This is a guest post by Nadia Maccabee-Ryaboy, a mom, medical student, and lover of Israeli dance.
Great news! For all of you Israeli dance lovers, or – more importantly- for all of you who never knew that Israeli folk dance is more than just the Hora step – staring this Thursday evening, the Minneapolis JCC is finally bringing back Israeli folk dance with local expert Shira Schwartz.
For all of you who have wondered “why are Israelis so HOT?”, here’s a chance for you to learn how to move like them.
Israeli folk dance ain’t what it used to be; with influences as diverse as salsa, swing, hip-hop, lyrical, and ballroom styles, it reflects the cultural vibrancy of Israel.
A few years ago, when I went to Israel I saw that they did the same dances in the Talpiot neighborhood of Jerusalem and in the desert city of Be’er Sheva that I had done with Shira in St. Paul. Of course, in Israel the instructors yell at you “yamin, smol!” instead of “left, right”, but since returning, nothing has made me feel more connected to the Israeli people than dancing the same steps as them. The JCC is not just offering yet another fun workout – to add to their zumba and pilates smorgasbord – but is providing us with an opportunity to emotionally connect to Israel and Israel’s history.
The class fee is $12 for members and $16 for non-members. If you think Israeli dance should be included in membership – like Pilates, Zumba and Yoga – or less costly, you can contact the JCC’s Cari Tschida at [email protected]. However, do not let the cost hold you back from shimmying to Israeli hits!
Classes begin on Thursday September 16 at 6 (register here). Here’s the info on the class:
Israeli Folk Dance (18+)
Israeli dance offers the diversity of salsa, swing, hip-hop, lyrical, and ballroom styles in a tapestry of dance form that is quintessentially Israeli! It is challenging in a most comfortable and rewarding way, culturally vibrant, and addictively fun! Instructor: Shira Schwartz
Th | 6–7:30pm | $12m/16pp | 3924 | 1x | 9/16
If you want to get psyched about the class, check out some this videos of a hot new Israeli dance at:
For those of you on the east side of the river – or just those who don’t mind the extra 15 minute drive – Shira does terrific Israeli dance classes at the St Paul JCC every Tuesday night year round, for only $5 ($8 for non-members).
The beginner classes are at 7:00 pm, and open dancing starts at 8:15 pm. The open dances are still mostly called out, though, so you can come out and try and follow most of them.
It’s a really friendly dancing community, so it’s a great, very warm and welcoming place to check out a fun new dancing style (and get a pretty good workout, too! There’s a lot of bouncing and jumping… you’ve been warned!)
Everything said above about Israeli Dance is true! But over the years, the time and place has changed. We now meet every Thursday at the St. Paul JCC, from 7:30 – 9:45. Cost is $5.