Michael Kuharski started folk dancing with the large and lively group in Madison (Wisconsin) in 1969 and has been a passionate participant, leader, and teacher there ever since. Regular visits keep him in close contact with both recreational and ethnic dance communities throughout the upper Midwest.
Michael has made a dozen journeys through the Balkans to participate in the folkways of the people (particularly Bulgarians, Albanians, Macedonians, Serbians, and Roma) as well as to collect dances, music, instruments, costumes, wonderful friends, and instructive anecdotes. He speaks several languages of the region and studies them all.
Michael plays accordion and ocarina, thumps a Balkan bass drum, and transcribes folk songs and dance tunes "by the score."
Michael married Nancy Yugo on August 22, 1987. The wedding was celebrated with dance by over three hundred guests. Their honeymoon trip was one of six great adventures through the Balkans which they shared. Nancy passed away from cancer on April 8, 2011 -- she was 64 years old.
Dances Michael has taught include Armenian Shuffle, Gijuševska Rŭčenica, and Svornato.