I Dance Hungary – Your first steps to Hungary
Welcome on the first online platform dedicated to the non-Hungarian speakers of the Hungarian Dance House Movement!
You are one of tens or even hundreds of thousands of people all over the world who love Hungarian dances but cannot speak Hungarian. Still, you feel the “heartbeat” of the dances of the Mezőség, enjoy the vitality of Szászcsávás, admire the elegance of Kalotaszeg, and above all, know the magical strength that holds together a community entertaining, dancing and singing together in a táncház.
We thought it was high time that you feel that you are an important member of the dance house movement, and thus, the Hungarian nation. We will provide you with subtitles, dance lessons with the best masters and music bands, such as Júlia Kubinyi, Szabó Szilárd “Sziszi”, and Halmos Attila. At the same time, we will also channel the most recent English news on Hungary, via Hungary Today, so that you can broaden your interest in Hungarian culture.
We hope that this site proves to be a good tool for strengthening the global community of the Hungarian Dance House Movement!
These dance lesson videos are only meant to serve as complementary aids to those who find it hard to meet masters they could learn from in person. They do not replace real lessons, and they definitely cannot replace the experiences you can have in Hungarian dance houses and – above all – by visiting the villages of the Carpathian basin.
Verseghi-Nagy Miklós – Hungary (Friends of Hungary Foundation)
Kenneth Tse – Hong Kong (Knack Cordial Folk Group)
Kovács Norbert “Cimbi” – Hungary (Élő Forrás Hagyományőrző Egyesület)
Nagy Ildikó – USA (Hungarian House of Heritage – New York)
Rosonczy-Kovács Mihály – Hungary (Hungarian FolkEmbassy)
A project by: Friends of Hungary Foundation
co-artistic director: Kovács Norbert “Cimbi”
idea, co-artistic director: Rosonczy-Kovács Mihály
visual works: Tímár Mátyás
design: Kálmán Luca
translation: Dobi Gábor
partners: Hungary Today, Fonó Music Hall, Philidor Institute, Hungarian FolkEmbassy, Élő Forrás Hagyományőrző Egyesület, Knack Cordial Folk Group
Masters and musicians:
Masters: Szabó Szilárd “Sziszi” and Szabó Rubinka (dancing), Kubinyi Júlia (singing)
Musicians: Halmos Attila and Friends, Kalász Máté and Friends
Masters: Szabó Szilárd “Sziszi” and Szabó Rubinka (dancing), Kubinyi Júlia (singing)
Musicians: Hungarian FolkEmbassy (feat. Samu Zoltán), Bese Botond
Masters: Végső Miklós, Hortobágyi Gyöngyvér (dancing), Kubinyi Júlia (singing)
Dancers: Gyetvai Julcsi, Kele Kristóf, Nagy Katica, Ertl Balázs
Musicians: A Banda
About Friends of Hungary
The Friends of Hungary Foundation was established in 2011 with the aim to provide value-based, yet non-partisan, information to the community of Hungary’s friends and the general public on events and successes concerning Hungary and Hungarians living around the world. The Foundation collects and disseminates information about the social, cultural, economic and scientific activities of Hungarians, strengthening the ties between Hungarians living in their homeland and in the Diaspora. Friends of Hungary is working to help to create a more complete, and accurate public image of Hungary and Hungarians. The Foundation thinks of itself as a bridge between academic figures and those involved in public life in Hungary and abroad. There are many Hungarians in the wider world who find success abroad: they are proud of being Hungarian, and Hungarians are proud of them.
They are the informal ambassadors of our country: they improve the reputation of Hungary, contribute to its image and recognition, and build our civil and political relationships.
About Rákóczi Association
With over 500 branches at local, secondary school and university level throughout the Carpathian Basin and membership currently exceeding 28 000, the Rákóczi Association is among the first and largest civil society organizations in Hungary.
Since its establishment in 1989, the year of democratic transition, our goals have been to support the minority and linguistic rights of ethnic Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin and beyond, as well as nurturing the legacy of Prince II Rákóczi, leader of the Hungarian uprising against Habsburg rule (1703-1711) and martyr ethnic Hungarian politician János Esterházy. The material and moral support of the millions of Hungarians involuntarily falling under the rule of foreign governments as a result of the dissolution of the historic Kingdom of Hungary a century ago has been our priority throughout this period.
Our broad range of annual activities, focusing primarily on students of high-school age (14-19 years), include a variety of summer camps, a high school students’ camp with over 400 participants from across the Carpathian Basin and the diaspora, the Cultura Nostra History Competition in cooperation with the Archabbey of Pannonhalma and the Gloria Victis Youth Meeting and History Competition, followed by a torchlit procession through the streets of Budapest in memory of the 1956 Revolution. Activities aimed at adults include a university students’ camp, teachers’ camps, commemorations and award ceremonies, and many more.
Our Student Travel Programme sees approx. 22 000 participants travel to a fellow Hungarian host community by crossing at least one state border in three programme periods each year. Within the framework of the Transcarpathian Travel Programme, approx. 6000 participants in 150 groups visit the Hungarian-populated region of the Ukraine in what it also a major contribution to the area’s ailing economy and local Hungarians’ livelihoods.
In the course of our Diaspora Programme, up to 1000 young people with Hungarian roots are afforded a unique opportunity to visit Budapest, rural Hungary and at least one Hungarian-populated region in the Carpathian Basin. Initiated by the Hungarian Diaspora Council and funded by the Government of Hungary, the highly acclaimed programme covers participants’ every cost during their stay and partially finances travel expenses to Hungary.
For the past decade and a half, the Hungarian School Choice Programme has been a pillar of the Association’s work. The scheme, which currently covers the entire Hungarian-populated areas of historic Upper Hungary (modern-day Slovakia), Transcarpathia (Ukraine), Voivodina (Serbia) and Croatia, as well as increasingly large areas of Transylvania and Partium (Romania), has been running since 2004 with the aim of encouraging Hungarian parents to choose Hungarian-language education for their school-aged children. Received by approx. 8000 families annually, the My First Book newborn diary is a symbolic gesture of “invitation” to the Hungarian community, handed over upon childbirth. Our School Choice Campaign sees gift packages presented to some 20 000 children attending Hungarian-language kindergartens in an effort to encourage mother-tongue school choice. For the first time this year, this has been supplemented by a good-quality schoolbag given free of charge to all children beginning their first year in every Hungarian-language primary school. Finally, our Scholarship Programme involves a one-off scholarship delivered personally by our staff to 8000 first-year recipients across over 400 locations. Together with the financial assistance, we also deliver the congratulations of companies and private individuals, along with the approx. 500 Hungarian municipalities providing voluntary donations to the programme. Statistics show that the Hungarian School Choice Programme is an effective tool of reinforcing Hungarian cultural identity through mother-tongue tuition, as proven by promising enrollment figures from a number of the regions covered.
In addition to those described above, the Rákóczi Association also engages in a number of other activities and campaigns in the interest of the Hungarian community both within and outside the country’s borders. Last year, the Rákóczi Association was responsible for the coordination of signature collection in Hungary for the Minority SafePack European citizens’ initiative. The association was delighted to submit 650 000 signatures as a result of a three-month campaign in early 2018, thus contributing to the success of the initiative – a historical achievement at both national and European level.
About Hungarian FolkEmbassy
FolkEmbassy makes it their own special mission – hence their choice of name – to search out musical contacts that will strengthen Hungary’s cultural diplomatic connections through music, while also presenting the organic cultural unit created by Central European peoples. They feel that it is important to demonstrate to an ever-widening international audience how the various periods of European heritage live on in Hungarian folk music and folk dance. They travel the world with this goal. In the past years they have performed at the opening of the Milan Expo, toured in Poland, Estonia, Pakistan, Canada, Indonesia and Taiwan. They play every Friday night at the Araz Restaurant at the Hotel Continental Budapest. In June 2016 they released their first recording: Felsütött a nap az égre/The Sun Shines on the Heavens. This double DVD set contains 7 hours of music recorded in karoke format with 33 of their singer and musician friends – with the aim of bringing folk song back into everyday life.
About Élő Forrás Hagyományőrző Egyesület
The Association presided by Kovács Norbert “Cimbi” deals with an immense variety of activities related to preserving, handing over and revitalizing Hungarian folk tradition. Folk camps, workshop, museum, performances are just a small part of what they do all around the year. Élő Forrás always focuses on the so-called Hungarian – Hungarian relations, that connects Hungarians from all over the world with the motherland.
Fonó Music Hall
Fonó Music Hall in Budapest is the most prestigious non-governmental venue and publishing house of Hungarian folk music, world music and the jazz scene. Many of Hungary’s best groups gave their debut appearances at the Fonó. The Fonó Records label is the only Eastern European publishing house on the Womex top label, but above all, it is the Budapest “nest” of the Hungarian dance house movement, this unique revolutionary cultural phenomenon that started in the 70s “using” (instead of watching) folk tradition as an everyday part of entertaining.
藝摯歐洲民族舞蹈團 Knack Cordial Folk Group
Founded in 1998, Knack Cordial Folk Group (the Group) is a non-profit organization specializing in performing authentic folk dances mainly from Hungary and other countries in Eastern Europe. Its leader Kenneth Tse is the first native Hong Kong citizen to receive the Hungarian Gold Cross of Merit.
Facebook: 藝摯歐洲民族舞蹈團 Knack Cordial Folk Group
The project is supported by the State Secretary for National Policy, Prime Minister’s Office.