LET'S DANCE! MAGAZINE
PUBLISHED BY THE FOLK DANCE FEDERATION
Let's Dance! magazine has been published by the Folk Dance Federation of California since 1944. While is it currently edited by Loui Tucker, there have been almost two dozen editors in the 70+ years it has been published.
In the early years it appeared 12 times a year. In 1958 the editor reduced it to 10 times a year. For a brief time in 1981-1982 there were only 8 issues per year. The magazine has changed a lot over the years -- content, format, paper stock, from black-and-white to color -- but it has survived. For example, there was once a great deal of interest in folk dance costumes and recipes for international food. Those interests have faded, so articles in Let's Dance! on those subjects are rare.
The Archives Committee is in the process of digitizing the over 750 issues. We started with issues where there were several copies and one could be sacrificed, sliced apart, and scanned. As you can imagine, this takes time. We started with a few from each decade so viewers could see some of the changes mentioned above.
Below are the 650 or so we have scanned as of November 2016. The collection below is complete through 2006. A big thank you to Federation Past-President Craig Blackstone and Federation member Laura Douglass who allowed us to scan several hundred issues in their collections.
Addendum February 2017: Thank you to the Estate of Marcel Vinokur that donated the first 10 issues of Let's Dance! magazine, then called The Federation Folk Dancer. More information about the name-change here. These issues appear to be photocopies on white paper of the originals; we know the originals were printed on goldenrod paper. Marcel had complete sets of many folkdance-related publications as well as syllabi, books, and dance descriptions.
Enjoy the ones we've scanned so far. The covers alone are worth your time! Two special items are (1) the "Let's Don't" mini-magazine that was published in June of 1947 and (2) a 63-page Yearbook published in September-October of 1949. Keep in mind these issues were published before computers or databases, without the internet or email, and everything was typed on a typewriter.
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We have already organized and digitized the dance descriptions that appeared in each issue (except for a few). They can be found here.
In addition, we organized and digitized the interviews and articles about local and nationally known teachers, choreographers, researchers and dance leaders. Those articles can be found here.