Ballet dancers have a stylized but virtuoso way of tackling folk steps like those of the emphatic Hungarian czardas, the wild Neapolitan tarantella or the sinuous body motions of Araby. The Florin Scarlat Co. concentrated on this type of "character" dancing in its debut program on March 23 and again last weekend in the Franz-Fells Studio of the Ballet Arts Academy at 5207 Wisconsin Ave.

Scarlat's company is modest in size and production capability, but effective in conveying the joys and intensities of these dances. The choreograophy, mostly by Scarlat himself, was unhackneyed though conventional, and it displayed the performers' sound training as well as the nature of each dance.

Claudia Rado from Chile, Jean Pennington, formerly of the Oakland Ballet, and Joslyn Cassile, who was with New York Radio City Music Hall, are particularly vivacious members of the regular cast.

The agile and strong Scarlat has danced with his native Romania's Ballet Theatre as well as here with Agnes de Mille, American Chamber Ballet and Maryland Ballet before settling to teach in Washington.

Guest artists at different performances included Pennsylvania Ballet's Edward Stewart, Geena Popa, formerly of Yurek Lazowski's troupe, Norfolk Ballet's ex-principal Janice Barringer and Linda Kintz, the Washington/Baltimore ballerina currently training for this summer's Varna Competition.