The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH)
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Information: Ron Wixman, teacher of folk dance.
Ron Wixman began folk dancing in New York City, New York, as a youth. Ron is quite knowledgeable about the languages, dances, and costumes of the Balkans, Middle East, and Far East, to which he has made many research trips, and has an excellent knowledge of Russian, Yiddish, and Bulgarian, and a working knowledge of Serbo-Croatian, German, French, and Spanish. Ron shares with Stephen Glaser one of the largest collections of authentic Yugoslav costumes in the United States.
Ron danced with several ethnic groups, including the Armenian Folkdance Society of New York, and for a while was a professional flamenco dancer. He received his B.A. degree from Hunter College in 1968, his M.A. degree from Columbia University in 1972, and Ph.D. degree from the University of Chicago in Illinois in 1978. He joined the faculty of the University of Oregon in 1975 and was a professor of geography, teaching Ethnography of the Balkans, Balkan Dance, Geography of Eastern Europe, the USSR, and Soviet Nationality Policy.
He has taught at several folk dance festivals and camps in North America, including the University of Chicago Folk Dance Festivals in 1977 and 1989, and has lectured on several Smithsonian Institution trips.
In addition to numerous talks, discussion panel appearances, media presentations, and television and radio appearances, Dr. Wixman is a prolific writer. His research focuses on geographies of ethnicity, culture and religion. Of particular interest to him are those situations related to political geographical questions, ethno-territorialism, and ethno-territorial disputes. Although he has done research on these issues throughout Eurasia and the Middle East, his primary focus is on Eastern and Central Europe, the former Soviet Union and its successor states, and the Middle East. His publications deal primarily with subjects dealing with Soviet Nationality Policy as construed and applied throughout the USSR.
Ron has introduced popular versions of the Bulgarian Kjustendilska Rûčenica, Tropanka, Kopčeto, and Divotinsko Horo as well as the Armenian Papuri, Sepastia Bar, and Hooshig Mooshig to the folk dance community. He offers culture sessions and brings costumes from his fabulous collection for show and sale.
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