Since early childhood in Madison, Wisconsin, Ben Hole was captivated by all kinds of music, and by dance performances. Earliest exposure to ethnic dance performances included classical Indian and Israeli. His first participation in a folk dance was Gustav's Skoal and the age of 9, with sporadic involvement over the years until graduate school in Seattle where an energetic, weekly Israeli group got him hooked.
Upon arriving in the Washington area in 1968, equal enthusiasm for international dancing took hold. As new dances were learned, recordings were acquired at a rapid rate. The first teaching opportunity came in 1970 at the Jewish Community Center, where Ben led Israeli dancing for 24 years, and he continues teaching at various locations. International folkdance teaching opportunities have included the Friday night international dance group since 1987, and leading the Georgetown/Cleveland Park group in the 1980's. Participation in performing groups includes various Israeli groups from the late 1960's to the early 1980's, occasional international performances, and for a number of years with specialty groups doing Irish stepdancing, Scottish Country, and Spanish.
In another lifetime Ben would like to learn classical Indian dance. Ben enjoys the immense variety of music and dance that's out there and never tires of being exposed to new styles. He enjoys the challenge of teaching in terms of breaking things down clearly and efficiently, especially when it results in the dance being learned well by others. The only downside - so many dances, so little time!