Stan Isaacs

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Israeli
Israeli, international

Stan Isaacs

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Stan Isaacs is a folk dance leader and teacher in the San Francisco Bay area. Stan began teaching folk dance around 1958 while attending Antioch College in Ohio. In the mid-1980s, he discovered Vintage Dancing when he sponsored a workshop with Richard Powers at his folk dance group.

Stan arrived in the Bay Area in 1964, and soon began teaching at the UC Berkeley folk dance club, but he also danced in San Francisco, Menlo Park, and Stanford. During this period he taught workshops as the opportunity arose, and taught at Kolo Festivals, which were memorable occasions in San Francisco.

In 1971, there was an opportunity to work in Israel, where he spent the next three years programming computers during the day, and teaching folk dances in the kibbutz at night. Israeli dancing was already well established, but the people were always eager to leam new dances, and to improve their styling. Stan recalls that there was a lot of enthusiasm, even under difficult circumstances.

Returning to San Francisco in 1974, Stan joined the Westwind folk dance ensemble which had just moved to Berkeley from Los Angeles under the direction of Neal Sandier. He also performed with Khadra for a brief time until he found work, and opportunity for teaching on the Peninsula.

About 1979, Stan formed the famous Panachorean group in Palo Alto with the able assistance of Bob Fraley, and Stan's wife-to-be, Karen Kalinsky. This happy arrangement lasted for about 10 years, until Bob had to withdraw because of family pressures and the number of folkdancers declined until Stan just couldn't keep the class going.

Around 1986, Stan began to teach vintage dancing, with the help and participation of Richard Powers, who found that by using choreography, folk dancers could leam vintage dancing more easily.

In 1987, Stan and his wife started the Pomander Club, a venue for Vintage Dancing in Palo Alto, California. The club meets weekly to learn and dance vintage dances. Originally, the club concentrated on the Ragtime Era (circa 1900-1920) but has since broadened its repertoire of dances to cover the 1800-1935 period.

With his wife, Stan has also taught at various folk dance workshops and ragtime festivals in the San Francisco Bay Area and other parts of California.

Dances Stan has taught include Ais Giorgis, I Trata, Ikariotikos, Legnala Dana, Leriko, Papuri, and Srpkinja Kolo.