I am an example of someone who gradually left a dance community partly because of what I saw as offensive lyrics in singing calls….. When my wife and I were dancing modern western squares in the late 1980s, in Ohio, many callers were using contemporary pop and country songs for their singing calls. Maybe they still do. One of the reasons we left MWSD after a few years was their choice of country songs for their singing calls (which were about half the dances called in a typical evening). I particularly remember cringing at use of Hank Williams Junior’s song “If the South Woulda Won the War”, which argues that if that had happened we wouldn’t have the social problems we have now (or had in the late ‘80s). Not to belittle the concerns that others have brought up, but there are (or were) a lot more offensive songs available — at least offensive to me — than have been mentioned here. And I am at least half a southerner myself….
I'd make my Supreme Court down in Texas,
And we wouldn't have no killers gettin'off free.
If they were proven guilty, then they would swing quickly,
Instead of writin' books and smilin' on T.V.
We'd all learn Cajun cookin in Louisiana,
And I'd put that capitol back in Alabama.
We'd put Florida on the right track 'cause, we'd take Miami back,
And throw all them pushers in the slammer.
Read more: Hank Williams Jr. - If The South Woulda Won Lyrics | MetroLyrics <http://www.metrolyrics.com/if-the-south-woulda-won-lyrics-hank-williams-jr.…>
I'm the designated caller but my favorite partner-in-crime Laurie Indenbaum
just got freed up to play fiddle and I'd rather make harmonies with her
while one of *you* calls.
The East Putney Dance has been going since forever, is on a dirt road
nobody can find, but people seem to show up any way, has a two-holer
outhouse -- *with padded seats! -- *and a loyal regular crowd big enough to
make two sets, and pays dozens -- dozens, I tell you! -- of dollars.
It's an All-Comers Night which means a bunch of extra musicians will be
sitting in on accordion and harmonica and of course more fiddles, but Carol
Compton keeps them well in line from the piano, and rumor has it a busload
of Putney School teenagers may show up with their exuberance and, um,
The dancers will dance ANYthing, contras or circles or singing squares, and
they'll even do dances with clapping and arches without sneering.
If all this sounds impossible to resist, email me directly?
We actually do pay traveling callers somewhat reasonably...
Passing this along. If someone wants to inquire about a dance *this
Saturday* in Southwest Vermont, you can reach out directly to Liz
Albertson, email below.
---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Liz Albertson <lizjalbertson(a)gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Mar 20, 2018, 5:22 PM
Subject: Calling a dance 3.24
... was wondering if you are available to call a beginner/family-friendly
dance on March 24th in North Bennington? Thanks, Liz Albertson
I am devising a workshop for a festival here in Australia, and have long been of the opinion that there are no "leaders" in contra dance couples. Moves should be executed with mutual consent, especially embellishments such as turning under out of a ladies' chain. Conventions such as waltz hold swings are really useful here. In Australia, other related dance forms use a variety of swing holds, which lead to confusion and interruption of flow. I plan to place some emphasis on conventions of holds, such as allemande and star holds.
I would value people's opinions on this, as it may ruffle some long-held conventions. Any words of wisdom from the gender free dance community would be especially welcome.
Also, I believe that if dancers are to enjoy embellishments, they must be by mutual consent. This is so difficult to establish in a microsecond. I would value any thoughts on how to advise reaching this consent in the context of a contra dance.
Looking forward to your thoughts
Contra dance caller, musician, workshop facilitator
Phone: +61 (0)449 686 077
"The piano - 88 little mistakes waiting to happen"Kate Barnes
Interesting discussion on the Portland Country Dance Community Facebook page. Lots of great suggestions. A lot of people really don’t like “right shoulder round” (I’m one of them). I tried one of their suggestions last night - Kipsey - and it worked amazingly well. Easy to say, particularly when you are cutting down the calling to one word (what do you do with right shoulder round? shoulder? Ick.) And everyone can hear the similarity and knows what to do. I had tried spiral for a while and people just seemed confused. The other suggestion that I noticed today was from Susan Michaels - “look-see” That has the virtue of a similar rhyming two syllable call, and it’s upbeat and fun and has emphasis on facing the other person. Check out the discussion. https://www.facebook.com/groups/62950211264/permalink/10155943260651265/ <https://www.facebook.com/groups/62950211264/permalink/10155943260651265/>
This morning I received an update to this list that was entirely
unintelligible. Not because it was long, or that it had several replies on
a topic (substitute terms for gypsy) but because the submissions were made
without removing all that had gone before.
It was one long mass of words which I had no desire to parse.
This is a shortcoming of the mailing list software, to be sure, but please,
when you reply on a topic, take the time to remove all but the most
necessary of previous words that will form part (the annoying bulk?) of
I really appreciate being able to hear many voices on this list but when it
is gibberish, I am simply frustrated.
Thanks for reading.
Hi fellow shared weight callesr
I just put this message out on the organizers list-serve but I know some of
us callers are also organizers so I wanted to share here with you. Plus
you know lots of organizers! (I'll also share with the musician group.)
Some of you may have heard about this but I wanted to share some exciting
organizer information from CDSS.
*Please share it with other organizers in your area! *This information is
for ANY traditional dance, music or song organizers (e.g., contra dance;
old time jam sessions; scandinavian dance; trad song circles; etc).
*SURVEY of TRADITIONAL DANCE, MUSIC and SONG ORGANIZERS in the US:*
CDSS wants to hear from you in order to inform their work in supporting
local organizers throughout the US! What you are organizing? What
challenges do you face? What support/connections would help you in the work
CDSS recently conducted a study of Canadian organizers (article here
and has taken the findings to further improve their support of local
The US survey available until April 13th:
Note that multiple individuals from the same organization can fill out the
Please share widely with organizers in many traditions!
*NEW CDSS E-MAIL BLASTS for ORGANIZERS*
CDSS has just launched a new organizer email newsletter to support local
organizers of traditional dance music and song. The e-news will be emailed
out four times a year. Expect notifications about new resources, upcoming
training opportunities, inspiring success stories and more.
To join the email list, click here:
Again - please spread widely!
CDSS Canadian Initiative+