Mary Wallace and Ferenc Tobak


Hungarian, Turkish

Mary Wallace Tobak and Ferenc Tobak


Mary Wallace (Tobak) teaches Hungarian dances. Mary, along with Howard Franklin and Éva Maria Kish, formed the Barátság Hungarian Dance and Music Camp in the summer of 1982. Barátság earned an honorable reputation for being among the finest camps in the United States.

In the early 1990s, the camp came under the influence of Ferenc Tobak and his wife, Mary Wallace Tobak. Mary resumed her duties as a director for the 1993 camp and was joined by Ferenc who became a director in 1998. Through their efforts, camp pursued the goal of broadening it's cultural offering to include traditional artists, musicians, and dancers who had learned their art in a traditional, village setting, in addition to those who had gained their knowledge and expertise out of academic or personal interest.

The Tobak's worked actively to increase participation by beginners, especially young people, believing that the camp would continue and prosper long after the original founders and participants had moved on. They also worked very hard to increase participation by Hungarians, including those of Hungarian heritage but born in the United States, and those who had moved to the United States, either temporarily or permanently.

The Tobaks have two sons who join them in the Ferenc Tobak Family Band.

Dances Mary and Ferenc have taught include Agirlama, Erdélyi Táncok, Çançan, Kelekvan, Larelli, Lorke, and Mezöségi Táncok.