Dance classes are held in the mornings and afternoons with a mixed level class as well as split beginner and intermediate/advanced classes.
We are excited to welcome back István (Pisti) Kis and Erika Kis Demeter as instructors for 2018! Joining them will be László Tihanyi and Noemi Toka teaching our beginner dance class!
Mixed Level Classes: István and Erika will teach dances from Mezőföld Monday-Friday mornings.
Intermediate/Advanced Level Classes: István and Erika will also teach dances from Kalotaszeg Monday-Wednesday afternoons, Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.
Beginner Level Classes: László and Noemi will teach dances from Kalotaszegi Monday-Wednesday afternoons, Friday afternoon, and Saturday morning.
About the Instructors
Born in Transylvania, István (Pisti) Kis grew up in the authentic environment of Magyarlapád. From 1995 through 2004, he worked as a professional dancer of the Háromszék Ensemble. István regularly teaches and choreographs at various schools, amateur groups, and camps, including Magyarlapád, Kommandó, Erdővidék, Szászcsávás, and Csipke folk dance camps. He has won various awards, including first and second place at the International Legényes Competition with the Magyarózd and Méra pontozós. In 2004, István earned the prestigious Young Master of Folk Art award from the Hungarian government. He has studied folk dance teaching at the College of Performing Arts in Budapest. Since 2005, he has been the artistic director of the 130 member Bem Ensemble. He married his wife, Erika Kis Demeter in a traditional wedding in Magyarlapád, which was aired on Hungarian TV. He and Erika have two beautiful daughters.Read Istvan’s detailed resume in Hungarian here
A native of Transylvania, Erika Kis Demeter has taught folk dancing and arts at various elementary schools in Romania and Hungary. In Romania she pioneered the concept of incorporating folk dancing and games into school curriculums. Erika has taught various folk dance camps including Magyarlapád, Kommandó, and Erdővidék. She was assistant artistic director at the Barót Erdővidék folk dance group and specialized in collecting authentic traditions from Erdővidék. She also earned a two-year folk dance teaching degree from the Romanian-Hungarian Dance Association. She is currently a student at the College of Performing Arts in Budapest, Erika has been a partner to her husband, Kis István not only in personal but also in professional life.
László Tihanyi will return for his third year at camp and first year teaching beginner dance classes. He is a native of Hungary and has resided in Oakland, California since September 2013. Since his arrival he has been the Assistant Artistic Director and Principal Dancer of Eszterlanc Hungarian Folk Dance Ensemble. His background as an amateur Hungarian folk dancer and dance teacher has led the group to invite him from Hungary for leadership and teaching roles in the US. László received his Bachelor of Science in Hungarian folk dancing and folk dance coaching from the Dance Academy Budapest, Hungary.
Born and raised in Hungary, Noemi Toka started dancing at age 9. At age 12 she wasselected to become a member of the youth group in preparation for joining the adult performing dance group of Szinvavölgyi Dance
Ensemble. At age 18 she became a professional folk dancer in the legendary Budapest Dance Ensemble under the direction of Zoltán Zsuráfszki.
However, due to an injury, her career was cut short and she had to leave the ensemble. After coming out to the United States of America, she joined the Washington DC based Tisza Ensemble under the direction of Cathy Lamont and Rudy Petke in 2002. In 2010 she co-founded the Borozda Hungarian Ensemble in Chicago, of which she is the Artistic Director. The adult group has 15-23 dancers, many with no dance background but who are determined to learn and showcase the most authentic form of the dances from all areas of the historical Hungary.