Balkan Music &
Dance Workshops

Every summer the EEFC presents two week-long summer camps.

June 22 – 29, 2019
More info…

August 10 – 17, 2019
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

Mendocino Woodlands, California
June 22 – 29, 2019

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 a youth band, and 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. The deadline to apply is May 1st. However, if you are reading this after May 1st, don’t panic just yet, but please send us an email ASAP. 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 22. 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.

Last Year’s (2018) Teachers

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


Michael Ginsburg

Balkan Dance & Dance for Musicians

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

Petur Iliev

Bulgarian Dance

Petur Iliev is a Bulgarian-born dancer and choreographer whose career is deeply steeped in the rich folk dance traditions of his family. He started dancing at the age of five in his father's dance...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

Petar "Usmivkata" Aleksiev

Bulgarian Thracian Gajda

Petar "Usmivkata" (The Smile) Aleksiev was born in Varna, Bulgaria. He graduated from "Philip Kutev" Music School in Kotel, then from Plovdiv's Academy for Music and Dance Arts. He was part of the...Read More

Nizo Alimov

Brass Band, Trumpet

Born in 1986 in Štip, eastern Macedonia, into a musical family, Nijazi "Nizo" Alimov recorded his first song at 13 years of age. He started learning baritone horn from his uncle Ramče Ibraimov...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

George Chittenden


George Chittenden was drawn to the passion and drive expressed in the music and dance of the Balkans and Near East as a teenager in the 70s. He has lived and studied extensively abroad, traveling...Read More

Angel Dobrev


Angel Dobrev was born in the town of Omurtag in Bulgaria. He plays the gudulka (Bulgarian: гъдулка), which is a traditional Bulgarian bowed stringed instrument. He expressed an interest in...Read More

Catherine Foster


Catherine Foster has been performing music from Southeastern Europe for over 30 years and has been playing trumpet, clarinet, and saxophone with Borozan Brass Band, Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band,...Read More

Valeri Georgiev

Bulgarian Kaval

Valeri Georgiev is from the Bulgarian Danube town of Ruse. He studied kaval in Kotel and graduated from the Plovdiv Conservatory with a degree in folk-ensemble conducting. He performed in the...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

Greek Improvisation

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

Raif Hyseni

Accordion, Albanian-Kosovar Ensemble

Raif Hyseni hails from The Republic of Kosova, which has a large Albanian majority. He grew up in the town of Mitrovicë, where he studied accordion at music school and performed in amateur...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

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

Ari Langer


Ari Langer grew up in Ashland, Oregon, where he studied classical violin, performing in solo competitions and with local string quartets and orchestras. He took a sharp left turn to attend the...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

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

Maclovia Quintana

Doumbek - Beginning

Maclovia Quintana was born and raised in Santa Fe, NM. Her father is a professional musician, and she was surrounded by music from an early age. She has been performing Balkan music since college,...Read More

Milen Slavov

Bulgarian Accordion & Bitov Ensemble

Milen Slavov was born in the Thrace region of Bulgaria. He began playing piano accordion at the age of seven, performing on stage at age 8, composing and arranging at 16, and producing multimedia...Read More

Sean Tergis

Doumbek - Intermediate

Drawing on a musical 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. At an early...Read More


Maria Bebelekova

Rhodope Bulgarian Singing

Maria Bebelekova, from the Bulgarian Rhodope town of Shiroka Luka, learned singing from her mother and grandmother. She studied at the Shiroka Luka Folk Music School and the Plovdiv Conservatory,...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

Merita Halili

Albanian Singing

Merita Halili is one of Albania’s top performers. Born in the capital city of Tiranë, Merita grew up singing the lyric songs of her native region of Central Albania. Her nationwide debut came...Read More

Eva Salina

Romani Singing & Performance Coaching

Based in Brooklyn, NY, for the last ten years, Eva Salina is a leading interpreter of Eastern European musical traditions, performing and teaching internationally. She attended her first Balkan...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

Svetlana Spajić

Serbian Singing

Svetlana Spajić, a native of Loznica, Serbia, began performing publicly in 1993 with Paganke, as its youngest member. Paganke (The Pagan Women) was a pioneer Belgrade group formed in the 80s...Read More

For the Kids

Tano Brock

Kids' 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

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.

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!



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

Sample 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

A Balkan Sampler!
Greek Zourna—Eleni, Christos & Bobby Govetas
Bulgarian Accordion—Milen Slavov
Bulgarian Gajda—Petar “Usmivkata” Aleksiev
Pontic—Adam Good, Ari Langer, Jerry Kisslinger, Paul Brown
Brass—Nizo Alimov & friends

Greek Brass—Catherine Foster & Michael Ginsburg
Macedonian Village—Mark Levy
Greek & Balkan—Édessa

Culture: Carol Silverman: “What Are Our Relationships To Balkan Music, Dance, And Folklore?”
Serbian—Svetlana Spajić
Bulgarian—Milen Slavov

Auction Night (dance party begins around 10:00 p.m.)
Brass—Fanfare Zambaleta
Albanian—Raif Hyseni & Merita Halili

Group Sing—Macedonian & Bulgarian: Michele Simon
Bulgarian—Valeri Georgiev
Greek Zourna—Eleni, Christos & Bobby Govetas
Greek Island & Pontic—Ari Langer

Group Sing—Epirot: Christos Govetas & Ruth Hunter
Rhodope Sing-Along—Mark Levy, Maria Bebelekova & Gajda Mafia
turkish Roman—Jessaiah Zuré & Eva Salina
Brass—Nizo Alimov

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