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Contact Us

SANNA LONGDEN, a long time dance educator and international dance leader from Evanston, Illinois, who teaches in schools and at educator conferences locally, nationally, and internationally. Sanna’s specialty is to focus on the “folk,” emphasizing ethnic movement, music, styling, and cultural background. Even more, her lessons illustrate how dance and movement activities can encourage community, civility, and cooperative teamwork, as well as creativity, concentration, cultures, and curriculum connections.

A well-known clinician at American Orff-Schulwerk Organization (AOSA), American Organization of Kodaly Educators (OAKE), Music Educators National Conference(MENC), and other music organization events, Sanna teaches in world music seminars and university courses, and is a Silver Burdett/Pearson author and workshop leader (www.pearsonschool.com/music2008). She has also presented at many physical education conferences and workshops, as well as at in-service events for K-12 classroom teachers and specialists, and has spent much time in elementary schools around the U.S. as a resident artist.

In the Chicago area, Sanna teaches courses at universities, choreographs for theater and opera companies, leads family folk dance parties, and participates in integrated arts projects. In addition, she has served as an artist-in-residence through the Illinois Arts Council’s Arts-in-Education program at numerous public and private schools.

A longtime international dance leaders and performers, Sanna and her beloved late husband, Mars, led a popular weekly international dance group in Evanston for over 30 years. Sanna and Mars were members of several exhibition folk dance ensembles and performed and taught internationally, including Spain, Taiwan, and China, and on cruises up the Inside Passage of Alaska, down the Danube, and through the rivers of Russia.

Sanna is coauthor of the book, Cultures & Styling in Folk Dance, written with Phyllis S. Weikart (HighScope Press, 1998), as well as Making Music with Movement & Dance, written with Wendy Taucher (Pearson Education, 2006). She also edits and publishes articles in many folklore magazines. Her seven instructional DVDs with accompanying CDs, featuring favorite folk dances of kids and teachers, are sold worldwide through distributors and on this website. In addition, she is producer of the ancient Passover dance, “The Matzorena,” with the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band, and founder of the Pourparler annual gathering of dance educators.

CHRIS DERFLER, a long-time video writer, producer, director, and editor. With Sanna, Chris Derfler Productions, Inc. produced DVDs 2-7. Chris as a freelancer worked on hundreds of video productions and live events and his company has produced countless videos for numerous clients including Victoria Otto’s Yoga for PE series and the Chicago Youth Symphony’s Music Pathways program. Chris also designed and worked in the Highland Park High School (Illinois) media center, taught beginning and advanced video editing, and beginning and advanced video production for six years at DePaul University, and designed and installed and ran the livestream studios for Sysmex America Inc. He currently is Designer, Media Production and Strategy for Sysmex, while also helping run Folkstyle Productions.

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