The spring of 2000 marked the 25th Anniversary of Storm Mountain Folk Dancers, a Fort Collins-based international folk dance performance group. Storm Mountain is a group of talented, hard-working people who share their love of traditional ethnic dance with others through performance and teaching. The group has been performing, since its inception, throughout Colorado and the western United States. The emphasis of the group has always been on authentic recreation of regional dance styles, costumes and music.
Storm Mountain Folk Dancers was begun in the spring of 1975 by Diane Montgomery, Dan Prendergast and Jeff Klute. They had each developed a love of folk dance through recreational dancing, being led at that time by Jim Graham at Colorado State University. Diane and Dan acted as Co-Directors for the group for the first decade. Since then, Bill Pool and Sallie Varner have directed the group, with various other members acting as dance suite directors.
We currently perform suites of dances from Basque, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Turkey and the US.
Storm Mountain members are not paid. All income from performances and teaching goes to the group treasury. This money is then used to pay for costume materials, choreographer expenses, music and equipment, and other group-related expenses.
We do not perform recreational folk dances (although some parts of our performance material are danced recreationally). Our suites are choreographed for us, often by well-known folk dance teachers and choreographers such as Petur Iliev, Niko Hilferink and Barry Glass.
We make our own costumes. Our Costume Directors work closely with each choreographer looking at pictures and costume pieces to design costumes that are very authentic, then each member is responsible for making (or having someone else make) his or her costume.
While Storm Mountain Folk Dancers is not a professional performance group, it still requires dedication and hard work. Besides weekly rehearsals and weekend rehearsals once a month, each member volunteers for non-dance duties associated with running a performance group, such as advertising, administration, working with performance contacts, setting up performances, and managing and maintaining our rehearsal space. We sponsor recreational folk dance parties 2-3 times a year.