Two levels of dance instruction will be offered. The 2024 dance and music material will be from the areas of Búza, Szilágyság, and Bonchida (Romanian cycle).Our dance instructors will be Norbert “Cimbi” Kovács, Beáta Gaschler, István (Pisti) Kis, and Erika Kis Demeter.
- Intermediate/advanced: Bonchida taught by István and Erika
- Beginner: Búza taught by Cimbi and Bea
- All levels: Szilágyság taught by Cimbi and Bea
- Children’s Dance: taught by István and Erika
Norbert “Cimbi” Kovács is well-known in Hungary and abroad for his work preservign and promoting Hungarian cultural and folk-dance education for all ages. He started dancing at age 9 with an amateur ensemble in Ajka near his hometown of Devecser in western Hungary, and by his early twenties was artistic director of the Ajka-Padragkút Dance Group (1993-2003). He is a recipient of the Young Master of Folk Art Award (1997) and a Perpetual Golden Spur Award for solo dance (1997, 1999, 2001). He was the artistic director of the Sümeg Dance Group (2006-2012) and the Veszprém-Bakony Dance Ensemble (2012-2015).
Cimbi teaches and choreographs for groups and festivals throughout Hungary and the surrounding areas including for the Országos Táncháztalálkozó , Szezonnyitó Táncház, Forrás Néptáncegyüttes (Százhalombatta), BM Duna Művészegyüttes (Budapest), Magyar Állami Népi Együttes, and the Veszprém Táncegyüttes. He has taught internationally in Sao Paulo (Brazil), Munich (Germany), Montevideo (Uruguay), Osaka (Japan), Montreal (Canada), New Brunswick (New York), Canberra, Sydney (Australia), and at Ti Ti Tábor Camp (North America) from 2009-2014. He has served on folk dance juries for festivals such as the National Youth Solo Dance Competition, National Solo Dance Competition for adults, the South American Hungarian Folk Dance Festival, the Western Canadian Folk Dance Festival, and the Western-European Hungarian Folk Dance Meeting.
In 2003 Cimbi founded The Élő Forrás Tradition Preservation Association and serves as its president. With the association he has developed his village, Kiscsós, into a center for folk art and education and organizes and conducts folk dance camps such as the Dűvő International Folk Music Camp and many teacher training events. The Association also sponsors cultural events such as the Somló Voice Festival and the Kiscsószi Barn Festival and networks with Hungarian folk organizations in other countries through a website: www.hidakforum.hu. The Association’s “Bridges” program fosters relationships with Hungarian folk dancers of Canada, America, Austria, Slovenia (Muravidék), Slovakia (Csallóköz), Romania (Transylvania), Serbia (Vojdaság) and Germany.
In 2014, Cimbi founded the Zoltán Balla Elmentary Art School that teaches folk art to 400 children in Devecser area schools. He also founded the Élő Forrás Hagyományfalu (an interactive village museum) and the Hunyor Népfőiskola alapítója (folk college) to promote not only the cultural life in Kiscsós, but economic development as well.
In recognition of his more than two decades of work preserving folk traditions, he has received many awards: the Aprodja Award of Hungarian Culture, the Hungarian Silver Cross of Merit award (2012), the Veszprém County Prime Award, the Mediawave Award for Parallel Culture (2015), the Knight of Hungarian Culture award (2017), and the Miklós Bán award.
Beáta Gaschler began dancing at a young age and studied with various dance groups of Ajka in western Hungary. Having earned a degree in Folk Dance Pedagogy from the Hungarian Academy of Dance, Bea is currently completing a master’s degree in teaching at the Academy.
In addition to her professional studies, Bea has extensive leadership experience with performing groups. She was the women’s leader for the Apte Dance Ensemble, the Sümeg Folk Dance Ensemble, and the Veszprém-Bakony Dance Ensemble. In 2008, Bea began work as a dance teacher for the Magyarpolány Elementary Art Education Institute. Since 2014, she has been a folk-dance teacher for the Zoltán Balla Elementary Art School and an artistic director of the Bozót Folk Dance Ensemble, the Rekettye Folk Dance Ensemble, and the Kiscsőszi Talent Group. She has also received the Sirítő award for solo dancing.
Bea is the program director with the Élő Forrás Preservation Association, based in the village of Kiscsősz, where she organizes and implements community and professional programs in the village and throughout Hungary. She has traveled the world to places such as Germany, Austria and Taiwan, teaching Hungarian folk dance with her husband, Cimbi. Bea previously taught at Ti Ti Tábor from 2011-2014. Bea resides in Kiscsősz with her husband, Cimbi, and their four children.
Cimbi and Bea will teach the beginner class and all levels class.
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 threebeautiful 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, István Kis not only in personal but also in professional life.Read Erika’s detailed resume in Hungarian here Video: [One]