Welcome to Nirkoda!

What is Israeli Folk Dance? What is Nirkoda?

Israeli Folk Dance, or Rikudei Am Yisraeli, is a fun way to experience the culture of modern Israel with a friendly, open community. It began in 1924 as a way to unite Jewish immigrants to Israel (at that time, the British Mandate of Palestine), and has evolved to reflect new trends. See the history page for more. We dance to popular Israeli songs — the kind of song that you're likely to hear on the radio in Tel Aviv — with each song having a unique set of choreographed steps. People come to weekly sessions, or harkadot, to dance their favorites, to learn new ones, and to see their friends. About half of dances are done in a circle formation, with each dancer doing the same steps, while about half are done with a partner, with the couples arranged in a circle. A few are also done in lines or other formations. Israeli dance is participatory, and all are welcome to join!

Nirkoda was formed in 2012 by Aaron Alpert as a monthly dance party in the San Francisco Bay Area, and today includes a weekly session with Aaron and Latishya Steele — Nirkoda Le'Chayim — as well as an annual camp — Nirkoda Ba'Kerem. There are other workshops and occasional events.

How can I dance with Nirkoda?

All are welcome! Doesn't matter if you've ever danced before, doesn't matter if you're Jewish or Israeli — we love to share this unique recreational art form with everyone. We recommend you start with our weekly session, and we especially encourage you to come to the beginners class if you haven't done Israeli dance before. Just show up! (Though you might want to email the first time, just to make sure class is happening as usual.)

Once you've been dancing a little longer, you can register for our camp. This is a 4-day, 3-night event that includes teaching sessions with instructors from Israel, specialty sessions, evening marathons, and other special events, such as our signature wine tasting. It's a complete package; meals and lodging are included.

How do I find out more?

Join the mailing list to stay up to date on Nirkoda events and happenings. Take a look at the map of other Israeli dance events in the Bay Area, or look at the links to other events worldwide.