Ventzi Sotirov (Bulgarian dances)
Ventzi is a native of the Pirin Macedonian region and a graduate of the Institute of Choreography in Sofia, Bulgaria. He has been dancing since the age of seven when he was a member of a Sandanski children’s ensemble. He danced with the Pirin National Ensemble for 11 years. Ventzi was voted “No. 1 Ethnic Dancer” for four years in national competitions of professional dancers in Bulgaria. He also taught Bulgarian dancing for children and arranged choreography for amateurs aspiring to enter choreography institutes.
Ventzi presents exciting dances from all six ethnographic regions of Bulgaria: Shope, Thrace, Rhodope, North Bulgaria, Dobrudja, and his native Pirin (Macedonia), where he also directs his own dance Ensemble Bulgaria. Ventzi has taught throughout North America, Europe and Japan.
He plays tupan and tarambuka and has taught workshops in these instruments. Since moving to the Chicago area in 1991, Ventzi has taught at many groups, workshops and camps including Ethnic Dance Chicago, Door County Folk Festival, Balkanske Igre’s Reunion Festival, Madison Folk Ball, Santa Barbara’s Ethnic Music and Dance Symposium, Illini Folk Dance Weekend, and Buffalo Gap Music and Dance Camp.
Fusae Carroll (Macedonian dances of Atanas Kolarovski)
Andy Taylor-Blenis (international dances and dance stretches)
Seneca Patino (Samba)