Israeli folk dance celebrates March Madness in Edmonton with Spring recital: March 23

(EJNews) – Aviv Israeli Folk Dance Association (AIFDA) – the Israeli folk dance performance group that grew from a few adult dancers to a company of three groups plus recreational circle dance, is looking forward to a busy spring.

As President Stacey Leavitt-Wright noted, “The saying goes, where there are 2 there are 3, and we have 3 wonderful things happening this March.” She went on to tell us about the Shemesh, Mayim and Aviv Dancers travelling to Winnipeg upon the invitation from Beyachad, the Israeli Folk dance group there who had attended the Festival Hatzafon 2 years ago, a Casino scheduled March 26/27, 2017 and a dance performance under the auspices of Festival Hatzafon.

“Travelling to Winnipeg with our dancers is such an incredible opportunity for our teens,” explained Artistic Director Sari Uretsky Leung.  “The excitement and bonding from the trip itself carries over into the formation of the groups, but more importantly, it fosters the relationships that they have already started to build with these dancers when they came to participate in our Festival a few years ago.”

AIFDA is thankful to those who have supported their fundraiser, she added, and combined with the help of the National Council of Jewish Women, the social program will be a wonderful blend of the traditional, such as Shabbat Dinner, as well as a visit to the Canadian Museum of Human Rights with a guided tour, and a fun “Paint Nite” with their new friends.

“Our organization is completely run and administered by volunteers,” explained Leavitt-Wright.  “Trips, events, and casinos are all organized and staffed by volunteers, many of whom are no longer dancers or parents of dancers but still value and support our mission. We are very excited to have our first casino this year as the funds raised will allow us to continue with our programs at an affordable price, while also providing Edmonton with a cultural experience around Israeli dance. With only a handful of shifts left to fill, the opportunity to support the mission by volunteering at the casino is soon running out! If you are interested, please contact Michelle Chez at”

Leavitt-Wright went on to say, “Having a casino will also allow us to continue with Festival Hatzafon, an anticipated event in our community, without having to seek very much sponsorship. This year we decided to take a break from hosting a larger scale Festival as our volunteer resources were already being maxed out from everything that is going on this month.”

Don’t fret – Sari Uretsky Leung will still ensure that Edmontonians can get their fill of Israeli dance and culture as Festival Hatzafon will sponsor a performance to showcase the numbers that AIFDA has been working on this year, as well as the up and comers with the Rikud Academy.

“We know how much our younger dancers look forward to performing on a real stage and having their friends, family and community be able to come watch and tap their feet to the music. As such, we will host a show on March 23, 2017 at 7 p.m. in the west end at the Grant MacEwan John L. Haar Theatre, located at 10045 – 156 Street in Edmonton.”

For those interested, Israeli Circle Dance continues twice a week – Sunday nights at Lecky School of Dance and Tuesday nights at Talmud Torah. Drop in fees apply. Further information please contact Meirav Or at

Those interested in dancing with AIFDA or Rikud can contact Sari Uretsky Leung at

Tickets for Festival Hatzafon will be $10 available at TT offices in March or at the door on March 23.

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