Chestnut Hill: Put on Your Dancing Shoes

Participants joined hands to learn the steps to a Bulgarian folk dance.
Participants joined hands to learn the steps to a Bulgarian folk dance.

Located on the 8800 block of Germantown Avenue, the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill has been opening its doors every Friday for the community to slip on their best dancing shoes.

International folk dancing instructor Bill Wadlinger has started a 10 week course for experienced international folk dancers and beginners to learn and appreciate unique folk dancing from all over the world.

Last class beginners learned some new steps while it was just a review for others. Participants were exposed to many different folk dances from places like Macedonia, Bulgaria and Bolivia.

However, one folk dance in particular was quite the challenge.

“We struggled with the English Country Dancing last week. But, I think we’re improving,” Wadlinger said with a laugh. English Country Dancing is a social dance that can be dated all the way back to the late 16th century.

Although some may be beginners, experienced folk dancer Melissa Taggart, 28, said it is okay to mess up.

International folk dancing instructor Bill Wadlinger, center, splits the dancers up to do the English Country Dance.

“I love dancing and the sense of community. If you make mistakes it’s okay because you’re doing this stuff together. It’s kind of an adventure.”

With seven years of folk dancing experience, Jean Issacman said it is a great way to get out the house.

“You get easy exercise, hear interesting music and you see parts of other cultures. It’s fun.”

Walk-ins are welcomed with a payment of $7 per week. For more information, visit



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