Hello My Dear Friends!

I am so blessed to call you friends, and to daily appreciate your individual contributions to our International Folk Dance Family, and to all the work being done to help me establish the MaryBeeJensen.com community.  It's really more than a community - it's a family.

For those not familiar with our Folk Dance Family, I've inserted a speech I gave at the World Dance Division Awards Banquet where we celebrated our 50 year anniversary of the International Folk Dancers from Brigham Young University.  This speech shares how the world of dance has been a blessing to me in all aspects of my joyous life - which, by the way, is 3 short years from reaching the 100 year mark!  Cheer me on!!

With my love,
Mary Bee
---------------------------------------------------------
March 23, 2005
 
What makes BYU Folk Dancers "DIFFERENT" than any other group in an International Festival? I had a folk authority talk to me after the New York show and his compliments were endless. Then he said, “Any Folk group can do these same dances, but what your dancers 
project from stage has a magical light that totally captures the audience. What is it!!!!” 
 
I would like to explore a common bond, almost an invisible bond, within the folk dancers and faculty that has made us one from 1964 to 2005. It is a spirit that reflects the spirit of the Lord 
watching over each dancer.  The Lord gives us all a strength and happiness to project and share with the audience the unique message of the Mormon Church. It is truly the spirit of the Lord within each 
dancer and leader, that makes our group different from all other groups. 
 
The "spirit" reflects positive attitude, joy, happiness, well mannered, well groomed, friendliness, outgoing, and a dedication to excellence with a passion for the goals of the tour. That "spirit" or invisible bond unites every dancer with the identical goals that have been the 
basis for success from 1964 to 2005. We are all alike. Costumes may change, choreography may change, but the spirit of the Lord holds fast within each one of us. 

Regardless of which tour a dancer has been a part of, each tour returns as the best. I thought it would be fun to pick a year and share the similarities that appear from 1964 to 2005. 
 
1966—Our Second Tour 

26 dancers 4 musicians -7 adults 
Length of tour 87 days by air, train and boat 
Travel 34,000 miles 
Visited 14 countries 
Performed 100 times 
20 Festivals 115,00 Spectators 
TV Coverage 6 million 
Countries Portugal, Holland, France, N. Wales, England, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Greece and the USA. 
 
May I read what I wrote in our Tour History for our second tour: 
 
"Many students learn about the world through text books. The folk dance tour brought to the participants a first class observation of the culture of 14 different European countries. Through the travel they learned about the geography of Europe from the southern tip of Portugal to Sweden and down to Greece."

Through orientation meetings provided before the tour left the United States, the students were able to appreciate the great art objects of Europe, the architectural displays, the history of each country, and to see the dances of the different countries with costumes being worn that have been handed down through the years. For members of this tour, their text books became a living experience and their learning experiences a very vivid picture to keep forever. Many students 
expressed the opinion that their three months in Europe were worth a full year of schooling. 
 
The World is our Campus became the slogan of the groups and to live RIGHT NOW and take advantage of every opportunity as it presented itself led the group through rewarding experiences daily. 
 
In answer to the question "What was the greatest experience of the summer tour?" The answer was always, "living with the people of Europe and getting better acquainted with our foreign neighbors." I feel that the folk dancers of Brigham Young University were the best ambassadors the United States could send to the International Folk Dance Festivals. 
 
The tour of 1966 had more variety and a a more highly professional touch than the tour of 1964. It took one tour to find out what was expected of our group in festival work. The American performance was considered on par with the finest groups from behind the Iron Curtain. Dignitaries indicated this was the first time in the history of the festivals that close competition had been provided by a group 
from a free country. The comment most commonly heard about the group was they were so wholesome and so well rehearsed. Their smiles and stage presence were a constant amazement to the Europeans. 
 
The tour of 1966 provided an opportunity for the growth and maturity of 38 individuals, provided a course in leadership and initiative that can only be gained through actual experience in a changing situation daily, presented a picture of the United States to our foreign neighbors that was positive in its approach to youth of the LDS Church that adheres to the highest standards of living, and to many, was a tour of a lifetime that nothing will ever take the place of. 

I feel that an annual tour of the International Folk Dancers to Europe is the next proposal to be studied. 
 
I don't know if any of these phrases that were so much a part of our tours are still used. I still apply many of them to my own life. 
 
1. Be on time … be on time … be on time 
2. Shift Gears 
3. Think it-don't say it 
4. If you can't say anything nice … don't say anything at all. 
5. Nothing is impossible. 
6. If worry will help, go ahead and worry. If it won't help, wait until you can do something about it. 
7. Don't expect to sleep in Europe. You can sleep when you get home. 
8. Extend your hand of friendship FIRST 
9. Smile 
10. Remember first impressions are the most important part of your participation in a festival. 
11. ONE FOR ALL AND ALL FOR ONE RIGHT NOW 
 
The finest dancers and leaders on our European Tours were Susanne Davis, Delynne Peay, Colleen West, and Ed and Vickie Austin. The entire faculty has kept the goals of excellence for the folk dancers, and have enhanced the total program in every way. The students have risen to the occasion and each is a shining star in his own right. 
 
The power of positive thinking is one of the great bases for the program. "Just for Today" was a guiding light and shared with each tour. May I share it with you. 
 
 JUST FOR TODAY 
 
Just for today, I will try to live through this day only, and not 
tackle my whole life problem at once. I can do something for 
twelve hours that would appall me if I felt that I had to keep it up 
for a lifetime. 
 
Just for today, I will be happy. This assumes to be true what 
Abraham Lincoln said, that "most folks are as happy as they make 
up their minds to be. " 
 
Just for today, I will try to strengthen my mind. I will study. I will 
learn something useful. I will not be a mental loafer. I will read 
something that requires effort, thought and concentration. 
 
Just for today I will adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust 
everything to my own desires. I will take my "luck" as it comes, 
and fit myself to it. 
 
Just for today, 1 will exercise my soul in three ways: I will do 
somebody a good turn, and not get found out. I will do at least 
two things I don't want to do just for exercise. I will not show 
anyone that my feelings are hurt; they may be hurt, but today I will 
not show it 
 
Just for today, I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, 
dress becomingly, talk low, act courteously, criticize not one bit, 
not find fault with anything and not try to improve or regulate 
anybody except myself. 
 
Just for today, I will have a program. I may not follow it exactly; 
but I will have it. I will save myself from twp pests: hurry and 
indecision. 
 
Just for today, I will be unafraid. Especially I will not be afraid to 
enjoy what is beautiful, and to believe that as I give to the world, 
so the world will give to me. 
 
 I am so happy to be part of the "invisible bond" that ties us together as "one". 
 
My wishes and dreams for the Folk Dance program: MAY THE NEXT 50 YEARS BE AS ENJOYABLE AND SUCCESSFUL AS THE FIRST 50 YEARS. 
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