Aaron's Dance Resume


aaron@nirkoda.com, (818) 687-9717, www.nirkoda.com
299 Franklin St., Unit 301, Redwood City, CA 94063


Aaron is an Israeli Folk Dance specialist who has been dancing his whole life. He began teaching and programming in January 2007, and he always bringing high energy and a joy of dancing with him.

Skills and Services Offered

Teaching Israeli dance to all levels, beginners to advanced; engaging all ages — children, adults, and seniors; programming in a harkada or camp setting; leading Israeli dancing at simcha events, such as onegs, B’nei Mitzvot, and weddings; organizing a successful, high-energy session, including administrative tasks; selection, maintenance, and set-up of equipment.

Organizer: Nirkoda Ba'Kerem

Nirkoda Ba'Kerem, Wonder Valley Ranch and Resort, Sanger, CA

  • A four-day, three-night event featuring guest choreographers from abroad
  • Aaron developed the concept of a joint Israeli dance camp and wine tasting event, along with the relaxed ethos of the event, reflecting the Bay Area persona
  • Researched venues, negotiated rates and services, eventually signed a contract with Wonder Valley Ranch and Resort
  • Hired and lead professional development for 10-person staff
  • When Camp Newman was tragically destroyed by the Sonoma County fires three weeks before the event, Aaron found an alternate venue, though due to lingering concerns about the spread of the fire, the event was ultimately cancelled, and full refunds were furnished to all registrants
  • Aaron organized a special Nirkoda event with all of the guests, at which Yaron introduced two brand new dances, Al Tishali and Safart


  • October 27-30, 2022 — Guest teachers Yaron Carmel and Ohad Atia, with programmer Latishya Steele.
  • December 16-19, 2021 — Guest teachers Michael Barzelai and Yaron Elfassy, with programmer Latishya Steele.
  • October 29-November 1, 2020 — Cancelled due to COVID-19.
  • November 21-24, 2019 — Guest teachers Yaron Malihi (Israel), Mitch Ginsburgh (New Jersey), and programmer Latishya Steele (SF Bay Area).
  • October 27-30, 2017 — Sadly, the original venue, Camp Newman, burned in the Sonoma County fires on Oct. 9. Camp was canceled, but instead, Aaron organized a

Organizer: Workshops and Weekends

Nirkoda Im Ohad, Congregation Etz Chayim, Palo Alto, CA, December 2018

  • A workshop and party, featuring Ohad Atia, originally of Israel, now of Seattle, WA
  • Aaron spearheaded the logistics, hired staff, and managed the registrations
  • Brought in over 90 participants
  • Co-DJ'ed the program along with the guest teacher

Nirkoda Mi'Nona, Congregation Etz Chayim, Palo Alto, CA, September 2016

  • An all-day event in two workshops and a party, featuring Nona Malki, choreographer from Vancouver, Canada
  • Aaron arranged the special guest, coordinated between her and three other local teachers, bringing a total of six dances to the Bay Area
  • Developed an aggressive marketing campaign to ensure high attendance
  • DJed open dancing between teaching sets and the entire evening party

Staff: Dance Camps, Workshops, and Weekends

Camp MachoLA, Crowne Plaza, San Diego, CA

  • January 2018
  • Hired by Sagi Azran to join Yaron Carmel, Shlomo Maman, Ohad Atia, and Arthur Lerer on staff
  • Taught Dudu Barzilay's new hit Linshom K'tzat
  • DJed opening session, lines session, and evening programming
  • Lead teaching and review for beginners

Camp SheLAnu, Brandeis-Bardin Campus, Simi Valley, CA

  • February 2019, 2020, 2022
  • Hired by Orly Star and Jason Goldman to join teachers like Yaron Bin-Simchon, Elad Shtamer, Ilai Szpiezak, and Chen Shporen
  • Lead beginners' workshop, late night programming, and debka specialty session

Mainewoods Folk Dance Camp, Fryeburg, ME

  • August 2022
  • Taught Israeli dances for the international folk dance community
  • Worked with colleagues Cristian Florescu & Sonia Dion (Romanian) and Ahmet Luleci (Turkish) to create a fun and inviting atmosphere.
  • Taught eight Israeli dances
  • Lead a committee in the celebration of Israeli night, complete with Turkish coffee-making competition

Stockton Folk Dance Camp, Stockton, CA

  • July 2018 and July 2020
  • Taught Israeli dances for the international folk dance community
  • Worked with colleagues Cristian Florescu & Sonia Dion (Romanian), Caspar Bik (Balkan and beyond), Roo Lester (Scandinavian), Kay Munn (Scottish), Vlasto Petovski (Macedonian), Tony Parkes (squares and contras), and Rebecca Tsai (Chinese) to create a vibrant and fun environment
  • Selected nine Israeli dances, varying in difficulty, speed, style, and age, so as to showcase the broad range of Israeli folk dances
  • Lead cultural assemblies, one on the modernization of Israeli dance style to match societal interests, and one on the background and commonalities of Jewish immigration to Israel
  • Presented children's, beginners', and seniors' dances at Dancing for All Ages
  • In 2020, quickly transitioned to an online format to respond to the coronavirus situation

Laguna Folk Dance Festival, Laguna Woods, CA

  • March 2020
  • Joined Yves Moreau (Bulgarian) for a weekend of teaching
  • Led stretches and taught 5 dances

Mendocino Folklore Camp, Mendocino, CA

  • June 2019
  • Was part of the final year of Folklore Camp, joining teachers Michael Ginsburg (Balkan), Rob McOwen (Scottish), Lynnanne Miller (Polynesian), and others
  • Taught 8 Israeli folk dances over the week-long camp, challenging and engaging participants
  • Organized the "Purim Party" evening programming, in coordination with the camp and cooking staff

Camp Rikud, Hess Kramer, Malibu, CA

  • May 2016
  • Aaron's first time on staff at an Israeli Dance Camp
  • He taught three dances to approximately 100 participants
    • Rosh Ha'ayin (Bashchuna), a classic circle dance by Dani Dassa
    • Dira K'tana Be'Haifa, a new circle dance with a highly complex structure by Rafi Ziv
    • Emet Achat, an intricate new partner dance by Shlomo Maman
  • Aaron brought energy and ruach to help make dance camp enjoyable

Belev Echad, Vancouver, BC

  • May 2018
  • Invited to the annual workshop organized by Nona Malki and the Vancouver Israeli Folk Dance Society
  • Taught Yaron Malichi's Chatan Bar Mitzvah, with special attention paid to rhythm and footwork

Kochavim, Wimberley, TX

  • April 2018
  • Attended as a participant, but was invited to teach two line dances: Ego and Te Ka Lali

Workshop at Temple B'nai Israel, Sacramento, CA

  • March 2018
  • Led dancing for a five-hour workshop for approximately 15 dancers, working on updating the group's core repertoire with hits of the last two years
  • Taught Normali, Arbah Onot, Et Lirkod, Sorefet Rachavot, Linshom K'tzat, and Linshom

Limmud Bay Area, Sonoma State University, CA

  • June 2016
  • Limmud is a conference of approximately 350 participants, mostly Jews, but from all backgrounds and walks of life, sharing knowledge and wisdom.
  • Aaron prepared and led four sessions for Limmud Bay Area:
    • Oneg Shabbat — An hour of simcha style dancing celebrating Shabbat. About 20 participants.
    • Beginners' Workshop — A 70-minute intensive introduction for those who are interested in making Israeli Folk Dancing part of their everyday lives. About 6 participants.
    • Havdallah Dancing — A short 20-minute set of dancing immediately following Havdallah services, with both familiar dances (Niggun Atik, Mayim), and a broader range of dances (Sovevuni, a modified La'ner Ve'libesamim). About 150 participants.
    • La'Machar Ve'la'Etmol — An innovative program developed by Aaron, incorporating narrative, discussion, primary sources, along with copious dancing, to examine the parallels between the history of the State of Israel and of rikudei am.

Moveable Feet, St. Bede's Episcopal Church, Menlo Park, CA

  • June 2015
  • Selected and taught one circle dance (Mei Nahar) and one partner dance (Perach Ba'aviv).

Sessions (Harkadot)

Nirkoda Lechayim, June 2021 – present, Palo Alto, CA

  • Weekly Israeli Folk Dance class on Thursday
  • Resuming indoor athletic activities, Aaron and Latishya moved back to Etz Chayim
  • With about 50 dancers weekly, this is one of the two large sessions in the Bay Area, offering a range of circle and partner dances
  • Each week, Aaron and Latishya build and grow the repertoire by teaching one circle (or line) and one partner dance

Nirkoda Ba'Gan, October 2020 – May 2021, Palo Alto, CA

  • Weekly Israeli Folk Dance class on Sunday
  • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Aaron and colleague Latishya Steele opened an outdoor Israeli Dance session in Mitchell Park, as part of the City of Palo Alto Recreation offerings
  • Drawing about 35 dancers weekly, this session helped revitalize interest and knowledge in Israeli Dance while maintaining a safe and healthy atmosphere
  • Each week, Aaron and Latishya would teach or review one circle (or line) dance each

Nirkoda! Saturday Israeli Folk Dance Harkada, October 2012 – February 2020, Palo Alto, CA

  • Monthly Israeli Folk Dance party
  • Session was conceived, implemented, and is run by Aaron, and about 45 dancers attend
  • Nirkoda! features innovative programming that complements the other local weekly session with a balance of persistent favorites and seldom-played esoteric dances
  • Aaron also manages all of the back-end duties, such as reserving the facility, preparing snacks and decorations, advertising the session, and maintaining the website (www.nirkoda.com/saturday)
  • Nirkoda! has featured theme nights (60s, luau, etc.) and several guest teachers (Sagi Azran, Dale Alpert, Nona Malki, Shirley Smith, etc.)

Zoom-Cali Virtual Israeli Folk Dance Harkada, April 2020 – present

  • Weekly Israeli dance session held virtually on Zoom in response to the coronavirus pandemic
  • Co-hosted with Orly Star of Los Angeles
  • Highly energetic session that combines the art of folk dance with the sense of community that is missing due to social distancing
  • Provided completely free of charge to the public

Monday Night Weekly Harkada (Loui Tucker), July 2012 – present, Sunnyvale, CA

  • Subsitute DJ and teacher for Loui Tucker's session (about 100 attendees), about 2-3 weeks per year
  • Guest teacher, selecting and teaching new dances learned at camps

Thursday Night Weekly Harkada, 2010 – 2019, Palo Alto, CA

  • Subsitute DJ and teacher for large session (about 90 attendees), run by Shirley Smith until April 2011 and by Karina Niederman since.

Café Simcha Weekly Harkada, March 2011 – present, Kensington, CA (near Berkeley)

  • Small weekly session with about 30 dancers in the hills of Berkeley
  • Aaron is part of the rotation of markidim, and he will lead beginners’ dancing, teach the intermediate/advanced class, and program approximately 8 weeks each year
  • Aaron is a member of the organizing committee, collaborating with the other committee members
  • Maintains the database of dances taught, along with data and video links for each of the dances

UC Berkeley Israeli Dance DeCal, January 2007 – May 2011, Berkeley, CA

  • For 9 semesters, Aaron taught one of the two (beginners and advanced) weekly ninety minute classes offered during the fall and spring semesters, for which students earn 1 or 2 units
  • Aaron designed the curriculum for the 2-unit class, bringing in diverse English-language readings about Israeli dance and organizing school-funded field trips to local sessions
  • Aaron also performed administrative duties, such as filling out the requisite paperwork, working with the faculty sponsor, building the first website (www.israelidance.berkeley.edu)
  • Assisted with other DeCal initiatives, such as the Shabbat cooking experience and biannual marathon with guest teachers

Guest teacher and/or DJ at various sessions

  • Orly Star's Wednesday session, Los Angeles, CA, May 2017 (Hayom Haba)
  • Shirley Smith's Sunday session, Irvine, CA, October 2017 (Sorefet Rechavot), February 2018 (Achshav Ani Chozer)
  • Sagi Azran's Thursday session, Los Angeles, CA, November 2017 (Simanei Hazman), December 2018
  • San Diego Rokedet, Susan and Raphael Gottesman, San Diego, CA, April 2018
  • Donna Cole's Sunday session, Portland, OR, July 2017 (Ben Binyamin, Op)
  • Leedy Grange, Sue Wendel, Portland, OR, July 2017 (Boker, Yalla)
  • Esti Livne's Thursday session, Mercer Island, WA, July 2017 (K'shehatal Notzetz, Hayom Haba)
  • Nona Malki's Wednesday session, Vancouver, BC, July 2017 (Sorefet Rechavot)

Training and Dance Education

  • Early training with his father, Dale Alpert, a Los Angeles-based markid at Café Danssa; staff member at Camp Rikud; dance specialist at Temple Adat Elohim, Temple Akiba, Temple Ramat Zion, and Camp Hess Kramer; and simcha dance leader for over 40 years
  • Danced for 11 years at Camp Alonim, a Jewish summer camp with a focus on introducing young people to Judaism via Israeli dance; learned from David Dassa (1997-2003) and Erica Goldman (2004-2008)
  • Danced with and learned from a host of West Coast based markidim, including David Dassa, Israel Yakovee, Erica Goldman, Loui Tucker, Shirley Smith, Karina Niederman, and William Harvey
  • Self-educated on the history of Israeli Folk Dance, with discussion with many markidim, reading a plethora of English-language articles and books, and study of primary sources collected over the years

Simcha Events

  • Yom Ha'atzma'ut Party for Russian Jews in the Bay Area
  • Oneg dancing at Temple Emanu-El, San Jose, CA
  • Simchat Torah dancing at Congregation Etz Chayim, Palo Alto, CA
  • Private Sukkot party in Portola Valley, CA

Dance Camps and Workshops Attended

  • Camp Rikud (Brandeis, CA, and Malibu, CA): 1988-2004, 2006-2016
  • Winter Rikud (Malibu, CA): 2007-2014
  • Kochavim (Wimberley, TX): 2008, 2009, 2015, 2016, 2018
  • G’vanim (Starlight, PA; Kent, CT; Copake, NY): 2012-2019, 2021-2022
  • MachoLA (Sanger, CA; San Diego, CA): 2015-2018, 2020
  • Machol Merkaz (Oconomowoc, WI): 2021
  • Ketzev Latino Israeli (Cancun, MX): 2022
  • Be'ketzev Acher (Oakbrook, IL): 2017
  • Be'lev Echad (Vancouver, BC, Canada): 2016-2019
  • Yad Be'yad (Natick, MA): 2018-2019, 2022
  • Hilulim (New York, NY): 2017, 2019
  • Stockton Folk Dance Camp (Stockton, CA): 2017-2018, 2020
  • Seattle Rokedet (Redmond, WA): 2018-2019
  • Laguna Folk Dance Festival (Laguna Woods, CA): 2018, 2020
  • Belev Patuach (Santa Cruz, CA): 2018
  • Yoni Carr's Labor Day Mini Camp (San Diego, CA): 2017
  • Horati (Queens, NY): 2017
  • The Land (La Honda, CA): 2016
  • Heritage Festival (Redwood City, CA): 2014
  • Camp Yona (Southern California): 1988-2001
  • Camp Finjan (Malibu, CA): 1988-1999


  • 2x Harbinger APS15 speakers, 200W, 15"
  • 2x Samson Airline Micro headset wireless microphones
  • Alesis Multimix8 USB mixer
  • Laptop with AMPS Pro with VMM database and playlist software
  • 2x dynamic corded mics, cables, stands