Visitors …


Baile de California welcomes visitors to come and watch our rehearsals. It’s even better when the visitors are past BdC dancers! In June we had two alumni return, Samantha Riviere (2017-2018) and Elizabeth Chen (2018). Both members came to Baile de California after taking a recreational ballet class through UCSB’s Gaucho Rec with BdC director, Diana Replogle-Purinton. BdC invites all dancers and soon-to-be dancers however, when we get previously trained dancers (ballet, ballroom, swing, Bollywood, ice skating, etc.) it’s an added bonus!

Consider dancing with Baile de California. The proof of the fun is in our returning dancers!

Dancers from back row left- Caroline Wedderburn, Cheryl Long, Regan Cattoi Parillo;
front row left- Abril R., Kira Purinton; back row right- Debra Fedaleo, Samantha Riviere*, Jeffrey Long; front row right- Diana Replogle-Purinton, Sofia R., Elizabeth Chen*
*Returning dancers

Another Successful Fiesta!


Old Spanish Days Fiesta 2018 is in the bag.  Wow!  What a fun-filled and crazy week it was.  Baile de California shared the Fiesta spirit throughout the city.  We danced at nursing and senior facilities- The Californian, Vista del Monte and Garden Court Apartments.  In addition to performing for the residents, those who were able to, danced with us at the event’s end.  Residents who were less mobile were encouraged to sway in their wheel chair or shimmy their shoulders.  Some of the residents even sang the songs as we performed.    

As in previous years, one of our favorite events is Flor y Canto at the Courthouse Sunken Gardens.  Flor y Canto “… is a rare opportunity to see the original Spanish California dances & songs of the 19th century. Interwoven with historic narration, the musical numbers are accompanied on replica acoustic instruments. These unique songs & dances are performed by local residents [Baile de California] in authentic costumes much as they would have been 150 years ago.”  Old Spanish Days website, 2018.

la jota vieja- bridgeFlor y Canto- Dancing La Jota Vieja, a favorite of the Barbareños.  Pictured left to right- Debbie Fedaleo, Rich Scholl, Caroline Wedderburn, Sofie R., Matt Klonowski, Elizabeth Chen, & Lisa Fukunaga
Photo credit- Fritz Olenberger


la contradanza- greeting

Couples dancing La Contradanza.  This dance was known to have up to eighteen figures.  The early Barbareños loved dancing and learning new dance steps.  Remember, there was no radio, TV, computers or internet to occupy time in 1840!        Dancers left to right- Matt K.& Lisa F., Debbie F. & Rich S., Cheryl Long & Jeff Long, Melissa Chatfield & Jim Young.                     
Photo credit- Fritz Olenberger


A new opportunity for BdC this year was to dance on not one but TWO floats in the Historic Parade on Friday.  Five dancers were on the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation’s float, sponsored by the California Missions Foundation and four more dancers were on the Santa Barbara Mission’s float with three of the Fathers.  Although is was hot dancing in the sun for an hour plus, we would do it all again!

SBTHP Float 2- F. Olenberger Dancing La Varsouviana.  From left- Soldado David Martinez, watching the dance, Kira Purinton & Abril R., dancing Caroline Wedderburn & Diana Replogle-Purinton, guitarist- Luis Moreno.
Photo credit- Fritz Olenberger


sb mission float 2- f. olenbergerSanta Barbara Mission float.  From left- Mariachis, dancers- Sofia R. & Debbie F.  not pictured Regan Parillo. & Kristine Haugh, center front Fr. Larry Gosselin
Photo credit- Fritz Olenberger


Rounding out the Fiesta season were appearances at the Santa Barbara Woman’s Club, La Merienda luncheon, a Fiesta tradition since 1926, Las Noches de Ronda and El Mercado del Norte.


After Fiesta … the Show Must Go On …

September 22nd, four BdC dancers- Cheryl Long, Jeff Long, Caroline Wedderburn & Roger Knox, plus the Flor y Canto duo, musicians Jim Garcia & Clare Barrios-Knox, made the annual trek to the Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park for their ¡Fandango!  Also performing were the Anza Colonial Dancers ( from Los Angeles, under the direction of Mlle. Irene Ujda and Los Californios®.  We have had the pleasure of working with both groups at previous ¡Fandangos!  Also attending were past Baile de California dancers, David Martinez and Martha McGettigan.

caroline & .. dancing el borregoLearning to dance “El Borrego.” Front center- Caroline W. & young friend, additional dancers from left- Jeff L., Mademoiselle Irene Ujda, Director of Anza Colonial Dancers, unknown, Roger K., Cynthia Harper & Gerard J. Reyes.
Photo credit- Steven Wedderburn


cheyl, jeff, caroline & roger- by steven wedderburn - copy (2)Baile de California dancing “La Rueda”  a step from “La Contradanza.”  Dancers from left to right- Cheryl Long, Jeffrey Long, Caroline Wedderburn, Roger Knox.
Photo credit- Steven Wedderburn



Fiesta 2021- “Honoring Our Generations”

Dancing at the historic Rancho Santa Barbara. Home of the first El Presidente Dwight Murphy

The 97th anniversary of Santa Barbara’s first “Old Spanish Days Fiesta” has come and gone.  While Baile de California was both thrilled and honored to be chosen to perform for this year’s La Fiesta Pequeña, we, along with all the performers were disappointed to not experience the excitement of a full audience.  However, both the preshow and the entire show were recorded and may be seen on YouTube®.  The link to La Fiesta Pequeña 2021 is:  You may also watch the televised La Fiesta Pequeña 2020 on YouTube®.  It features favorite performances of the past eight years including, Las Fiesteras dancing an Early California version of La Cachucha.  Six of the members of Las Fiesteras have continued to dance with Baile de California.  Here is the link to 2020, .

COVID-19 did not stop BdC from performing.  In addition to a scaled back Pequeña, we danced twice on the stage at Paseo Nuevo.  We were particularly excited to dance there as our good friend, Rafa Martel’s store, Viva Santa Barbara, is located there.  Rafa and his mom, Mely, have been good friends and supporters of BdC for several years.  Thank you, Viva Santa Barbara!

Quiet moment before Paseo Nuevo performance. Blouses available at Viva Santa Barbara in Paseo Nuevo.

Baile de California started off Fiesta week by guest performing with (see photo above) La Boheme Dance Group at the beautiful and historic Rancho Santa Barbara.  We will let you know when the video of the event is available.  From there we went onto perform at six senior facilities in Goleta and Santa Barbara.  Although this was not the Fiesta we rehearsed and hoped for, it was incredible to bring the Fiesta Spirit to so many seniors who haven’t been able to be out in the public for 17 months.  We truly experienced the power and joy of dance!  And not to leave out Santa Barbara’s youngest citizens, we danced for First Presbyterian Church’s Early Childhood Center.  We had children as young as 14 months watching and swaying to the music.  We even performed for their church members after their Fiesta Sunday service at which our good friend, Tony Ybarra played guitar.

We have two big events coming up to finish the year off and would LOVE to have you join us.  First, the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum is having their 36th annual Vaquero Show & Sale, November 13th and 14thBdC will be performing and teaching both days.  Check our Facebook page for details. 

Mark your calendars NOW for December 18th & 19th!  Once again, BdC will be the Guest Artists for the Christmas Revels show, An Early California Celebration of the Winter Solstice.  We are so excited to be back at the Lobero Theatre for the Revels annual event.  Auditions for dancers for the Revels company will be Sat., Oct. 2nd at about 12:30.  Text me at 805-284.1274 for details.

¡Viva la Christmas Revels!


Baile de California is thrilled to be featured Guest Artists with Santa Barbara Revels in their upcoming 10th Anniversary Show, An Early California Celebration of the Winter Solstice, December 15th – 17th.El Fandago   

For their 10th anniversary season, Santa Barbara Revels’ has commissioned an original script from local, award winning author, Erin Graffy de Garcia.  The show highlights Richard Henry Dana’s visit to Santa Barbara in 1836, when he attended the wedding of Ana Maria “Anita” De la Guerra to Alfred Robinson, of which he wrote in, Two Years Before the Mast. With a large company of actors, singers and dancers, a brass quintet, a string ensemble, and special guest artists (Baile de California and Ernestine Ygnacio-Desoto ~ Elder, Barbareño Band of Chumash), this year’s The Christmas Revels celebrates the traditions of the Rancho period in Central California.

As Revels says, “Join us and be Joyous!”

Click on the link for tickets, including information about discounted group tickets and tickets to the Cast Party Sunday, Dec. 17th


¡Viva la Fiesta!


Primavera- edhat

Join us!  It’s not too late to dance with us at Fiesta.  See our “Class & Performance Schedule” page or text us, 805.284.1274, to confirm classes.  We also invite you to be a behind-the-scenes person with costuming, make-up, hair, stage managing and more.

Finally an Update!


Baile de California has had a busy year so far.  In February, during the storm of the decade, Baile de California performed at the annual California Missions Foundation Conference.  This year’s Conference was at Mission Santa Inés.  Even with the crazy weather, the Conference was well attended and the program by Martha McGettigan, was very well received.  We were thrilled to share the stage with renowned tenor, Eduardo Villa, Luis Moreno, and many more.


Photo credit Tom Simondi

_DSC3608 (Custom)[1744]

Singing w. Erica X, Luis Moreno & Eduardo Villa

Spanish Waltz- 1

Entering w. All photos by Tom Simondi.  Follow the link

Prior to the Conference, Baile de California performed and taught at one of our favorite annual events, Presidio Pastimes by Candlelight.  

Wonderful audience participation at Presidio Pastimes by Candlelight at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara, February 2, 2017.  Photos by Mike Imwalle.  1st Thursday event.

2016 has begun with Music & Dance!


Baile de California, accompanied by a live music, danced the evening away at the 1st Thursday event, Presidio Pastimes by Candlelight.  Always a favorite event with our dancers as well as guests attending, below are some photos of the event.

Teaching one of our favorite Californio folk dances, La Varsouviana, also known as the Little Foot Dance.

All ages are welcome from 6 years to 96!

Live musical accompaniment on historic, reproduction instruments adds to the evening’s authenticity & enjoyment!

Join us NOW for the Festivities coming soon … Santa Barbara’s Founding Day, the SB Fair & Expo and             National Dance Day!



Fandango at Petaluma!


2015- Fandango Flyer 2015

Baile de California is looking forward to our second visit to the Petaluma Adobe for their Annual Fandango! on Saturday, October 3rd.  From the press release, “You are invited to the Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park on Saturday, October 3, 2015. Come to welcome autumn’s arrival as they did in 1840’s by experiencing the dance and music of a “Fandango”. The fandango was not only a dance but also the name given to an informal dancing party.
Holding a fandango during autumn was a tradition at General Mariano Vallejo’s Rancho de Petaluma, now Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park. It was held to honor the toil of the end of the harvest and the matanza, the slaughtering season. The cattle of the rancho were used to produce the mainstays of early California’s economy, cattle hides and tallow. The fandango also celebrated the work of Native Americans, Mexicans, and Californios who operated Vallejo’s successful enterprise.
Dances of the 1840’s will be performed and taught by dancers from the Baile de California and Yesteryears dance troupes of California. Hear the spirit of Mexican California’s rancho era come alive in the joyful dancing music of the past by the Flor y Canto Ensemble. Join in the fun and learn the dance steps of the times. Light refreshments will be served.
The event is from noon to 4pm. Admission for adults (age 17 and older) is $3.00, children (age 6 to 16) are $2.00 and ages 5 and under enter free. Visitors should dress appropriately for being out of doors. For the safety and comfort of all visitors, please do not bring dogs. Live farm animals onsite.”

If you are coming from out-of-town, Hotel Petaluma is offering a special rate for a 2-night stay.  Call the hotel and reference both the FANDANGO event and the 25% off promotion (707) 559- 3393.  Their website is: .

We hope you can join us, it’s sure to be a wonderful afternoon of dancing and new friendships!  See some great photos from last year on our Facebook page.

Viva Fiesta Romanticá!


After FyC

                           Baile de California dancers after Flor y Canto at Fiesta 2014.  We are looking forward                                                              to having just as much fun this Fiesta celebrating the theme “Fiesta Romanticá.”

Baile de California dancers have had a busy 2015 so far, and the fun is just beginning.  Old Spanish Days Fiesta will be here in less than a month!

We started the year by performing at El Presidio Reál de Santa Bárbara’s, 1st Thursday event- Presidio Pastimes by Candlelight, February 5th.  Audience participation is always a highlight of this evening.  Presidio Pastimes was followed by performing at the California Mission Studies Association’s (CMSA) 32nd Annual Conference at Mission San Buenaventura and the historic Pierpont Inn.  This conference is attended by Mission scholars throughout California as well as Mission scholars representing the American Southwest.  Guests and the keynote speaker came from as far away as New York and Mexico.

From the CMSA website

                      Baile de California performing at the CMSA’s 32nd Annual Awards Banquet at the Pierpont Inn.                     (Photo courtesy of the CMSA’s website.)

 April was a full month, beginning by celebrating the city of Santa Barbara’s Founding Day at the city’s birthplace- El Presidio Reál de Santa Bárbara.  This year the event encompassed three days and three big events.  Despite (much needed) sprinkles, Saturday’s Founding Day Reenactment went on without a hitch.  After the Reenactment, Baile de California director, Diana Replogle-Purinton, was joined by two of the Flor y Canto String Ensemble musicians, director, Jim Garcia and guitarist, Michael Aberle, to teach California folk dance in the Presidio Chapel.

Jim & Michael- by Roger K.- cropped

                           Guitarist Michael Aberle and Flor y Canto String Ensemble director, Jim Garcia, PhD                                              provided the musical accompaniment to teach California folk dances to Founding Day Festival guests.

April ended and May began celebrating National Dance Week and locally, the 26th Annual Fair & Expo at Earl Warren Showgrounds.  (See our Facebook® page for Fair photos.)  This year’s theme- “Let’s Get MOOving” fit us to a “T.”  We got the crowd up and “MOOving” when we invited them to join us for “new” California folk dances, the Twist, Pony, and the Swim, to the Beach Boys’ hit- Surfin’ USA.  Baile de California’s mission is to celebrate California’s unique cultural heritage and surf music is definitely a part of that.

Next up, as hinted at, at the beginning of this post, is Santa Barbara’s 91st Old Spanish Days Celebration.  Commonly referred to as “Fiesta,” Baile de California will be featured at Flor y Canto, Friday night, Aug. 7th, at the Courthouse Sunken Gardens, 7-8 pm.  We will also be dancing at El Mercado del Norte (MacKenzie Park) on Thursday, 8/6 at 2:00 pm and Saturday, 8/8 at 11:35 am.  We hope to be included in multiple nights of Las Noches de Ronda, also at the Courthouse Sunken Gardens and will be doing community outreach by appearing at nursing facilities.

It is NOT too late to join the fun at Fiesta 2015!  Many of our dances are folk dances, the dances enjoyed by the common folks, both dancers and non-dancers, of ALL ages and ALL abilities.  BdC exists to celebrate and enjoy California’s history and not to perfect it.  Come join the dance and join the fun! 

Happy New Year!


Exciting things are happening for Baile de California in 2015!  Company rehearsals for our folk/social dances begins TODAY, Jan. 5th.  We are prepping for February’s 1st Thursday event, Presidio Pastimes by Candlelight, Thurs., Feb. 5th, 5-8 pm, at El Presidio de Santa Barbara.  This is always a fun event with opportunities to see what Presidio life would have been like at the end of the day over 200 years ago.  Photos by Fritz Olenberger.

12837268465_99fe52aca1_o                                                                    12837390883_3f2f9ab579_z                             2014. 2. 4- Presidio Pastimes- F. Olenberger