IES TULEVIK (known simply as Tulevik) was formed in 1974 by a group of second-generation Estonians living in Britain. The purpose of the group was, and still is, to promote and preserve the Estonian language and culture. One element of this is Estonian folk dancing, and members of Tulevik have participated in this activity since the group’s inception.

Today, the Tulevik dance group fluctuates in size, according to the time of year or event; there are about 10 regular members who dance together at least four times a year but many others join in from time to time, and almost all Tulevik members have experience of taking part in folk dancing at some point. The active members of the dance group are mostly third-generation Estonians (the offspring of the second generation that established Tulevik back in the ‘70s!).

The group’s dance teacher is Ly Toom, who, like her mother, Malle, has taught Estonian folk dancing in the UK for many years (Ly also has the honour of co-ordinating the dancing for the main Estonian Song and Dance Festival concert on 8th September). The Tulevik dance group’s main annual performance usually takes place in conjunction with the Suvepidu (Summer Party) at the end of the children’s summer camp organised jointly by Tulevik and the Association of Estonians in Great Britain each August, and the group is invited regularly to perform at the north of England’s Jaanipäev celebrations in Bradford.

The Tulevik dancers are excited to be taking part in the European Estonian Song and Dance Festival in Leicester. As anyone who has ever attended a Tulevik gathering will be able to imagine, they are almost as enthusiastic about practising their folk dancing at the festival afterparty as they are about performing at the main event!