Swarthmore College Folk Dance Club

Folk Dance Club 2017 Sword Dancing 2017

New Students: We run a class for PE credit in Upper Tarble, and new students are always welcome to join us. If you're unsure whether you have enough dance experience, keep in mind that most of us had never tried English or Scottish dancing before we came to Swarthmore.

If you play an instrument, you should consider playing for class. Our musicians would be glad to have your company, and would be happy to teach you about playing for dancers. .

Class Information

Class is held on Tuesdays from 7:00pm to 9:00pm in Upper Tarble.


Taught by Thomas Iwasawa from the Delaware Valley RSCDS


Taught by Kathryn Barnhardt

Taught by the Club Presidents

What is Folk Dance? Our weekly classes, taught by experienced community dancers, mix flying Scottish leaps with flowing English figures and wild contra swings. Here, new dancers find their feet and student musicians find their instruments, joined by faculty, staff, alumni, and community members. The Physical Education Department awards you a PE credit for attending one semester of our classes. All of our classes have live music, produced mostly by fellow students and recent alumni. The music centers on fiddle and keyboard, but we mix in whistles, accordion, bodhran, electric bass, guitar, cello, and clarinet.

Since dancing is about more than classes, though, the club hosts other events throughout the year. At several campus-wide contra dances with local callers and live musicians, we kick up our heels and frolic even more than we usually do. Recent dance workshops include waltz, Rapper, and clogging. And our annual English-Scottish Ball, now in its forty-ninth year, attracts over 100 visitors to the campus, including alumni from across the country. For more information about dances click here