Our Mission

Dancing at Call of the Loon

Photo Credit Patrick O’Loughlin

Finding Heritage, Health and Joy in Dance

Since 1983, Tapestry has introduced thousands of people of all ages and abilities to dance traditions and cultural heritage. The mission of Tapestry Folkdance Center is “To create opportunities for participating in the joys of dance and music from around the world.” We do this by holding affordable dances, classes, weekend workshops and outreach activities that highlight the many dance traditions from around the world.

How Tapestry Makes a Difference in People’s Lives

Tapestry brings people together who wouldn’t normally get to know one another — people from varied economic and educational backgrounds, with differing politics and ways of life — but who are united by a love of dance. There is a great shortage of such places in our society.

Folkdancing offers the pleasure and satisfaction of learning an art form, and is an alternative to “boring” health club classes. Our dance programs help people overcome social isolation while allowing them to engage in a healthy activity that builds physical endurance, flexibility and balance.

Tapestry strives to be a place that’s comfortable for singles, couples and families (traditional dances are often done in a circle or line, generally without a partner).

Traditions are alive at Tapestry! We seek to offer the region’s broadest scope of global dance programming, in a well maintained and spacious facility.

How Tapestry is Run

Tapestry is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) membership organization headed by a Board of Directors, with three part-time staff. Many functions are carried out by volunteers, from taking admissions to planning dances, fundraising to maintaining the boulevard garden. Although dancers are encouraged to deepen their engagement with the dance community by becoming members, membership is not required to dance at Tapestry.

In the Words of Dancers

“When I dance at Tapestry, I feel I am holding hands not only with the people next to me, but with people from centuries past.” – Ron Williams

“I discovered Tapestry when I was going through some very challenging times and didn’t feel I had much joy. I rediscovered my joy and my love of dance at Tapestry. Thanks to all who contribute to our community.” – Spruce Krause

“What a blessing – to have such a beautiful dance space available in your community! Congratulations on creating this space. What an interesting metaphor that it’s built over the top of a place that was known for repairing people’s ‘mobilization’! I will return!”
– Barbara Wolfman

“Newly divorced and craving social connections that didn’t involve bars and drinking, or sports I couldn’t play, I found my way to Tapestry. Wow! No partner needed, I could dance all night and go home exhausted and with a huge smile on my face. Tapestry became my home, my refuge, my community. Music, dancing, laughter, friends – what more can any of us ask for?” – (Anonymous)

Organizational Memberships

Tapestry is a member of the following organizations:

  • National Folk Organization
  • Country Dance and Song Society
  • Society of Folk Dance Historians
  • Minnesota Citizens for the Arts
  • Minnesota Council of Nonprofits

Why the Name “Tapestry”?

Tapestry Folkdance Center’s name was suggested by Ted Hodapp, a caller of Contra dances and member of the first Board of Directors. It comes from a quote by Jane Farwell, who established Folklore Village in Dodgeville, Wisconsin: “Each folk dance is a living tapestry, a continuous interaction between music, dance patterns, and people.”

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