[WebContent] Calendars

James Saxe jim.saxe at gmail.com
Thu Oct 13 13:32:46 PDT 2011

On Oct 13, 2011, at 11:55 AM, Lisa Sieverts wrote:

> ...
> I wonder about a national contra dance calendar hub, accepting feeds  
> from everywhere. Call me a dreamer!

I know of three websites (perhaps someone else knows of others)
that collect detailed dance calendar information from a wide
variety of other sites, namely:

   * Charlie Seelig's site:


     Some of the links under "Schedules" point to existing state-wide
     compilations.  Most of them (plus the "Festivals, Weekends, Camps,
     etc." link) point to pages generated from date somehow collected
     and compiled by Charlie.

   * The _Dance Gypsy_ Dance and Festival Finder


   * Ted Crane's Dance Database


     Pages returned by searches for dance series, individuals, or bands,
     sometimes include listings of specific events (with date, location,
     and staff) that are part of the designated series, or at which the
     designated individuals or bands are supposedly scheduled to  
     (Perhaps I'm just not using the right magic decoder ring, but I
     find Charlie Seelig's site and the _Dance Gypsy_ site easier to use
     than this one, and my impression is that they're more comprehensive
     and more accurate as well.  In any case, Ted does seem to gather
     enough dynamic information--i.e., info about specific events and
     not just generalized series information--to make his site worthy of
     note for present purposes).

I have no idea what combination of automated scripts and manual
intervention any of these sites use to collect their information, but
the sheer volume of updating involved suggests that they all use a
fair amount of automation.  (Perhaps some of the independent state-wide
calendars referenced from Charlie Seelig's site are also generated
with the aid of automated scripts.)  I also don't know what practices
maintainers of individual dance series websites should follow in order
to make it easy for these calendar compilation sites to gather their
calendar info, or to increase the likelihood that late-breaking changes
will get into the compiled calendars.

Perhaps others on this list can shed some light on these matters.

While I'm writing, I'll also take a moment to introduce myself.
I'm a contra and ("traditional") square dance caller living in the
San Francisco Bay area.  I currently don't have a personal web page,
nor am I on the BACDS web committee, though I occasionally act as a
gadfly with suggestions for the web committee, and sometimes aid
with compilation of data for our quarterly print calendar (which
Alan Winston or others then put into the calendar database used by


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