The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH)
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Information: Stephanie Holzman, teacher of Scandinavian dance.
Stefanie Holzman began her dance career in her grandparent’s house in Los Angeles doing the polka with her grandfather. She never tired of their dancing.
In High School in Long Beach, California, Stefanie elected to take International Folk Dancing as her physical education class. There she learned about the wide variety of dances in the world and the magic of the different music and instruments that were available. She also attended Donna Tripp’s International Dance class at the Jewish Community Center. It was Donna's great teaching and obvious passion for dancing that spoke to Stefanie’s heart. She knew that this was going to be a life-long obsession.
Stefanie attended the University of California Davis. There was a small group that did folk dancing once a week. Still a novice, Stefanie would join in every dance and just say to the dancers on either side, "sorry if I hurt you, I don't know the dance." She stuck with it and did manage to learn their repertoire.
When Stefanie returned to the Los Angeles area, she continued to dance at the Intersection and the Open Circle (where she met her husband, Larry Tendis). She performed in Sherry Cochran’s group Biljana and with a local folk dance group. She was also a member of the Queen’s Way Morris team. When members of this group migrated to Scandinavian dancing, Stefanie heard about this new type of couple dance, but was reluctant to go.
It was in 1985 that Stefanie braved Scandinavian dancing, meeting up again with Donna Tripp. Eventually, Donna asked Stefanie to join the Scandia Dancers of Southern California, the performing arm of the Scandinavian class. Stefanie was delighted although she had no costume, and no partner. (Where was that husband?) . . . and it all worked out well. Her husband joined the group and Stefanie has been dancing with the group since 1985. She has traveled with them to Finland to perform at two major festivals the Pispalan Sottiisi and the Holla ja Martta festivals, as well as performances in Norway. Scandia has traveled through California performing at festivals, weddings, parties, and anywhere else there is an interest in Scandinavian dancing. Eventually, as Donna's health interfered with her dancing, Stefanie took over as director of Scandia.
Scandia now performs dances from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Greenland, and Iceland and is available to perform anywhere, anytime!
Stefanie has taught all types of dances to adults and children. As an elementary teacher, she used dance to introduce students to writing! Currently as an Adjunct Professor at Cal State Dominguez Hills, she uses dance to teach future administrators about effective lesson design! She is still obsessed with folkdance!
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