Russian Romani ~ Dance & Dish

 Cultural Dance and Cooking Classes – 1 Sunday/month @ 4-5:30 PM

Like to dance?  Like to cook?  Longing to fulfill your wanderlust but stuck at home?  Let’s travel together without leaving your kitchen!  Hannah will teach you how to make an easy, nutritious dish (or two) inspired by a culinary tradition from Morocco, Turkey, Russia, Iran, Spain, Egypt, and more. Afterwards, you will learn a dance from that country. 

Exercise, travel, and food – how great is that? Contact Hannah to learn more.

Most meals are vegan and gluten-free. Feel free to cook along or just enjoy the show!



Next Dance & Dish ~ Sunday September 20, 2020 @ 4-5:30 on Zoom

Learn to make a Romani-inspired spiced vegan soup and enjoy a lesson in Russian Romani (Gypsy) danceMessage me to reserve your spot.


We all wish we could travel, don’t we? How about doing the next best thing and take a journey through the senses without leaving the kitchen! Celebrate that curious human impulse to explore the world through learning about a traditionally nomadic culture accustomed to life on the road. 

The Roma (Gypsies) have been instrumental in developing and transmitting some of humanity’s most outstanding intangible achievements: music, song, theater, and dance. Like people worldwide have done through time, the Roma expressed their shared life experience through the performing arts within their community, perhaps picking up an instrument or singing a soulful song after a family meal cooked over a campfire. Some of them also performed professionally for gadje (non-Roma) as singers, dancers, and musicians.

Given the Roma traditionally possess an oral history with no written culture, the performing arts were not only an occupation appropriate for life on the road but a powerful vehicle for self-expression and community identity. Like American blues, Romani music emphasizes emotional intensity as a cathartic means of transcendence and has had a comparatively powerful effect on world music traditions.

Historically the Roma may not have had the culinary luxuries afforded classical and courtly cultures nor settled peoples who benefitted from agriculture, trade, and commerce. However, the ingenuity and adaptation required to feed a family with limited resources is no small feat. Making filling, nutritious meals on a budget is a useful skill we can all develop.

You will learn to make a Romani-inspired spiced vegan soup using basic staples you may already have in your cupboard. Ingredients and instructions will be provided upon registration, though cooking along is optional. After we make the soup, I’ll give a mini-lesson in Russian Romani dance. If you own a shawl or long full skirt, have it handy. You will also get a soulfully energetic playlist of Russian Romani music for you to enjoy!

Ruska Roma (Russian Romani dance) ~ In the 19th century, Gypsy choruses became quite popular among the Russian elite, who had romantic notions about the Romani way of life and expressed these idealizations through literature and art. Following the Gypsy choruses came the Romen Theater, which opened in Moscow in 1931 and featured ensembles of dancers, singers, and musicians performing operettas with Romani themes. With an established history as a theatrical genre, Russian Romani dance blends traditional elements, such as foot-stomping, with theatrical staging and takes inspiration from Russian aesthetics. Joyful and energetic, the Ruska Roma women’s dance uses a wide full skirt in large graceful swirling movements, expressive arms held high over the head, exuberant turns and backbends, and exciting percussive footwork. 

Remember, if you have a long full skirt or shawl, have it handy. If not, no worries!