Oktoberfest 2018 staff

Teachers

Tineke and Maurits van Geel

Tineke van Geel: Tineke has been active as an international folk dance teacher since 1975. She has done extensive field research in the dance and music of Armenia and received an award from its government for being “Ambassador of the Armenian dance and culture.”

Tineke has taught throughout Europe and in the US, Canada, Australia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan. She is known as an outstanding instructor who breaks down the dance patterns step by step in a relaxed and clear manner. Popular hits from her workshops over the years include Adana, De Vals Zeeman, Nazeli Bar, Ashun Daje Mori, and Yar Ko Parag.

Maurits van Geel: Maurits also has been active since 1975 as a dance teacher and choreographer. From 1989 to 2011, he was the Artistic Director of Het Internationaal Danstheater in Amsterdam, where he was responsible for the annual dance productions of this professional group. Part of his job involved extensive dance research all over the world in order to prepare for these programs. His spirited teaching of international folk dance often focuses on the ethnic diversity of the Caucasus and Roma culture. Popular dances from his FAC Pinewoods 2013 classes include Cine Are Noroc Are, Komt Vrienden in het Ronde, Syrtos Kitrinou, and Tó Milo.

Maurits has taught in the US, Canada, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and a number of European countries. Recently, Maurits and Tineke have often taught together, each with their own specialty. In the summer of 2018, in cooperation with Turkish dance teachers Turgay Onatli and Ahmet Demirbag, they organized and led a very successful dance and culture tour to Armenia, Georgia, and Turkey.

Andy Taylor-Blenis continues the tradition of yodeling at Oktoberfest with a workshop in the Austrian yodeling style taught by Werner von Trapp at Oktoberfest 1960 in Stowe, VT. Andy will also teach workshops in international dance. She is the artistic director of the dance troupe Mladost Folk Ensemble and the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society–Boston Branch Demonstration Team.

Our music workshops are taught by expert leaders from the Pinewoods BandJulia Poirier teaching singing and Patrick Yacono teaching instrumental music.

Musicians

The Pinewoods Band, directed by Tom Pixton: Legendary for their versatility and endurance, The Pinewoods Band has played at festivals throughout the US and Canada since 1991 under the masterful leadership of Tom Pixton. Tom, Barbara Pixton, Patrick Yacono, Ralph Iverson, Brian Wilson, Julia Poirier, and David Skidmore provide their outstanding repertoire of international folk dance music for our evening parties.

Administrative staff

Jo Crawford, Oktoberfest coordinator
Laura DeCesare, assistant Oktoberfest coordinator