Friday, February 17, 2017

Yale Women's Slavic Choir in Petaluma on March 13!

I'm please to announce that the Yale Women's Slavic Choir will be coming to sing for us (and dance with us) on Monday, March 13, 7-9:15 p.m. at Hermann Sons Hall, 860 Western Avenue, Petaluma! 

The Yale Slavic Chorus is a performance group comprised of women from a variety of cultural and academic backgrounds who share a common passion for Slavic music. The Chorus sings a diverse repertoire that spans the traditions of Bulgaria, Russia, Ukraine, and Georgia, among others. The Chorus is dedicated to maintaining musical vigor and excellence, seeking to empower women through song.

I've had the great pleasure of hearing members of this chorus sing at Balkan Camp in Mendocino - they are absolutely wonderful. I hope you'll join us for this special event.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Start Your New Year Dancing!

Happy new year!

Here's my schedule of classes for winter/spring 2017:

Petaluma International Folk Dance - Mondays 7-9:15 p.m., January 2-May 1 (no class April 10) at Hermann Sons Hall, 860 Western Avenue, Petaluma. Cost is $65 for the 17-week session, or $7 drop-in. You can register for the session at the first class. Note that the first hour from 7-8 p.m. will be easy beginning/intermediate dances, with full instruction and/or review as needed. At 8 p.m. I'll teach 2-3 intermediate/advance dances, followed by dancing to requests.

Israeli Folk Dancing - Thursdays 1:30-4 p.m., January 12-February 16, March 2-April 13 (no class March 23) at the Osher JCC, 200 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael. Cost is $30 per 6-week session, $7 drop-in (JCC members get discounted prices). You can register and pay at the JCC front desk. Note that the first hour of this class will focus on older, simpler Israeli dances with full instruction and/or review as needed. After that we'll dance some favorite line dances (Israeli and otherwise), then have an intermediate/advanced lesson, followed by dancing to requests.

College of Marin International Folk Dance - Wednesday 2:10-3:30 p.m., February 1- March 15 (no class March 1), April 5-May 10, at PE#22 on the College of Marin Kentfield Campus. Cost is $54 per 6-week session (ESCOM members). You must register in advance no later than January 30 at

Newcomers, beginners to advanced dancers, all ages, drop-ins are always welcome! Please feel free to contact me at if you have questions or need more information.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Holiday Party: A Great Time Was Had By All

Our Annual Holiday Folk Dance Party on December 12 was a great success! 

Santa Rosa Vecherinka played a wonderful selection of Macedonian and Bulgarian dance tunes.

Over 60 dancers came and danced all night.

Monday night dancing in Petaluma will start up again on January 2 and run through May 1 - Mondays 7-9:15 p.m. at Hermann Sons Hall, 860 Western Avenue Petaluma. Newcomers, beginners through advanced dancers, all ages, drop-ins always welcome.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

It's Not Just Folk Dancing

These past few weeks, folk dancing has felt like more than just fun and community. It has felt like family, a refuge, a safe place. During the week after the election, folks walked into every class looking despondent and shell-shocked.

So I told them that we would not be talking about politics; we would simply dance. And that wonderful magical thing happened – I put the music on, we took hands in our circle, our feet found the steps, and by moving together in harmony and unison we found what is best in all of us and our country and our world.  By the end of each class, everyone was laughing and happy. 

These weeks have been a reminder of how central and important and wonderful this thing called folk dancing is. Of how important it is for all of us to cherish our dancing communities. So here’s a shout-out to my students, fellow dance teachers, and fellow folk dancers. Let's all keep dancing into the new year - and beyond.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Dancing with Bulgarika!

Over 50 people braved the rain to come and dance to the soulful traditional Bulgarian sounds of Bulgarika this week! 

Fabulous musicians Nikolay Kolev on gadulka, Donka Koleva on vocals, Temelko Ivanov on kaval, and Nikolay Kodzhabashev on tambura were joined by the Bay Area's own Dan Auvil on percussion for a wonderful evening of music and dancing.


Devetorka, Daichovo, Cetvorno, Paidushko, Triti Puti, Eleno Mome, Dospatsko Horo - we danced them all. Highlights of the evening including two wonderful medleys of Pravo and Les Noto melodies sung by Donka Koleva. 


Be sure to join us again for our Annual Petaluma Holiday Folk Dance Party at Hermann Sons Hall on Monday, December 12, 7-9:30 p.m., featuring live music by Santa Rosa Vecherinka.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Parties & Classes & New Dances!

Come party!
Dance to the traditional Bulgarian sounds of Bulgarika on Monday, October 24, 7-9:30 p.m., at Hermann Sons Hall, 860 Western Avenue, Petaluma. Admission is $10 for visitors, $5 for those already signed up for the fall session.

And mark your calendars now for our Annual Holiday Party with live music by Santa Rosa Vecherinka on Monday, December 12, 7-9:30 p.m.

New sessions starting!
College of Marin International Folk Dance Class on Wednesdays 2:10-3:30 p.m. in PE#22, Kentfield Campus, starts November 2 and runs through December 7.
The next session of Israeli Folk Dancing on Thursdays 1:30-4 p.m. starts on October 27 and runs through December 8 at the Osher JCC in San Rafael. 

New dances!
We've been learning Rum Dum Dum, a fun and lively dance to Serbia music choreographed by Ira Weisburd:
And Rokdim Yechefim is my latest favorite Israeli dance that I'll be teaching:

Monday, September 19, 2016

Old & New Dances for Fall 2016

Fall is approaching, fall classes are underway, and I'm having fun teaching some dances that are new for me plus some old favorites:

Kotsakia is a wonderful Greek island syrto from Naxos; it was my favorite new dance that I learned from Joe Graziosi at Balkan Music and Dance Camp this past summer:

Kostursko Oro is an lovely old Macedonian favorite that's beautiful and quirky and fun to dance, with a 6-count dance phrase done against standard 4/4 rhythm:

Enigma is a lively, complex, contemporary Israeli dance choreographed by Robert Haddon in 2001:

Ashrei Ha'ish is a longtime favorite Israeli dance choreographed in 1982 by Dani Dassa:

Newcomers, beginners to advanced dancers, all ages, and drop-ins are always welcome in the International Folk Dance Class on Mondays 7-9:15 p.m at Hermann Sons Hall in Petaluma and the Israeli Folk Dancing class on Thursdays 1:30-4 p.m. at the JCC in San Rafael. Come dance!