Ethnic Arts Center
By Dick Oakes
CLICK AN IMAGE TO ENLARGE
Gypsy Camp (Folk Arts Center) was formed after the original Gypsy Camp Folk Dance Cafe, run by Mihai David, closed. Mihai graciously allowed Julie Nelson to name their new enterprise after the old "digs." The new Gypsy Camp is located at 3265 Motor Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90034.
The Gypsy Folk Dance Ensemble, an informal, friendly dance company, rehearses at this location on Saturdays and Mondays. During the week there are various dance classes and occasionally there are dance parties. The ensemble does performances for Retirement Communities and Senior Centers where folks are not always completely aware of everything they're doing — but where they so appreciate the ensemble coming in and bringing some life and attention to them. Hardly a day goes by that they don't have someone performing somewhere!
When the group performs, they are paid for each 45-minute performance. They also perform different cultural dances for social gatherings of diverse people in the community. The ensemble does Cajun, Country Western, Greek, Polynesian, Waltz, Polka, Contra Dance, Hungarian, Romanian, Italian, Mexican, Irish, Scandinavian, and more.
The ensemble has "gigs" nearly seven days a week, often many times a day. If members don't have their own costumes, they are provided, although you need to have your own dance shoes.