Lewes Israeli Folk Dance Group

An Affiliated Group of the Society for International Folk Dancing (SIFD).

Lewes Israeli Folk Dance Group

Israeli Folk Dancing

First Sunday of the month (except August) 6:00pm - 9:00pm (cost 4.00)
St Thomas a Becket Church Hall in Cliffe High Street, Lewes, East Sussex
Inquiries: Rowena Martin
01323503991 rowenahmartin[at]hotmail[dot]com


The Lewes Israeli Folk Dance Group caters for those with some experience and an enthusiasm for the subject. We have a core of regular dance teachers which ensures variety. Anyone is welcome to bring tapes or CDs and lead dances, as this is a communal event. We also provide drinks at break time.

There is free parking on Sundays a few steps away. To get there turn south at the roundabout betweeen the Cuilfail tunnel and the Ouse river.

What is Israeli Folk Dance?

Israeli Folk Dancing is difficult to define in the same way as folk dance from other countries as it was formed over the last century as a synthesis of different influences specifically for the purpose of creating a national dance identity.

The earliest dances come from the earliest kibbutz culture (pre-1914) and were adapted from various central/eastern European dances. However Hora Aggadati (created in 1924) is sometimes regarded as the first folk dance which is truly Israeli. There arose a 'tradition' of creating dances to celebrate specific events or places and by the 1950's these had grown to create a repertoire that formed Israeli folk dance. These include Mayim, Kol Dodi, Debka Rafiach, Harmonika, Hava Nitze b'machol, Ken Yovdu, Mechol Ovadia, Bat Yiftach, Be'er Basadeh and Debka Gilboa as well as Eastern European Jewish dances such as the Sherele.

A unique aspect of Israeli dance is the large number of dances that are being continuously created though only a few endure as a classic dance. These new dances respond to 'modern' influences and help keep the folk dance scene up-to-date and accessible to all. It is perhaps this that has led to its popularity as the classic dances are not those that 'survived'but those that have been selected by the dancers as being the most enjoyable and satisfying to do. At the same time the variety of new dances appearing prevents stagnation and leads followers on a voyage of discovery.

Simplistically, what makes Israeli folk dance 'Israeli' is that most of it is created by individuals usually from Israel and usually based on music from Israel with a synthesis of influences from other cultures around the world.

Lewes Israeli Folk Dance Group for more experienced dancers.

Copyright John Douglas