January 21, 2017

For 2017: Contra Dance–Play in the Band or Dance

From Bonnie Carol:

The last activity on Saturday afternoon will be a Contra Dance with all dances taught and called by Chris Kermiet. Chris Kermiet, a 50-year veteran of organizing such events, will be putting together a combination of dances that will provide a rich program with a variety of easy dances that involve less learning and more dancing.

The band is open to anyone who wants to learn the material and practice—Hammered and Mountain Dulcimers and any other instruments you might want to play. We would really like to encourage more of our Mountain Dulcimer friends and, to this end, Bob Elieson has made good music with Mountain Dulcimer tablature for all the sets we’ll do, with melody arrangements as well as chords so you can choose which approach to take.

The dozen and a half people who played last year in the band had so much fun and learned so much that we are repeating the activity this year. The dance will be shorter so we will need roughly half the number of sets from last year.  You are welcome to participate by learning one or two sets, or half of the sets or all of them; you may play melody or chords. Some people want to dance some of the five or so dances, and play for others. Just participate in the band at whatever level you like!

Co-directors for 2017 are Bob Elieson (970-685-0359 or [email protected] and me, Bonnie Carol (303 258-7763 or [email protected]. Please call one of us to let us know you’re interested and we will send you a Doodle Poll to schedule rehearsal times that will suit the most people. They will be primarily during the day on Saturdays and Sundays. We will hope to have one session in September or early October, one in late November, one in December,  and one in mid-January.

This is a very low-stress situation in which you can learn to play with other people and to play for dances and just to get together once a month or so and play together. In my long experience, there’s little else that is as much fun a playing with people, so I hope you’ll come do it with us.

THE MUSIC

Here are our six sets (always subject to change as we practice, but we’ll start here) :

Sandy Boys A / John Stenson’s # 2 A  / Red Haired Boy A

Elkins D / Big Liza Jane D / Whiskey Before Breakfast D

Kesh Jig G / Old Favorite G (jig) / March of St. Timothy G (reel) 

 Andy Irvine’s Polka G / Shoes and Stockings  G / Redwing G

Atoll Highlanders A / Johnny Cope A / Hangman’s Reel A 

 If I Had Maggie in the Wood D / Johnny Johnny Don’t Get Drunk D / Mississippi Sawyer D 

Please call Bob or Bonnie by SEPT. 9 to express your interest and we’ll send that Doodle Poll.” If you decide you’re interested after the Doodle Poll is conducted, please call to see how the project is progressing and we’ll fit you in.”

Here is the tune list and music for this years Dance.

Oooooeeee, here goes some fun!

Some Examples

To get an idea of what some of the dances look like, watch some youtube videos . . .

(And don’t get intimidated by these dancers. Remember, the caller will step you through it every step of the way. And any “mistakes” can lead to a lot of laughing and fun!)

  • A sample overall Introduction (13 minutes):
    (But be aware that every caller does the introduction differently!)

 

  • An actual Contra Dance—starting out a little slower (9 minutes):

P.S. In the videos it appears that all partner pairings are male/female. But if there’s a gender imbalance, it’s quite acceptable that women pair up, or men pair up.

 

  • An example of flatfoot dancing—and the fun of playing in the band (3 minutes):