*Israeli dance repertoire for kids, age appropriate material for all age groups;18 months & up
*Senior Israeli/International folk dance classes that are safe, enjoyable and doable for all abilities
*Zumba Gold/Zumba Chair licensed
*Teacher training workshops, teach age appropriate repertoire and best practices techniques
*Lead Israeli dance birthday parties for all ages, leaving everyone with a smile!
*Facilitate Israeli dance at any event, work together with band or DJ
What is Israeli Folk Dance?
Israeli folk dance has been influenced by the traditional dances of different ethnic groups in Israel. Many dances are choreographed to modern Israeli music, which is a blend of western and middle eastern culture.
Today Israeli folk dancing is done around the world -Thousands of people participate in Israeli dance classes as a recreational outlet. There are many different levels of dances from complex debkas with intricate footwork to simpler hora's/circle dances. "If you can walk, you can do the simplest Israeli folk dances". The dances are similar to country-western line dancing as they have both a fixed and repeating choreography or set of steps that go with a specific piece of music. The formation of the dance might be a circle, or perhaps couples, or trios or short lines. A dance's tempo may be fast or slow. There is a whole repertoire of Israeli folk dances created specifically for children-that is my specialty!
For those new to coordinated group dancing, folk dance can be surprisingly fast-paced.
But a group of seniors at Holiday Park Senior Center's international folk dancing class followed the quick steps almost perfectly Friday, switching from an Indian line dance to a 1940s-era American partner dance with ease.
Some of the dances brought back memories.
"I used to do that when I was 2 years old!" said Ruth Gruenberg after the instructor illustrated a move from the Charleston.
"You remember that far back?" joked her friend Helen Loube, who then waved herself to the center of the circle, spun to the right and grabbed Gruenberg's hands, pulling her into the spin. Other moves were unfamiliar.
"This is an Israeli square dance," said instructor Sharon G-Katz, who has been teaching the class at Holiday Park for the past four years.
G-Katz explained. Then she told the group to form a circle and face the center.
"In and out four steps," G-Katz yelled. "Strut your stuff, ladies!"
But it takes at least two to square dance. So G-Katz designated half of the all-women class as "the man."
"Oh, come on!" muttered Edith Daman at the indignation. Daman, at 90, was the oldest in the class and the most veteran. Despite the occasional gender bending, Daman loves the class. "Why do I like folk dancing? What a silly question," she said. "It's a good time."
Indeed, the point of folk dancing is to have a good time, Gelboin-Katz said. And the point of an international folk dancing class is to learn how people have fun in different cultures around the world. G-Katz described "folk" as the dance used for weddings, celebrations and just about any traditional gathering.
"It's what people do to show their joy," she said. Some cultures folk dance with their hands, some with their feet and some with their torsos, twisting into something G-Katz calls a snake. "Every culture has a different way to move," she said, noting dancing is even mentioned in the Bible.
Moving is one of the reasons many of the seniors attend the drop-in class. All the steps, all the turns, all the claps and hops and pacing in a circle help them stay limber.
"This is more tiring than the exercise class," Loube declared.
Despite its fast pace, G-Katz said another tenet of folk dancing is that it's doable for everyone. She usually teaches children various folk dances, but she said the seniors can perform virtually the same routines without any problem.
For both age groups, she said, the reaction is usually the same."It gets them moving,'' G-Katz said. "It gets them smiling.
Where I have taught!
Israeli/International Folk Dance specialist:
Silver Spring Learning Center, JPDS-NC, Camp Gan Izzy/Silver Spring, Md, Adas Israel Religious School, Kids Adventures Academy at Temple Shalom, Chabad Gan Montessori Pre-school, Holy Redeemer Catholic School, SabraHebrewDay Camp, Camp Ahava, LBJ Academy, Olameinu, MJBHA/Teen girls p.e enrichment classes
After School classes: MJBHA, JPDS-NC, included class recitals and performance at all school assemblies.
Teacher training workshops:
Adas Israel Gan Hayeled, Adas
Israel Religious School, Temple Beth Ami, Partnership for Jewish Life and
Learning, Ohr Kodesh, Shaare Torah, Temple Beth Ami, N.Va Teachers, Jewish
Primary Day School of the Nations Capital, Guest Israeli dance instructor, George Mason University Dance Department
Family Israeli Dance Events: MoEd/מועד: A Jewish Afterschool Community, The New Jewish School, Israeli Dance Festival DC, Tiferet Israel, Ohr Kodesh Congregation,, Family dance events/parties W/Markid Mike, Kids dancing at weekly Israeli dance session/party
Senior Classes: Holiday Park Senior Center, Montgomery County Recreation, Leisure World, Gaithersburg Senior Center, Ohev Shalom/OSTNS
Shirat Hanefesh, Bat Mitsvahs, Birthday parties, MLK day @MJBHA, Kemp Mill Synagogue/Rosh Hodesh event, BBYO-Special needs group/ongoing dance classes, Jewish Foundation for Group Homes, Bridal Shower, Chabad Women's Circle, Jewish Folk Arts Festival, Private party/anniversary, Moishe House MoCo/Beth El,
Har Tzeon-Agudath Achim Menorah/Hora event
Founding member of the revitalized Israeli Dance Festival DC! 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014 Israeli Dance Festival DC Committee Member