I’d like to know people’s opinion of using music while playing for a contra dance. Is it easier to create excitement if the musicians play by ear? Thanks in advance for your opinion, Tom Hinds
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Changing the subject line to reflect the topic
Thank you, and please think and contribute if
you can. This could be a game changer.
If people want to revisit the use of words,
please reflect that on a different thread.
This is a long email, as it includes three posts.
First, I hope people don't mind, but I'm ccing,
callers and musicians list here, as I think
we can collectively bring about a major shift
in habits w/ our concerted hive intelligence.
I am including the original two posts near the top of
this email, so callers/musicians list people can
see where this started. PLEASE feel free to
cut out the original lengthy posts when replying.
On 10/7/19, Heitzso via Organizers <organizers(a)lists.sharedweight.net> wrote:
> I'm a believer that climate change is a real threat.
> I'm also a believer that our culture desperately needs activities
that bind people together rather than fractures them apart, and
I believe contra dance is an excellent way to do that.
(sharing weight, dancing with everyone, ...)
> I've mentioned the issue of how do we change our contra culture
to minimize our carbon footprint from traveling to non-local contra
dances to my wife, Jennifer Horrocks, a few times over the years
(she sews and sells contra dance dresses all over the country).
> Recently Liz Burkhart (on this email's "to" list) posted on Facebook
about her trying to alter her contra lifestyle to minimize her contra
> Cut-and-pasting from her post:
>> I've spent years with a contra habit that takes me to roughly one
dance weekend per month. The closest, besides our own, was 83 miles
away and the furthest was 795 miles. I am acutely aware that this is an
incredible amount of distance to be covered for just one weekend (sometimes
a week) for a pleasurable activity. It's been weighing on me more and more,
as it's becoming painfully obvious that our lifestyles aren't sustainable. My
lifestyle at home is mostly pretty simple, but I feel this nagging guilt
when I do something extravagant, like drive to Vermont for YDW. Although
we did our best to cram up to 6 people and our stuff in a van, we still
consumed a lot of fuel to make it happen. Some people flew, which consumes
>> I think I'd like to work on decreasing the amount of out-of-town events
I go to, and try to find alternative ways to get there. Carpools are great
and much better than driving solo, but we could do more. One dancer this
weekend took public transit and a bicycle from DC area to Vermont. A whole
band playing for a square dance weekend a few years ago biked from south
(I think New Orleans?) all the way to Nashville. I think this is really
admirable and more people should consider something like this. This
ongoing climate change makes our world a scary place, and it will only get
worse (it doesn't look like those with the power to fix it care to change
the high consumption status quo). It's also becoming more common for me to
have to drive distances to call contra dances, which is harder to find
carpool mates for. I'm not sure what that will look like for me - I am
fantasizing about a NE train/bike tour with dates far enough apart that I
can make it to gigs with this slower and less convenient transportation.
I'm also considering making a vow to never fly on an airplane again. Their
use is so incredibly terrible for our environment.
>> Has anyone been adapting their travel habits in the face of climate
> I believe that we, our contra community, needs to openly start discussing
I applaud Liz's public request for comment and solutions.
Finally, my reply:
Yes, this is a very worthwhile discussion.
On a slightly side note, 2+ yrs ago a hydrogen station was completed
at a local super market parking lot 1 mile from our house.
I tried for 1 yr, writing emails and calling Stop & Shop, Toyota, Honda,
and people from Air Liquide who were the ones responsible for installing
the hydrogen station. I got absolutely nowhere for all this effort.
I was told repeatedly by everyone I could get to talk to at both
Toyota and Honda (both who make hydrogen powered cars)
that there weren't stations to provide fuel to start selling these
cars anywhere but in CA. To my knowledge (I live in Prov RI),
there are stations near Hartford CT, Mansfield MA (20 mi. from us),
Newton MA, (40 miles from us and close to Boston), and I'm sure
there are others nearby that I'm not aware of. Perhaps you know
of others you could add to this?
CA is the only place you can buy these cars (is what I'm told).
Someone mentioned OR. I called dealers there, and no luck.
SO, my very dissatisfied take on all this was that the industry
(car makers, etc) are doing worse than just dragging their feet
on switching to non-carbon based fuel alternatives. It pisses
me off no end (esp having a station 1 mile from home). But
honestly I don't know where to take this from here.
After all this effort, we switched out from a Toyota Echo ('05)
which had been getting just under 40 mpg for over 10 yrs, to
a Prius, now getting 55+mpg overall, but I'm still not happy
about the carbon footprint.
Biking is great, (but I'm afraid our household is a little to
old for that now), and public transportation is also a great
alternative. However, just for an example, I believe there
is no public transportation that will take you into Concord MA,
where the Scout House is, and where there is dancing at least
10X/mo. Correct me if I'm wrong on this.
So I'd love to hear from others and apologize for this slightly
lengthy rant, but for one, I would LOVE to see hydrogen become
the rule of the highways. Their exhaust is water, and being lighter
than air, any leaks would go up, and not spread fire across the landscape,
as gasoline would do, should there be an accident. Oh, and the
Hindenberg? All that black smoke and all the fire after the first few
seconds was due to diesel to run the engine and the canvas bag.
These lists rock,