WelcomeWho: I am a quite regular Belgian guy who likes to dance to traditional music, or perhaps more adequate, to music that has its roots in certain traditions and that is played for dancing within those traditions. After all, it is not just the tune or rhythm that tells me what and how to dance, but in the first place the musician or the band. When dancing, I am just a translator: music into motion.
I have been dancing since I was six. I was lucky in a way: as very young child I was sent by my parents to summer holiday camps where workshops in folk dancing and bodily expression were offered. I couldn't get enough of it. Many years later, a friend invited me to join a band. We played primarily Irish, Flemish, French and Breton dance music. We became part of the second traditional music and dance revival in Europe. No better school to understand what it takes to be a good dancer and to play for dancers.
What: I have some preferences, of course. I was introduced to breton music and dance in 1976 and never finished enjoying it. The French "music trad" revival with Malicorne, Perlinpinpin Folc, La Bamboche and Gentiane brought me the bourrées, branles, French scottish and mazurka,
later followed by asymmetric waltzes and mazurkas in 5, 8 and 11 beat rather than 3. These couple dances require a good lead through which I acquired a taste for Argentinian Tango.
I discovered Irish sean nos, ceili and set dancing when I started to realize that age would prevend me soon to continue competing in Riverdance style, the modern form of traditional Irish step dancing introduced by Michael Flatley. From there, it was a small "step" to embark on Flamenco and Sevillana.
Coming to Buffalo NY in 2006 deprived me from the latter: no well qualified Flamenco teachers here. But I discovered contra dancing and with it the many bands that spice up the dance tunes in intriguing ways.
Where: I dance wherever I can, time permitting, either participating in the crowd or teaching. I am a regular at the bi-weekly Queen City Contra Dances and the weekly set dancing in Buffalo, NY. I teach sean nos at the Buffalo Irish Center on Tuesdays. I give workshops in French traditional and Bal Folk dances, either at large events, or upon invitation for special occasions and have been doing this for many years in Europe using Celtic Bompa as nickname, passing on the skills from my teachers there. Read more about my experience or browse the old Celtic Bompa website that I maintained until mid 2006. I will gradually integrate that information in the new website that I started, taking care of the many external links that are broken.
What about you? I would love to see you on the dance floor. Invite me for a waltz, but do not be surprised when we end up dancing a mazurka when the band plays one, perhaps inadvertently. Browse this site, to find out what these dances might offer you. It is fun and friendship for me. I can not imagine it would be anything else for you ...