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Erica began Israeli dancing in New York as a child alongside her father, an accomplished and enthusiastic folk dancer. “I can’t remember a time we didn’t dance,” she says. Since that early start, Erica has taught Israeli dance on four continents (so far!), to old and young alike. She is well known to dancers in California from her teaching at Stockton, the Laguna festival, North/South, and other events.
While a student at Brandeis University in Boston, she performed with several area Israeli dance troupes and was the director of B'yachad (the university's student group). She branched out into other kinds of folk dance as a member and choreographer of the Mandala Folkdance Ensemble, and she later danced with the Collage Dance Ensemble, with whom she competed at the Golden Karagöz Folk Dance Competition in Turkey in 2003.
After receiving her BA in linguistics and cognitive science from Brandeis, Erica worked in software development in the Boston area. She spent the summer of 2004 as director of dance at Camp Alonim, a Jewish overnight camp where Israeli dancing is truly an obsession among the campers. (Camp Alonim is adjacent to the Brandeis-Bardin campus, where Fall Camp will take place.) That experience was the beginning of a rewarding new career of teaching Israeli dance, both in the U.S. and internationally. “When I got a call asking if I was interested in the dance director position at Camp Alonim, I realized I had a chance to spread the joy of what I loved doing and turn my avocation into a vocation,” Erica recalls.
After working for nearly eight years in software development in Boston, Erica quit her job, moved to Los Angeles, and has been teaching Israeli dance ever since, both in the US and abroad. When she arrived in LA, she immediately joined the Keshet Chaim Dance Ensemble and danced with that Israeli performance company for about eight years.
While in LA, she taught Israeli dance at several schools and synagogues, including the New Community Jewish Day School, where she also coordinated their long and short Israel exchange programs for tenth graders, in addition to running the popular "Mostly Couples" Israeli dance session.
In 2014, Erica returned to the Boston area as a grad student and taught Israeli dance at the Newton Jewish Community Center. The following year, she joined the education faculty of the Cornerstone Fellowship of the Foundation for Jewish Camp and launched Ma'agal, an initiative to improve Israeli dance education at schools and camps across the nation. After 12 wonderfully successful summers at Camp Alonim, Erica now spends time every summer traveling from camp to camp across the US doing Israeli dance residencies.
Erica earned an MBA and an MA in Jewish professional leadership from the Hornstein Program at Brandeis University. She is now the director of program and operations at JPRO Network, and is delighted to help support all those who work for the Jewish nonprofit community in North America.
She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Dustin (Dustø), and daughter, Emmy, both of whom will be at Fall Camp.
ERICA IS GREAT WITH DANCERS OF ALL AGES.
ENJOY ERICA'S POSITIVE HIGH ENERGY