Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New three-week class sessions will be starting up in Point Reyes on Wednesday, April 7-21. From 6-7 p.m., I'll be teaching Salsa - basic rhythms, simple moves, leading and following techniques. From 7:15-8:30 p.m., the focus will be dances from Bulgaria, Rumania, and Serbia (including both a Thracian and Shope racenica, U Cest, and Rustemul). Beginners and newcomers are always welcome; no need to come with a partner.

Monday night classes continue in Petaluma through May 3. In the next few weeks, I'll be teaching Bat Teiman (Israel) and Dzangurica (Bulgaria), and reviewing all the dances we've learned this session. Drop-ins are always welcome.

And I hope to see you all at our annual Petaluma Folk Dance Party on Saturday, April 10, 8-11 p.m. at Herman Sons Hall, 860 Western Avenue, Petaluma. The first hour will be dancing to old and new recorded favorites; after that, there will be wonderful live Balkan music with Verna Druzhina.

Monday, March 1, 2010

We're learning Valle Pogonishte in both Point Reyes and Petaluma. This is a dance to Albanian music, choreographed by Yves Moreau (a wonderful folk dance teacher who primarily focuses on Bulgarian dance). The dance is based on the traditional Albanian pogonishte step - very much like a Greek sta dyo, in SQQ rhythm, but with a lighter and bouncier style.

There has been much discussion recently in Let's Dance magazine about the value of dancing choreographed dances versus traditional classic dances (though the distinction between one and the other is often subjective). My focus in teaching is find dances that I love, done to wonderful music, whether they be absolutely traditional or not. This dance is indeed choreographed, to great music, and it's wonderfully fun to do.