Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Party time!

You are invited to the Annual Petaluma Spring Folk Dance Party on Saturday, April 22!

  • Time: 7:30-10:30 p.m.
  • Place: Hermann Sons Hall, 860 Western Avenue, Petaluma
  • Admission: $10
  • Format: The first hour will be dancing to old and new recorded favorites, followed by fabulous live Macedonian, Bulgarian, and Greek music by Staro Vino.
  • Musicians: Mark Jenkins, percussion and vocals; Greg Jenkins, clarinet and vocals; Peter Bonos, trumpet;  Andrew Cohen, accordion and vocals.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Spring Folk Dance Class Schedule

Here's what's up for the spring:

Monday night dancing in Petaluma continues at Herman Sons Hall, 860 Western Avenue through May 1 (no class April 9). Drop-ins and newcomers are always welcome. 

We had a wonderful evening dancing with the Yale Women's Slavic Chorus members and listening to their beautiful singing on March 13. Our next big event will be our Annual Spring Folk Dance Party on April 22 with live music by Staro Vino.

My next College of Marin of Marin International Folk Dance Class starts on April 5 and runs through May 10 on Wednesdays 2:30-3:30 p.m. in PE#22 on the Kentfield campus. I'll be teaching a lovely new dance from Croatia and a Finnish circle dance in waltz rhythm plus favorites from Macedonia, Israel, Greece, Turkey, Romania, and Bulgaria. you can register now for this class at:

Israeli Folk Dancing at the Osher JCC, 200 San Pedro Road, San Rafael, continues through April 13 (no class on March 23) on Thursdays 1:30-4 p.m. Newcomers, beginners, experienced dancers, drop-ins, and all ages are always welcome. You don't have to be a JCC member (or Jewish) to attend the class. The first hour I'll teach easy classic dances, then I'll be teaching/reviewing Salamati and Shir Ahava L'Rhodus, and then we'll dance to requests. You can come just for the first hour or stay for the whole class; register and pay at the JCC front desk.

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.