Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Romani Dance Workshop with Sani Rifati

We had the great pleasure of hosting guest teacher Sani Rifati in Petaluma, doing a workshop on Romani folk dance. He taught four dances: Romano Horo,Telo Vas Horo, Surdulicko Horo, and Pharo Malishevsko Horo





Sani lives in Berlin now, but he lived for a long time in Sonoma County, where he launched the annual Herdelezi Festival - these festivals were my first joyous introduction to Romani music, food and dancing. Sani is the founder/director of Voice of Roma, as well as a wonderful dancer and dance teacher.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

So Many Dances, So Much Fun

It’s been a special pleasure to introduce and teach three new dances at Monday night dance class in Petaluma, inspired by Da! Mozhem and Kabile who played them live at our fall 2017 parties: Varnensko Horo and Katerino Mome from Bulgaria, and Niska Banja from Serbia. I’ve also been periodically introducing some favorite Israeli oldies that I teach in my Israeli class at the JCC in San Rafael as well as teaching Cestata, a great Bulgarian paidushko-style dance taught by Michael Ginsburg at the Kolo Festival and bringing Sedi Donka (a Bulgarian dance introduced by Yves Moreau). 

International folk dancing in Petaluma continues through May 7 (no class on April 16) on Mondays 7-9:30 p.m. at Hermann Sons Hall, 860 Western Avenue, Petaluma. Drop-ins, newcomers, beginners through experienced dancers, and all ages are always welcome.

For those looking for daytime classes, you can register for the International Folk Dance class at the College of Marin on Wednesdays 2:10-3:30 p.m., April 4-May 16. I’m excited to say that my February/March class is completely full with my biggest enrollment every (30 people), more than half of them are newcomers! Turns out that the college periodically chooses a few classes to offer at rock bottom prices; this 6-week session was a mere $15 (I have to admit I thought it was a typo when they sent the class description to me for confirmation before publication; the usual cost is $59). It’s a one-shot deal, but I’m excited to have this opportunity to introduce so many new folks to the fun and pleasure of folk dancing, and I hope they’ll keep coming. 

You can also join the Israeli folk dance class on Thursdays 1:30-4 p.m., February 22-March 29 at the Osher Jewish Community Center, 200 San Pedro Road, San Rafael (drop-ins are always welcome at this class; for the college classes you need to register for the full session in advance).


And mark your calendars now for the Annual Petaluma Spring Folk Dance Party on Saturday, April 21, 7:30-10:30 p.m. at Hermann Sons Hall, featuring live music by Staro Vino.