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Mainewoods 2021 Virtual Day at Camp

Dance Leaders

Caspar Bik Caspar Bik (International) was born in 1990 in the Netherlands. He was an active dancer from a young age in groups that presented Dutch dances as well as groups that showed international dances. Caspar graduated in 2013 as a dance teacher at the dance academy Codarts in Rotterdam. Besides folk dancing, Caspar has experience in modern/contemporary dance, classical ballet, jazz dance, ballroom, and tap dance.
Since his graduation he has been teaching different dance styles to children, teenagers, and adults at amateur and professional levels. In 2014, he founded a youth school for theater arts which performs stage musicals every year for which Caspar creates the choreography. Both as a folk dance instructor and as a choreographer he has taught courses in Belgium, Germany, Switzerland , Italy, Sweden, Turkey, Taiwan and the USA. Caspar has been specializing in folk dances from countries around the Black Sea. Both the richness and diversity of dance and music around the whole world are his inspiration.

SoniaCristian Sonia Dion and Cristian Florescu (Romanian) are known for their wonderful energy, warmth and exciting choice of dances and music. Cristian has danced with and choreographed for many Romanian folk ensembles and has studied with various specialists including Theodor Vasilescu. In 1993 Cristian joined Les Sortilèges, a professional folk dance company based in Montréal, where he danced, taught and choreographed. In the course of her 20 years with the same company, Sonia was lead dancer, choreographer and artistic director, among other roles. It was at Les Sortilèges that the two met and formed a professional and personal partnership. They have performed with the Collage International Dance Ensemble of Boston, have taught at l'École Supérieure de Danse du Québec, and have been part of the Artists in the Schools program sponsored by the Quebec Ministry of Education. In recent years, they have been teaching workshops for recreational folk dance groups in Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, England, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United States, sharing their love of Romanian folk traditions.

Erica Goldman Erica Goldman (Israeli) has been an engineering linguist, a high school English teacher, an Israel exchange program coordinator, and through it all, a joyful Israeli dance teacher. A two-time Brandeis University graduate, Erica holds an MBA and a Masters in Jewish Professional Leadership and is a grateful Wexner Fellow. Erica is an Educator for the Cornerstone Fellowship, a program of the Foundation for Jewish Camp, and in May 2015, she launched Ma'agal, an initiative to improve Israeli dance education at schools and camps across the nation. Erica is currently the Director of Program and Operations for JPRO Network and is delighted to help support all those who work for the Jewish community in the US and Canada. She has taught Israeli dance on four continents (so far!) and can't wait to travel again some day.

Barbara Pixton Barbara Pixton (International Folk Musician) began playing her mother's button accordion at the age of eight. She moved on to the piano, obtaining a degree in piano performance from Boston University. A folk dancer for many years, in the early 1990's she and her husband Tom Pixton began playing for dances. Since then they have put together several bands, played at music festivals and dance camps all over the US, published a music book, and made several recordings. Barbara has picked up skills on many other instruments including double bass, santouri, guitar, flute, violin and panflute. In 1994 she started the International Music Club under the sponsorship of the Folk Arts Center of New England. She is known for her wonderful ability to pull together amateur musicians for music-making and merriment.

Tom Pixton Tom Pixton (International Folk Musician) is active as an International, Balkan, and Scottish folk dance musician. He has worked with many of today's most accomplished dance teachers and musicians as accordionist, pianist, band leader, music arranger, and CD producer. As a soloist or with the Pinewoods Band, he has provided dance music for dance camps, workshops, and special events in the US, Canada, and Japan. He has provided music leadership for the Boston Branch of the Royal Scottish Dance Society, Cambridge Revels, June Camp (Illinois), August Camp (New Mexico), and the Folk Arts Center of New England. Tom publishes the Pinewoods International Collection, a 400-page book of folk dance tunes and songs from around the world. The book has become widely known as a major source of dance music and as a reference volume.

Julia Poirier Julia Poirier (International Folk Musician) has been singing and playing in Boston-area choruses and folk dance bands for more than 20 years. During that time she has led numerous groups in singing a variety of music ranging from Christmas choral arrangements to folk dance songs to a cappella pop. In 2009, she completed an MA in Ethnomusicology, focusing on Bulgarian traditional song. Julia plays rhythm guitar for The Pinewoods Band and The All-Girl Band, two of Boston's many folk dance bands. She also plays recorders and tenor viol, and sings with the Tufts Early Music Ensemble.

Debby Szajnberg Debby Szajnberg (International Folk Musician/Singer) has been folk dancing since childhood and performing world dance and music since her early adult years, especially from Balkan and Eastern European folk traditions. These include dancing, singing, and playing with Balkanske Igre and International Dancers in Chicago, and George Tomov's Yugoslav Ensemble in NYC. She also played and sang in A Different Village, Hijaz, and Yia Mas instrumental ensembles in Hartford, CT. She is a regular participant at the East European Folklife Center's annual Balkan Music/Dance workshop as well as folk dance seminars abroad. A retired kindergarten and music teacher, she has presented national and regional workshops on creative and folk dance to music educators. She leads community dances at local schools and libraries and is a frequent teacher at Always on Sunday International Folk Dancers in Wethersfield, CT. She sings, plays violin, doumbek, tupan and other hand percussion. One of her current projects is collecting, transcribing and teaching children's clapping and rhythm games from around the world.