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Laguna Folk Dance Festival 2024

March 1 - March 3

$25 – $120

Clubhouse 2

Southern California’s premier folk dance festival! Dance and instrumental workshops with master teachers, parties with live music, the famous Sunday Dance Concert, catered food… what’s not to like? The Laguna Festival is one of Southern California’s premier annual folk dance events. You can bet all your friends will be there. You should be too!


We are proud to announce that our teachers this year are Dr. Gergana Panova-Tekath and Roberto Bagnoli

Gergana Panova

Dr. Gergana Panova-Tekath

Dr. Gergana Panova-Tekath was born in Sofia, Bulgaria. From 1988 to 1993, she danced with the Filip Kutev Bulgarian National Folk Ensemble. She studied dance ethnology in Bulgaria and obtained her Ph.D. in dance from Dortmund University (Germany).

She regularly commutes between Bulgaria, where she heads the Ethnochoreology Department at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, and Germany, where she is Professor of Dance at Folkwang University in Essen.

She has published numerous articles and has written two books on various aspects of Bulgarian traditional dance. Besides organizing annual summer seminars in Bulgaria, Gergana has taught workshops in many countries: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Israel, Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, Brazil, Argentina and North America.

She graduated in Dance Pedagogy, Ethnochoreology, Choreography and Direction (Bulgaria), and Kinetography and Communicative Sciences (Germany) and has completed a Doctorate with “Summa cum laude” and awarded the prize “Dissertation 2004” from the Technical University of Dortmund (Germany) in the area of Cultural Philosophy. The title of her thesis is “Dance after Perestroika. The Communication between Eastern and Western Europe through the Bulgarian Folkdances.” Gergana qualified in Ethnochoreology and Communication in 2011 in Sofia.

She performed as a solo dancer and choreographer at the National Ensemble for Folksongs and Folkdances (Philip Koutev) in Sofia from 1988 to 1994, was a Choreographer for different Bulgarian and international Theater Projects, was a Senior Fellow and Associate Professor for Ethnochoreology at the Institute for Art Studies at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in Sofia, and has lectured at the Technical University of Dortmund, the Humboldt University, Berlin, the University in Zurich, the University of Music, Vienna, and the New Bulgarian University, Sofia.

Starting in 1994, she has conducted over 300 seminars and summer academies in folk dances in Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Israel, Japan, Norway, Switzerland, and the United States.

Gergana has published over 50 Articles and two books about dancing, nonverbal communication, ethnology, etcetera in Bulgarian, German, English, and Russian.
Read more…

Roberto Bagnoli

Roberto Bagnoli

Roberto Bagnoli grew up in Rome, where he was first introduced to folk music and dance, eventually taking part in several performances and teaching dance classes. He subsequently studied various forms of folk dance in workshops throughout Europe, Israel, and North America under the guidance of renowned choreographers and teachers. Roberto now lives in Reggio Emilia in Northern Italy, considered to have one of the most important dance communities in Italy.

From 1995 to 2003, he performed as a dancer and choreographer with the Terra di Danza Dance Company and was involved in the production of Raggi di luna Italiana and Capriccio Italiano (Italian dances), GiroGiroMondo (dances from around the world), Keltic Emotion (Celtic dances), Mazal Tov (Israeli dances), and Ethnos (international folk dances).

He is the founder of Folk Atelier Reggio Emilia (FARE), devoted to the development and conservation of folk dance heritage. As director of FARE, he is in charge of organizing and conducting folk dance classes, workshops with Italian and foreign specialists, and of the performing sector, staging various performances, parties, and dance gatherings.

He currently organizes two dance camps in Europe: Balkanot (Balkan and Israeli dance) and Camp Yofi (Israeli Dance).

Roberto teaches weekly classes in various cities in the north of Italy and conducts monthly sessions in Rome and Milan besides conducting workshops and seminars throughout Europe, the United States (notably the Stockton Folk Dance Camp), and Canada, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan. Read more…

Melanie Lawson Kareem

Ukulele playing and jamming

Returning to The Laguna Folk Dance Festival, Melanie Lawson Kareem, a folk dancer since childhood, shares her lifetime of enjoying music with others by teaching ukulele on Zoom, everyday. She is well-known in the folk dance world as “The Folk Dancer’s Ukulele Teacher” having taught at Stockton Camp since 2019.


Sans Frontières

Sans Frontières has a wide-ranging repertoire, tackling pieces that are widely danced, but not typically performed by IFD bands.  Their repertoire consists of relatively recent music that evolved from, and celebrates, ethnic heritage, but expresses that heritage in modern-day musical conventions – Music from anywhere in the world that’s popular for dance all around the world.  Read more…


Tzidia is a San Diego-based band made up of friends who previously performed together with the groups Trio Zheni, Eastern Exposure, and Dromia. Their name reflects these earlier associations. They play folk dance music primarily from the Balkans and surrounding areas, plus Scandinavia. Read more…


Ayres Hotel within walking distance of festival. Phone (949) 588-0131 and ask for “Laguna Woods” discount. Available with the local operator only. (Do not use 800#).

Covid Policy

At this time we have no restrictions. People can decide their level of risk and wear a mask or not and/or take other measures as they deem appropriate to their particular situation. Please do not attend the Festival if you are feeling unwell. If you are feeling unwell, stay home and contact us for a refund.

More Details


Laguna Woods Clubhouse 2
24112 Moulton Parkway
Laguna Woods, CA 92637 United States
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