Balkan Music &
Dance Workshops

Every summer the EEFC presents two week-long summer camps. Follow the links below to read all about the 2024 workshops!

June 15-22, 2024
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August 10-17, 2024
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Kids at Camp!

Our in-person workshops are a great experience for families. Get the scoop to ensure everyone has a blast!


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Find out almost everything you always wanted to know about the EEFC’s in-person Balkan camps.
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West Coast Balkan Music & Dance Workshop

Mendocino Woodlands, California
June 15 – 22, 2024



 

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 coastal 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 options available.

The Program

Lanphier_Mendo Percussion Class
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.

Food

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

Families

We welcome families! The Mendocino workshop features a youth band and kids’ dance and singing classes; and children are also welcome and encouraged to take adult classes, according to their capabilities. Find more info on Kids at Camp.

Work Exchanges

Mendocino camp runs smoothly thanks to a hard-working crew of work exchange campers, who receive a partial tuition waiver (or a full waiver in some cases) in exchange for their labor. More information on 2024 work exchange opportunities will be available in the spring.

Cost, Registration, and Other Information

Workshop registration for 2024 will be open in the spring of 2024. Stay tuned! Workshop updates are announced through our email Newsletter (sign-up if you haven’t already), the EEFC listserv discussion group, and on our Facebook page.


2024 Teachers

Our teaching staff is still in process. Please check back often as we add names to the list! Staff and class description listings are subject to update and change.

Dance

Michael Ginsburg

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


Konstantin Marinov

Bulgarian Dance

Konstantin "Kotse" Marinov is from Stara Zagora, Bulgaria. From the age of 5 he performed with the Children's and Youth Ensemble "Zagorche." Kotse was born into a dancing family: he and his...Read More

Instruments & Ensembles

Dan Auvil

Tupan/Daouli

It was love at first sight when Dan first saw (and heard!) the large, two-headed drum called the tupan/daouli. That was almost 50 years ago...and he's been playing Balkan percussion ever since....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

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

Adam Good

Makam Theory; Macedonian Tambura

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

Class TBD

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


Eleni Govetas

Greek Ensemble

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

Greg Masaki Jenkins

Beginner Ensemble; Rebetika Ensemble

Greg Masaki Jenkins is a second-generation American Balkan folk dancer who grew up at the Balkan Music & Dance Workshops. He gigs regularly throughout the San Francisco Bay Area with the...Read More


Kalin Kirilov

Accordion; Bitov/Bulgarian Village Ensemble

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

Nick Maroussis

Greek Strings; Rebetika Ensemble

Nick Maroussis is a musician based out of Seattle, Washington, where he grew up playing strings in various rock bands in the greater Seattle area. His involvement in the Greek community and...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 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

Benji Rifati

Trumpet; Brass Band

Benji Rifati is an American-Rom who has spent years studying trumpet from Romani masters of Eastern Europe. His teachers include legends such as Zahir Ramadanov and Demiran Ćerimović, as well as...Read More

Varol Saatcıoğlu

Thracian Gajda

Varol Saatcıoğlu was born in Edirne, Turkey, into an extended family of musicians. At the tender age of five, Varol was accepted into the Istanbul University State Conservatory where he studied...Read More

Aya Safiya

Violin

Aya Safiya is a Bay Area-born violinist who specializes in traditional Greek music. She has studied Greek violin for over 25 years with various teachers including Nicos Chatzopoulos and Nikos...Read More

Sean Tergis

Doumbek

Drawing on a music base in folk music from the Middle East, Turkey, Greece and the Balkans, Sean Tergis brings a unique element to his drumming through many different influences. Since 2002, Sean...Read More

Singing

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


Carol Silverman

Romani Singing

Carol Silverman has been involved with Balkan and Romani music and culture for over thirty years as a researcher, teacher, performer and educational activist. An award-winning professor of...Read More


Michele Simon

Balkan Vocal Technique

Michele Simon has been involved with music all of her life, and with Balkan folk music for most of it, as a dancer, singer, drummer and teacher. She was raised surrounded by music of all kinds,...Read More

Lily Storm

Balkan Singing Survey

Lily Storm has been researching and performing Eastern European folk songs for almost three decades. A long-time member of Kitka Women's Vocal Ensemble, she has studied and collaborated with many...Read More

For the Kids

Tano Brock

Youth Band

Tano Brock was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. At a young age, he began attending various music camps in California with his family, where he picked up his first instrument, doumbek. He...Read More

Darina Drapkin

Children's Activities

Darina Drapkin is a native Russian speaker, having immigrated to the U.S. over 40 years ago. Her enthusiasm, curiosity, and musical interests have led her into many genres and traditions of...Read More

Eleni Govetas

Youth 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



All About Camp Work Exchanges

The Mendocino Workshop runs smoothly thanks to a hard-working crew of work exchange campers, who receive a partial tuition waiver (and a few full waivers) in exchange for their work.

Work exchange folks have a job at camp, like washing dishes or cleaning bathrooms. In exchange for their hard work, they pay reduced tuition (in most cases 50%) to come to camp. Some jobs require special skills, experience, or knowledge of the workshop environment, others requiring lifting or standing, etc. Others are great for first-timers or require no special skills.

The Site Manager fields work exchange requests and helps manage the work exchange crews during camp, along with crew leaders who manage the larger crews.

What’s the difference between a work exchange and a workshop scholarship?
A work exchange job means that you get assigned some work/duties at camp and in exchange some or all of your tuition costs are waived. A scholarship is different—with a camp scholarship, some or all of your tuition costs are paid by generous donors and you do not have any work duties at camp. If you have applied for and end up receiving a scholarship, you may withdraw your work exchange request.

About the work and jobs:
Workers are required to arrive at camp by 4:00 p.m. the first day of camp and stay until 11:00 a.m. the last day. Note that we cannot accommodate part-time campers for work exchange. Work exchangers are also expected to be timely and responsible throughout the week (that means arriving to your shifts on time, getting the work done, etc.)

At Mendocino, the majority of work exchange positions are on the Dish Crew. Folks on the Dish Crew work two 90-minute shifts per day. There’s a swap meeting the first night to trade around shifts and optimize your schedule, but it’s still possible you may have to miss a class or two. Lots of the people on Dish Crew enjoy being part of a team, making friends, and having some additional structured time. (And everybody loves using the sink sprayer!) This is a great crew for first-timers, as no prior skills or knowledge of camp are required, and making new friends is quick and easy.

Other crews include Bath Crew (cleaning bathrooms/washhouses, taking out trash, some auxiliary setup of chairs/benches); Donation Store Crew (setting up, running, and closing down the Donation Store. Often includes pre-camp organizing get togethers in the Arcata area for those available); Kafana Crew (setting up, running, and closing down the Kafana. Includes lots of late-night shifts.) Other specialty jobs include the Gofer (town runs everyday for supplies), Medic, Stage Manager and Sound Techs in the Dance Hall and Kafana, Housing, Rides, Bedding, and other admin help. Many of these positions require special prior experience at camp or in a similar role.

How to apply:
Requests for work exchange will be collected on a rolling basis through May 1st. We encourage you to make your work exchange request early to ensure we have a spot for you. Jobs may run out, and date of request is strongly considered when assigning jobs to applicants. Please note that we can only accommodate full-week campers for work exchange, and that application for a work exchange position does not guarantee a work exchange position. Applicants who are offered work exchange jobs are expected to accept the commitment and register for camp within a timely manner. We look forward to having you on the team! Application for the 2024 work exchange team will be open in the spring. Stay tuned!


Mendocino Woodlands Camp 1 Map

Use this map to help you decide which cabin or cabin area to request on your registration form. Please note that the central section (Cabins 17-31) is generally reserved for staff.

Click here to download a full-size PDF of this map.



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.


Dine & Dance—Bed & Breakfast

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:

  • 6:00 p.m.: Arrive at our lovely redwoods site (see Directions tab above). Check in at the Kafana and set up your bunk. Join us for a delicious dinner, starting at 6:30.
  • 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 $135. 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!

 

HOW TO REGISTER

Registration for the B&B option will be available when general camp registration is open in spring 2024. Stay tuned!


Evening Schedule 2023 (for reference only)

Note: The evening schedule for 2024 will be posted at a later date. Stay tuned!


Culture Corners and Group Sings begin at 7:45 p.m. Dance parties, unless noted, begin at 9:00 p.m.

Saturday
Dance
A Balkan Sampler!
Greek Zournadhes/Daouli with Eleni, Christos & Bobby Govetas
Bosnian & More with Mensur Hatić on accordion
Brass with Tano Brock and friends
Bulgarian with the Bulgarian Staff Musicians

Sunday
Special Dance Workshop (7:45-8:45): Dance for Musicians with Michael Ginsburg
Dance (9:00-)
Bulgarian—Bulgarian Staff Musicians
Epirot Greek—Drómeno

Monday
Group Sing—Croatian & Yugoslav: John Morovich
Dance
Greek Brass—Catherine Foster & Michael Ginsburg
Greek Island—Aya Safiya & friends

Tuesday
Auction Night (dance party begins around 10:00 p.m.)
Dance
Tamburica—John Morovich
Brass—Fanfare Zambaleta

Wednesday
Culture Corner: A conversation with Carol Silverman & special guest Alex Marković, topic: “Understanding the Dynamics of ‘Tradition’ & Politics in Balkan Music and Dance”
Dance
Macedonian Village—Michele Simon, Mark Levy, Jerry Kisslinger & friends
Greek Zournadhes & Daouli—Eleni, Christos & Bobby Govetas
Bulgarian—Bulgarian Staff Musicians

Thursday
Group Sing—Macedonian & Bulgarian: Michele Simon
Dance
Rhodope Sing-Along—Mark Levy & Gajda Mafia
Romani & More—Benji Rifati
Greek—Drómeno

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