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Yo'av Ashriel was born at Kibbutz Ramat David, in the Jezreel Valley, in Israel. He comes from a family of writers. At and early age, he became interested in music and started to play the accordion for Kibbutz performances and folk dance evenings. In 1947, the Kibbutz sent him as their representative to the first folk dance leadership seminar in Israel led by Gurdit Kadman. From encouragement he received from Gurdit, he decided then and there to switch from music to dance.
Yo'av began creating his own dances and became more and more involved in teaching folk dance. After serving in the army for two years, he left the Kibbutz and moved to Tel Aviv. There he married a dancer, and he and his wife Mirale developed such an interest in folk dance that both of them began teaching in Tel Aviv practically every night. He continued to choreograph around 70 dances, some of them very popular. The main influence for his dances was the melody and the images stemming from his life in the Kibbutz.
Yo'av directed several performing groups simultaneously and his own group toured Europe.
Dances Yo'av has taught include 12 Hayerachim (Shneim Asar Hayerachim), 12 Tons (Shteim Esreh Ton), 16 Tons (Sixteen Tons), Ad Or Haboker, Al Telchi, Ana Halach Dodech (Ana Pana Dodech), Ba'aviv Tashuvi Chazara, Banu Choshech Lageresh, Bat Tsurim, Bechazar Harabbi, Belev Echad, Besdot Bet-Lechem, Bim Bam Bom (Shney Haverim Yetzeu Laderach), Bo Beshalom, Bo'i Ima, Brazil Cha, Chabibi, Chad Mecherev (Shibolim), Chag Purim, Chag Yovel, Chanaleh Hitbalbelah, Chapes Oti, Dayagim, Debka Chida, Debka Daluna, Debka Le'Adama, Diyo Diyo, Eipi Tombi (Halochem), El Borot Hamayim, En Den Dino, Eretz Israel Yafa, Eretz Tropit Yafa (Yeash Li), Eretz Zavat Chalav, Erev Ba II, Espania Kani, Estleinu Ba'emek, Etzleinu Bachatzer (Orchim Lakayitz), Ez Vakeves, Gilu Hagalim, Gogli Gogli, Ha'ankor (Ankor), Hadov Hatzahov, Hafinjan, Hakad, Hakormim, Harabbi Holech, Hashkdi'a Porachat, Hashoshana Porachat, Hava Nagila, Havals Harishon, Harvals Hasheini, Havenu Shalom Aleichem, Hazebrash, Hineh Achalela, Hit the Road Jack, Hitrag'ut, Hora Bialik, Hora Hanoar, Hora Israel, Hora Medura, Hora Nirkoda, Hora Tov, Irissim, Israel Israel, Itach Biladaich, Itach Uvilada'ich, Jambo (Kulam Halchu Lajumbo), Kach Holchim Hashotlim, Karev Yom, Ken Latzipor, Keshehashkedia Porachat, Klayzmer (Kleizmer), Kol RIna Vishu'a, Korim Lanu Lalechet, Kvarnit (Hakvarnit), Lamidbar (Lech Lamidbar), Lashafan Yesh Bayit, Layalda Baya'ar, Layla Layla (Tni Yadech Li), Layla Ratov, Leila Leila, Lech Lamidbar, Lech Dodi (Likrat Shabbat), Leil Emesh, Lichvod Hachanukah, Likrat Shabbat Kalah (Lecha Dodi), Makhela Aliza, Mazal Tov, Mi Barechev Mi Baregel, Mi Yesh Lo Riva Kazot, Mi Yitneni Of (Shirat Hanoded), Mi Yivne Li Bayit, Mitzva Tanz (Rikud Mitzva), Naomi (Ani Cholem Al Naomi), Nasser Mechake Li Rabin, Ne'achez Bechol Mishlat, Nigunim, Nitzaney Shalom, Nitzanim Niru Va'arets, Or Bachadarim, Pa'amey Aviv, Pana Hageshem, Pashtu Kvassim (Petzachf Bezemer), Paso Doble, Perach Halilach, Pil Pilon, Puki, Rad HaLayla, Rakefet, Rei'ach Tapuach Odem Shani, Reidat Adama, Rikud Hakad (La'ahuvi Asiti Kad), Rikud Mitzva, Roeh Veroah, Ru'ah Aviv, Sapri Tama, Sar Hamemunah, Serba, Sevivon Sov Sov, Shaliach Ratz Barechov, Shayara Shelanu, Sher (Simchat Chasidim), Shiboley Paz, Shibolim (Chad Mecherev), Shir Hatarata, Shir Same'ach, Shiro Shel Aba (Yibaneh Hamikdash), Shugar Shugar, Shuv Yotze Hazemer, Siman Tov Umazal Tov, Simlatech Hashzura, Sissu Vesimchu, Snoopy (Dragin' the Line), Sovevuni, Stosa Lo Stroma, Sugar Sugar, Sultana, Ta'am Haman, Tchol Hamitpahat, Ten Katef, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, Tzamah Luska Tzamah, Tzemed Basadeh, Tzion Tamati, Tziyuney Haderach (Shirat Hanoded), Tzmadim (Tzena Tzena), Uri Tzafon, Vals La'ohavim, Veheshiv Lev Avot, Viva Espania, Yaldati Marussia, Yarad Dodi Legano (Dodi Yarad Legano), Yatzanu At, Yemey Hachanukah, Yesh Li Chag, Yesusum Midbar, Yibanei Hamigdash (Shiro Shel Aba), Yom Tov Lanu, and Yonatan Hakatan.