The person who has volunteered to oversee, and is ultimately responsible for, this entire endeavour is Zoe. She was steward and committee member of EUNSCDS 2009-2012 and organised dances and transport to dances. She was also part of the event committee of her Roller Derby league in Germany 2014-2017, organising home and away games. She has played the fiddle for 10 years and has been dancing since the age of 3.
Character reference: She is German, therefore she organises.
Zoe’s right hand woman is mining-engineer Sarah. She has been dancing and playing folk music for most of the last 25 years, involved in Scottish Country and Highland Dancing in various clubs in Australia as well as the Sydney Scottish Fiddlers. Though never involved in any folk dance committees, during uni and after graduating she held various positions in the University of New South Wales Mining Society and AusIMM NW Qld Branch committees over a period of 10 years, assisting in organising social events, networking functions, technical sessions, fundraising and large annual balls.
Character reference: She flies (accumulating more air miles than anybody else on committee).
Keeping track of venue bookings, meeting minutes and everyone’s task list is Emma. She was on the New Scotland committee from 2016-2018, and helped to organise events, call dances and run workshops. From 2012-2015 she was a member, and subsequently secretary, of the Commonwealth Vintage Dancers. She helped to teach and perform historical dances and organise public events in the US and was responsible for taking notes at weekly rehearsals, running meetings and keeping track of paperwork. She has attended multiple past IVFDFs, working as a steward for most of them, and so is aware of the amount of work that goes into making the festival happen. Lastly, she has been dancing for about 18 years in a variety of styles, including historical social dance, Scottish Country, contra, and bal folk.
Character reference: If anyone could contra while sewing it would be her.
Shinjini (Jini) Basu
Taking care of money matters is grad student Jini. She has also been on the EUNSCDS committee, first as Freshers rep in 2015-2016, then as ordinary member from 2017-2018 and currently teaches the ceilidh class. She has been doing Indian classical dance (Bharatanatyam and Kathak) since she was about 6, Scottish country dancing for the past 3 years and tango for about 2 years. She has also had an on-again off-again arrangement with the piano forte since she was 11 and learnt to play the tabla (indian classical drums) for 7 years. In a more organisational capacity she has worked as a Warden with the University of Edinburgh Accommodation Services, managing the house budget and organising events including formal balls from 2014 - 2016, has been a resident assistant (RA) from 2012-2014 organising multiple events and was treasurer for the the Edinburgh university’s Creative writing society or ‘Create Soc’ from 2011-2012.
Character reference: She likes maths and has used excel excessively.
Jean-Christophe (JC) Denis
In charge of making sure everyone knows about IVFDF 2019 is publicity office JC. He was part of the committee in IVFDF 2014 (in charge of bands and workshops, and co-responsible for venues and budget). He started EdinBal, the Edinburgh bal-folk society, 5 years ago and chaired it for 4. He was show producer during the Dunedin Festival 2015, for a show with over 200 attendees and 100 artists. He has been a board member of the Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland for 3 years. He works as an Outreach and Public Engagement Officer at the University of Edinburgh, building strong professional experience of initiating partnerships, creating, organising and/or delivering events, defining and reaching the desired audience, interacting with varied partners, stakeholders and public, marketing events, evaluating, budgeting, reporting and publicising.
Character reference: He drinks wine and knows things.
Since we want everyone to come to IVFDF 2019, we have doubled up on the number of publicity officers with Maria. She has played the recorder and the flute since she was 7 and 10, respectively, and joined New Scotland and EdinBal when she moved to Scotland. She attended IVFDF first in 2015 and was part of the EUNSCDS committee first as steward, organising transport to and from dances and other events, and then as the president (2015-2017) making sure the society flourished.
Character reference: Give her coffee and she will give you almost anything you ask for.
Organising stewards and assisting the committee with whatever other tasks arise is Birte, current president of EUNSCDS. Though she has never yet experienced IVFDF, Birte is excited to help prepare what sounds like a ridiculously fun time. She has been dancing for only a few years, but has been involved with music, circus, scenic and lighting design and stage management for years. Events she has helped manage include circus conventions, theatre workshops and street festivals.
Character reference: Her current favourite office supplies are sticky notes and paperclips.
Helping core-committee with the website and liasoning with bands is Greg. Greg has been playing music and dancing since 2005, first with Bal Folk and later Lindy Hop, Blues and Tango. Aside from being in demand across Europe as a teacher, he has organised week long dance retreats (2008), recurring annual weekend events (2008-2010), weekly dances (2012-2016) and volunteered in just about all roles guaranteed to not poison anyone. More recently he has been working hard to fill less glamorous roles and to promote safer spaces and inclusivity.
Character reference: Growing up, he always had to be 10 minutes early, so now he is consistently 5 minutes late.
Hi, I’m Oscar. I grew up and went to school in Edinburgh so I was exposed to ceilidh dancing pretty often. When I left school it was one of the things I missed the most, and the touristy Scottish dinners we do where I work intensified that longing. The obvious thing to do, I thought, was to get involved with the folk dancing scene at my university. One thing led to another and before I knew it I was lending a hand getting IVFDF 2019 organised!