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Click on a name below to learn more about our presenters for our Annual Conference 2021
Ed Austin | Leslie Barr | Farima Berenji |
Lynn Baumeister | 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 | Ruben Pachas | Carol Silverman |
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*

Ed Austin

Presentation Schedule:

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

Srpsko Kolo:  A Vital Symbol of Serbian National Identity

Ed and his wife, Vickie, were recently guests at a dance competition event in the hills of Fruška Gora above Novi Sad, Serbia.  Because of pandemic concerns, small presentations or “miniatures” replaced large ensemble performances.  Each performance was based on the Serbian dance, Kolo.  Ed will discuss the importance of Kolo in Serbian culture and share recently acquired dance footage from this rich cultural event

Ed served as Artistic Director of the BYU International Folk Dance Ensemble (1985-2011).  More recently, he taught courses in dance ethnology/ethnochoreology until he retired as Professor Emeritus of Dance in 2018.  As an accomplished producer, director, choreographer, master teacher and cultural dance specialist, his creative works 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 varied research interests have included Appalachian Dance, the 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 only recently returned to the USA.  They have three boys, and 11 grandchildren.

Leslie Barr

Presentation Schedule:

April 11th, 2:00pm-3:00pm Pacific Time

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.

Farima Berenji

Presentation Schedule:

April 9th, 2:30pm-3:00pm Pacific Time

Teaching the Qashqai Scarf  dance (Iran)
(Farima will be accompanied by a few students)

Traditionally nomadic, the Qashqai people live in Fars as well as in other provinces in Southern Iran. 

Cheerful, vibrant, and festive, the traditional Qashqai dance represents the coming of spring, joy, and giving thanks.  The circle of the dance represents unity and as the dancers bring the scarves together to the center it shows oneness.

Note: The dance is easy to follow after a short introduction of the steps.  Please have two colorful handkerchiefs available for the dance. Participants can use anything if they don’t have the light colorful “silk” ones ( e.g. ordinary handkerchief, table napkin, paper towel) but the light ones work best.

Farima Berenji is an Iranian-born scholar and an award winning, internationally acclaimed performing artist, choreographer, instructor, lecturer, dance ethnologist, Sufi master, and archaeologist specializing in classical, folkloric, and sacred dances of Persia and the Silk Road. Her training spans a lifetime of intensive collaboration and research with master artists, scholars, and spiritual teachers worldwide. She is the founder and artistic director of the Simorgh Dance Collective, a worldwide collaborative devoted to teach dance technique, interpret, illustrate, present, and perform dances of the Silk Road. In 2018, Farima became the first American-Iranian woman honored to be a TEDx dance speaker and performer. Farima is a member of the International Dance Council (CID – UNESCO), UNESCO, and the National Folk Organization (NFO).  

For more information on Farima Berenji, click here.

Lynn Baumeister

Presentation Schedule:

April 10th, 3:30pm-4:00pm Pacific Time

Introducing French Dances

Lynn will teach a bourrée from central France, rondeau en couple from the southwest of France, and if time permits, a scottish (a schottische done French-style).

Lynn has been teaching a variety of traditional dances from the US and Europe for the past 30 years. Balfolk is a more recent passion that she developed after attending the grandmére of balfolk events, Le Grand Bal de l’Europe (also referred to as Gennetines), in France in 2000.   Since then she has continued to attend Gennetines whenever possible and shares her love of balfolk with the US dance community by teaching workshops and running informal balfolk events at the New England Folk Festival and locally in the DC area. 

Caspar Bik

Presentation Schedule:

April 10th, 11:00am-1:00pm Pacific Time

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

Presentation Schedule:

April 10th, 3:00pm-3:30pm Pacific Time

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

Presentation Schedule:

April 10th, 1:00pm-2:30pm Pacific Time

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.

To see more pictures of Ada and her family, click here.

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

Photo by Maurice Gunnin

Presentation Schedule:

April 8th, 10:00am-11:00am Pacific Time

An Irish Dancer’s Journey from Performance to 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, 11:00am-12:00pm Pacific Time

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: You will need a tin whistle prior to the conference. 
If you need to purchase one, they are available here.

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

Presentation Schedule:

April 10th, 10:00am-11:00am Pacific Time

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

Presentation Schedule:

April 8th, 12:00pm-1:30pm Pacific Time

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

Presentation Schedule:

April 9th, 10:00am-11:00am Pacific Time

The art of decorating eggs has an extraordinarily ancient history and is found in cultures all over the world. Stephanie will present information on this history and some examples from different cultures along with examples of documentation of Ukrainian egg decoration in the collections of the American Folklife Center at the LoC.

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. 

If you have decorated an egg, then you have participated in one of the oldest decorative arts. Eggs of many kinds have been decorated in many ways through history. Traditions for decorating eggs are practiced around the world today.  There are also many customs for what to do with those dyed and decorated eggs.  This talk, folklorist Stephanie Hall will explore some of those many traditions with some examples from collections in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

Phil Jamison

Presentation Schedule:

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

Flatfooting Workshop

April 8th, 11:00am-11:30am Pacific Time

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

Presentation Schedule:

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

Steve will spend this first workshop teaching some accessible non-couple Csango dances from East Transylvania and Moldova.

April 9th, 11am-12pm Pacific Time

During this workshop, Steve will focus on the Vlach culture of Eastern Serbia, North Bulgarian and Southwest Romania.

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

Presentation Schedule:

April 8th, 3:00pm-3:30pm Pacific Time

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

Presentation Schedule:

April 9th, 12:00pm-1:00pm Pacific Time

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

Presentation Schedule:

April 11th, 10:00am-11:00am Pacific Time

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.

Ruben Pachas

Presentation Schedule:

April 9th, 2:30pm-3:00pm Pacific Time

Ruben and Jessica will present a Peruvian dance workshop in full costume.

Ruben Pachas and Jessica Loyaga have spent the last 20 years working as Peruvian folk dance teachers; they work with all levels from Kindergarten to adults. Mrs. Jessica and Mr. Ruben are native teachers from Peru, they are fun immersion folk dance and Spanish teachers. Their Peruvian Folk Dance Center, has promoted Peruvian folk traditions, encompassing music and dance since 2009. Highlighting and preserving these key elements of Peruvian heritage and identity. Their work highlights the social, cultural, and economic facets of Peru’s identity. Peru’s folklore is extremely varied and expressive. The dances and music are full of magic and each traditional rhythm, step or costume is often exhibited for a ritual or pastoral dance. Peruvian Folklore, rooted in a centuries-old tradition, is performed in an authentic setting and manner which everyone enjoys.  Their goals are to preserve popular culture through music, dance and manual arts.

For more information on Ruben Pachas and Jessica Loyaga, click here.

Carol Silverman

Presentation Schedule:

April 9th, 4:00pm-5:00pm Pacific Time

Carol Silverman will help us explore our relationships to international music, dance, and folklore considering consider culture, history, politics, and economics. This session, which will incorporate a significant amount of discussion, focuses on issues of performing and consuming music, dance, and folklore by non-natives. We will respectfully discuss representation, appropriation, ethics, the role of nationalism, and the politics of heritage/tradition/authenticity.

There will time for Q&A.

Carol Silverman has been involved with Balkan music, dance, and culture for over forty years as a researcher, teacher, performer, and activist. An award-winning professor of cultural anthropology and folklore at the University of Oregon, she teaches and writes about Balkan music, ritual, festival, gender, cultural policy, and human rights issues among Roma.

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

Presentation Schedule:

April 11th, 12:00pm-1:00pm Pacific Time

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

Presentation Schedule:

April 9th, 3:00pm-4:00pm Pacific Time

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

Presentation Schedule:

April 8th, 4:00pm-5:30pm Pacific Time

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.

NOTE: If you would like to purchase some paper for this presentation, they are available here.

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

Presentation Schedule:

April 8th, 12:00pm-1:30pm Pacific Time

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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