Our Instructors


Photo credit: Knut Utler

LARS ERIK ØYGARDEN (Intermediate II/Advanced hardingfele) was born and raised in Rauland, Telemark. His first inspiration was his father, Arne Øygarden, an accomplished fiddler. Lars Erik started playing Hardanger fiddle at age 6 and attended the local music school weekly for 8 years. He is now a teacher at the same school, working with children and teens. Terje Hansen and Per Åsmund Omholt have been important teachers for him, and he has also spent much time learning repertoire by listening to fiddlers live and from recordings. He focuses mainly on tunes from Telemark, but also plays music from other districts as well as other countries. Lars Erik has played in many kappleiks; he became an A-class fiddler in 2015. He frequently plays for dancers, and at the Landskappleik in 2019 he received the "Best Dance Fiddler" award. Lars Erik gave an exciting presentation of the folklore and stories that go with Norwegian fiddle tunes during our summer "Online Festival” in 2020, and we are thrilled that he will join us in person this July.

MIRA DICKEY (Intermediate I hardingfele) is a fiddler and artist from Austin, Texas. She studied classical violin growing up, but as an adult she became fascinated by the study of traditional music; first participating in American old-time jams and string bands, then dabbling in Irish and Canadian music, and finally discovering her passion for Scandinavian music, especially the Hardanger fiddle. She has experience performing regularly in a Scandinavian fiddle duo as well as performing solo on Hardanger fiddle for both listening concerts and folk dances. Mira started attending the HFAA workshops in 2017, and spent a year studying traditional Norwegian folk music at the University of South-Eastern Norway at Rauland in Telemark, Norway.

MARTA BARTHOLOMEW (Beginning hardingfele), who grew up on a farm in Vermont, has been attending Scandinavian music and dance camps all her life. She plays Scandinavian, American, English, and French-Canadian fiddle music, and started learning hardingfele in 2015. Marta spent the past year studying Norwegian folk music on the hardingfele at the University of South-Eastern Norway at Rauland in Telemark, Norway, and is very excited to share the tunes and knowledge that she has gained through that experience. Marta was the first recipient of the Harold K. Sersland Young Dancer Scholarship to the HFAA Workshop. We are thrilled that she will be joining the staff of our workshop this summer as our beginning hardingfele teacher.

LAURA HUMMEL (Beginner Mentor) has been performing on stringed instruments for over 20 years. She started out on her musical journey as a classically trained violinist but later discovered her passion for the Norwegian Hardanger fiddle, Swedish nyckelharpa, and Scandinavian folk music. You can find her playing for Scandia DC and the Mid-Atlantic Norwegian Dancers dance evenings and on YouTube as The Lore of the Strings and Svalorna Duo.


KRISTIAN IHLE HANTO and BORGHILD HARDANG HANTO, who live on a hilltop farm in Lunde, Telemark, learned from local dancers from a young age. An A-class competitor at kappleiks since 1970, Kristian has contributed as performer, competition judge and presenter at the Landskappleiks. He was awarded the Folk Art Scholarship of Telemark County in 1985 and the Norwegian Folk Artist Scholarship in 1989, and toured as a folk dancer in Norway and abroad for many years. Borghild has been an A-class competitor at kappleiks since 1989, and has also been a judge at kappleiks through the years. The Hantos have been teaching halling (Kristian), song dance (Borghild) and Telemark springar and gangar (both artists) since the 1970’s. They won the Senior Class for both their Telespringar and their Telegangar at the Landskappleik in 2019. Kristian and Borghild taught dances from Telemark during our summer "Online Festival” in 2021, and we are really looking forward to the chance to learn Telemark springar and gangar from them in person this July.

NERI BAKKJEN (Halling dance) comes from a family of folk musicians and dancers. His first competed at Landskappleiken in 2015, having attended since 2002. He has experience with a variety of dances, but mainly focuses on Telemark dances and Halling. Neri has had a lifelong love of folk singing and has studied classical singing since 2011. In 2020 he began studying folk singing at the University of South-Eastern Norway at Rauland in Telemark, Norway. We are delighted that Neri will teach halling dance at our workshop.