When Southern California residents think of Israeli folk dancing, one of the first names that comes to mind is Yoni Carr. Carr, who has taught Israeli folk dancing in Orange County for 25 years, has ongoing classes at the Avant Garde Ballroom, 4220 Scott Drive, Newport Beach, on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to midnight.
A special class especially for beginners will start on October 17 from 7 to 7:45 p.m. Intermediate and advanced classes will follow the beginners’ class, and light refreshments will be served. The cost for the class is $10.
Carr, an experienced dance instructor, has taught all dance levels. She teaches all new beginner courses “slowly and with precise instructions, so learning is easy and fun.” Circle and couples sessions will be taught, as well as line dance.
Carr added, “Israeli folk dancing is a great activity for health and social reasons. It is great exercise and enables you to make new friends, relieve stress, and preserve your heritage. You are invited to take advantage of this opportunity to learn how to dance right from scratch.”
Carr’s dance history begain in 1958 when she started classical ballet lessons in Chedera, Israel, while she was at Kibbutz Maaggan Michael. In 1960 she joined the Inbal Theatre and continued in 1967 with Karmon Groups as a soloist, performing all over the world. She also performed in musicals and taught jazz.
In 1973, Carr studied ballroom dancing and became certified as a “Dance Educator of America” in New York. She taught dance in upstate New York at the Concord Hotel at Catskill Mountain Ballroom Dancing, as well as teaching exercise classes. She moved to California in 1984 and joined the Arthur Murray Dance Studio, first as a teacher and later as a dance counselor for 10 years. She also worked as an exercise instructor at the La Costa Hotel and Spa in Carlsbad.
In 1985 Carr began to teach two sessions of Israeli folk dance classes — one at the Jewish Community Center of Orange County, which was then located in the Garden Grove area and another session in San Diego. Carr continued with this activity at the Jewish Community Center in Costa Mesa.
Carr also is the camp director of two Israeli Folk Dance camps. “Camp Yona” on President’s Weekend (February) and “Finjan” on Labor Day Weekend (September). She teaches Israeli folk dancing at the Jewish Academy of San Diego every Thursday night as well as the class in Newport Beach.