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Contact: e-mail; phone: 203.888.5049
Al currently calls for father-daughter dances, backyard hoedowns and square dances, barn dance parties, contra dances, church groups, synagogues, anniversaries, camps, senior centers and more, using either live or recorded music. Click here for CONNtra dances Al has written.
Contact: e-mail; phone: 203.364.4554
Patricia started calling in the late 1980s when a church festival organizer who knew that she was a long-time dancer asked her to call a dance for their summer gathering of three regional churches. When she told the person that there was a big difference between dancing and calling, she was simply told "Well, why don't you learn?" She found a wonderful mentor in John Foley (one of the founders of NOMAD), and, unaware of all that she didn't know, Patricia's first calling event was for about 200 families and with about twelve musicians who had one rehearsal together in the afternoon. It was an incredible experience; at the end of the evening, she said "To have all that great music right behind meI was higher than anything and had the worst headache of my life simultaneously!"
Patricia is a dance leader with experience and a love of calling for barn dances, school, community, religious, and organization dances (everything from libraries to scouts). She has performed at NOMAD and has served on the NOMAD program committee for many years. Her repertoire includes New England contra dance, Colonial/18th-century dance, square, and folk dances.
Contact: e-mail; phone: 203.393.3464
Bill has been calling dances for over twenty years, starting out in New Haven with the contra dance series that has been a fixture of the folk music and dance scene there for more than twenty-five years. In addition to contra dances in and around the northeast, he has called at various festivals regionally. Somewhat accidentally, he has focused on groups which include a lot of beginnersof all agesand has done events at schools, parties, special occasions, and nursing homes including square dances for people in wheel-chairs! Besides calling, he plays several folk instrumentsprimarily penny-whistleand has danced in and played music for performing dance groups at many events and festivals in and around the northeast.
Contact: e-mail; phone: 860.561.5585
1974 was the year. In that spring semester at Cornell Jim finished up his studies of philosophy and enjoyed his first evenings with the Cornell Folk Dance group. By May '74, attending a country dance weekend at Hudson Guild Farm, Jim was hooked. Returning to CT, he sought out folk, English and contra dances. Live music was not prevalent, however. By 1978 Jim had started his own dance series that grew into two contras per month with live fiddle bands. Hartford Country Dance was born. There would also be eighteen years of lovely summer evenings in Elizabeth Park at the Concert & Country Dance series. Jim called at most of these but he liked to open it to guest bands and callers. Jim has been a performing dancer/choreographer with several groups totaling about 33 years experience. Count among them Sedenka (the International dance performers), Mountain Laurel Cloggers, Reel Nutmeg as founder and director, Crackerbarrel Revue, and the Elm City Vintage Dancers. These experiences were recounted in Jim's column "Your Contra Corner," which ran 1982-1985 in Folknotes.
Jim became a full time dance teacher and caller in 1980. Senior citizen classes and school programs are a big part of his day's work. Adult classes, contras, and weddings are big evenings and weekends. Jim has developed specialties in family dances and colonial American dance. Camp Salomon hired Jim full time for a 10 week summer and that went on three more summers. Jim has also been on the staff at Rowe Camp's Liberation Week and Pinewoods Camper's week. He has called at NEFFA, NOMAD, and the Dance Flurry. Jim was the stage choreographer for two Connecticut musicals, Robber Bridegroom and Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. In addition, half a dozen of his original contras are in print, including Zesty Contras, Fiddler Magazine, and the Country Dance & Song Society News.
Click here for CONNtra dances written by Jim.
Contact: e-mail; phone: 203.288.7476
Steve is a modern contra dance caller, calling dances for all levels from the novice to the expert with dances ranging from traditional reels, southern style squares to the most current contra dances. Steve is especially known for the one or two experienced dances each year that include medleys- dances that change each time through the dance. The current record is 29 separate dances in a medley.
Click here for CONNtra dances written by Steve.
Contact: e-mail; phone: 860.684.3466
Rich currently calls dances for several local contra dance series; traditional square dances series; corporate, family, and community dance parties; and modern square dance clubs. His geographic focus is in New England and New York, but he has called in West Virginia, Florida, Alabama, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Nevada as well.
Rich began calling contras, squares, and dance parties earnestly in 1992, but his first exposure to calling dances was really around 1966. At a young age of eleven, he was exposed to square dance through his parents, who were avid dancers. Rich was captivated by the singing square "Love in the Country," and was constantly singing "Dosido and you promenade... Oh girl, you'll be dreamin' of, the birds and bees, the flowers and the trees, till you're up to your knees in love." (I am not sure that he even knew what the birds and the bees were!)
Rich and his wife Lynn began actively dancing with caller Lori Morin in October, 1991 and by April, 1992 they were calling dances. Lori Morin, introduced Rich to New England legend, Dick Leger, and Rich quickly learned from the master. Rich called his first full square dance program at Dick Leger's kitchen table without any dancers, and within weeks, he called that exact program to live dancers. Of course, Lynn's exciting harmonies made Rich sound better than he was, and the harmonies of "We Duet Right" brought them many bookings in the square dance world.
As the mainstream dance clubs declined in southern New England, Rich, with the help of caller Bob Livingston, began calling to live music, and also began calling more contras and traditional squares. At present Rich has contra bookings throughout southern New England, and organizes and calls for "The Stafford Stomp" in his hometown.
Rich is the president of the Connecticut callers association, and is chairman elect of NECCA (New England Council of Caller's Associations), as well as a lifetime member of the New England Square Dance Foundation.
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Last modified January 2, 2019.