Sherry Cochran


Balkan, international

Sherry Cochran 2011


Sherry Cochran 1911 Sherry Cochran was always a dancer but truly found her passion in a folkdance class at the University of Arizona in 1968. She soon became an avid folkdancer, teacher, and performer.

After moving to Los Angeles, largely because of the active folkdance scene and the friends she had made at camps, Sherry soon found herself teaching five or six nights a week at coffeehouses and local recreational groups. Her humor, energy, attention to styling, and accessible teaching style made her a popular dance instructor at clubs such as Café Danssa, Calliópe's, Horo, Intersection, Open Circle, and Veselo Selo. She has taught at folkdance camps and festivals including Berkeley Festival, California Traditional Music Society (CTMS) Summer Solstice Festival, Camp Hess Kramer, Equinox Festival, Folk Dance Federation of California's Treasurer's Ball, Idyllwild Folk Dance Camp, and Ojai Festival, and has been a teaching partner for master teachers Jaś Dziewanoski, Gene Ciejka, Athan Karras, and others at the California Statewide Festival, Idyllwild Folk Dance Camp, MidAmerica Folkdance Camp, and University of San Diego Folk Dance Conference. Although she has been teaching international dance for many years, Sherry has become known best as a Balkan dance teacher because she is said to have an extraordinary facility for breaking down the steps and intricate rhythms and also has what is probably the longest running weekly Balkan dance class anywhere, starting in 1976 at the Horo, moving to the California Jukebox Club, Café Danssa, and finally to its current home at the Pacific Arts Center.

Over the years, Sherry has performed with the Folklanders, Interlandia Dancers, Poliskie Iskrie, and her own ensemble Biljana. She has served on committees and boards, including the AMAN Folk Ensemble Board of Directors and the Idyllwild, San Diego, and Santa Barbara, Folk Dance Conference Camp Committees. She envisioned and was director of the Los Angeles Folkdance Extravaganza (L.I.F.E.), the first all live music and dance camp in southern California. She also was instrumental in producing all of the Intersection Reunions. Always working hard to promote folkdancing and live music, she has hosted many visiting teachers and musicians and has filmed and professionally edited videotapes for dance events. She is very proud of being a truly kick-ass disk jockey.

Sherry continues to guest teach at local groups including Café AMAN and CalTech and in 2013 will teach at the world premier of Brasslands at the Los Angeles Film Festival. You can find her weekly at Friday Night L.I.F.E. in West Los Angeles.

Sherry is the is the Director of Pharmacy at the University of Southern California Medical Plaza and is married to Michael Kirk.