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Biography of Henry Morgenstein

I was born in Antwerp, Belgium.  My family ran away from the Germans and from 1942 to 1947 we lived in Havana, Cuba.  We came to New York City in 1947.  Education: Yeshiva Rabbi Moishe Soloveichik, Bronx High School of Science, Columbia College (1960), Indiana University (M.A. American Literature).  From 1965 to 1968 I lived in Chicago; from 1968 to 1971 I lived in New York City & taught at Yeshiva University.  I taught English at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City, Michigan from 1971 to 2000 when I retired.

It is difficult to sum up thirty years of existence but basically, I taught English, raised two boys and became a controversial character in my home town.  I was controversial because for many years I did not own a car (I bicycled everywhere, even through the snow in the winter months), wrote many newspaper columns (bi-weekly columnist in the local paper, The Record Eagle, 1985-1991) and wrote over a thousand radio talks that were aired on three local Traverse City radio stations & BBC Radio Solent in Southampton, England. (Twice I was on a year-long Fulbright Teacher Exchange: Bath, England 1974-5, Southampton, England 1992-3).  Some of the radio talks were about dancing and they appear on this web site.

My involvement in dance began in 1981 when I joined an International Folk Dance group but my deep involvement in dance, specifically Contra dancing, began around 1984.  I almost immediately became a Contra Dance Gypsy.  I went to Berea, Brasstown & Pinewoods in 1984-5 and I have gone to many dance weeks and weekends since then.
Henry and Jacqui at their wedding
The three major developments in my dance life are:

1)  Around 1990 I began calling dances,

2)  In the summer of 1997 I ran two weekend-long dance camps,

3)  In May 1998 I went to Chippenham Folk Festival and met Jacqui Clark who has been Jacqui Morgenstein since we married in July 1999.  I told a short version of our meeting (and courtship by email) to the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program's newsletter.  You can read it here.

Jacqui and I have run three highly successful dance weeks (Between the Bays Dance Camp1999, 2000 & 2002).  We did not run a dance week in 2001 because of some problems with the facilities at the college and because we were in England trying to straighten out the paperwork that would allow Jacqui to travel back & forth between England & America.  While we were in England we ran a dance tour of southern England for Americans (Yanks Meet Limeys 2001). 

Our future plans are to run Between the Bays Dance Camp in alternate years (if Northwestern Michigan College allows this) & Yanks Meet Limeys every year that there seems to be a demand for it.  

We plan to spend time in America and England.  Jacqui has two daughters, I have two sons.  I am calling Contra dances in Michigan (Traverse City) and England (Cecil Sharp House).  Jacqui is deeply involved in Irish Set Dancing and has taught Irish set dancing at our dance camp & elsewhere in Michigan.  Dancing is the heart of our existence.  We dance (Irish Sets, Scottish, International) several nights a week and any weekend (ECD, Contra, English Ceilidh, Irish Sets) that we can.  Jacqui plays flute & harp, loves to join pub-sessions, loves shape note singing.  I am trying to broaden my calling repertoire & perhaps publish a book of essays about Contra dancing - in between playing as much tennis as I can.

Dance is our passion and this web site, our dance camp, our daily life, is proof of that.


Copyright 2001
Henry Morgenstein

email:   henry @ henryandjacqui,com_

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