Dobrudzhanska Rag!

Exciting news! Next Friday,March 16th, Friday Night L.I.F.E. will be hosting a Roma Dance Workshop With Sani Rifati. The workshop is 8-10 pm with Sherry Cochran playing an all-request program afterwards. We will have snacks to share. $15 for the evening at LA Dancefit, Los Angeles' number one dance studio, 10936 Santa Monica Blvd, West Los Angeles.

Sani Rifati is Voice of Roma President and founder, production/tour manager, dance instructor, and Roma activist. Of Romani decen...t, Sani was born in 1962 in Kosovo and emigrated to the United States in 1993; he now lives in Berlin. He is the producer of VOR's annual Herdeljezi Roma Festival, now in its 17th year, and International Roma Day.

Sani has helped educate and raise the awareness of the public in the US and abroad concerning the Romani folk arts. As president of the non-governmental organization Voice of Roma, he has been a vocal advocate for preserving the traditional folk music, songs, and dances of his culture. He is a strong believer in creating community through his people's spirit of sharing music, dance, oral histories, food and drink.

In 2002 Sani organized a Herdeljezi Benefit Concert in Kosovo featuring Esma Redzepova and members of her Ensemble. Sani is also a drummer (dumbek, cajon), singer, dancer and dance instructor. His career as a dancer and singer began early in childhood, at the annual Herdeljezi celebrations in his Romani neighborhood. In 1978 he became a member of the "Kheljen Romalen Folkloric Dance Ensemble" in Pristina. In the 1980's, Sani performed as a drummer in a professional band, touring throughout Yugoslavia over a two-year period. Sani has given numerous lectures and dance workshops at universities such as University of Pittsburg, University of Texas at Austin, UC Berkeley California, Stanford, and in locations such as Boston, New York, as well as in Toronto, Vancouver, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Serbia. In the past two years he has given many dance workshops in Austria, Germany, Norway, and Romania.

Sani has produced five North American tours with noted Roma bands. The artists include Esma Redzepova 2004, Ivo Papasov and Yuri Yunakov in 2005 & 2008, and Kal from Serbia in 2006 &2008.

Sani strongly believes that Roma culture should be supported through responsibly and ethically produced shows; instead, many producers and promoters choose to showcase "Gypsy Caravans," Gypsy Spirits and Gypsy Kings shows. The irony is that Roma culture has never had neither Queens nor Kings. These productions present Roma as a fantasy and audiences learn nothing factual about Roma culture. As anti-gypsyism grows, ultimately Roma artists do not have freedom and respect to present their own creativity. Everybody loses with these "Gypsy shows." In order to correct the mistakes of the past, Sani feels we need to offer alternatives.

See More
Image may contain: 1 person, smiling
Image may contain: one or more people, shoes, sky and outdoor

This week March 9th we will share some dances from Laguna Festival and reviews of some of Sani Rifati's dances ahead of next week's Roma dance workshop on March 16th!! Let's dance! Moshe, Gergana, and Simeon say hi to everyone they missed at the Festival!!

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people standing and indoor
Image may contain: 1 person, smiling

L.I.F.E. Balkan Dancers is DARK this Friday March 2nd so that our members (including Moshe Idan) can make their way down to Laguna Festival. See you next week and join us for a special Roma dance workshop with Sani Rifati on March 16th!

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, eyeglasses, indoor and closeup

Joan Hantman will be teaching again this Friday, February 23rd. She will be reviewing Ima Im Hayiti , Karaj Maicho and/or Daronee, with a great request program with Sherry afterwards. And a reminder that we will be dark on Friday March 2nd so people can head down to Laguna. Coming up March 16th Sani Rifati!!

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, closeup and indoor

Friday Night L.I.F.E. is coming up February 16th with Asako, Joannie, and Sherry teaching! Hope to see you there! As you plan your next month, be aware that we will be dark on the Friday of Laguna, March 2nd. And this just in, Sani Rifati will be joining us on March 16th for a Roma dance workshop and party!

Image may contain: 5 people, people standing, people walking and shoes
Image may contain: one or more people, people dancing, people standing, shoes and indoor
Image may contain: one or more people and indoor

Special guests Marc and Jan Rayman will be joining us Friday, February 9th and sharing a great popular Bhangra dance, Bhangra Mitran Punjabiyan. It will be our pleasure to host them, and great fun! Then wonderful all-request dancing around with Sherry afterwards. See you there! We do hope Jim and Marty approve!

Image may contain: 2 people, people sitting and beard
Image may contain: 1 person, dancing and standing
Image may contain: one or more people and indoor

Coming up on January 26th, live music with HLOPKA! They will be playing a couple of short sets during the evening. Sherry will be playing all of your favorites in between. No class that night, just lotsa dancing! Be there!

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, crowd and indoor
A weekly Balkan and International folk dance class and evening of request dancing with Sherry Cochran, teacher and host every Friday.

Friday Night L.I.F.E.
Fridays 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm (Class from 8-9)
LA Dancefit Studio
10936 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90025
John Gibson shared a Page to the group: OPA HEY LA.

Hlopka will be playing a couple of sets Friday !!!

Life Balkan Dancers added 7 new photos — with Sherry Cochran and Marie Montes.
January 14

What a wonderful evening we had with Ahmet and Evren! We are excited for the next time! In the meantime, we have awesome dances to review and keep! Balkan class at 8:00pm and more great dances from Alexandru David at 8:30pm on Friday! And, coming up on January 26th, live music with HLOPKA! They will be playing a couple of short sets during the evening. No class that night,just lotsa dancing! Be there!

This just in! Alexandru will be joining us January 5th! And we will be reviewing some of Ahmet’s dances too, in prep for next week! See you there!

Image may contain: 1 person, dancing, standing and crowd

January 12th is coming soon! Ahmet Luleci, along with teaching partner Evren Soytopcu Kiyak will be teaching a special workshop at Friday Night L.I.F.E.! We welcome Ahmet back to our group and Evren for the first time! Ahmet, a native of Turkey, is an accomplished choreographer, dance teacher, performer, and director of Collage Dance Ensemble in Boston. We have learned from him many times since he moved to the US. Evren is also an accomplished performer and master teacher from Ankara. It is a treat to have them. Please join us! Workshop 8-10pm with Sherry's hot programming afterwards. $15 for the evening includes snacks. Our dance home is LADancefit, Los Angeles' number one dance studio at 10936 Santa Monica Blvd, West Los Angeles.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, closeup
Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people playing sports, basketball court and shoes
Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing, people dancing, shoes and indoor
Image may contain: 7 people, people standing and indoor

We close the year with dancing, community, warmth, fun, and laughter on December 29th, 2017.We have made many, many memories together and continue to make new ones every week! Please join us! By popular demand we will do lots of oldies for the last party of the year. No class. The fun begins sharply at 8pm! Happy New Year!

Life Balkan Dancers added 5 new photos from December 22, 2017 to the album: Alex at L.I.F.E. 12/22/17 — with Marie Montes and Asako Oshiro in Los Angeles, California.

Fun at L.I.F.E. with Alex!

Join us On Friday Night December 29th at Friday Night L.I.F.E. for our New Years/Oldies All Request evening with Host Sherry Cochran. No class, just lotsa fun!

Celebrate New Year by casting five in this prom-themed extravaganza featuring Kool & the Gang's funk classic!

Here come the Holiday Parties! Our First Holiday Party will be this Friday night 12/22 with Sherry teaching Balkan and Alexandru David teaching some amazing Russian dances to start the evening followed by Sherry's awesome all-request programming. Our Second Holiday Party will start at 8pm on Friday 12/29 with an all-oldies request evening(no class) and lots of good cheer! Let's test the memory banks! Hope to see you dancing your heart out both evenings. Coming up on January 12th is a special workshop with Ahmet Luleci. Too much fun for one mere mortal and firends!

Image may contain: 1 person, dancing, standing, shoes and indoor
Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and people dancing

Friday Night L.I.F.E. is pleased to welcome Alexandru David back with compelling Russian dances at 8:30pm following Balkan teaching at 8pm. Sherry will keep you moving after the class with her special combination of requests old and new with every dance you didn't remember you were missing in between. Be there!

Hope everyone is safe from the fires. We will be meeting tonight and our class with be half Balkan, half Russian. Alexandru David will be taking the second half with some wonderful dances to share. If Stephanie makes it in from weathered Ventura she has agreed to review Anthony Ivancich's hit Jambalaya as well. Hope to see you safe and sound!

Image may contain: one or more people, people dancing, people standing and indoor