Click on a name below to learn more about our presenters for our Annual Conference 2021
Ed Austin | Leslie Barr | Caspar Bik | France Bourque-Moreau | Ada Dziewanowska | Dr. Catherine E. Foley |
Maurits van Geel | Donald Gregory | Stephanie Hall | Phil Jamison | Steve Kotansky | Ahmet Luleci |
Mickela Mallozzi (Travel Bare Feet) | Yves Moreau | Randi & Murray Spiegel | Jeanne Traxler |
Kau’i Mailelauli’ili’i Tu’ia | Sue Van Wassenhove | Rosita Worl |

*All times are listed in Pacific Time Zone*
Click here for a detailed schedule of this year’s event

Ed Austin

Picture coming soon…

Teaching Schedule:

April 8th, 10am-11am

Ed Austin, Professor Emeritus of Dance, Brigham Young University, and his wife, Vickie, recently were guests at a Serbian dance competition in the hills of Fruška Gora near Novi Sad, Serbia.  Because of pandemic concerns, small presentations or “miniatures” replace large ensemble performances.  Each performance was based on the Serbian Kolo u tri.  Ed will speak about it’s importance in Serbian culture and share dance excerpts from this rich cultural event.

Edwin Austin served as Artistic Director of the BYU International Folk Dance Ensemble (1985-2011) and more recently taught courses in dance ethnology/ethnochoreology until he retired in 2018. As an accomplished producer, director, choreographer, master teacher and cultural dance specialist, his creative works span the globe and have been viewed in more than 35 countries.  He has served as a dance adjudicator for over 30 years at national and international levels.  He has served two terms as president of the National Folk Organization of the United States (NFO).  His research interest has included Cultural Dance Stagings, Appalachian Dance, Samoan Taualuga, and Welsh Dance.

He and his wife, Vickie, have been living in Serbia for the past 18 months volunteering as missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  They are returning to the USA in the beginning of March.  They have three boys, and 11 grandchildren.

Leslie Barr

Teaching Schedule:

April 7th, 2-3pm

Dances from far corners of rural France that were once almost forgotten are now at the heart of a Pan-European social dance scene called “balfolk”. With music, images and video, Leslie Barr will tell the story of how traditional French dance and music got reinvented and remixed into a new form, one that is fast catching on in the U.S. as well.

Leslie Barr discovered French traditional music in the 1980s and has been traveling to France to play and dance ever since. A fiddler, with a background in ethnomusicology, her particular love is the music of the violoneux of Central France – bourreés, scottishes, mazurkas, valses, and polkas.

Caspar Bik

Teaching Schedule:

April 10th, 11am-1pm

In his workshop he will do a variety of dances, fit to be enjoyable in whatever setting you are dancing and to emphasize how dancing keeps us healthy and sane in these challenging times.

Caspar Bik, from The Netherlands, is a dance teacher who loves the diversity and richness of all the folk dance styles from all over the world. In the Netherlands he teaches dance to both amateurs and professionals, kids, teenagers and adults and has been traveling to do research and teach in different parts of the world.  

In his workshop he will do a variety of dances, fit to be enjoyable in whatever setting you are dancing and to emphasize how dancing keeps us healthy and sane in these challenging times.

For more information on Caspar Bik, click here.

France Bourque-Moreau

Teaching Schedule:

April 10th, 3pm-3:30pm

At the 2021 NFO Conference, France will share some interesting stories and anecdotes relating to her CD and handbook.

France Bourque-Moreau has been active in Canada and abroad for the past 40 years leading workshops on French-Canadian and international folk dances for both children and adults.  In 2020 she received the NFO’s Arts Grant to have her teacher’s handbook of French-Canadian folk dances for children «Danse, mon Coeur Danse !» translated into English.

Ada Dziewanowska

Teaching Schedule:

April 10th, 1:30pm-2:30pm

An interview of Ada at 103 ¾ years old by her son Jaś with members of  the NFO was recorded in September 2020.  She tells stories of her youth, love for dance and life.

Born and raised in Poland, Ada Dziewanowska initially focused on several regions of  Polish dance and culture. She incorporated the national dances she learned in school into her repertoire. She moved to the US with her husband Kamil in 1947.  Her son Jaś has been her dance partner since 1967.  Ada is the most well known Polish dance teacher in the US. She presented a dance at the 70th celebration of Stockton Folk Dance Camp in 2017 at 100 years of age.  Ada now resides in California with Jaś.

For more information on Ada Dziewanowska, click here.

Dr. Catherine E. Foley

Teaching Schedule:

April 7th, 2:30pm-3:30pm

An Irish Dancer’s Journey into Ethnochoreology and Academia

Growing up in a musical household In Cork City, Ireland, Catherine presents reflections on her journey from performance, to collecting Irish traditional music, song and dance, to becoming an academic in the field of Ethnochoreology at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, Ireland. 

April 11th, 11am-12pm

Ever Wanted to Play the Irish Tin Whistle?

This online tutorial by Catherine introduces participants to the tin whistle and covers one piece of Irish traditional music: a polka.  There is no need to be able to read music. A tin whistle in the key of “D” is required. 

NOTE:   It will soon be possible to order the tin whistles via the NFO website.

Dr. Catherine E. Foley is Emeritus Senior Lecturer in Ethnochoreology at the University of Limerick in Ireland where she was founding course director of both the Masters of Arts programs in Ethnochoreology and the ‘MA’ in Irish Traditional Dance Performance programmes.  Catherine is a dancer and a musician and is the elected chair of the International Council for Traditional Music’s Study Group on Ethnochoreology as well as a member of the ICTM executive board.

Maurits van Geel

Teaching Schedule:

April 9th, 10am-11am

In creating stage shows for the dance ensemble Maurits, was responsible for the full package – from idea to stage performance. Extensive dance research in the countries of origin was an important part of the process.

We will learn who he is, where he has been in the world doing dance research, how he works to make dance productions, what choices he has to make when using traditional dances in a theater production,  giving examples from Russia, Siberia, Japan,  India,  Pakistan and China and finally share some ‘crazy stories’.

Maurits van Geel lives in The Netherlands and holds a degree in Arts and Crafts, Art History and is a graduate from the Dance Academy. He has been active as a folk dance teacher, lecturer and choreographer since 1975. During his career as artistic director of Het Internationaal Danstheater, he produced over 47 unique world dance programs.

Donald Gregory

Teaching Schedule:

April 8th, 12pm-1:30pm

Donald Gregory will give an overview of the traditional wooden halibut hook designed by the Indigenous people of the northern Northwest Coast. The hook used by the Tldingit, Haida and Tsimshian people featured ingenious engineering and had spiritual dimensions. One of the most remarkable qualities of traditional halibut hooks is they were designed to catch only halibut. The hooks rarely, if ever, caught other species. The hooks also were engineered to harvest only medium-sized halibut, sparing smaller and younger fish and large, egg-laden females. That is not the case for modern steel hooks.

Donald Gregory is a Tlingit artist of the Raven Moiety and the Deisheetaan clan.  He was first inspired into the art world as a child, and thus began a lifelong passion for art. His mediums of work span from wood, ivory, fossil whalebone, baleen argillite, pipestone, jade, buffalo horn, abalone shell, silver, gold, copper and fossil teeth.

Stephanie Hall

Teaching Schedule:

April 10th, 10am-11am

Stephanie Hall has a PhD in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania. She  is a collection specialist at the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress. Currently she works to provide public education and access to collection materials via the web on various projects such as the Folklife Today blog and creating topical aids for researchers.  She hosts an interesting blog called the “The Ancient Art of Decorating Eggs.”

Phil Jamison

Teaching Schedule:

April 8th, 1:30pm-2pm

Flatfooting Workshop

April 9th, 1:30pm-2:30pm

The southern Appalachian square dance is a hybrid dance form that developed in the American South during the nineteenth century, and like the Appalachian musical traditions, these dances reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the region. We will examine the multicultural roots and historical development of these dances and identify the components of earlier European, African, and Native American dance forms that combined to make them uniquely American. Phil will stick around for a discussion group after the presentation.

Phil Jamison’s book Hoedowns, Reels, and Frolics: Roots and Branches of Southern Appalachian Dance  tells the story behind the square dances, step dances, reels, and other forms of dance practiced in southern Appalachia. He is nationally known as a dance caller, old-time musician, flatfoot dancer, and served as coordinator of the Old-Time Music and Dance Week at the Swannanoa Gathering.

For more information on Phil Jamison, click here.

Steve Kotansky

Teaching Schedule:

April 7th, 1:30pm-2:30pm

April 9th, 11am-12pm

Steve will spend one session teaching some accessible non-couple Csango dances from East Transylvania and Moldova. His second session will focus on some part of the Balkans – to be determined.

Steve Kotansky, known widely as a versatile dancer and teacher, has made many research trips to Bulgaria, the former Yugoslavia, Romania, Hungary, Greece, and Albania. Steve brings a lively, in-depth knowledge to his teaching, and an intense joy to his dancing.

For more information on Steve Kotansky, click here.

Ahmet Luleci

Teaching Schedule:

April 8th, 11am-11:30am

Ahmet will present a traditional ritualistic festival which is in the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage called “HIDIRELLEZ”. Also known as EDERLEZI (or Kakava) to some other Balkan countries and Roma communities.
Hidirellez is a deep-rooted spring tradition, the arrival of spring as well as the awakening of nature, from Central Asia and long-celebrated through annual celebrations across Turkey, and parts of the Middle East and the Balkans. Wishing tree is one of the magical parts of this festival. 
Prepare your wish and join us in NFO’s spring celebration of the cultures.

A native of Turkey, Ahmet is an accomplished choreographer, dance teacher and performer as well as a researcher of Anatolian culture. He is currently the artistic director of the Boston based Collage Dance Ensemble, which allows him to further his goal of making folk dance and music accessible to a wider audience.

Mickela Mallozzi
Travel Bare Feet

Teaching Schedule:

April 9th, 12pm-1pm

Mickela believes in the power of social dance to make cross-cultural connections all over the world.  Meet this amazing woman who has turned her passion for dance into a career.

“I found that if I couldn’t speak the local language, I was able to use dance and music to connect with people wherever I went,” says Mallozzi. “Dance has this magical way of opening every door.”

Professional dancer and trained musician Mickela Mallozzi is the 4x Emmy® Award-winning Host and Executive Producer of Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi, a dance travel series airing on PBS and Amazon Prime. From re-discovering her family’s roots in Southern Italy to dancing tango in Buenos Aires, the series covers Mickela’s adventures as she experiences the world, one dance at a time. She has been featured in The New York Times,, AFAR Magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, National Geographic, Newsy, Travel Channel, Dance Magazine, USA TODAY, Forbes and more!

For more information on Mickela Mallozzi and Travel Bare Feet, click here.

Yves Moreau

Teaching Schedule:

April 11th, 10am-11am

Yves will talk about the fascination for Bulgarian Folk dances in Japan and share memories of his numerous tours there since 1975.

Yves Moreau lives in Montreal and is recognized as one of North America’s foremost exponents of Bulgarian dance and folklore.  He has lectured and conducted workshops in Bulgarian and Balkan dance throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

For more information on Yves Moreau, click here.

Randi & Murray Spiegel

They created many puzzles and games for virtual Stockton camps;
we hope you will enjoy what they come up with for NFO.

Randi and Murray Spiegel, long-time folk dancers known for their energy and enthusiasm, have given dance workshops in several states, run two dance camps, and popular zoom sessions in the era of COVID.

Jeanne Traxler

Teaching Schedule:

April 11th, 12pm-1pm

The Great Donut: Negative Space for Pre-Schoolers

Negative Space is a concept that can be difficult to understand. In this workshop, we will dance a creative movement lesson on negative space that is geared to preschool students. We’ll dance over, under, around and through negative space in the world and in bodies.

Jeanne Traxler is the Director of the Peanut Butter & Jelly Dance Company, which presents dance programs in elementary schools, preschools, libraries, and festivals, in Massachusetts.  She is recognized for her work with young dancers.

Kau’i Mailelauli’ili’i Tu’ia

Copyright BYU Photo 2010 All Rights Reserved (801)422-7322

Teaching Schedule:

April 9th, 3pm-4pm

Kau’i will teach a Polynesian song, with cultural information and appropriate arm movements. We had the pleasure of dancing with her at the Provo Conference in 2019.

Hawaiian in ancestry, Kau’i Mailelauli’ili’i Tu’ia has performed Polynesian dance from a very young age. Her parents felt it important to carry on their legacy by making sure their children would never forget the importance of their traditions. She both performed and taught at the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu and has been teaching students of different skill levels since 1999.

Sue Van Wassenhove

Teaching Schedule:

April 8th, 3pm-5pm

If you can cut zigzags in paper, you can cut feathers for a wycinanki traditional Polish rooster paper-cutting. 

Are you threatened by fertility symbols?  Surely a Polish rooster paper-cutting couldn’t lead to pregnancy. Why not try one and find out?

 Interested?  Please collect 2”x3” (or larger) scraps of bright plain paper (from magazines, wrapping and origami paper).  We will share a pattern before the class.

Sue Van Wassenhove’s training as a German teacher led her to try lace-like Swiss papercuttings, called Schereschnitte, in 1988. Since then, while living in Switzerland, she studied under a master paper-cutter in Bern. It was only natural to add Polish wycinanki to her snipping. 

The pronunciation is: vee-chee-NAHN-kee

Rosita Worl

Teaching Schedule:

April 8th, 12pm-1:30pm

Rosita Worl, an anthropologist, serves as the President of  Sealaska Heritage Institute in Juneau, Alaska. She is Tlingit, of the Eglle moiety, Thunderbird clan of the House Lowered From the Sun. Rosita will introduce us to the Haida, Tlingit and Tsimishan first nations people and their related cultures.

Rosita Worl, an anthropologist, serves as the President of  Sealaska Heritage Institute in Juneau, Alaska. She is Tlingit, of the Eglle moiety, Thunderbird clan of the House Lowered From the Sun. Rosita will introduce us to the Haida, Tlingit and Tsimishan first nations people and their related cultures.

For more information on Rosita Worl, click here.

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