Sept 20-22, 2019: International Folk Dance Weekend
Dances from the world
Sept 20-22, 2019

YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly Convention Center

84 Blue Ridge Circle
Black Mountain, NC 28711-9722

Learn, dance, socialize, and relax in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.


Mountain Playshop is a regional dance weekend that attracts dancers from throughout North Carolina and nearby states to socialize, dance, relax, and - you never know - to maybe learn a dance or two.  This year we are featuring four regional master teachers bringing us dances from around the world, live sets with the Rakia Band, and shopping at Balkan Bazaar.

For over 30 years, Mountain Playshop has provided both a forum for dancers to learn new material from regional and professional teachers while also offering a beautiful destination for dancers to simply get together with friends for the weekend - partying, dancing, sharing meals, reviewing dances, and just relaxing in the shadow of the Smoky Mountains. This year is no different.



Our teachers this year will include a range of local legends who have a wide variety of experiences.  They are known for their skills and repertoire and are eager to share them with the community. 

Beth Zweigoron


Beth Zweigoron established her dancing legs at University of Illinois IFD and then moved on to Minneapolis where she danced through a few decades with University of Minnesota IFD and Tapestry Folk Dance Center where she eventually served as President. She now dances with Greenville IFD which she founded in 2000 and keeps up her skills and repertoire by attending local, national and international workshops as often as her other life allows. She will be sharing favorite selections from Tineke and Maurits van Geel’s 2018 Caucasus Tour.

Mike Schafale


Mike Schafale has been doing international folk dancing since a chance encounter with it in Durango, Colorado in 1983.  He has danced with the Raleigh group since late 1983.  He also enjoys playing guitar with Svirachi and other folk dance bands, as well as other instrumental and vocal music.  Other interests include paddling, hiking, backpacking, ecology, and botany. 

Ruthy Slann


Ruthy Slann is a native of Israel and an avid dancer. She travels in the Southeast and beyond to teach Israeli Folk Dance workshops for adults and children, and attends many dance workshops in the US and Israel.  Ruthy hosts the Karmiel USA  workshop at The Mountain in Highlands, NC on Labor Day weekend.  She was the assistant course coordinator for the annual Karmiel Summer Course for foreign teachers and dancers for 16 years.  She was on the Fred Berk Blue Star staff from 1990 until its last summer of 1998. She is cheerful and friendly, and her enthusiasm for dancing can be dangerously contagious.

Paul Taylor


Paul Taylor has been doing international folk dancing for 44 years and has been the dance leader for the Oak Ridge Folk Dancers for over 35 years.  Paul enjoys gardening, hiking and traveling and lives in Knoxville, Tennessee. 

Debbie Bateman


Debbie has led the dance ministry at Hope of Israel Messianic Congregation for over twenty years. She loves crafting new choreography and incorporating the language of Israeli dance into the art of worship. 



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Sound like fun?

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