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Michael Vosburg, Forum Photo Editor, Published October 18 2010

Portraits: Maureen McDonald-Hins

Maureen McDonald-Hins has been teaching dance for 32 years. She started when she was 20 years old. A teacher of Turkish, Israeli and Balkan dance, she began studying the dances of Ireland in 1994. In part, this was to honor her Scotch-Irish heritage. She has taught local Irish immigrants their traditional dances through the North Dakota Council on the Arts. It was her interest in international dance that led her to form the Prairie Folk and Traditional Dance Institute at 111 Broadway, Fargo, where she is seen here. Her partners are Margreat Sam of India and Rosalinda Connelley of the Philippines, whom she met through similar work in area festivals and schools. They began the discussion that led to forming the institute two years ago. “I found (international dance) to be a great bridge of cultures,” McDonald-Hins says. “When I would meet people from other cultures, it seemed to be one of the things that breached any barriers is dancing.” She says at camps, “there are people that come from all over the world, and everybody’s doing everyone else’s dances.” She says there are a lot of commonalities among traditional dances. “They can be extremely different, but then there’s also some very awesome things that are very similar.”