International Sessions at Pinewoods Camp

2024 Staff

Richard Powers & Emily Saletan (international and American couple dance)

  • Richard Powers is a full-time instructor in dance history and contemporary social dance forms at Stanford University Dance Division, Department of Theater and Performance Studies. His principal focus since 1975 has been social dance forms, from the Renaissance to today. Specializations include 19th century American and European social dance, dances of the Ragtime Era and Jazz Ages, and currently evolving vernacular dance forms.

Emily Saletan (international and American couple dance)

  • Emily Saletan (any/all pronouns) has been dancing at Pinewoods since they were in their mother’s womb. She is now pursuing a master’s in music at Stanford University, having first majored in neuroscience and minored in music and dance. On campus Emily can also be found teaching an introductory folk dance course and partnering Richard’s social dance classes.

Efie Derksen (Bosnian dance) & Hans Derksen (accordion)

  • From an early age, Efie has been surrounded by music and dance from the Balkans: her father made the music, and her mother danced! Through her many travels to Bosnia and Serbia, Efie fell in love with the folklore of these countries. In 2017, Efie had to opportunity to dance for three months with the ensemble “Veselin Maslesa” in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina. There she collected new dance material and also found a second home.

Patrick Yacono (leader: The Flying Squirrel Orchestra)

  • Patrick Yacono has been playing for international folk dances since the early 90's, mostly on clarinet, piano, and assorted Bulgarian wind instruments. He is a member of several bands, including Zdravets, the Pinewoods Band, Shining Moon, and the Flying Squirrel Orchestra, and has been playing international folkdance music at Labor Day camp since 2009.

Robert Penny (musician)

  • Cellist Robert Penny enjoys playing for English dances, porchfests, the Boston Scottish Fiddle Club Orchestra, and international folk dances in the Boston area. After earning his Masters in performance from Indiana University in 1986, he played with Boston Baroque and numerous other freelance gigs. He is also a Software Architect at Rocket Software based in Waltham.

Julia Poirier (musician)

  • Julia Poirier has been providing live music for dancing for nearly 3 decades. She sings and plays things with strings and frets, and is a member of several Boston-area dance bands, among them The All-Girl Band, the Goat Bands, The Pinewoods Band, The Flying Squirrel Orchestra, and the Pixton-Poirier Trio.
    Her current fixations (aside from music) include turning her back yard into a pollinator haven, losing the Covid Forty Pounds (which somehow began accumulating long before the pandemic actually hit), and finding the time to write her job description so that she can retire.

David Skidmore (musician)

  • David Skidmore has been a folk dancer, teacher, and dance musician in the Boston area since the early 1970s, performing with the Mandala Folk Dance Ensemble and playing in various bands based in Boston, including the Cambridge Folk Orchestra, the Pinewoods Band and Zdravets, a group that plays traditional Bulgarian & Macedonian dance music. He is primarily a percussionist, playing Bulgarian tapan and dumbek, but he also plays clarinet, pennywhistle, kaval, floyera, bass, occasional jaw harp, and banjo.

Dana Sussman (musician)

  • Dana Sussman has been singing for as long as she can remember. So after discovering international folk dancing in 1992, starting to learn the music came shortly thereafter. She currently sings with Shining Moon, Zdravets, and the Flying Squirrel Orchestra.

Brian Wilson (musician)

  • Brian Wilson has been playing for international folk dances in the Boston area for more than thirty years, as a member of Flying Tomatoes, Pinewoods Band, Shining Moon, and the Flying Squirrel Orchestra.
    He is equally versatile on fiddle and clarinet, but also enjoys singing and playing a variety of other instruments. He particularly loves to play Hardanger fiddle or nyckelharpa for Scandinavian dancing when the opportunity arises.

Niki Yeracaris (musician)

  • Niki Yeracaris has been surrounded by international folk music as long as she can remember, having attended Pinewoods, FAC dances, and NEFFA her whole life. She studied classical violin, viola, and piano as a kid (and some electric bass!), but she has always loved folk music most of all.
    She graduated from Berklee College of Music in 2022 with a degree in Contemporary Writing and Production, and she is looking into a career in video game audio and/or writing for musical theater. For the moment she enjoys working at a wine and cheese store in downtown Boston. She is thrilled to be getting more involved in the folk dance community and playing with the Flying Squirrel Orchestra this summer!