Poetry Available Now

After the incredibly successful reading on June 25, 2023, there were a number of inquiries about how to find or buy poetry by the participants. Lively’s Artistic Director, Leslie Friedman, organized the program and also was one of the five readers. The readers included Randall Nicholas,  Judith Offer, Joy Passanante, David Shepard, and Leslie Friedman. Leslie gathered information from each reader and put it on the FB pages. Leslie did not have the poems she read available at that time.

Now, with the help of Prodigy Press, there is a booklet of the poems she read plus one. The Lively Foundation asks $10 (that includes the postage) to send the poems to you. Please add a donation of any amount to help Lively organize another reading and maintain the International Dance Festival@Silicon Valley. Email us your request and be sure to include your complete street address. Our email address is:  livelyfoundation@sbcglobal.net

Please either send a check or go to the PayPal connection on this blog. (1) make the check to The Lively Foundation/550 Mountain View Avenue/Mountain View, CA/94041-1941   OR   (2) go to the landing page of this blog. Scroll down the page to see the PayPal logo. Click on it and follow its directions.  Lively requests an additional 50 cents to cover the PayPal fee (yes, even not-for-profits have to pay a fee).

Remember that these two wonderful, LIvely Books are still on a special sale! Buy one book (of either book) and get 25% off. Buy two books (one of each or two of one) and the second book is half price. A great deal! AND, no postage payment from you. You cannot afford to pass it up. Each book has great VALENTINE value! Sale must end soon. More details on buying books: please see livelyfoundation.org/wordpress/?p=3890

THANK YOU for your interest. Last summer’s reading was so well attended, 80 in the Zoom audience, that we are planning another reading with a slightly different content. Watch the Livelyblog!


Congratulations to Leslie Friedman, The Lively Foundation’s Artistic Director and the Founder of the International Dance Festival@Silicon Valley. The Fulbright Association selected her paper, Dance: The Universal Language (or is it?) to be featured at the Fulbright Association’s annual conference, October 21, 2023. This is the second time the Fulbright Association has selected her to speak to the whole conference about Dance. The first time was in 2000 when Leslie received the first Selma Jeanne Cohen Award for Excellence in International Dance Scholarship. The late Dr. Selma Jeanne Cohen was the founder of Dance History as a scholarly subject. Leslie’s winning paper was, Expression in Dance.

Leslie received two Fulbrights: the Lectureship to India, 1983-84, and the Senior Lectureship to Bulgaria, 2006. In India, ’83-’84, she traveled throughout the country performing concerts of her work and presenting lecture-demonstrations about American Modern Dance. In Sofia, Bulgaria, she was asked to create a new work for Bulgaria’s National Academy for Theater and Film. The American Institute of Indian Studies/Smithsonian awarded her a Fellowship for research in India; she interviewed gurus of several classical Indian dance styles. Her work in India in 1983-84 and the Fellowship from AIIS/Smithsonian gave her the information and understanding for her award winning presentation.

At the October conference, Leslie will present her talk, lead a discussion, and ask the audience to join her in a short, easy dance. The audience is open to non-members of the Fulbright Association. This year the conference takes place in Denver. The talk begins at 11:15 a.m., come by for an interesting, entertaining hour!

Lively Readers: How to Find Their Work

There have been many requests to find out how to purchase the works of the readers on the Lively Reading, July 25, 2023. Here are the details.

Lively Readers: How to find more of their work.

Randall Nicholas: Will send the poem he read (concerning Chaos) to anyone who contacts him. That work is part of an epic, 120 page poem which is not yet in book form. He will also send Plague Journal, his collection of poems written during the height of the pandemic. He will send these free of charge. Neither is in book form. Contact: corasue@frontier.com

Judith Offer: Says “you can find several of the poems from each of my books on the web site. “ The poems she read are not available now in book form. She suggests you contact her directly. joffer@juno.com   web: judithoffer.com

Joy Passanante: All of her books are available on Amazon. This includes a novel, short stories, and Through a Long Absence: Words from My Father’s Wars. She will offer the essay she read free of charge. Contact her at: joycathey@gmail.com

David Shepard: His two poetry books are available on Amazon. Contact: prisndoc@gmail.com

Leslie Friedman: The poems she read are not in book form. The two books from which she read, The Dancer’s Garden (read at the beginning of her reading) and The Story of Our Butterflies (read at the end of the reading) are available from The Lively Foundation. Contact: livelyfoundation@sbcglobal.net or  find purchase information for The Story of Our Butterflies http://www.livelyfoundation.org/wordpress/?p=3477   and for The Dancer’s Garden   http://www.livelyfoundation.org/wordpress/?p=3270


The Lively Reading: A HUGE Success

Sunday afternoon, June 25, 68 people gathered over Zoom to hear five writers read from their works. The audience represented every US time zone and many different states. The event also attracted one friend vacationing on an island in the Baltic Sea. Jimmy Kolker, a distinguished US foreign service office called in over Zoom to let everyone know that he was watching, too. This writer will not take a bet on what time zone that was.

The authors were Randall Nicholas, poet, Ogden Dunes, Indiana; Judith Offer, playwright and poet, Oakland, California; Joy Passanante, Univ. of Idaho professor emerita, Creative Writing, author of creative non-fiction, poetry, fiction, Moscow, Idaho; David Shepard, poet, musician, and psychiatrist, Denver, Colorado; Leslie Friedman, dancer-choreographer, historian, author, Mountain View, California.

Dr. Leslie Friedman, Artistic Director of The Lively Foundation, observed that bookstores and venues that supported live readings had gone out of business during the height of the pandemic. “I realized that there could be a reading over Zoom which would reach those interested in poetry and literature in many areas. It took a little while to line up the writers and get a date set. Then, we were ready to take off. I knew the writers were terrific. Turns out they were TERRIFIC.”

The program offered a wide variety of styles and subjects. The audience was truly appreciative. Emails with words like “stunning,” “brilliant,” “gorgeous,” “touching,” came from everywhere.

Lively has sent a recording of the readings to 17 more individuals who were not able to attend due to prior commitments. The recording will remain available to those who did not know about the event or who attended and want to hear it again. Interested in the recording? Email livelyfoundation@sbcglobal.net   and let us know you would like to receive it.

“As The Lively Foundation’s activities had to be slowed or disappeared in the past 3 years, we are delighted by the great response to the Lively Reading,” says Dr. Friedman, “There have been requests for more such programs. ‘Watch this space’ to find out about exciting new events.”



REGISTER NOW!! for the best dance experiences of the year. Even though there will be two days of FREE classes, you need to register so we can send  you the Zoom codes. If you are taking any of the week day classes, each one is ONLY $5, you need to register.

Here’ how to register: Send us an email at livelyfoundation@sbcglobal.net. Tell us your name, which classes you want to take on which day/s. Confirm you email address. Give us a phone #.

If you will take any of the weekday classes, Nov. 7-11, please send us a check or use the PayPal button on this blog. To find the PayPal button, go to the landing page of this blog, scroll down the page, you will see it near the bottom. OR mail a check made out to The Lively Foundation to The  Lively Foundation/550 Mountain View Ave., Mountain View, CA 94041-1941. If you use the PayPal, please add $1.00 to cover their service charges.

By registering for classes you agree to hold harmless The Lively Foundation, the board of directors, officers, supporters, the International Dance Festival@Silicon Valley, all artists/teachers and others participating or volunteering to help the Festival. Thank you for this consideration.

Lively Foundation Artistic Director Leslie Friedman



This is the obituary sent to Larry’s friends. Please read it and try to imagine the heart and mind of this man: a true artist, a true friend, one of the few ever who embodied the true spirit of dance.

Larry Lynch  …he “believed in life before death. He loved Shaina beyond measure.”

June 12, 1941 – October 29, 2021

(80 years old)


Larry Lynch, whose father was from Caherciveen, Co. Kerry and maternal grandparents from Eyeries, Co. Cork was born in San Francisco. He loved the city and literally walked nearly every street, marking each one off on a carefully preserved map. He often drove by his childhood home on 22nd Avenue sharing details of the bygone ice cream shop, the houses where his neighborhood pals lived, the store front where he got his first hair cut, St Monica’s and Saturdays spent at the Bal Theatre.


Larry spent his tween and teen years in the East Bay. He began dance lessons at the age of 5 and at age 10 he began to study with the late Annie Tully. In his step dance competition career, Larry won over fifty first prize medals and trophies. He was undefeated in California, winning the state championship five years in a row. He also won the Chicago Mid-West championship five years in a row and in Philadelphia he won the championship of the United Sates for Irish Step Dancing.

The dominant influence in LL’s love of dancing was his grandfather John D. O’Sullivan, “Johnny Uochirre”, a step dancer from Ireland who had migrated to Butte, Montana in the 1890s and then moved to San Francisco in 1935. His grandfather played the fiddle and taught step dancing. His mother played Irish dance music on the piano. LL often spoke of his enjoyment watching and participating in the dances that took place in his home when he was young.


Larry graduated from Bishop O’Dowd High School and went off to South Bend, Indiana to attend The University of Notre Dame. After graduating from Notre Dame, Larry joined the Peace Corps. He often mused at the fact that he asked to be sent to any Spanish speaking country, yet he was assigned to Brazil. He never, ever regretted that oversight. He went first as a volunteer, then came home for two years to pursue a graduate degree in Latin American studies. He returned to Brazil as an Area Director to lead the Peace Corps Program in the State of Mato Grosso where he had been a volunteer. For many years, he managed Peace Corps volunteers assigned to roles in Brazilian agencies in the areas of health care and agricultural extension. His experience of Brazilian people, their music, food and culture, made him a fan for life.

When he left Brazil, Larry returned to San Francisco. For four years he read books, ran in Golden Gate Park and along Ocean Beach and made a life changing decision to make Irish music and dance part of his life.


Larry taught set dancing and ceili dancing for many years at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco and at the East Bay Center for Performing Arts in Berkeley. Over the years, hundreds of students delighted in learning the steps, style and figures of Irish country dances. Each series of dance lessons ended with a pot luck ceili with live music, followed by a night cap at Mulcrevy’s Irish Pub in the Marina, often punctuated with songs from Arhie, a Scottish accordion player who often topped off the night with “Roamin in the Gloamin”. (If you missed LL’s imitation of Archie, you missed something special.)

Larry also taught dance workshops in cities across the US as well as in Canada, England and Ireland. He taught set dancing for many years at the Willie Clancy Summer School in Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare. In addition, every summer for 20 years, Larry took small groups of dancers on tour to towns, villages and rural communities throughout Ireland, meeting local people, dancing with them and sharing their music and song. Needless to say, everyone who joined in had fun. Fourteen marriages (including his own to Shaina) are attributed to Larry Lynch’s dance classes, workshops, ceilis and tours.

Larry’s extensive research, appreciation of and respect for local tradition and the old style set dances are apparent in his book, Set Dances of Ireland, Tradition and Evolution, along with the companion music recordings that feature some of Ireland’s best traditional musicians. So many people over the years got to know Larry’s humor, joyful spirit and personal love of dance as well as his knowledge, love, and preservation of Irish history, music, song and dance. Every chance he got, LL delighted in telling stories of the old timers he met over the years and the life long friendships he made.


In addition to what Larry referred to as his “Performing Arts Business”, he was involved in the non-emergency medical transportation industry for many years. He co-owned a company that provided wheel chair van services to people with disabilities. He served as the Executive director of both the California Medical Transportation Association, and the National Medical Transportation Association, whose members were business owners providing similar services.

In his later years, Larry — quite by accident and thanks to his brother-in-law Bill — began an all-encompassing interest in Bourbon. Over time, LL and his bourbon buddy, Mikey, collected over 200 bourbons. In true Larry fashion, Larry generously shared his collection in his very own “local” basement bourbon bar. Quoting Johnny Uochirre, shot glasses clinking, he’d toast, “Drink up, you’ll be a long time dead.” Or just as often, “Many more together!”

LL loved family. He embraced and created family traditions. He nurtured a loving connection to his and Shaina’s family here in America as well as his family in Ireland. Holidays, weekly Friday or Sunday night dinners, monthly get-togethers, Christmas outings, annual picnics, tailgates, Russian River trips, Yosemite weekends, family reunions, birthdays, baptisms, graduations, weddings and funerals — he was there, always there…bourbon in one hand, a bag of Lay’s potato chips in the other.

Larry had a multitude of fine friends, who are probably thinking by the end of this long summary, “What am I, chopped liver?” Not at all! He treasured a long list of friends with whom he shared many and various aspects of his life. Friendships characterized with reciprocated affection, respect, trust and good times. Some were based on books, music, dancing, shared experiences or patronage of a favorite local. Some were his godchildren. Some were members of the coveted FUNClub.

Larry was a lovely dancer. He was a story teller. He was uncommonly interesting. His combination of intellect, curiosity and experience was rare. He loved bright colors, loved to have his elbows up on the bar, loved to dance, teach life lessons, loved to read and share books and believed in life before death. He loved Shaina beyond measure. He lives in our hearts always.


To honor Larry’s memory, please consider making a difference in the life of a person in need.








Beginning in 1996, The Lively Foundation presented annual concerts honoring Women’s History Month. Through many years, Lively’s concerts, HEROIC, BELOVED, were the only concerts honoring Women’s History Month. Artistic Director, Leslie Friedman, noticed that she had choreographed dances about women, about specific, historical figures, and dances set to texts written by women and music composed by women. That work became the first repertory of dances and music. Each year new works would be added often featuring guest artists. Subjects of the dances included Harriet Tubman, with a text by her and a song created about her by Higher Ground, a singing group from Oakland,; the Bronte sisters, using texts from Charlotte Bronte and music by Chopin; Clara Schumann, composer and pianist, with music by her life long friend, Johannes Brahms; Willa Cather, American author, using text from her book, My, Antonia, and premiering music by Jon Deak, music by African-American composer, Undine Smith Moore.

Opera singer Pamela Dillard was one of our first guest artists. She performed classical music songs and others One of her songs was Come Down, Angels, music by Undine Smith Moore. Ms Friedman accompanied Come Down, Angels with a premiere dance.

Pictures from two Heroic, Beloved performances: L-R:Leslie Friedman, Opera singer Marnie Breckinridge, SF Supervisor Reverend Amos Brown; on right side: Pamela Herndon (L) and Sarah Moss (R) dance in the SF Civic Center Garden before their premiere performance of Muse News, music by Bach; choreograhpy by Leslie Friedman.


HOORAY! The January 30 performance by the artists-teachers of the International Dance Festival@Silicon Valley was a tremendous success.

Annie Wilson                                         Etta Walton

Megan Ivey Rohrbacher                                     Audreyanne Covarrubias

Thank you to each of the performers: Annie Wilson performed Broadway jazz and Rumba, inviting the audience to join in the Rumba in their own spaces; Etta Walton performed and led Line Dances; Audreyanne Delgado Covarrubia performed classical Korean dance and played Korean drum music; Megan Ivey Rohrbacher performed classical mimes and tap danced; Audreyanne Delgado Covarrubias performed tap dance and performed a tap duet with Megan. Audreyanne was in North Carolina and Megan was in Hawaii. They split the Zoom screen and muted one sound source so they would dance to the same sound. They danced a shim sham that ended the astonishing concert  Each of these artists just “knocked our socks off,” “blew us away,” moved our hearts and excited us. Here are comments from the audience:

“OH, WOW!”  “Amazing!” ” I LOVE Etta!” “Thanks, Annie. You’re Fabulous!” “Thanks for presenting this. It is so very cool.” “Wonderful. Lovely mix of styles guaranteed to hold attention. The line up of personalities and demeanors was perfect. Thank you, Leslie!” “This is delightful.” “I really could see the relationship between mime and tap.” “I so enjoyed the dancing. Thank you for hosting and organizing a wonderful event.” “Great show!!!Thanks so much!!!” Audreyanne’s Korean dance was elegant and emotionally touching.” “”Whimsical!” Megan’s mime was delicate and funny at the same time.” when Megan started to tap, I could feel a smile across my face.” “I’m sitting in a chair and suddenly, I’m dancing! Rumba, Line Dances – I’m having so much fun!” “Audreyanne’s tapping is sensational.” “THAT WAS FANTASTIC! Thank you so much for hosting such a lovely afternoon. It was so much fun! The variety of dance styles made it an incredible and enlightening experience. You are always so inclusive in everything you do. You are just amazing. I thank heaven that I was put on this earth at the same time as you.”

Saluting Krystyna Chciuk

The Lively Foundation is very sad that Mrs. Krystyna Maria Chciuk passed away in September. She was a lovely person and a friend to so many. Lively and its Artistic Director, Leslie Friedman know how fortunate we are to have known her. At the age of 15, she was sworn in to the Polish Resistance. It was something of an accident because she was really too young.  However, she stayed and became a Laczniczka, a courier. She took guns and messages from one side of Warsaw to another and also led soldiers across the occupied city. She participated in the Warsaw Uprising, 1944, and was captured by the Nazis. She was forced into Prisoner of War camps.

Mrs. Krystyna Chciuk

In 1945 she was freed from the camps and joined the Polish Army in Exile, in London. She met Mr. Wladyslaw Chciuk, a pilot. He had been a Captain in the Polish Air Force and flew with the RAF in the Polish Squadron. He was a Prisoner of War in Germany, 1943-45. They were married in 1951. In 1952, they came to the US, first living in Milwaukee and then moving to San Francisco. While working full time and caring for her family of three daughters and Mr. Chciuk, she devoted herself to preserving the Polish language and culture in her new home. She was the founder of the Lowiczanie Polish Folk Ensemble, teaching and directing the dances. She also was energetic in support of Polish Scouting and Polish Saturday language schools. As her daughters stated in her obituary, “we shared our mother with all of you more so than many people share a family member.” Pani Krystyna Chciuk contributed to the whole Bay Area through her integrity and kindness. She was always a shining light in our multi-cultural culture. She is greatly missed.

International Festival@Silicon Valley’s 10th Anniversary!

              The International Dance Festival@Silicon Valley
                            Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary
The Lively Foundation is proud to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the International Dance Festival@Silicon Valley. This season the Festival’s Full Day of Dance© will take place on Saturday, November 13. All Full Day of Dance© classes will be offered over Zoom and will be free. See list of classes and schedules below. To register go to: https://forms.gle/dAd5DKho8sgFgPn8A
In addition to the Full Day of Dance© there will be classes offered during the preceding week days. For example, 30 minute Pilates mat classes will be led by Audreyanne Delgado Covarrubias, 9 a.m. Pacific time, Monday – Friday. Weekday classes will be offered on a Pay-What-You-Can basis, suggested amount is $5 – $15 per 30 minute class.
(L to R) Etta Walton, Audreyanne Delgado Covarrubias,
Starting in 2012, the Festival has offered classes in an amazingly wide variety: African, Afro-Haitian, Ballet, Bharatanatyam, Classical Chinese, Contemporary, Kathak, Korean, Line Dances, Manipuri, Mexican Folclorico, Salsa, Samba, Tango, Tap, Waltz, and even more styles. Participants learn from accomplished professionals and also see them perform. Winners
of the Choreography Competition present premiere works on Festival Concerts.
Artistic Director and Founder of the Festival, Dr. Leslie Friedman says, “Do what you love and try something new! A ballerina might discover she loves Tap. A ballroom dancer will find the Pilates mat to be just what he needs. Beginners get to fall in love with dance. Professionals in one style get to be beginners in something new to them. It helps to remember that dance can be fun.”

Lively Foundation Artistic Director Leslie Friedman

 The International Dance Festival@Silicon Valley’s innovations were ground breaking and have been adopted by other companies: presenting learning experiences in multiple forms, for participants of mixed levels of dance training (or no training), chances for participants to perform, and the exciting opportunity for the whole community to gain understanding and appreciation of dance by watching fine artists in concert.
Artist-teachers will include Etta Walton, Line Dances; Annie Wilson, Jazz; Megan Ivey Rohrbacher, Physical Comedy; Audreyanne Delgado Covarrubias, Tap, Pilates mat. These artists have performed and taught in previous Festivals and all have devoted followers.
Full Day of Dance©
Pilates mat,              9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
Jazz                          10:15 a.m.-11:15 a.m.
Physical Comedy  12:30 p.m.-  1:30 p.m.
Tap                           1:45 p.m.-   2:45 p.m.
Line Dances             3:00 p.m.-  4:00 p.m.
Full Week of Dance© mini-classes
Pilates mat    MTWThF    9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Nov. 8-12
Line Dances  MWF           2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Nov. 8, 10, 12
Repertory:     TThF           4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Nov. 9, 11, 12
“Dances for Small Spaces
All Full Day of Dance classes are free, but we do request that you register.
All Full Week of Dance classes request registration and are on a pay-what-you-can basis. Suggested amount is $5 -$15.
TO REGISTER PLEASE GO TO:   https://forms.gle/dAd5DKho8sgFgPn8A
For further details please watch http://www.livelyfoundation.org/wordpress/?p=3586