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Folk Dance Federation of California, South, Inc.

By Dick Oakes



Vivian Woll The Idyllwild Folk Dance Workshop was founded in 1951 with Elma McFarland at the helm. In 1951 and 1952, only weekend folk dance programs were held at the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts (ISOMATA). By 1953, the one-week programs were established.

Vivian Woll (pictured at left) of San Diego, California, was named to the committee. From 1972 to 1982, she was the chairperson for the camp, with Elma as the Executive Secretary. Vivian also taught at the camp, often re-teaching a neglected dance.

Fran and Dave Slater For many years the workshop was held at the Desert Sun School, in pleasant surroundings, with facilities not far from the town of Idyllwild itself. In 1987, the name was changed to the Idyllwild Folk Dance Camp.

The camp moved to the Mesorah Mountain Retreat in 1990, where they had exclusive use of the facilities, including a good wood floor and a new big swimming pool. The camp was on level grounds and still in the San Jacinto Mountains, a short distance from Mountain Center just below Idyllwild.

From 1983 until it ended, Fran and Dave Slater (pictured at right) of Los Angeles, California, were the directors of the camp.

Committee members over the years were Bob Brown, Cindy Brown, Marguerite Clapp, Sherry Cochran, Pat Coe, Barbara Jones, Bertie Lieberman, Elma McFarland, Carolyn Mitchill, Nate Moore, Norma Rudin, Dave Slater, Fran Slater, Oscar Spear, Leo Stowers, and Vivian Woll.

Because of a lack of early registrants, and to the "90-days before the event" cancellation clause that the camp site-to-be (the Desert Sun Science Center, a private school) imposed on the Idyllwild staff, the 1993 Idyllwild Folk Dance Camp had to be cancelled. The camp never recovered.