(Los Angeles, CA)
Sherry Cochran was always a dancer but truly found her passion in a folk dance class at the University of Arizona in 1968. She soon became an avid folk dancer, teacher, and performer.
After moving to Los Angeles, largely because of the active folkdance scene and the friends she had made at camps, Sherry soon found herself teaching five or six nights a week at coffeehouses and local recreational groups. Her humor, energy, attention to styling, and accessible teaching style made her a popular dance instructor at clubs and coffeehouses such as Café Danssa, Calliópe's, Horo, the Intersection, Narodni, Open Circle, and Veselo Selo. She has taught at folkdance camps and festivals including the Berkeley Festival, California Traditional Music Society (CTMS) Summer Solstice Festival, Camp Hess Kramer, Equinox Festival, Folk Dance Federation of California's Treasurer's Ball, Idyllwild Folk Dance Camp, and Ojai Festival, and has been a teaching partner for master teachers Jaś Dziewanoski, Gene Ciejka, Athan Karras, and others at the California Statewide Festival, Idyllwild Folk Dance Camp, MidAmerica Folkdance Camp, and University of San Diego Folk Dance Conference. Although she has been teaching international dance for many years, Sherry has become known best as a Balkan dance teacher because she is said to have an extraordinary facility for breaking down the steps and intricate rhythms and also has what is probably the longest running weekly Balkan dance class anywhere, starting in 1976 at the Horo, moving to the Intersection, California Jukebox Club, Café Danssa, Pacific Arts Center, and finally to its current home at the LA Dancefit, recently named Los Angeles’ number one dance studio.
Over the years, Sherry has performed with the Folklanders and Interlandia Dancers in Tucson, Polskie Iskrie, and her own ensemble Biljana. She has served on committees and boards, including the AMAN Folk Ensemble Board of Directors and the Idyllwild, San Diego, and Santa Barbara Folk Dance Conference Camp Committees. She envisioned and was director of the Los Angeles Folkdance Extravaganza (L.I.F.E.), the first all live music and dance camp in southern California. She also was instrumental in producing all of the Intersection Reunions. Always working hard to promote folk dancing and live music, she has hosted many visiting teachers and musicians, organized events, mentored new dance teachers, and filmed and professionally edited videotapes for dance events. She is very proud of being a truly kick-ass disk jockey.
Sherry was the Director of Pharmacy at the University of Southern California Medical Plaza and is married to Michael Kirk.
Sherry continues to guest teach at local groups including Café AMAN, Narodni, and CalTech and taught at the world premier of Brasslands at the Los Angeles Film Festival. You can find her weekly at Friday Night L.I.F.E. in West Los Angeles, where she teaches and DJs.