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Updated March 23, 2017

 

Annual Events

 

Call of the Loon Dance Weekend

April 7-9, 2017 Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota Caller(s): David Millstone and Carol Ormand; Band(s)/Musician(s): Northern Aire (Pat O'Loughlin, Tim Reese, Bob Walser) and The Latter Day Lizards (Peter Barnes, Dave Langford, Bill Tomczak) w/Stuart Kenney  http://tapestryfolkdance.org/

 

NEFFA (New England Folk Festival)

April 21-23, 2017 Location: Mansfield, Massachusetts Caller(s): Numerous; Band(s)/Musician(s): Numerous  http://www.neffa.org/  

 

Contra Dance / Contradance Links for Festivals, Camps,

and Weekends  http://www.contradancelinks.com/festivals.html

 

News about

The CONTRALAB CONVENTION

       
            Plans for Contralab activities and the contra room at the 66th National Square Dance Convention in Cincinnati are moving along, and excitement is building.  The convention is June 21-24, 2017, with Contralab Energizer Dance on June 20 and the Contralab educational segment and business meeting on June 21.  All activities will be in the Duke Energy Center in Cincinnati—contra activities will all be in the Contra Room, which is 206.

            Contralab’s Energizer Dance will be Tuesday evening, June 20 and will feature live music by Full Moon Country Dance Orchestra and calling by one of Contralab’s founders, Tony Parkes of Massachusetts.

Since 1964, Tony has learned from many of the finest callers of the time and has managed to keep his dances simple and accessible.  He has helped to preserve square dancing as an activity that everyone can learn and enjoy.  Later in his career he added New England contra dances and the folk dances of other countries to his repertoire, and has written his own dances, allowing him to achieve his goal of providing the most fun to the most people. 

            Tony has authored several books on the subject of contra dance, including a basic text “Contra Calling,” as well as “Shadrack’s Delight” and “Son of Shadrack”, which are full of Tony’s original dances.  He has appeared on many recordings as caller, pianist, or both.  He has led dances and workshops for experienced dancers in 35 states, Canada, and Europe.

            Positive reviews of Tony’s calling ability abound.  For example “…Most people attributed the evening’s special flavor to your particular calling style – enthusiastic, knowledgeable, flexible, encouraging, charming, and graceful.” – Middlesex School

            Tony will also join us Wednesday morning for the Educational Program, so if there are specific topics you would like for him to address, please forward them to Contralab President Duane Olson or Finance Officer Lissa Bengtson.

            Full Moon Country Dance Orchestra is a quartet that has played in the Cincinnati and Dayton area for years.  Organizer Judy Waldron plays keyboard, Warren Waldron plays fiddle and banjo mandolin, Frank Fitch plays mandolin, fiddle and harmonica and Astrid Mast plays flute.  The band submitted sound files of tunes that sound terrific!

            Tony Parkes can only be with us at the convention for Tuesday night and Wednesday morning – he must return to work for the rest of the week, so let’s dance our socks off to his terrific calling and learn as much as we can.  Tony’s websites:  http://dancecallers.com/  and  http://www.hands4.com/   He is also on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/tony.parkes.9

For the remainder of the convention, the Contra Room will be also busy and exciting.  Vice-Chairman of Contra Programming, Judy Weger and Assistant Vice-Chairman of Contra Programming Lissa Bengtson have put together an impressive schedule.  Each evening will feature live music.

Thursday night will feature a band from Florence, Kentucky called “Cull Hollow,” a duet of two brothers, one on banjo and one on guitar.  They are versatile musicians, most comfortable with bluegrass music, but also eager to please our dancers.  They were located using a website called “GigSalad,” which is serving more and more traditional musicians and some callers.  Cull Hollow’s Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/Cull-Hollow-1560507180858817/

Friday night’s band is “Wild Rumpus”, a trio from Yellow Springs, OH and Louisville, KY.  Leader Deborah Colón plays fiddle, Karl Clark Colón plays guitar and Robert Gene Douglas plays percussion/drums.  This talented band has performed for large contra weekends in the area, such as Cincinnati’s Pig Town Fling and Lexington’s Dance Trance Weekend.   A video of last year’s Pig Town Fling can be seen here:  https://www.facebook.com/WildRumpusEngine/posts/593339464149101

“The Ripples” will be playing Saturday night.  The quartet features Gabrielle Lanza on percussion, Kristen Planeaux on keyboard and flute, Christopher Wood on guitar and bass and Andrew Taylor on fiddle.  Their website is www.theripplesband.com which has some sample listening tracks (with a previous fiddler, who is also quite good!)  Gabrielle is a dance organizer and Kristen is also a contra caller, and both live in Cincinnati, so perhaps we can talk them into attending the whole convention.

As soon as the 66th Program Chairman, Ken Allen, approves the band contracts, they will be forwarded to the bands.  The 66th NSDC has agreed to sponsor one evening of live music.  Another evening will be sponsored by the International Folk Culture Center.  Judy’s quilt raffles and the generous donations by Bob Tomlinson toward live music at the 66th will help pay for the Energizer Dance.  A sponsor for the fourth night is being sought—Lissa will submit a grant proposal to the Country Dance and Song Society, and pursue other ideas.  Let her know if you have a hot lead!

Note: The above information was printed in the Winter Quarterly.  The Energizer Dance on Tuesday evening has a suggested (but not required) donation of $10.  June 22, 23, and 24 contra workshops and live music in the evenings require a National Square Dance Convention registration (please see their web site: www.66nsdc.com ); but it’s a great deal for the whole weekend.  Those who also participate in the square dance halls in the evenings should wear long sleeve shirts and long pants for the gents and skirts/dresses for the ladies.  The only dress code in the contra room is “neat & clean”.

 

 

Weekly/Monthly Events

 

UTAH - The Official Moab, Utah 2016 Calendar of Events

Community Contra Dances - The Moab Community Dance Band holds monthly contra dances at the Moab Arts & Rec. Center, 111 E, 100 N. No partner or experience needed. $7 suggested donation to benefit Grand County School music programs. Check Moab Community Dance Band facebook page for the the next dance date.  Usually 3rd Saturday of the Month or call 516-376-8003.

 

NEW HAMPSHIRE - New Hampshire's Community Social Dances
http://www.nh.gov/folklife/learning-center/traditions/live-free-dance.htm

 

TEXAS - For information on contra dances in Texas go to: http://www.contradancelinks.com/schedule_TX.html
The link to the San Antonio website is: www.sacontradancers.org

San Antonio--2nd Saturday, 7:30-10:30 pm  $6 per person.  Local bands and callers.  International Folk Culture Center, 411 SW 24th St. 78207.  Contact Lissa 210-867-0692 www.ollufolkculturecenter.com

Austin--3rd Saturday, 8 - 11 pm $9 per person.  Balance Dance Studio, 4544 S. Lamar Blvd, 78745  http://www.taada.us

San Marcos -- 4th Sundays, 2-5 pm $9 per person.  Wesley Center, 510 N Guadalupe St. 78666 http://www.taada.us

Houston -- 2nd and 4th Saturdays, 7:30-10:30 pm,  St. Andrews Episcopal Church, 1819 Heights Blvd, 77008 www.hatds.org

Dallas -- almost every weekend either contra or English.  See http://www.nttds.org/sched.html  $9 per person at various locations.

Bryan/College Station--1st Saturdays, 7 - 10 pm  $5 per person. Aldersgate Church,Stan Swanson:swanson.stan@gmail.com

Huntsville-- 4th Saturdays.  New dance series, email Stan Swanson for info:  swanson.stan@gmail.

 

NEW MEXICO - 3rd Fridays; 7:30 to 10:30 PM; Southern New Mexico Music & Dance Society, Mesilla Community Center, 2251 Calle de Santiago, Mesilla (Las Cruces)
Contact (505) 521-7586 or
lluderman@nmsu.edu

 

OHIO - 1st Friday, Kettering - City Folk; holds dances on the 1st Friday of the month from September to May (except December) with waltzing at 6:30pm, instruction at 7:30pm, and contra dancing at 8:00pm. The dances are held at the Michael Solomon Pavilion, 2917 Berkley Avenue (behind the Community Golf Course off Dorothy Lane).  Web site: http://www.cityfolk.org/socialDance.htm.

 

CANADA - Monthly (Sept. to May) 8:00 to 10:30 PM, Contra Time Dancers,  Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Resurrection.  2096 Windsor Street, Halifax, NS B3K 5B1.  Live Music, Prompter - Dottie Welch.  Instruction as needed - new dancers welcome; $10.00 per person.  Info: Dottie Welch (902) 435-4544, email dwelch@eastlink.ca
Check www.squaredance.ns.ca for dates. Halifax Contra Dancers dance at All Nations Christian Reformed Church, 2535 Robie Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Dances are monthly on a Saturday, 7:30 pm for new dancers and 8 pm for dance. Leader: Shannon Lynch & others. 
Contact: Katherine Kitching, 5685 Bloomfield St., Halifax, NS, B3K 1T1 (902) 455-1723 halifaxcontradance@gmail.com

 

 

66th National Square Dance Convention®Cincinnati, Ohio - June 21-24, 2017 http://66nsdc.com/   

67th National Square Dance Convention®Kansas City, Missouri - June 27-30, 2018 http://www.67nsdc.com/

68th National Square Dance Convention®Atlanta, Georgia - June 24-29, 2019 http://www.68nsdc.org/