David Paletz

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Israeli
Israeli

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David Paletz grew up in Israel but did not learn Israeli dancing there.

In 1969, while attending the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), a friend encouraged him to take a break from studying for finals and take in some Israeli dancing at Cafe Danssa, a folk dance coffeehouse in West Los Angeles. It was there that David "fell in love" with Israeli dance.

By 1971, David was an established Israeli dance teacher at Danssa and in 1984, co-founded the three-day dance conference, Camp Galil, in San Luis Obispo, California, where dancers came from all over the world to learn from internationally acclaimed Israeli dance choreographers.

With demand high for David to start his own specialized sessions, he began teaching classes with four attendees in the San Fernando Valley, a northern suburb of Los Angeles, at the Arthur Murray Studios (Van Nuys). Within two years, his popularity had more than 200 students taking his classes.

David moved to Tucson, Arizona, where he taught at the Jewish Community Center. Then, in 1995, he moved north to Phoenix, eventually leading Israeli dancing, community events, and other functions across the valley. But he didn't forget his students in Tucson, driving a 200-mile round trip each week to teach his classes there.

Dances that David taught include Arava Arava (Shir Habokrim), Birkt Hamazon (Tsur Mishelo Achalnu), Gan Naul, Roza Roza, Sissu Et Yerushalayim, Valentino, and Yerushalayim Shel Zahav.