I thought you all might get a kick out of this email that my sister
received from her friend in Holland, who is planning to return to
Vermont this summer for a family vacation:
> Don't hesitate to point out the Vermont highlights seen through the
> of a 13 and 14 year old. Girls. We have made a little list already of
> 'things to do'. Biking. Tour thru B&J headquarters. Swimming. Rodeling
> (?? coming down a mountain on a sledge, but then in summer) Shopping
> (Michel keeps saying clothes are so much cheaper). Peek into Harrison's
> school, and other schoolbuildings. I would love to go to a
> thing, the one with the band playing and a 'speaker' (?)who tells you
> what to dance - is that still going on? Climbing Mt Mansfield, because
> your newyears letter had a beautiful picture of it. And I might be
> interested in getting to know your midwives - not sure yet if i dare,
> but very interested....
So there you go. Some caller made quite an impression on a young Dutch
girl years ago!
PO Box 45
Taftsville, VT 05073
Just a suggestion; During this cold and flu season bring along a bottle
of hand sanitizer or suggest that the dance organizers keep some on hand
(ala RPDLW). The dancers will appreciate it!
I attended the Snow Ball in Peterborough and now have my second cold of
Dancers would be advised to keep sanitizers (baby wipes?) on hand
....but who (myself included) thinks of such things when you don't have
A great resource provided by the RPDLW is the syllabus produced by Tony Sallatan
it contains transcripts of every dance called during the weekend... a true goldmine!
navigate to the Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend web site and you will have access to
syllabuses for years past
Note that registrations are due SOON. This sounds like a great
workshop and I'm planning to be there.
Calling All Callers
The Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS) will be offering a one-day
intensive workshop especially designed for up to 25 intermediate-
level contra dance callers -- anyone who has called a half or full
evening of contras up through decades of calling.
This event, CONTRA DANCE CALLING: Beyond the Basics, will be held on
Saturday, June 24, 2006 in Amherst, MA. Master callers Lisa Greenleaf
and Brad Foster will lead sessions on a variety of topics that are
pertinent to callers attending the event. Topics might include the
language of teaching figures, how to get to the next level as a
caller, communicating with the band, teaching and calling challenging
contras, etc. You may request other topics when you register.
There will also be time to meet other callers and discover ways you
can support each other in strengthening your calling abilities. One
session will offer tools for giving and receiving feedback. All
participants will have the opportunity to call a dance and receive
feedback, either during the day or at a public contra dance that
evening. Live music will be provided by fiddlers Amy Larkin and
Shirley White with Linda Henry on piano.
This will be a small, pilot program, with room for a maximum of 25
callers. CDSS expects that this workshop will be very popular and
that it will be oversubscribed. They will have a lottery of all
registrations received by February 20. So register ASAP!
To register, visit www.cdss.org/workshop.html or contact Linda Henry
at 413-268-7426 x 105 or linda(a)cdss.org.
Cost: $100 for CDSS members, $115 for non-members. Scholarships are
Esp those who are relatively new to calling and those who have never
been to the
Ralph Page Weekend in Durham NH. If you have a chance in the future,
jump at it!
As I found out, once I stepped out of the role of dancer, and really
watched and listened... the weekend is geared to callers. Not only do
they bring in the best callers (Tod Whittemore, Lisa Greenleaf, Linda
Leslie, David Millstone and others), the weekend offers very informative
caller wkshps and the chance to take the stage and do some calling in
front of a friendly crowed.
If you wish your calling can be critiqued by fellow callers (a great way
to hone your skills!)
This is something I have not found at other festivals in my area.
Watching Tod and Lisa do their stuff is a thrill! They both are so easy
on stage (lots of playing with the crowed)
But they are true professionals that just don't miss a beat.
All in all a great time! Give it a try
Hope to hear you soon,
I guess I should have done this earlier, but I'd be interested in
hearing how many people are planning on attending the Ralph Page weekend?
If people are interested, I would love to have a SharedWeight
get-together. I was too late to sign up for the meals, so I can't really
set up a lunch gathering. Maybe people would be interested in gathering
at the dining tables downstairs (where people stash their things) during
the afternoon session on Saturday (3:30-5:00). This is just after Tod's
For those of you who haven't met me before, there's a picture on my
website. You can also spot me because I always wear a tie-dye bandanna
as a headband when I'm dancing. 8^)
Hope to see everyone there!
A few weeks ago, there was some discussion about Nils Fredland's dance: "Head of the Bed" (see below).... I was about to call it a couple of wks ago, and although I had memorized the dance (thanks, Tom H!)..., on the way driving to the dance, I realized I wasn't sure when to introduce and identify the shadow during the walk thru!
I remember dancing it, and I think I re-call the caller introducing the shadow after the N Swg end of A1, which would be on the diagonal? And then, of course, since it's Becket, the shadow can be introduced in the beginning: the same person on the same side one beyond your partner ..... (help!)....
For those who have called it, how and when do you introduce the shadow during your teaching? I hope to call it this Friday nite (Jan 6), so quick comments appreciated.
Any additional teaching notes appreciated..... and also pls cfm I got the dance right!
Head of the Bed by Nils Fredland
A1 - Slide Left
Cir Left 3/4
A2 - w/ N 1/2 Promenade
B1 - 1/2 Hey, W start pass Rt Sh
B2 - LL F&B
Gents roll shadow away
One of my favorite winter dances in "20 Below" by Bill Olson
(8) Circle left 3/4 to a wave across
(ladies take left in the center, neighbors take right)
(4) Balance the wave
(4) Pass through to a new wave
(4) Balance the wave
(12) Neighbors swing
(8) Gents allemande left 1 1/2
(8) Half a hey
(Partners pass right on the outside)
(16) Partners balance and swing
Nothing like being in warm dance hall dancing the night away, when it is 20
below out side...
There are few dances I am in love as I am in love with this dance. I remember
the first time I danced this, and remember exactly how Nils told the story on
how it was written. That the dance had come to him a dream... What a great
Anyway, I would completely agree with the introduction of the shadow right at
the beginning of the dance. The "bow to your partner next to you, bow to your
neighbor across from you, and bow to your shadow next to you on the other
side. It is a lot easier making this introduction, when everyone is sure of
where they are suppose to be, in this case in Becket formation.
Sometime when you call this sequence it helps to have a leading call to the
shadows swing. I always use something like this: "half a hey, now turn away
and shadows swing. I like the "turn away", because you are turning away from
your partner, to your shadow, it makes a really easy reference point, instead
says gents look up or ladies look down or look right or look left.