The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH)
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Information: Rebecca Tsai, teacher of Taiwanese, Chinese, and Balkan dance.
Rebecca “Dong-dong” Tsai grew up in Keelung, Taiwan, a Port City in northern Taiwan. Rebecca was first introduced to Chinese folk music and dances while in elementary school and started in performing folk dances at age of 10. Her first exposure to International folk dances was during her college years was in 1980. She had opportunities to perform numerous dances, such as Oberek (Poland), Bamboo Dance and Pandanggo sa Ilaw (Candle Light Dance, Philippines), Crihalma (Romania), Berezka (Russia) while in college. Later she became a lead dancer of an inter-college dance company that was organized, managed and performed all by fellow college students, a first during that time.
Rebecca had to suspend her dance interest temporarily in the 1990 until early 2000 to raise her family. She was reunited with her old dance friends in 2005 in a memorial event which reignited her folk dance interest. Since then she has participated in various dance camps in the United States, Taiwan, and other parts of Asia.
In late 2000 she became attracted by revitalized Chinese traditional dances, especially those from minority groups, such as Mongolia, Tibet, Xien-Jiang; Dai, Yii, and Miao (the last three are in South West China), etc. She traveled to China to have firsthand experiences on those dances. Besides traditional Chinese dances, she also joined a Hawaiian Hula Dancing Company as well as participating in Bollywood dances.
Rebecca was a principle organizer/manager of a dance group in Taipei, Taiwan. Besides her own group, she was very active in folk dance related activities in Taiwan.
She moved to California, in 2013 which gave her opportunities to connect with International Master folk dance Teachers and introduce them to folk dance camp organizers in Taiwan. Through her connection, Lilian Vlandi (Greek), Miroslav "Bata" Marčetić (Serbia), and Genci Kastrati (Albania) were invited to teach in Taiwan.
In recent years she became a popular guest teacher to some dance groups in California and was invited to become a disk jockey and a resident teacher of a very well established folkdance group in Silicon Valley. In 2015 she joined Yao Yong Dance Company, a very well know Chinese Traditional Dance Group in the San Jose area.
Dances Rebecca has taught include Aj Mamo, Chef, Dance of Romance, Gun Gun Guna Re, He Tang Yue Se (Moonlight on a Lotus Pond), Hey Gidi Ercüment, Heaven Inside of Us, Serez, Sobótki, Svadba, Taiwan Hau, Thousands of Miles Away, Valle Shqiptare, Ya Da Kalinushku Lomala, and Yue Tao Hua.
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