Performer, teacher, and choreographer Nancy Redig’s journey with folk dancing began in a rather unexpected place: Busch Gardens. Seated in a grand theater, she watched a show unfold, brimming with authentic Armenian, Turkish, and Grecian performers on one of the amusement park’s stages.
Fascinated with the dancers’ athleticism as well as the music, she sought out a teacher in Middle Eastern dance forms. Soon after, Redigbegan performing with the Drava International Folk Dance group, dancing all over the southeast United States.
“It didn’t take me very long to realize that growing up in the schools I had, there was no exposure to the Arab culture, dance or music,” says Redig. “So I started an exploration.”
With her roots in rural Illinois, Redig recalls her first exposure to any kind of dance being on television and what she read in books. Attending Western Illinois University she joined a modern dance group, but it wasn’t until much later that she discovered the folkloric and cultural dances that are at the foundation of her business, In Step Studio, Inc.
Her two groups — Troupe Arabesque and the Mau’oli’oli Dancers — will perform these traditional and ancient styles on Saturday, Feb. 10, at the Tallahassee Museum’s Matinee of the Arts.
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