Location: Goleta, Calif.
Occupation: I am a first-year graduate student in ethnomusicology at UC Santa Barbara.
Connection to Balkan music/dance: I’ve been playing in a Balkan music meet-up group this year led by Chubritza members Linnea Mandell and Craig Kurumada. Once a month, musicians and dancers unite for a night of Balkan music and dance in Arcata!
Number of times at Balkan camp: This was my first time at camp. But most certainly not my last. Studied at camp: Gudulka and Bulgarian music in general.
Memorable moment at camp: I was impressed by people’s willingness to step outside their comfort zones and into their alter egos. Everyone was encouraged to try everything. Musicians could dance. Dancers could pick up an instrument. Gudulka players could even try their hand at Albanian music! It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize that the same Ruth Hunter of Dromeno doubled as the diva lead singer of The Fetatones. But when I put two and two together, it made complete sense: Balkan camp is a place for experimentation, more importantly, FUN! As a first-time camper, I felt instantly at home because of this supportive and fun-loving environment.