or (an even better idea) is to volunteer and be a part of this years Festival!