The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH)
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Information: Paul Millard "Chip" Sheldon, Jr., teacher of international folk dance.
Chip is a master dancer and teacher, who has performed for hundreds of thousands of people throughout the United States and Europe.
Chip, whose performing career began in 1957, is a former soloist with the AMAN Folk Ensemble (aka, AMAN International Music and Dance Company), which was ranked by the United States Endowment for the Arts as the number two dance company in the United States, ahead of the New York City Ballet, and trailing only the Geoffrey Ballet.
Chip moved to Aspen, Colorado, and helped start Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and Windstar Foundation (with John Denver) and helped organize the annual Seder celebrations for Aspen Jewish Center for seven years. He served as vice president of Aspen Lodging Association, was on the Planning and Zoning Commission of the Colorado College board of trustees, built and managed resort hotels, timeshares, condos, and the Snowmass Village Mall, and taught various classes at the college there. Plus, he skied 100+ days a year!
In 1996, Chip married Anne Hull and in 1998, started a personnel agency in Arcata, California, then went into property management for a 3rd-generation timber family in Eureka, California. He moved with Anne to Sausalito in 2001, so she could become the Spanish Language Cataloguer for the San Francisco Public Library and Served as Program Assistant for Marin Human Rights Roundtable on Hate Violence, then as Operations Manager for Social Venture Network. Chip danced occasionally at Ashkenaz, when there was live music or Macedonian dancing. He then bought a condo and moved with Anne to Novato, California, and following that bought a smaller condo in Mill Valley, California, to be closer to the City.
He got position first as Underwriting Consultant, then Senior Underwriting Consultant for California's Workers' Compensation Insurance Fund.
In 2007, when Anne got tired of the city and wanted to move someplace more rural, Chip accepted a position as Senior Manager, Policy and Research, in Durango, Colorado, for EcoConsulting, where he wrote a report on renewable energy and economic alternatives to a coal-fired power plant proposed on Navajo land near Farmington, New Mexico.
The couple then moved to Hygiene, Colorado, where they manage to go dancing once every few months, especially if there's live Bulgarian music, visit with Dick Oakes and his wife Carol once or twice a year, and walk with the dogs in spectacularly beautiful foothills of the eastern slope of the Rockies a few times each week.
He has taught traditional dances at parties, weddings, and festivals, to more than 150,000 people, and especially enjoys the dances of Central Europe, the Mediterranean Basin, and North America.
He has studied with dozens of master dancers in the U.S., Mexico, Israel, Macedonia, and Bulgaria, including such luminaries as Schlomo Bachar, René Besné, Louise Bilman, Sunni Bloland, Dennis Boxell, Tom Bozigian, Dick Crum, Andor Czompo, Rudy Dannes, Dani Dassa, Alexandru David, Mihai David, Robin Evanchuk, Vince Evanchuk, Bora Gajicki, Morry Gelman, Barry Glass, Moshiko Halevy, Anthony Ivancich, Nick Jordanoff, Athan Karras, David Katz, Atanas Kolarovski, Vilma Matchette, Dori Aloni Meshi, Yves Moreau, Dick Oakes, Dobrivoje Putnik, David Shochat, Dr. Anthony Shay, Nena Šokčić, C. Stewart Smith, Conny Taylor, Marianne Taylor, Al Vincent, Rubi Vučeta, Leona Wood, and Israel Yakovee.
Chip co-founded the Admati Israeli Dance Ensemble and directed the Intersection Dancers in Los Angeles.
Over his career, he has choreographed numerous suites of dances for many groups, including the Intersection Dancers (Los Angeles, California), Admati Israeli Dancers (Los Angeles, California), Brigham Young University Dancers (Provo, Utah), the University of Illinois (Normal, Illinois), and Humboldt State University (Arcata, California).
In the 1970s, Chip taught and led many weekly folk dance evenings at Southern California folk dance coffee houses, including Cafe Danssa, Gypsy Camp, The Intersection, The Museum, the Red Mill House, and Zorba's.
He holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in Human Development. He has taugh Management as well as Sustainability at Presidio School of Management, and has served as an Underwriting Consultant to California's Workers Compensation Insurance Fund.
Dances Chip has taught include Belasičko Oro, Bučimiš, Dabke, Floricica Olteneasca, Lesnoto Oro, Orijent, Pogonisios, and Pravo Horo.
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