Larry Weiner is a well-known expert in traditional dance, music and customs of the Balkan Peninsula. He has made numerous field trips to the former Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Italy, Hungary and Greece to record and film folk music and dance as living social traditions. As both a dedicated teacher and excellent dancer, he has a knack for making seemingly complex dances and rhythms accessible and fun for dancers at all experience levels. As he says, "It's not how you do the dance, but how you feel when you do the dance that counts." Larry has taught at camps throughout the United States, including both East and West Coast Balkan music and dance camps, KlezKamp, Stockton Folk Dance Camp, Mendocino Folklore Camp, and numerous weekend folk dance workshops. Larry also plays tupan (traditional big drum found in the Balkans) in several metro DC area bands, and has served as co-director with Margaret Loomis for Old World Music and Dance Camps.
He was one of the founders of Buffalo Gap Camp for the Cultural Arts and Buffalo Gap International Folk Dance Camp, and currently serves as International Program Co-Coordinator for the annual Bulgarian Folk Music & Dance Seminar, taking place in the lovely, historic town of Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Larry has been involved with Balkan traditional music and dance since the early 1960s, and has been teaching international folk dancing in the Washington, DC area since 1964. During that time he has regularly taught at the Friday Night International Folk Dance in Greenbelt, MD and its predecessor folk dance groups. He has frequently taught at metro DC area music and dance festivals, has conducted folk culture programs for the US State Department, and has presented seminars at the North American Folk Music and Dance Alliance’s annual conference.
Larry is also an avid collector of folk music from the Balkans and has catalogued and remastered thousands of old recordings.