Tag Archives: folk dance

Opsa “tidbit”

Thank you Susan J for this “tidbit”!

Notes on the dance Opsa, which we did Wednesday, April 6.
(Andrew Carnie is a folk-dancer in Tucson, who has done some fairly extensive cataloging of various things IFD-related. Dick Crum is a well-known and -honored folk dance teacher of many decades (passed away several years ago).

Notes by Andrew Carnie July 19, 2003 based on notes by Dick Crum, July 1994.
Here’s what Dick Crum had to say about this dance:

“Opsa (OHP-sah) is currently one of the most popular dances at Croatian & Serbian dance events in the major cities of the Upper Midwest & the Pennsylvania/Ohio area. Its melody is relatively recent, having been composed & recorded in former Yugoslavia about a decade ago. The origins of the dance per se are obscure – it seems to have arisen here in the U.S., possibly around Pittsburgh. On the other hand, its structure has the same 5-measure pattern as the old Serbian Vranjanka. I first saw learned it at the Tamburitza Extravaganza weekend in Los Angeles, 1993, where tamburitza players & fans of tamburitza music from all over the U.S. had gathered, and Opsa was played & danced dozens of times.”

1. Let’s dance this kolo — everyone loves it. It moves so freely & easily, everyone can dance it.
Refrain: You can hear the girls shouting: “Opsa!* Dance!” The boys won’t be outdone – they want to dance faster, more together & better — dance till dawn, opsa!
2. Let’s dance this kolo — everyone loves it. Boys, girls, everybody join the kolo, wind it around.
3. Let’s dance this kolo — everyone loves it.
The zurlas** are wailing, the drum is beating, and the dancers are on a high. * opsa! – spontaneous exclamation often used while dancing (no exact English translation; something like ‘whee!’, ‘yippee!’, or ‘hee-haw!’
** zurla (zoor’-lah) – shawm-like folk instrument common in southern Serbia, Macedonia, & other southern Balkan countries. Usually played in pairs with accompaniment by a drum (bubanj, tapan, etc.)

Thank you again Susan for the above info.

Below are Youtube videos of the dance:


The dance notes are at this site:

Please pass this blog along to your folk dance friends!

Happy Dancing!
Another Day, Another Dance!


Knoxville Workshop with Mihai David

The Knoxville Mihai David workshop was fantastic! Mihai is a great teacher and a very entertaining personality. If you get the chance to take one of his workshops don’t hesitate. It was well worth the 7 hour drive to get to Knoxville!

Another dance tidbit for those not in the know. Opincuta( which Sue C. taught previously) means “little shoe” in Romanian. Opinca( the dance that Sue C. is teaching) means regular sized shoe.

Mihai gave permision for anyone who wanted to video the workshop. I have 2 DVDs if anyone is interested please email me @ birdproject2010@gmail.com or comment to this blog. The cost is the cost of the DVDs plus shipping and handeling. Below are the dances that he taught:

1 Hora de la Putna (Moldova)
2 Hora din Neruja
3 Arcanul de la Fundul Moldove
4 Hora Ploii
5 La Mahala
6 Hora din Banat
7 Cadineasca
8 DamuL
9 Hora Dreapta
10 Sirba Fetelor
11 Atica
12 Tarina de la Abrud
13 Briul pe Opt
14 Gaselnitsa

Please forward this blog to all that you think will be interested!

Keep on Dancing!
Another Day, Another Dance!

Vlashko long version – teaching of steps

Vlasko – Long Version – description from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

The uploading is what takes the longest on our connection.http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=12747443&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1

Vlashko Step 2

Vlashko Step 1 explanation from M B Shaw on Vimeo.


Vlashko Long Version Step 2 from M B Shaw on Vimeo.


Vlashko long version steps 1 & 2 no music from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Now for the music!


Vlashko long version steps 1 & 2 with music from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Onto step 3!


Vlashko long version step 3 from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Get the transition?


Vlashko long version – transition steps 2 & 3 from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Now do it with music!


Vlashko long version steps 1- 3 with music from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Are you ready for step 4?


Vlashko long version steps 4 from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Can you transition from step 3 to step 4?


Vlashko long version steps 3 & 4 with music from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Here we go with step 5!


Vlashko long version step 5 from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Transition steps 4 & 5.


Vlashko long version steps 4 & 5 with music. from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Time for step 6.


Vlashko long version step 6 from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Try step 6 with the music slowed.


Vlashko long version step 6 with slowed music from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Let’s see some styling of step 6!


Vlashko long version step 6 styling from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Finally the last step!


Vlashko long version step 7 from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Try it slowed down a bit!


Vlashko long version step 7 with slowed music from M B Shaw on Vimeo.


Vlashko long version step 7 with music normal speed from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Next try the styling of step 7!


Vlashko long version – styling of step 7 from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Practice the transition of steps 6 & 7 – it’s tricky!


Vlashko long version steps 6 & 7 with slowed music from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Now let’ put it all together!


Vlashko long version – The whole Dance! from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Long time no write

It’s been a while since I wrote, but now I’m back! Sue Chase taught Opincuta from Romania,
I’m having trouble finding it online. I will post it as soon as I find it. I am also looking for the
DVD I purchased from Christian and Sonia about two years ago. My house is in disarray, that is one reason I haven’t blogged recently and why the DVD is hiding!

We’ve been doing Mori Shej with Jay leading since we learned it at Makemie Woods,but Susan Oberman actually taught it this week. It is a great Hungarian- Rom tune. In fact the tune was in my head for a whole weekend a couple of weeks ago!

I am continuing “cleaning up” the videos that I took of Susan O. and hope to get Vlashko(long version) on before next Wednesday!

Continue the dance!
Another Day, Another Dance

Makemie Woods

I would like to thank the Virginia Beach Folk Dance Group for their continuing efforts in bringing us such a great opportunity to learn new dances and dance the ones we know with friends we don’t often see. Mike, Judy and Sam did a great job teaching. It was also a treat having live music. Would some one please email me the names of the muscians so that I can thank them properly! I hope to see more of you there in the fall!

Thank you Susan J. for the link to Sitna Zborenka http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3voynv0ACo

Another Day, Another Dance!

National Dance Week and New Logo

It’s National Dance Week 2010(April 23 – May 2), So kick up your heels and dance! In observance of National Dance Week, I have added the BIRD logo to the site and will start emailing more contacts about the project. Up until now, only a few people from our group have viewed the blog and given me feed back.

I hope to see some old and new friends at our regular dancing time 6:30 Wednesday, April 28 at the Charlottesville Senior Center! Bring some goodies and we’ll really celebrate!

Another Day, Another Dance!

Kolo Zita, Sitna Zborenka

It’s great to have Susan O. back teaching.We hope that Susan J’s back will heal rapidly so that she can be back dancing and teaching. Kolo Zita http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gD2KsSljWXo This youtube site has a suite of other Croatian dances being performed with Kolo Zita this one is done a little differently. I couldn’t find the Bulgarian dance Sitna Zborenka on the internet.

We had an even dozen dancers this week. Great to see and dance with everyone!

Another Day, Another Dance!

Sweet Girl

Happy Easter Season to all.
We have been having wonderful weather in VA this year. Has your “Sweet Tooth” been satisfied with Easter candy? Well, talking about “Sweet”, why don’t you view Tom Bozigian teaching Sweet Girl. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piSysDxXHPU Sue Chase taught this dance last month. Thanks Jay for the link. Tom points out that the dance is done erect, pinky hold, and that it was choreographed in 1953.
Another Day, Another Dance!

Charlottesville International Folk Dancers’ review and new dances taught

The dances reviewed this week were Dhivaratikos which you can see a group doing at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcjmwtGTdSM , and which was taught earlier on this blog by Susan O.

Liliano Mome at
Hora la Trei- I didn’t find any examples on the web.
Louisiana Saturday Night
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZpuI2GfudA This version is a little different as it changes direction with each restart of the combinations. This next one does too, but the group doing the dance is dressed in “cowboy garb”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZpuI2GfudA

Another Day, Another Dance