Nachama dances at dusk Nachama dances at dusk Couples dance near the beach at dusk in Tel Aviv. (All photos: Erez Kaganovitz)

'We became a family': Creating a community through dance

Public folk-dancing sessions attract participants of all ages.

If you walk along the seashore of Tel Aviv, there's a a good chance you'll find hundreds of people dancing in the street. Toddlers, teenagers and grown-ups alike put on their dancing shoes and hit the dance floor that offers unique views of the beautiful coastline.

Dancing group Large crowds gather around the folk dancers in Tel Aviv.

These weekly folk-dance sessions are among the most popular outdoor activities in Tel Aviv. It's free to participate and a great source of exercise - some people describe it as the Israeli version of tai chi.

Ruti the folk dancer Ruti throws her arms up as she dances.

It's also a great way to meet your neighbors. Ruti, one of the regulars, says, "This is the best place to get to know your community and this is the reason why I've been doing this for almost 30 years."

Lior, with rainbow socks, dances in Tel Aviv Lior, in his vibrant rainbow socks, dances to let go and forget it all.

Lior, another member of the folk dancing group, says that this place helps him clear his mind, even if it's only for two hours. "My soul is dancing and uplifted when I come here with my dancing shoes," he says. "For two hours I can just let go."

Nachama dances at dusk Nachama, in yellow, dances into the night with her partner.

Nachama, who has also been a regular for the past 35 years, says, "Instead of staying at home all day and watching the days go by, I come here to dance and meet the members of the community. We became a family and that's one of the most important things that came from our folk dancing group."

Father kisses his daughterThe sense of community is strong as even onlookers find joy in the gathering.

Yafa, another dancer, added: "I'm from London, and I think you will never a find an atmosphere like you have in Gordon Beach. The sea, the beautiful sunset and the people who are warm and friendly. With all my love to London, you will not find an atmosphere like this."

A man dances in Tel Aviv The walkway along the beach is alive with motion as the dancers spin and step.

Rina and Arie, who have danced together for almost four years, strongly recommend that everyone come out and dance. This is, they say, "the place where the magic can happen."

A small dog watches the dancers Even the dogs are amused by the folk dancers.


Photos and SlideshowsPhotos and Slideshows
'We became a family': Creating a community through dance
Folk dancing in Israel is a great way to meet people, say regulars. Crowds flock to Gordon Beach in Tel Aviv for the weekly public folk dancing sessions.