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INTRODUCTION The roots of the folkdance ensemble dated back to 1947. Sándor Tóth, called “Samu” was the member of the dance group of Miklós Bercsényi Grammar School. After his university studies he organized the folkdance in Törökszentmiklós as a teacher. His enthusiastic skills in teaching and organising folkdance could be seen besides the grammar school soon. In 1958 three folkdance groups worked here, one was supported by the Agricultural Machine Factory, the other by the Mill Industry and the third one by the ÁFÉSZ (cooperative society of small shops) with the Grammar School. The last group was the ancestor of the Miklós Folkdance Ensemble sponsored by the ÁFÉSZ from the beginning. Later they became the group of the Culture House. The group started to use the name of Miklós Folkdance Ensemble from the end of 1973. Besides Sándor Tóth his students became the leaders of the group during the next few years. The first artistic director of the ensemble was Mrs Zoltán Jakab, “Auntie Júlia”, who was the master of folkdance, ballet and modern dances. During her direction the ensemble regularly took part in national folkdance festivals, trainings and got its first qualification in front of a national panel of experts. After “Auntie” Júlia’s retirement first Rezső Vörös, the previous leader of Tisza Folkdance Ensemble in Szolnok, later Béla Juhász, “Gyapi” became the
The kindergarten group operates parallel to the other groups of Miklós Folkdance Ensemble. The composition of the group is mixed. Boys and girls are welcomed from the age of 3 to the age of 7 to this group. The period of classes, the subject-matter of plays and dances go by the children’s needs. The safety of the children requires two leaders in the lessons. At their age the children’s kinetic skills develop together with their nervous system. Folkdance is absolutely suitable for progressing the children’s motion and personality at the same time. Traditional children’s plays are also taught which are very close to their feelings and thoughts. We celebrate holidays by learning songs, rhymes and customs. Over the years the elements of the participants’ movements increase, since the learning of shorter dances need complex movements. Practising these complex movements children can learn more difficult dances with enough persistence, discipline and attention. Folkdance is also recommended those children who have difficulties in kinetic skills because folkdance can help to solve these problems during a year establishing successful school years.
artistic leaders. During this time the ensemble had its first guest performance in Germany. Mrs Károly Sülye, the headmistress of the Culture House asked András Gaál, the Constant Gold Spurred Dancer and Anna Mária Szalavári, the Young Master of Folk of Arts to be the artistic directors of the ensemble in 1987. The permanent cooperation with their previous dance groups helped the partnership with the Bem Folk Association and “Öröm” Folkdance Ensemble of Üröm. From 1990s the education of the new dancers took place in the artistic movement branch of Gábor Bethlen Primary School. During decades the ensemble was permanent participant of local and national festivals, competitions, guest performances in France, Poland and Belgium. The ensemble’s most important aims are to get to know and preserve the folklore, music and dance traditions of the people living in the Carpatian Basin, and to make it popular among children and young people. Their program shows each characteristic dialect of the rich Hungarian dance language from Transdanubia, through the Great Plain to Transylvania. In 2000 the ensemble received the Pro Urbe Award. Since then the group operates as the group of the Culture House, later the Arnold Ipolyi Library, Museum and Cultural Center with the support of the local government.