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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.
- Yoram Benbarak and Bronwyn Eisenberg — Yoram and Bronwyn are keeping this great mostly-couples session alive, 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.
- Couples Repertoire Class — Loui Tucker and Ofer Ben-Shachar alternate teaching on Wednesdays. BYO partner!
- Yardena Brooks — Two Sundays per month, dance with Yardena at B'nai Shalom!
- Udy Gold — Udy has a beginners class in SF, which is held every Tuesday at 8-9:30pm, with open dancing 9:30-11. The is also running the long-standing Cafe Shalom on the 2nd Saturday of each month.
- The Israeli Dance DeCal at UC Berkeley — Students at Cal lead this session, introducing Israeli dance to other college kids. Pretty cool.
- Marin JCC beginner-intermediate — Bronwyn Eisenberg leads this class Tuesday afternoons. First hour beginners, second hour intermediate.
- 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 at Adat Shalom in LA, to which she brings her infectious energy. She also runs Camp SheLAnu on Presidents' Day Weekend.
- Sagi Azran — A fantastic session on 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.
- Julie & John Harland and Dalya Dallal — This group runs a Wednesday night session in the San Diego area, at the Champion Ballroom.
- Tuesday nights, 7-9:30pm, at Congregation B'Nai Israel, located at 3600 Riverside Blvd., Sacramento, CA. The night is led by Jill Stecher, 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 roughly chronologically from January to December.
- Machol Maryland debuted in 2022, bringing a high voltage camp to the DC metro area.
- Camp SheLAnu, run by Orly Star and Jason Goldman, and brings a fun vibe to the kibbut-like Brandeis-Bardin campus near LA every Presidents' Day.
- 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.
- Beketzev Acher is returning to the Chicago area in 2024, over the Memorial Day weekend.
- Yad Be'Yad is a smaller weekend in Boston, typically featuring young, up-and-coming choreographers.
- Hora Shalosh is a one-time-only tribute camp honoring the legacy of Moshe Eskayo.
- Ketzev Latino Israeli is a super high energy in a luxury hotel in Cancún, Mexico.
- Toronto IsReal Dance Festival brings great teachers in a workshop-like format in Toronto.
- 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.
- 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).
- Machol Houston is a relatively new event that brings top teachers to the Houston area.
- 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.
- 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.
- Li-Am premiered in 2022, bringing great teachers and great dancing to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls.
- 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.