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A Few Dance Sessions on the West Coast
Looking for a session? Check the Australian database (worldwide) or Irgun Ha'Rikudim (in Israel only).
NOTE: Some of these sessions or camps might be on hiatus, a different schedule, or even permanently disbanded, due to the COVID pandemic. Please check with the session leader before attending.
- Loui Tucker — Loui has been leading a fantastically fun Monday night session in Sunnyvale for over 3 decades! She also does a couples-only repertoire class in Murphy Park on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month.
- Moshany Shemesh — Moshany is a veteran markid who has travelled the Bay Area and beyond. He is opening a session every other Sunday in Mountain View, CA.
- Cafe Simcha — This is a smaller Wednesday night in Kensington (near Berkeley), with an incredibly friendly, community feel.
- Udy Gold — Udy has a beginners class in the city (meaning, SF), which is held every Tuesday at 8-9:30pm, with open dancing 9:30-11. The location is St. Francis Episcopal Church.
- The Israeli Dance DeCal at UC Berkeley — Students at Cal lead this session, introducing Israeli dance to other college kids. Pretty cool.
- Allen King — Do you love Israeli from before 1985? Then join Allen's nostalgia session four Sundays per year at the Ashkenaz in Berkeley.
- Orly Setareh — Orly has a great Wednesday session in Culver City, near LAX, to which she brings her infectious energy. She also runs Camp SheLAnu on Presidents' Day Weekend.
- Sagi Azran — Two fantastic sessions on Monday and Thursday in the San Fernando Valley, just north of L.A. Sagi also directs Camp MachoLA on MLK Jr. Weekend.
- Sababa Nights — Harel and Ashley Asaraf run a mostly partners nights in LA.
- David Katz — is one of the best teachers out there, and leads a Monday session at Beth Shir Shalom in Santa Monica.
- Yoni Carr — Yoni runs a San Diego session on Mondays. She also has a Labor Day Mini-Camp, which are very popular with our Bay Area crowd.
- San Diego Rokedet — Raphael and Susan Gottesman bring the fun every Thursday night at the Being Fit Gym in San Diego.
- Orange County Israeli Dancing — This is a fun, community-centric session, programming by Jeremy Abrams, at the wonderful Avant Garde Ballroom.
- Tuesday nights, 7-9:30pm, at Congregation B'Nai Israel, located at 3600 Riverside Blvd., Sacramento, CA. The night is led by Louis Sigmond, Jim Lawson, and Susana Mullen. It's a small and friendly group.
- Portland Israeli Folk Dance — If you're in Oregon, make sure to visit one of the Sunday, Tuesday, or Wednesday sessions. Check out their Facebook page as well!
- Esti Livne — Esti runs an intimate but energetic session at the Mercer Island JCC, near Seattle, WA.
- He'Ari — Ellie and Dianne run a welcoming session with classic and new dances in Seattle.
- Nona Malki in Vancouver, Can., has a great session, and posts a highly useful list of recent dance with videos.
- Monterey Peninsula Israeli Dancers can be found along California's beautiful coast, led by Abby Bukofzer.
Camps and Workshops
Arranged chronologically from January to December.
- Camp MachoLA grew from 200 people in the first year (2015) to over 300 people the next year—a tribute to a great camp! Stop by San Diego in January for MachoLA.
- Seattle Rokedet is a day-long workshop in Seattle, hosted by Esti Livne. The last few years have featured the energetic and charismatic Sagi Azran as guest teacher.
- Camp SheLAnu is a brand new camp, Presidents' Day Weekend 2019, run by Orly Star, Shirley Smith, and Jason Goldman, and held at Brandeis-Bardin, Simi Valley, CA.
- Be'ketzev Acher in the Chicago area features an all-star team of choreographers like Gadi, Dudu, Ofer A., and Shmulik.
- Kochavim is the "biggest little dance camp in Texas." Some of the friendliest dancers and staff out there. Takes place in March or April in Wimberley, TX.
- Yad Be'Yad is a smaller weekend in Boston, typically featuring young, up-and-coming choreographers.
- David Dassa's Family Arts Camp is a re-imagining of Camp Rikud, one of the longest-running Israeli dance camps, every Memorial Day Weekend in Malibu, CA.
- B'YACHAD features the Pacific Northwest's great session leaders running dance sessions at the fantastic Camp Solomon-Schechter.
- Stockton Folk Dance Camp is one year older than the State of Israel, but continues to be one of the biggest international camps out there (often featuring an Israeli teacher).
- Gvanim is a high energy camp in August that keeps you moving every minute of the day. It's in rural Pennsylvania, 3 hours west of the Big Apple.
- Yoni Carr's Mini Camp over Labor Day in Newport Beach, CA, takes place at a great dance studio and feaures (in 2016) Yaron Malichi and Eyal Ozeri.
- Shorashim has a rather different format; it focuses on classic dances of the 70s and 80s. Labor Day, in Manhattan's Upper West Side.
- Machol Merkaz will debut in 2016 in Rockford, IL, but don't let the novelty fool you. Director Phil Moss ran the highly successful Chagigah for many years, and this is sure to be a great camp.
- Nirkoda Ba'Kerem is my favorite camp! (Not that I'm biased, or anything.) Aaron Alpert combines great Israeli dancing with a signature wine tasting experience.
- Hilulim is a long-standing camp close to New York, with dates in November. The camp features the peerless Gadi Bitton and host of great teachers.
- Machol Miami is a great way to shake off the winter cold with some rockin' dancing at a four-star hotel.
Dances: Info, Music, Videos
- The Aussie Database lists just about every dance ever created and the associated biographical data. An incredibly helpful resource.
- Rikudim.net is very good about organizing videos from all over the internet.
- Nissim Ben Ami is an Israeli Dance teacher from Florida. He has posted hundreds of YouTube videos of himself teaching some of the most popular Israeli Dances.
- Gadi Bitton has posted videos of himself teaching many of his own dances online. Other teachers have done similar, so search away!
- Rokdim — This is the official location to purchase Israeli Dance videos, demonstrated by the choreographer or by top notch teachers.
- Strictly Israeli Dancing in London, UK, has a list of recent dances with videos.