Welcome to the 61st annual
San Antonio Folk Dance Festival (March 14-17, 2019)
and Fun Arts Day!

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Festival teachers

José Ángel Pérez Fumero and Elsa Morales Perera (Canary Island dances)

José Ángel is based in Arona (on the island of Tenerife) and works to preserve the dance culture of the Canary Islands. He has been a member of the Municipal School of Folklore of Arona (EMFA) since 1996, working as a dancer, director, and choreographer. He has made countless trips, shows, and recordings related to Canary Island dances, both inside and outside the islands. Elsa, his teaching partner, belonged to EMFA since age 5 and became a main dancer of the group in 2000. She, too, has participated in numerous workshops and performances both on the islands and in Europe. José Ángel first taught in San Antonio last year, to much acclaim. We are delighted to welcome him back and to welcome Elsa for the first time to San Antonio!

Michael Ginsburg (Balkan dances)

Michael began teaching Balkan folk dance in 1964 at Michael Herman's Folk Dance House in New York City. He has taught workshops in Balkan Dance all around the US and Canada. He has also given workshops in Macedonia, Brazil, Japan, Israel, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Michael has been on the teaching staff of many folk dance camps around the world. Michael is also a musician. He plays tupan with Cherven Traktor, a band that plays Bulgarian Folk Music on traditional instruments. He recently completed a 59-stop tour of the US with Bulgarika as a dance teacher and tupan and trumpet player. He plays trumpet with Kavala Brass Band, a band that specializes in Brass music of Aegean Macedonia. He is a founding member and lead trumpeter of Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band, which formed in 1983. Michael is the head of the Program Committee of the Golden Festival, an event that attracts 4000 participants and features over 60 musical groups each year.

Andy Taylor-Blenis (international, Scottish, and Mexican dances)

We are delighted to welcome back a beloved SAFDF legend! Andy holds a B.F.A. in dance with a minor in social anthropology. She is well versed in modern, jazz, and folk dances of Portuguese, Scottish, French, Hungarian, Armenian, Mexican, and Balkan origins. She holds a teaching certificate in Scottish Country Dance and is registered in St. Andrews in Scotland. Andy is also currently artistic director at the Boston branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society — the first branch established outside the United Kingdom in 1950. She is also a former performer of the modern dance company Prometheus. Andy has contributed endless teaching, choreography, and inspiration to SAFDF over many years. This year she brings not only dance teaching, but her one-of-a-kind stretches between teaching sessions!

Cameo appearance by Mihai David (Romanian dances)

Mihai was born in 1946 in Bucharest. At age eight, Mihai attended the Pioneers Youth Palace and studied dance. Two years later, he was selected to attend the School of Choreography in Bucharest, studying classical ballet, character dance, modern dance, and folk dance. While at the school, he danced with the UTM (The Young Communists) ensemble, directed by Theodor Vasilescu. Even before his graduation at the age of 17, he was dancing with the Romanian State Folk Ballet Ciocârlia, became one of their lead dancers, and continued touring with the troupe throughout Europe for two years. Eventually, after touring other countries, Mihai defected to the West in June 1966 and emigrated to the USA in January 1967. In the USA, Mihai danced in various ensembles and had his own exhibition group within the Romanian community in Detroit. In 1969, Mihai dropped into The Intersection, a folk dance coffeehouse, where Dick Oakes got him invited to teach Romanian dances and his folk dance teaching career was launched. Since then, Mihai has devoted himself to teaching Romanian folk dance and has introduced many of the most popular Romanian dances being done in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the Orient.

  Home    |   Teachers  |   Schedule   |   Concert   |   Fun Arts Day!   |   Registration / housing   |   Friends of SAFDF   |   Nelda Drury   |   Code of conduct   |   Continuing education   |   Gallery   |   Contact  

Last updated: March 12, 2019