Balfolk .


About Us

Imagine Balfolk as a vibrant fusion of centuries-old European dance traditions and modern sensibilities. Balfolk is a dynamic and inclusive genre of dance and music that draws from diverse European traditions.
What sets it apart is its fusion of traditional elements with modern innovations and a willingness to adapt and evolve.

Live music plays a central role in Balfolk events.
It features traditional instruments such as fiddles, hurdy-gurdies, bagpipes and accordions often blended in unique combinations with more modern instruments.
This fusion of tradition and contemporary sounds creates a musical landscape that appeals to a wide range of tastes and sensibilities.

One of the defining features of Balfolk is its emphasis on community and social interaction.
It brings together individuals of all ages and skill levels, fostering an inclusive environment where newcomers are warmly welcomed, and experienced dancers happily share their knowledge.
This dance form encourages creativity and embraces change, making it an ever-evolving experience with continued relevance and appeal.
Balfolk is a lively cultural phenomenon, continually evolving to captivate new generations of enthusiasts.

Our Team



Michael Parmenter

Michael Parmenter (Balfolk Auckland) has a long background in contemporary dance, having choreographed over 50 significant works for his own and other major companies.
He has developed the Partner Improvisation technique Piloting/TACTICS, has been dancing tango for 15 years and has recently been researching partner-dance history and promoting Balfolk dance in New Zealand.

He was the 2022 Caroline Plummer Fellow in Community Dance at the University of Otago.



Kate Grace

Kate Grace (Balfolk Dunedin) hails originally from France where her early encounters with dance included African dance and Contact Improvisation.
Upon moving to New Zealand in 1995 she taught African dance and drumming in Dunedin.
During a three year visit to France from 2005 she reconnected with dancers and musicians interested in the folk revival and upon returning to Dunedin, she ran classes teaching traditional French and European dances as well as historical dances from various time periods.

She has organised several French bals and Jane Austen Regency balls.

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