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Folk Dance Federation of California, South, Inc.

Murphy's Law
for Folk Dancers

By Forrest Holroyd, 1980

Ontario Folk Dance Association, International Dance Day, April 29, 2009


  1. If you get one sprained ankle or one flat tire in a 12-month period, it will be on the day of a festival.
  2. The Most Attractive Person of the opposite sex is the one whose foot you step on.
  3. When you visit a group and request a dance, either:
  1. They can't find the record.
  2. The record they have is a weird arrangement at the wrong speed.
  3. You discover that everyone there does a totally different version of the dance (the odds against you multiply geometrically if you try to lead the dance).
  1. Just as everyone is getting into the right spirit, the record skips.
  2. The night you wear your Hungarian costume is the night they serve spaghetti.
  3. If there are three good folk events in your area in a three-month period, they will all happen on the same night.
  4. If you watch a dance and are convinced you know it, soon as you join the line, either:
  1. the music stops; or,
  2. the dance changes to an impossibly hard variation (this is also known as the Bavno Corollary).
  1. If a set dance requires N dancers, your set will have N-1 dancers.
  2. No matter what time you arrive at folkdancing, you enter just as your favorite dance ends.
  3. You will remember a dance perfectly right up to the moment you start to teach it.

For Performers

  1. A costume will wait patiently until performance time to fall apart.
  2. If the rehearsal goes beautifully, the performance is bound to be a disaster.
  3. By the time a dance is choreographed to everyone's satisfaction, it is unrecognizable.
  4. Someone always forgets something.
  5. The record you want is in the other case.
  6. If you perform an old favorite that everyone knows too well to bother rehearsing, then the number of variations of the dance that are done will be directly proportional to the number of people performing it (this is also known as the Corrido Corollary).

This article appeared in the September 1980 issue of the "Ontario Folkdancer" newsletter.
Used with permission of the Ontario Folk Dance Association (Facebook).