Balkan Music &
Dance Workshops

Every summer the EEFC presents two week-long summer camps. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 workshops have been canceled. Please visit the pages below to whet your appetite for the 2021 workshops!

June 20-27, 2020
More info…

August 8-15, 2020
More info…


We award several full and partial scholarships to each workshop every year.
Apply for one.


Kids at Camp!

A great experience for families. Get the scoop to ensure everyone has a blast!


Get the FAQs

Find out almost everything you always wanted to know about the EEFC’s Balkan camps.

West Coast Balkan Music & Dance Workshop-2016

Mendocino Woodlands, California
June 25 – July 2, 2016

Since 1977 the West Coast edition of the EEFC’s Balkan Music & Dance Workshop has been gathering amidst the towering redwoods of the Northern California coast. Each year we welcome new friends along with old, as musicians and dancers and those who love them come together with our extraordinary teaching staff for a memorable week. Our rustic setting makes for a true getaway. Our programming offers numerous opportunities to learn, and our welcoming and warm atmosphere creates a friendly setting for your week at camp.


The Facility

The Mendocino Woodlands  is located in a beautiful redwood forest near the Northern California coast, 175 miles north of San Francisco. A half an hour inland from the scenic town of Mendocino, our camp has three clusters of rustic (no electricity), four-person enclosed cabins on somewhat hilly terrain with stone fireplaces and balconies, a spacious dance hall, and plenty of tenting sites. Each cluster has its own bathhouse with lights and hot showers. Between classes you can hike in the forest or take a dip in the swimming hole in the nearby river.

The Workshop

The Mendocino Workshop runs from Saturday evening to the next Saturday morning. Classes begin Sunday morning, and are held each day through Friday. Following a review session Friday morning, participants have the option to perform in a student concert. The week closes on Friday with a Balkan-style lamb roast and the last of the week’s great evening parties. We have part-time attendance and evening party-only options available.

The Program

A broad array of instrumental, vocal, ensemble, and dance classes at all levels are offered across five daily 75-minute class slots. We provide an instrument-lending program to enable new students to get started on harder-to-find village instruments. In the early evenings the program includes folklore presentations and panel discussions, group sings with musical accompaniment, and our fun, community-building auction. Live-music dance parties featuring our world-class staff musicians will rock your socks in the dance hall, and the party continues late into the night in our more intimate cafe-bar, the kafana, featuring a variety of staff and camper musical sets, from the sublime to the floor-stomping.  See a sample daily schedule.


The workshop features three delicious meals a day and an evening snack, with selections to please both omnivore and vegetarian tastes.


We welcome families! The Mendocino workshop features classes in children’s dance movement, a youth band, and a singing class especially for younger singers. Children are also welcome and encouraged to take adult classes, according to their capabilities. Find more info on Kids at Camp.

Work Exchanges

A few partial-tuition-waiver work exchanges may be available for full-week participants. Please contact the Mendocino Workshop Site Manager if you are interested.

Evening Parties

You may attend just the evening parties, which usually begin at 9 p.m. The cost is $35 per person. Admission includes the evening dance party and late-night Kafana activities until 2:30 a.m. (no overnight accommodations). Please register for evening parties with the EEFC Office before June 23. Tell us what night you plan to attend and the names of others in your party. We cannot accept drop-in partygoers. Registered partygoers may check in and pay at the Kafana when you arrive on site (no earlier than 7:30 p.m.). Click on the Evening Parties tab to see the schedule of evening parties, culture corners and group sings.

Cost, Registration, and Other Information

Online registration is open (see red “Register Now” button above). Workshop updates are announced through our E-newsletter (sign-up if you haven’t already), the EEFC listserv discussion group, and on our Facebook page.


NOTE: Staff, class, and class level listings are subject to update and change.


Michael Ginsburg

Basic Balkan Dance

Michael has been director and lead trumpet player of Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band since 1983. He accompanied ZU to brass festivals in Guča, Serbia, three times between 1987 and 1990, as well as...Read More

Joe Kaloyanides Graziosi

Greek Dance

Joseph Kaloyanides Graziosi was born and raised in the greater Boston area. Of Greek and Italian ancestry, Joe was exposed at an early age to Greek music and dance through both family contacts and...Read More

Alex Marković

Serbian Dance

Alex Marković holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Illinois-Chicago. He spent 17 months conducting ethnographic fieldwork on Romani ethnic identity and musical performance in...Read More

Jessaiah Zuré

Turkish Roman Dance

Jessaiah Zuré is a California native, the daughter of musicians.
 Raised primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area in a very creative and open environment, she was exposed to many styles of music...Read More

Instruments & Ensembles

Raim Baki

Oud, Macedonian Čalgija Ensemble

Raim Baki comes from a Romani family of professional musicians originally from the town of Mitrovica in Kosovo. Raim’s oldest brother, Ilmi Baki, was a prominent violinist who led the...Read More

Vassil Bebelekov

Bulgarian Gajda, Bitov (Bulgarian Village) Ensemble

Vassil Bebelekov, born in the Rhodope mountain town of Devin, was inspired to a life of folk music by village traditions and his grandfather, who played kaba gajda. Vassil played with Ensemble...Read More

Bob Beer

Kemençe/Pontic Lyra

Bob Beer is the grandson of a Greek immigrant from Marmara Island in northwestern Turkey. When he was nine years old his mother played a record of Greek music from Istanbul, and his interest İn...Read More

Paul Brown

House Bassist (non-teaching)

Paul Brown has been playing music for 44 years, studying bass and improvisation at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and oud and makam with Haig Manoukian and Necati Çelik. Comfortable in...Read More

Polly Tapia Ferber

Doumbek, Frame Drum

Percussionist Polly Tapia Ferber is a music educator, performer, and recording artist who specializes in hand percussion from the Middle East, Turkey, North Africa, the Balkans, and Spanish...Read More

Valeri Georgiev

Bulgarian Kaval

Valeri Georgiev is from the Bulgarian Danube town of Ruse. He studied kaval in Kotel with Stoyan Chobanov and Georgi Penev, and graduated from the Plovdiv Academy of Arts with a BA degree in...Read More

Michael Ginsburg

Brass Band

Michael has been director and lead trumpet player of Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band since 1983. He accompanied ZU to brass festivals in Guča, Serbia, three times between 1987 and 1990, as well as...Read More

Adam Good

Macedonian Tambura, Makam Theory

Adam Good is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston. With a foundation in jazz guitar, his interest in the music of Eastern Europe and Turkey began in the mid-90s. His talent on...Read More

Christos Govetas


Christos Govetas was born in the village of Proti, in the province of Serres in Greek Macedonia. After emigrating to Boston in 1978 he joined the Rebetiko band Taxími as a bouzouki and baglama...Read More

Jerry Kisslinger


Jerry Kisslinger has played tapan/dauli for East European and folk dance communities, classes, concerts, and festivals throughout the United States since his teenage years, and has taught at EEFC...Read More

Kalin Kirilov

Accordion, Bulgarian Music Theory

Kalin Kirilov, born in Vidin, NW Bulgaria, began singing and playing the accordion at the age of four. He studied tambura and music theory in Vidin and Pleven and graduated from the Academy of...Read More

Stoyan Kostov

Bulgarian Tambura

Stoyan Kostov has been playing Bulgarian tambura for over 40 years. He graduated from the folk music school in Kotel and the Plovdiv Academy of Music and Dance. Stoyan performed with Ensemble...Read More

Mark Levy

Macedonian Gajda, Macedonian Village Ensemble

Mark Levy created the first week-long Balkan Music & Dance Workshop in 1974, and co-founded the East European Folklife Center in the early 1980s. He recently retired from the faculty of the...Read More

Lise Liepman

Greek Ensemble

Lise began her involvement with Balkan music in 1976 in the vibrant dance scene of the San Francisco Bay Area. She was a member and director of Westwind International Folk Ensemble for many years....Read More

Miamon Miller

Romanian Violin, Trans-Carpathian Ensemble

In 1970, Miamon Miller stumbled into a Balkan music class at UCLA where he was an undergraduate. As a sort of class culmination exercise, the musicians played their limited repertoire at the...Read More

Ivanka Paunova


Ivanka Paunova was born in Pazardzhik, Bulgaria, and received an M.A. degree in choral conducting, folk singing and folk instrument-gudulka pedagogy from the Academy of Music and Dance in Plovdiv....Read More

Vlado Pupinoski

Clarinet & Saxophone, Romani Ensemble

Vlado Pupinoski was born in Ohrid, Republic of Macedonia, to a large musical family. His late father, Sekula Pupinoski, and uncle, Efto Pupinoski, are popular and well-known traditional folk music...Read More

Husref Said

Kanun, Macedonian Čalgija Ensemble

Husref Said hails from a long line of professional Romani Skopje-based čalgija musicians who speak a dialect of Ottoman Turkish as their first language. His father, grandfather and uncle were...Read More


Bob Beer

Turkish Singing

Bob Beer is the grandson of a Greek immigrant from Marmara Island in northwestern Turkey. When he was nine years old his mother played a record of Greek music from Istanbul, and his interest İn...Read More

Christos Govetas

Greek Singing

Christos Govetas was born in the village of Proti, in the province of Serres in Greek Macedonia. After emigrating to Boston in 1978 he joined the Rebetiko band Taxími as a bouzouki and baglama...Read More

Brenna MacCrimmon

Turkish Singing

Brenna MacCrimmon has been learning and performing the music of Turkey and the Balkans since 1984. She has worked with Turkish and Macedonian groups in Toronto over the years and has made frequent...Read More

Michele Simon

Balkan Vocal Technique

Michele Simon has been involved with Balkan folk music for most of her life as a dancer, singer, drummer and teacher. She has performed with many groups over the years, including the Balkan bands...Read More

Dragi Spasovski

Macedonian Singing

Dragi Spasovski learned to sing from his mother, whose sweet voice was the backdrop to his boyhood in Skopje. Her repertoire seemed limitless and her love of singing infused his life. Beginning in...Read More

Tzvetanka Varimezova

Bulgarian Singing

Tzvetanka Varimezova was born in Pazardzhik in Bulgarian Thrace, and started singing and playing accordion at age 9. She went on to master tambura and piano, and studied folk music at Kotel High...Read More

For the Kids

Frank Garcia and Julie Orth

Children's Activities

Frank Garcia has taught dance to elementary and high-school students since 1994 and implemented dance programs at both McKinleyville High School and Sunset Elementary School of the Arts in...Read More

Eleni Govetas

Kids' Band

Eleni Govetas was born into the musical Govetas family and has been immersed in music since day one. She began performing on doumbek with her parents at the age of nine and has continued to add...Read More

Getting to Mendocino

Mendocino Woodlands Camp One is in Jackson State Forest about 175 miles north of San Francisco, roughly 12 miles inland from the coastal town of Mendocino.

From the south, take Hwy 101 North to Cloverdale. Highway 101 bypasses Cloverdale, so take the Hwy 128 Fort Bragg/Mendocino exit (after a couple of Cloverdale exits). Some 60 miles later (twisty road, but gorgeous vineyard, redwood, and coastal scenery), take Hwy 1 North to Mendocino.

From the north (Oregon), take I-5 South to Grants Pass, then Hwy 199 to Crescent City. From there, take Hwy 101 South to Leggett. From there take Hwy 1 South (insanely twisty road to the coast, with the reward of breathtaking ocean views) to Mendocino.

From Mendocino, go east on Little Lake Road (Co. Rd. 408) from Hwy 1
(at stoplight) for 5.6 miles, then turn right on Co. Rd. 700 (winding dirt road). Drive for 4 miles to Camp One. Please drive slowly and carefully on this dusty road!

If you’ve never been to the Woodlands, plan to arrive before dark. Registration will be located just outside the dining hall.

Party—Bed & Breakfast

NEW THIS YEAR! Come for early evening activities, the dance party and the late night kafana. Then spend the night and enjoy breakfast before you hit the road!

Here’s how it works:

8:00 p.m.: Arrive at our lovely redwoods site (see Directions tab above). Check in at the Kafana and set up your bunk.

Then take in a folklore presentation, singalong, or join in our auction. Dancing to live music begins in the main hall generally around 9:00.

Our Kafana in the woods is a bar and a club, and a place where much music and merriment happens into the wee hours. Stay as long as you like!

Sleep in a bunk with the bedding you brought from home.

Roll out of bed, have breakfast by 9:30 a.m., and hit the trail by 10.

All this can be yours for the bargain price of $99. A cheap hotel in Ft. Bragg (forget the town of Mendocino), easily runs twice as much and provides no options for gajda, rakija, čočeks, or çiftetelli!



Use our online form to register for the Bed & Breakfast option. See the red “Register Now” button above.

Mendocino Evening Party Schedule

Culture Corners and Group Sings begin at 7:45 p.m. Dance parties, unless noted, begin at 9:00 p.m. Please see the Workshop Details tab for information on how to sign up to attend our evening activities.

Note: Schedule is subject to change.

Saturday, June 25
A Balkan Sampler!
Greek Brass—Michael Ginsburg and friends
Čalgija—Raim Baki, Husref Said and friends
Bulgarian Gajda—Vassil Bebelekov
Macedonian and Bulgarian Romani—Kalin Kirilov and Vlado Pupinoski
Greek Zourna—Eleni, Christos and Bobby Govetas
Pontic Lyra—Bob Beer

Sunday, June 26
Culture: Husref Said, Raim Baki and Sonia Seeman: The Čalgija Tradition
Pontic Lyra—Bob Beer
Bulgarian—Ivanka Paunova, Tzvetanka, Radka and Tanya Varimezova

Monday, June 27
Group Sing: Balkan with Michele Simon
Macedonian Village—Dragi Spasovski and Odglasi
Greek Pontic and Island—Adam Good, Ari Langer and friends

Tuesday, June 28
Auction Night (dance party begins around 10:00 p.m.)
Greek Zourna—Eleni Govetas
Romani and Macedonian—Vlado Pupinoski

Wednesday, June 29
Culture: Alex Marković: Topic TBA
Macedonian Čalgija—Husref Said and Raim Baki
Bulgarian—Valeri Georgiev

Thursday, June 30
Rhodope Sing-Along—Vassil Bebelekov and Gajda Mafia (starts at 8:00)
Romanian and More—Miamon Miller
Greek—Christos Govetas and Dromeno

Friday, July 1
Student Ensembles play for your dancing pleasure (dance party begins at 8:00 p.m.)