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Early bird registration now open for ‘Nou Pois Äläud-III’

Update #218

Women's weekend dance retreat returns for a third year!

Women in Estonian folk costume
Post-performance group shot with instructors from Nou Pois Äläud-II in 2023. Photo: Peeter Põldre

Calling all women for a weekend of rahvatants and good camaraderie!

Building on the good-vibes of the first two 'Nou Pois Äläud' weekends, this third edition of the women's Estonian folkdance retreat is now open for registration. Participants from all over the world, from New Zealand to New York to Ottawa have already signed up!

This innovative weekend retreat continues to surprise and evolve and so it is with NPÄ-III.

Four separate programs/intensity levels

Separate instruction streams were first tried at NPÄ-II with positive reviews, as it allowed all participants to enjoy the retreat at the exertion level most suited to them. NPÄ-III organizers offer four separate instruction streams for this September's retreat.

This year, the first stream is for those who wish to learn for the joy of it and are game for a few more vigorous dances, the second stream is for those who are just as filled with joy but are less desirous of learning dances that involve jumping and other maximum-heart-rate-inducing and complex choreography, the third stream is for those women who have signed up for Tantsupidu 2025, and the fourth stream is for mixed pairs who have signed up for Tantsupidu 2025.

Some* Boys Allowed

The fourth stream means that on an exception basis, NPÄ-III will include men who are part of the mixed-pairs groups heading to Tantsupidu, and which led organizers to nickname NPÄ-III as "Samm Pois Äläud". *

Top instructors from Eesti

Four separate programs also means that NPÄ instructors will both teach and coordinate the choreography of the finale. NPÄ favourites (and leaders of the Women's Dance Festival held every five years and scheduled next for 2027), Marike Järvet and Ave Anslan return for NPÄ-III together with additional instructors, and Agne Kurrikoff-Herman, the artistic director of the Youth Dance Festival in Estonia in 2023 will lead mixed-pairs.

And the food?

Katrin Kütti-Otsa, head chef for both NPÄ-I and NPÄ-II returns for this September's workshop. Katrin creates a light menu that aligns with the physical exercise that camp participants undertake, and ensures all dietary and medical considerations for participants are addressed, deliciously. Read more about Katrin's dedication to the community here.

A finale that is sure to wow!

After an intense 48 hours of rehearsal, friends and family, as well as Jõekääru Community Association local residents are invited to the pay-what-you-can finale, and lunch will be available for purchase.

The four programs will converge for an exciting public performance at 1230h on September 15, 2024, where the retreat is held. Jõekääru is an Estonian children's summer campground and an event venue about an hour's drive north of Toronto, map/address on the registration page.

Thinking about it?

NPÄ is a soft landing for all - participants coming by plane will be ferried to Jõekääru from the airport by local participants, and set up with linens, blankets, towels. It is a safe space for women 18+ with no upper limit on age or number of knee or hip replacements, non-binary and female-identifying welcome.

If you're thinking about attending NPÄ for the first time this September, and answer "correct!" to any or all of the questions on the NPÄ website, then ladies, Nou Pois Äläud III is for you! On registration, there's an optional add-on to settle in on the Thursday 12th evening, incl additional dinner, pre-workshop saun and breakfast, because training starts Friday at 11am.**

Early bird registration for this uplifting weekend is now open via, get it into your calendar and get registered asap, as spaces are not unlimited!! Early bird registration rate ends July 15.

Thanks to organizers & supporters

"Nou Pois Äläud" is organised by arts charity Estonian Arts Centre, the charity associated with KESKUS International Estonian Centre, and generously supported in prior years by many organizations including Northern Birch Credit Union, Estonian-American National Council, Estonian Foundation of Canada, Integratsiooni Sihtasutus, the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Estonian Relief Committee USA.

*And why "Samm"? "Samm" means 'step' in Estonian, but pronounced with the rest of the camp name yields 'Some Boys Allowed' :)

**If you cannot arrive until Friday night/Saturday morning, you may not be able to participate in the finale with all of the dances in your stream, as instruction begins Friday morning. That said, if you are registered for Tantsupidu, please plan to start Friday 11am.


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