For the first time, KlezKanada will offer a new and unique Jewish Dance Leaders Program.
This intensive will train experienced dancers how to lead Jewish dancing at all occasions from community dances to simkhes such as bar and bas mitzves and khasenes, and how to teach basic dances. There will be practical classes in leading a freylekhs, bulgars, horas, and other dances of the standard repertoire, including set dances like the sher and patsh tants as well as special occasion dances like the broyges tants and mezinke.Importantly, the course will also include theory and lectures on Jewish dance history and culture, as well as insider tips from our dance faculty, featuring international dance leaders Steve Weintraub and Avia Moore. By teaching teachers, we become part of di goldene keyt (the golden chain), helping to perpetuate our dance tradition – a glorious way to continue and connect with our cultural legacy and to support and contextualize live klezmer music. Participants who complete the program will receive a Certificate of Participation.
How to Lead Yiddish Dance
Faculty: Steve Weintraub and Avia Moore
Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Avia and Steve will share their years of experience leading Yiddish dance in a series of practical, participatory lessons in a safe, fun environment. We will share our techniques and tricks to getting people up and dancing and following along. The classes will extend over two periods daily. Anyone is welcome to join, but those wishing for a Certificate of Completion need to attend both sessions daily, as well as at least one technique class (Shine on or The European/Jewish Ballroom). There will also be lectures and a panel discussion related to dance leading. If you love to dance and want to get people up and dancing in your community or with your band, we strongly encourage you to attend. Yiddishland needs you!
Faculty: Avia Moore
Level: All Levels
Balancing individual expression and community togetherness, traditional Yiddish dance is as beautiful as it is fun. Join Avia for a Yiddish dance class that will have you shining on the dance floor at night! A workshop for new dancers, experienced dancers, and even those that think they are not dancers. With plenty of room for variation, these are traditional dances that everyone can enjoy together. We will look at the fundamentals of Yiddish dance forms, from steps to style, learn plenty of repertoire, and think about the dances in the context of our modern lives. This is also great class for klezmer musicians – better understanding the dances is a step towards becoming a great dance band leader.
The European/Jewish Ballroom
Faculty: Steve Weintraub
Level: All Levels
Achieve basic ballroom literacy and beyond! A number of popular ballroom dances made it into the klezmer repertoire, mostly because they were fun and people liked to dance them. Learn how to Gallop (your probably already know), do the Polka and possibly the snazzy Polka Mazurka. Learn the vital life skill of Waltzing, and even the Russian/Spanish waltz, the Pas D’Espan. We’ll add other cool couple dances like the Schottish and Vengerka, and maybe even learn a Kadril (Quadrille- the grandma of the square dance). And of course, no Polish themed year could omit the elegant Polonaise. Knowing these dances will make you a sought after partner at the Grand Ball! No partner required, and we’ll be teaching in a gender neutral fashion.
An Invitation to the Ball
KlezKanada will once again host a dance party on Thursday night. This year, our theme is “An Invitation to the Ball”. This Polish-Jewish Ballroom is open to all – so don your formal attire, however you define that, and be ready to fill up your dance card! Over the years and across countries, Jewish dancers adopted the trendy social dances of the day, including the polka, the Mazurka, the Polonaise (a grand march), andwaltzes such as the Pas D’Espan. We will feature a Grand March, traditional Jewish dances, and an array of beautiful classic couples dances. Get a head start by learning the dances throughout the week at our two repertoire classes (Shine On and The European/Jewish Ballroom).