MENDOCINO BALKAN MUSIC AND DANCE CAMP AWARDS:
2012: Ema Sheehan
2013: Danielle Smith
2014: Theodora Teodosiadis
2012: Jorge Kachmarik, Vesko Nenchev, Paul Stovall
2013: Tenaya Cooley, Sonia Healy, Yana Healy, Iglika Arabadjieva
“Every single day of Mendocino Balkan Camp I found myself asking, “Is this real?” There was music, singing, and dancing everywhere. Some of the most talented musicians came for the week and shared their knowledge and techniques. There was definitely no lack in classes to learn from. Then, every night there was a party. Not just at one venue, but two. And not just a party, but really, A party until the early hours of the morning.
Teachers played with their bands and even students were given the opportunity to perform. One of my highlights was playing for the Albanian Ensemble at the last concert. We were able to show how much work we put into the week. On top of this, we were hidden underneath the redwoods, the stars were beautiful, and the food… oh my… the food!
Thanks to Balkan Night Northwest Scholarship, I was given the opportunity to be a part of this camp. My gratitude cannot be shown enough. From the beginning, I felt instantly included into this new Balkan family. I felt very well taken care of and since I was a new face in the camp, people constantly made sure I was having a good time. Camp now has brought me into this new Balkan community where I suddenly have many places and people to visit. Camp also gave me this newfound energy toward Balkan music.
I cannot wait to show up next year and blow everyone’s minds on how well I have improved on my violin. Thanks again Balkan Night NW Scholarship!!!”
Theodora Teodosiadis 9/10/2014
“How does one really sum up an experience like Balkan Camp? This being a small and somewhat underground community in the states, finding teachers can be really challenging. Receiving the scholarship from Balkan Night NW provided me with an opportunity of life-changing magnitude where I studied with some of the most wonderful master teachers for Balkan music and dance in this country. Having them all in one place was a dream! I had millions of questions ever since I started my journey down this Balkan music and dance path, and teachers at Balkan Camp went above and beyond answering my questions, and better yet, left me with many more amazing concepts to explore. Furthermore, I did not only learn from the teachers, but every moment was an experience that opened my eyes to understanding more about the authentic cultures and languages connected to Balkan music and dance, as well as the specific and very special culture and adaptations Americans share in expressing art of a culture they may not have been born into. I felt completely at home.
The classes were a perfect mix of technique and history/cultural context. Each day I made a new connection, each night at the performances and dances I learned just as much as I did in class. It was fantastic seeing the teachers out on the dance floor and everyone supporting some really amazing all-ages celebrations. And I haven't even mentioned the incredible environment of the Mendocino Woodlands themselves!
If I could live at Balkan Camp I would, and I intend to return to that unbelievably vibrant event as often as possible.”
Danielle Smith, 2/10/2014