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Susan (Eramian) Ounjian was born in Richmond, Virginia, where she was greatly influenced by her grandparents and her church, St. James. Her grandmother (Mrs. Ardemis Shahinina), uncles, and her mother performed in many groups. She became a trained dancer with the help of Byron Melkonian.
She moved to California to be amongst more Armenians. This goal was to allow her to reach more Armenians through her love of Armenian dancing and culture. She definitely had her fate in Los Angles as she met her husband after one month of arriving. They were married in 1980.
Susan has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Art Education from Virginia Commonwealth University. She taught art and dance in the Richmond Public School System for six years and has had extensive training in folk dancing, modern, jazz, and ballet.
She is well known on the East Coast for her research, teaching, and performing of Armenian dancing. In Virginia, she has been on television; taught at universities, elementary, and high schools; taught at folk festivals and international bazaars, and taught for the City Parks and Recreation programs and in New York at the Armenian General Benevolent Union (A.G.B.U.) camp.
She travelled to learn more from her other teachers in Detroit, Chicago, and Washington DC. In 1974, she studied in Erevan, Armenia. There she studied under Mr. Manoogian, who had taught many of the State Enembles.
Susan is quite frequently called upon to entertain at Armenian affiars. Along with her Armenian folk dancing, she gives a "multi-media" presentation. She currently teaches a class in Van Nuys, California.
Susan's is the host of
- The Art of Traditional Armenian Cooking, a 60-minute film.
Dances Susan has taught include Laz Bar.
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