Erik Bendix, who grew up in the bay area of San Francisco, began folk dancing at the age of ten. He has taught folk dance in Europe and the United States since 1972. Although he specalizes in dances of Europe, especially from the Balkans, Near East, and the Klezmer culture, his dance research extends as far east as Mongolia and Thailand. He has been teaching extensively in both Europe and North America since 1972.
Erik has studied and taught Albanian, Armenian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Greek, Hungarian, Macedonian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Yiddish folk dances, as well as traditional Mevlevi dervish whirling dances and Appalachian clogging. Among his major teachers were Michael Alpert, Pece Atanasovski, Ivan Donkov, Mile Kolarev, Marcia Rand, and Zuleikha. He has performed as a member of the Green Grass Cloggers in North Carolina and choreographed for the Westwind International Folkdance Ensemble in San Francisco, California.
Erik helped to start the Vlaams Theater Instituut winter folkdance weeks in Switzerland in 1980, co-founded the Mountain Playhop summer folkdance weekend in Asheville, North Carolina in 1984, and has been a regular teacher at both venues ever since.
Erik has taught about 40 weekend dance workshops, including one at June Camp in Wisconsin and Autumn Leaves in Nashville, Tennessee, as well as 15 week-long workshops. He has practiced Tai Chi Chuan for over 20 years, and directs The Art of Alpine Skiing, a ski teaching method that he invented. His workaday profession is as a movement educator--he is an AmSAT-certified teacher of the Alexander Technique and a certified practitioner of Body-Mind Centering.
Trained as an academic philosopher at Oxford and Princeton, Erik is known as a teacher of world dance traditions, and lives with his wife Meredith in Asheville, North Carolina.
His interests in dance also extend to Chinese martial arts and Mevlevi dervish whirling. Moreover, he has played a pivotal role in reintroducing folk dancers in western Europe to using live music, and is well-known for being active in the revival of nearly lost traditions of Klezmer (Yiddish) dance. He is also a published poet, skier, and a certified practitioner of the Alexander Technique that aims to improve one's flexibility, poise, and general ease.
Dances Erik has taught include Adana, Agh Anoush, Aino Kchume, Ajnzerica, Alexandrovsky, Alunelul, Alunelul Batut, Ani More Nuse, Aptalikos, Arcanul, Arcanul BĂtrînesc, Arkan, Avant Deux des Travers, Avre Tu, Baba Djurdja, Ballristos, Balta, Bâtrinesc din Vicov, Bâtrinescu, Batuta de la Mironu, Batuta Ursului, Beet Kroonk, Bitoljski Gajde, Brîul de la Fagaraš, Brîul din Fene, Bulgar (couples and line), Bunjevačko Momačko Kolo, Caluşi, Čekurjankino, Čerkesko, Chaj Zibede, Čupurlika, Ciganski Orijent, Cioful de la Vatra Dornei, Čoček, Coconeasca, Crnogorka, Dans Ţigănesc rar and repede, Dansul Fetelor de la Crihalma, Dar Gorani, Daronee, De a Lungul, De Doi din Banat, Debka Dor, Debki, Devetorka, Devojče Devojče, Devollice, Dobra Nevesto, Dos Tsigale, Dračevka, Drăgăicuţa, Drganovo, Drmeš iz Zdenčine, Džangurica, Džinovsko, Eleno Mome, Erkeško, Erzrumi Shoror, Espan, Floricica Olteneasca, Freylekhs, Früeligswalzer, Gajda Preševari, Gankino, Garoon, Gaselniţa, Gavotte d'Honneur, Giocu di Auşi de la Cobadin, Gjuševska Râčenica, Gorarçe, Graovsko, Hashachar, Honga, Hora, Hora de la Munte, Hora Fetelor, Horon ("Alta es la Luna"), Ibraim Odža, Issios, Işte Hendek, Iţele, Jacok, Janino, Jeni Jol, Jiana, Jochaar, Jugo, Kak po Logu, Kaketke, Kamenopolsko, Karapyet, Kasapsko, Katerino Mome, Knosidl, Kiliç Dansı, Kleistos, Koftos, Kol Dodi, Kolomeyka, Koritsa, Korobushka, Koso Moja, Krajdunavsko, Krivo Palanačko, Krivo Žensko, Kruševsko, Kujawiak Niebieski, Kujawiak Weselny, Kukunešo, Kukuvička, Kulsko, Kun Verbunk, Le'or Chiuchech, Lesnoto, Lipa Marýca, Lyrichisky Khorovod, Ma Na'avu, Maçka Yollan, Malenky Tanets, Malešvsko, Maško Beranče, Maško Romsko, Maškoto, Matura de la Sînnicolaul Mare, Mavromata, Memede, Mîndrele, Minka, Moj Hatixhe, Moravsko Kolo, Murešanka, Nebesko Kolo, Nestinarski, Nevestinsko, Odeno, Oğuzlu, Oromnia, Ovčepolska Potrčulka, Ovčepolsko, Pajdušca, Pajduško, Patsh Tants, Pavushka, Pembe, Petrunino, Pogonishte, Pogonisios, Pogreši Pavlina, Polka Koketka, Polka od Przeworska, Poskakuša, Povrateno, Pravo, Pravo Lesnoto, Prvo Severnjaško, Pravo Trakijsko, Prekid Kolo, Preplet Kolo, Preskaăanka, Raca, Radomirsko, Rakefet, Rampwong, Ratevka, Reyhan, Roata, Rhodopsko, Sa from Bujanovc, Sabrali sa se Sabrali, Sachaki, Samokovsko, Sandansko, Saračinsko, Sarakatsani Tsamikos, Se'e Yonah, Sej Sej Bop, Selbviert, Severnjaško Pajduško, Shavalee & Voske Aparanjan, Shoror, Šota, Ūira, Sîba, Sîba de la Cahul, Sîba de la Calafat, Sîba pe Loc, Sitno Vlaško, Skudrinka, Slavej mi Pieje, Slavonsko Kolo, Šopski Lazarski, Šopsko Petrunino, Souflioutouda, Stari Šotiš, Staro, Staro Tikveško, Staro Žensko Krsteno, Strumička Petorka, Studenečko Tursko Pelivansko, Sukačko Kolo, Syrtos, Székely Friss, Székeley Verbunk, Ta Bantaua, Tamzara, Tamzara Arabkir, Tarantella, Terkisher, Tiko Nad Richkoyu, Timonya, Tinten Banat, Topansko, Trakijski, Trei PazeŠte Bătrînesc, Trei PazeŠte de la Goicea Mare, Trilişesti, Tsakh Bar, Tsamikos Epirou, Tsamikos Kleftikos, U Kruševo Ogin Gori, U Šest Koraka, Užička Čarlama, Valle Jarnana, Varnensko, Vengerke, Vlaško, Vodarki, Vranjanka, Vrni se Vrni, Yaffo, Zamruknalo Maloj Momiče, Zaplet Kolo, Zaroura, Žensko Beranče, Žensko Čamče, Žensko Pušteno, and Zibnšrit.