Balkan Music &
Dance Workshops

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

June 15-22, 2024
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August 10-17, 2024
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Since the beginning the East European Folklife Center has depended on you—our big-hearted community!

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T-shirts, totes, and more — sporting the beautiful EEFC rosette. Tell the world about your favorite summer activity!
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Stay in Touch

There’s more than one way to stay connected to the EEFC throughout the year. Subscribe to our email Newsletter for monthly updates. Join the Discussion List (an active email group with searchable archives since 1993). Send us a message.


Get the FAQs

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


Kids at Camp!

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


We award full scholarships to our in-person workshops.
Find out more

Peter "Usmivkata" Aleksiev

Bulgarian Gajda

Peter “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 representative folk orchestra of the Plovdiv Academy. There he received his master’s degree in Music Arts with honors, specializing in bagpipe.

While he was at school Petar accompanied the world-known Grammy-winning women’s choir Le Mystère Des Voix Bulgares. He has participated in many groups in numerous projects, and has played with the most famous musicians and bands in Bulgaria. Petar has made recordings with the Bulgarian National Radio, and Bulgarian National Television. He has participated in many international projects, folklore events, and festivals in Greece, Italy, Malta, Israel, Netherlands, Belgium, Moldova, Ukraine, Serbia, and elsewhere. Petar frequently composes for dance groups and bands, and is a member of the UNESCO International Organization for Folk Art.

Since 2008 Peter has been living in Chicago, where he performs with Kolorit Orchestra, Orpheus Hellenic Folklore Society, and plays Bulgarian, Greek, and Macedonian music at various events and camps. He also joyfully engages in teaching Bulgarian bagpipe to new enthusiasts.