Hey Ever= yone!
Just thought I would chime in with some = of my calling
experiences... Well, I would say that I am a fairly i= nexperienced
caller, since I have only been calling since the beginning o= f the
year. I really believe that there may be no better place to l= earn
to call, then Nelson, New Hampshire, and of course for a couple diff erent reasons:
1: The Nelson Contra Dance happens every= Monday night (all 56 Mondays
of the year), and that simply means more ti= me to call. I usually
call about 2 or 3 dances every week, sometime= s more, sometimes less,
but calling every week has really allowed me to l= earn a lot.
2. Nelson Contra Dancers are great= !!! When you have experienced
dancers, it really helps a new caller= . The dancers really make
the caller look good, so that is always= a confidence boost when you
3. And of course Don Primrose and = Lisa Sieverts, two great callers,
that I have learned a lot from and cont= inue to learn a lot from.
When you have good calling mentors, it re= ally helps your growth as a
caller. Everytime I call, usually at th= e end of the dance I talk
with Lisa about how my calling was. Feedb= ack is such a great tool,
and I would encourage new callers to seek out f= eedback. There is
always something that can be better about your ca= lling...
I really love calling, there is just som= ething about being up on
stage, that is just really amazing, but you have= to pratice, pratice,
pratice... If there is one thing that Lisa ha= s really instilled
into me, it is the the two T's. Teaching and tim= ing. Teaching is
so important and of the things that I do along wit= h praticing
calling a dance, I also pratice the walk-through. In my= opinion, a
walk-through has to be detailed, yet quick, concise, with no = wasted
words. Three minutes tops and very rarely there should ever = be a
need for a second walk-through. There are of course some dance= s
with strange end effects that may require a second walk-through, but 9
= out of 10 times, 1 time is good enough...
And of course there is timing. Fla= re and style will come after
timing, as it should. Don't be late, d= on't be early. Know where
the phrase ends, know when you need to st= art caling a call, and know
when you need to stop calling a call. B= e right on the beat... So
all and all, I really feel that I come al= ong way in a short five
months of my calling career. The last coupl= es weeks, have been
right on for me, so hopefully it is only up for here.= One thing
that has really helped me call better is my comfort leve= l on stage.
You have to have fun, when you are calling or it just i= s not worth
it. Do whatever you need to, to be relaxed, comfortable= , and having
fun on stage, to call a good dance. I usually will dan= ce around,
jump down on the dance floor and dance with the dancers as it = is
going on... Just have fun!!!
See you on the dance floor or maybe the = stage...
Jeffrey M. Petrovitch
"Five nights of contra dancing... through 'top-notch' style and technique,
with the love and passion for the dance, the title above all others was
awarded. I am an 'Iron Dancer'." - J.M. Petrovitch