Israel Yakovee was born in the city of Rehovot in Israel to a traditional Yemenite family and had his early education through high school in Israel. He served three years in the Israeli army, then became a professional dancer in several well-known performing groups in Israel. Mr Yakovee came to the United States on a foreign exchange program and received a degree in Physical Education and Sports Medicine from the California State University in Northridge. He also worked in the Physical Therapy Department at Northridge Hospital.
Israel’s love of Israeli folk dance started in the Kibbutz youth movement and continued on a professional level when he became a certified Israeli folk dance instructor. His first introduction to United States folk dancing came at Camp Blue Star under its legendary director Fred Berk. Israel specializes in Yemenite-Jewish folklore and dance, and has taught at many dance camps, including the Stockton Folk Dance Camp in California. Israel has taught master classes and workshops in Australia, Brazil, Venezuela, Canada, Europe, Israel, Japan, South America, and Taiwan. He has taught several dance tours across the United States, Israel teaches with his wife Michelle, who is also a teacher.
Israel has danced with several performing groups, including the famous Inbal Dance Theatre. Perform with Giora Godic at the Alhambra Theater performing Musical show Hello Dolly with his sister Yoni. He was choreographer for the Finjan Israeli Dance Ensemble, co-founder of the Hora Shalom Israeli Dance Institutes on both the East and West coasts, and founder and director of the Finjan Labor Day Weekend, He has performed throughout the United States and Israel.
Israel is a Master of Ceremonies, entertainer, and dance instructor, with more than twenty years in the entertainment business. And, as a professional disk jockey, he is available 24 hours a day and can deliver top-quality sound from a high-tech system. He specializes in creating memorable energy and excitement for intimate private parties to huge social bashes. He can also provide big screen video or live entertainment (dancers, singers, musicians, performing groups).
I create new dances because, as he says, “it is my mission to preserve the tradition and the heritage of the Yemenite Jewish music and dance. I have been invited for workshops around the world teaching my Yemenite dance to all. Israel has five kids Oren, Ronit, Elan Yakovee and 5 grandchildren. He remarried in the late 1990s, to Michele Yakovee and has a child Lior Yakovee in 1999 and Maya Yakovee in 2003.
Israel has written several articles on Israeli dance and is a co producer of Boi Tieman records in 1975 with his Brother Rehavia Yakovee.
Lior CD’s of mostly Israeli folk dance music…
Israel has created the following Yemenite Jewish Folk Dances : Aba Shimon, Abanibi, Achay Bney Teiman, Achot Lanu Ktana, Agadelcha, Ahavat Shaday, Ani Ohev Otach (Leah I), Ayelet Chen, Bat Melachim, Chazara Lamutav, Daase, Dan & Danna, Dawda Hiya, Eheyen Asher Eheyeh, Ein Li Ish Milvadi, Eizo Medina, Haleli-Or, Hashevach La’el, Heydani Dance, Im Nin’alu, Inshalah, Kaashe Li, , Kilat Hod, Lefelach Harimon, , Mat’ar, Mechol Bracha, Mi Li Yiten, Midbar, Mocher Prachim Naaneh La’el, Nargila, Ofra, Otach Ima, Rosh Berosh, Sar Hememuneh, Shavnu, Shevach La’el, Shir Me Abba, Shoshanat Teyman, Shufni, Shuvi Kilat Hod, Sovev Gal Gal, Sukar, Tawshich, Torat Moshe, Ya Yuma, Yelud Isha, and Yemenite Rap, and more.
See videos for the latest dances.