The Cherry Hill Israeli Dancers present 'Dazzling the Dubineers'

All the world's a stage

William S

The Players

The Producer, Director and Lead Dancer


Co leader of the Cherry Hill Israeli dancers from 2001-2005 and then leader. Naomi is in real life a psychology professor at a major university and brings that insight into her class and the Cherry Hill field trips.

Chief Fan of the Cherry Hill Israeli dancers


the source of the idea to make these trips to retirement homes in the area. Hildi is also the mother of two of the lead dancers.

The Dancers


An advanced dancer of the Cherry Hill session, she has been doing Israeli dance since she was a teen in New York City. There are many dances at the Tuesday night session where she takes the lead as to performance. In real life, Ronnie is a geneticist in the Cherry Hill area.


A resident of Central New Jersey, Ety is a regular at the Tuesday Cherry Hill dance sessions and performances such as this. When not dancing, she runs a Kitchen remodelling business.


A friend of Ety who lives near her, Malca generally accompanies Ety to the Tuesday dance sessions and these additional performances

Debbie K

A daughter of the chief fan of the Cherry Hill Israeli dancers, Debbie lives in the Princeton area. When not dancing she works at an elementary school.


Another daughter of the chief fan of the Cherry Hill Israeli dancers. One of the longest members of the Cherry Hill Israeli dance session, Deena works as a librarian in the Cherry Hill area.

Debbie S

Debbie picked up Israeli dancing on an extended visit to Israel in her youth. Today, she is a nurse and lectures around the world in addition to being a regular at the Cherry Hill dance sessions


The idea of a performance at Dubin House starts with Fran. She has some contacts among the staff and they have heard about previous Cherry Hill Israeli dance events in the area. Fran brings this up at one of the Tuesday Cherry Hill sessions and evertually the group ends up at Dubin house as documented here.


Another advanced dancer, Vicki has a humorous outlook on life. But, she is also a serious and vociferous reader who at the moment is engrossed in the novels of Stieg Larson. When not dancing or reading, Vicki works as an administrator at a large medical center


Jani is well known throughout the Phila area for her dancing ability and for her leadership qualities. She is sometimes a substitute for Don at his sessions. She crossed the river for this first time appearance at a Cherry Hill field trip.


Jennie started Israeli dancing as a kid before the era of computers and CD's for music -- in fact her first dancing was done to live accordion music! Despite that low-tech start, she now works with computers. She has been a member of the Cherry Hill Israeli dance sessions for a long time.


Darcy is generally a presence at the Klein branch Sunday night dance although she has been a participant in previous Cherry Hill field trips. She has had several stints as a teacher in this discipline of dance. Darcy is an ECommerce copywriter and Zumba instructor.


Known throughout the east coast as the consummate Israeli dance disk jockey. Rob also for many years led the Sunday night Klein session before giving it up last year.


Ruth, a retired seamstress, has been at previous Cherry Hill field trips and is a frequent dancer at the Cherry Hill session.


One of the newer member of the Cherry Hill Israeli dance session. A medical student at a local Medical school, this is her first experience at a Cherry Hill field trip


One of the junior members of this group. Originally involved with Ballroom dancing, he is just beginning to pick up Israeli dancing. He is mum, at least to this web site, as to his activities outside of this interest in dance.

The Location

If need be, we'll make the dining room a stage by moving the tables and chairs


Dubin House

In 2003, the Cherry Hill Israeli dance session moved to its present location east of where it was meeting. This was a kind of return home as the Dubin House, a retirement and senior living center, is located very close - in fact on the street - where the Cherry Hill group used to meet and dance. This web site has kept track of the various Cherry Hill field trips through the years including 2010. The previous field trip was done during one of the coldest and stormiest February's seen in the Philadelphia area. However, as cold as it was in February, early May was exceedingly hot, relatively abnormal for the time of year. It is in this heat where air conditioning is not operational, that the Cherry Hill Israeli Dance group met and performed, The pictures to the left show the outside of the facility.

Dining Room before it becomes a stage

To the left is a montage of shots that show you what the early arriving dancers saw. A dining room laid out with tables and chairs. You can see Naomi measuring distances and posibilities in one of these pictures. Naomi had already decided that the Cherry Hill Israeli dancers would use this dining room as their stage for that afternoon's performance and was about to issue orders for rearrangement.

Dining Room as it becomes the stage

Naomi supervises the movement of the chairs and tables to the rim of the room. You can see this to the left. Some of the dancers (and fans) who arrive early make use of the new seating

The Lead-up

What's the most important thing. Smile! Smile! Smile!


The Audience Arrives

There was a question as to how many people would be in the audience. One early arrival expected 30 audience members. Another early arriving dancer remarked that it would be very anticlimatic if no one showed up. Luckily, he was proved wrong. The residents arrived and arrived. One dancer, while the dancers were performing, counted 45 audience members. Dubin House, itself, thinks there were 40 in attendance. Whatever the number, the audience exceeded expectations and would prove appreciative by their clapping at the end of the performance

Distributing the Programs

Starting with the Brith Sholom house field trip, these performances have been accompanied by a distribution of a program specifically geared to the upcoming performance. The programs are the creation of the artists Andrew, age 4 and Alison, age 8. They are done in Microsoft word, setting the orientation to landscape and then printing on both sides by running the first page through, reversing the side and running it through the printer again (The disk coordinator does not understand this fully - he asked their mother). Once the programs arrive, the artists distribute them, giving a personal touch to their work. In the pictures to the left, above we see the program for Dubin house and below we can watch Alison distribute several of these to a section of the audience and watch these audience members pore over the handout

The Pre-performance Huddle

While the program is being handled out, we listened in to Naomi's "pre-game" chat with her group. Her first admonishment: Smile, Smile Smile. Her second: Those not knowing a dance should move to the sidelines and watch or take pictures. (this gives us the opportunity of thanking Jani for taking many of these pictures). She then goes through the 13 dances to be performed commenting on each with special emphasis on those dances that she has modified for audience effect. Od Lo Ahavti Dai is one example as she has trained her group to face outside to the audience at the start of the third iteration of the dance. With the "pre-game" chat over, it's showtime

Naomi Leads the Group Performance

He tells the girl: I haven't built a city, I haven't climbed a mountain, I don't have time to be with you

Part of Od Lo Ahavti Dai translation per Naomi


One of the more interesting aspects of the Cherry Hill field trips is Naomi's interaction with the audience. This could be a natural talent or part of her persona as a Psychology professor at a major university in the area or perhaps a combination of both. But, whatever reason, she does connect with her audience. Before each dance, Naomi give an explanation of one facet of the music or the lyrics. Perhaps she talks about the genre of the music, or as we will see below, asks the audience to participate. But, for many of the songs she explains the lyrics. One of the high points is the explanation of Od Lo Ahavti Dai. If you think about it, it's the epitome of the average guy's explanation of why a relationship won't work, but in Naomi's hands it's put onto a higher level. To the left we see Naomi introducing several dances through the course of the performance. Notice that on the bottom picture, it's clear that the audience is hanging on every word.


Sana (also spelled S'ana and Tza'ana) is the capital of Yemen and has a mythical stature to those from Yemen. The dance is very descriptive both in steps and arm motions. At a certain point in the dance the participant is walking while postioning arms palm upward, palm downward, snapping fingers of both hands and clapping. Naomi involves the audience in this and they become as much of a participant in the dance as the performers. Sana has been a component of the Cherry Hill field trip repertoire from the beginning and the disk coordinator has watched Naomi's presentation through some 13 of these performances, yet it's always fascinating to watch the audience get involved with these movements. The pictures to the left show Naomi at this point of the performance. Notice, it is not only the audience that's into this. Alison and the other dancers are just as demonstrative.

Pictures of the Performance

Let's do it!


Od Lo Ahavdi Dai

The first of the thirteen dances performed was Od Lo Ahavti Dai. We had already overheard Naomi's instructions about the turn into the audience (which from the dancer's point of view means dancing to the outside of the circle). So, these shots show this first dance as it is performed. The shots to the far left give the dancer's perspective as we surrepticiously moved closer. The shots on the right give you an audience view as the camera moves back. We can tell you that the audience was receptive to the performers and this was enhanced when the dancers rotated 180 degrees toward the audience. You can see this on the photo at the right bottom.

Dancing to Sana

We had mentioned Naomi's preparation of the audience for Sana. Did it work? Did the audience participate?. The pictures to the left concentrate on the performance of Sana, especially during the arm movements. Top Left, we see Vicki and Malca at palms down. You may be able to see the audience in the picture attempting the same. Going counter clockwise, Orly and Ety are at the same position on the second iteration of the dance. Botton right shows Naomi and Darcy at the clap position of the dance. Finally, and most interesting, is Fran, Deena and Debbie at top right again at palms down position. Look at the audience and see how they are responding. They are performing the hand motions in sync with the performers. Naomi, the music and the enthusiasm of the dancers has gotten them into the dance. No doubt, this is a good thing for these residents. Israeli dance, with its pre-patterned steps and actions, do a lot for memory capacity of dancers and probably this exercise has been beneficial for those watching as well.

Turkish Kiss

Israeli dance consists of circle dances, line dances and partners. 10 of the dances done at Dubin House were circle, 2 were line and 1 was a partner. One of the lines was Turkish Kiss and as the name indicates this is a turkish dance. The pictures to the left show the participants in various positions of this dance which, sinilar to Sana, has exaggerated arm movements. The music is quite lively and the dance itself mimics the music and most dancers enjoy doing this dance although it is considered a beginners dance as far as classes are concerned.

The performance

As mentioned, 13 dances were performed that afternoon. To the left is some photos, in no particular order, of the troupe as it performed. Most smiled. In some case, dancers had to retire to the sidelines for unfamiliar dances. No audience member left and there was plenty of applause for each dance as it ended. You are already aware that some dances were geared to this performance and that for Sana audience participation was encouraged. Several dancers deserve special mention. Jani did this performance on a suspected stress fracture of her heel and this was her second event of that day. Israeli dancers are tough and this gives you an example. For Naomi, Rob and Darcy, this was the first of two events as they would continue dancing that night at the Klein Branch JCC session. For Mark, this was the second of 3 events having joined Jani at Germantown in the morning and being present at Klein that night. However, for all the participants the visit to Dubin house was a lot of fun with a lot of reward.


Thank you for allowing us to spend this afternoon with all of you



All good things must come to an end and so it was with the Cherry Hill Israeli Dance group's visit to Dubin House. Naomi thanked the audience for letting the dancers share the afternoon with the residents. Some of the audience sought out various dancers and complimented the performance. Several dancers and observers relaxed together for a post-performance chat. And, eventually, most of the audience filed out to continue whatever activities they had planned for the rest of the afternoon. While it's probably more fun being at these events in person, we hope that this web page has given you a feel for that afternoon's perfromance we've titled as "dazzling the dubineers".