I come from a long line of folk musicians and dancers, and have been dancing my entire life. My specialty these days are American Oldtime Squares- dances from Appalachia. This includes teaching square dances, and children's singing games, as well as clogging from that region.
I began teaching folk dancing roughly 10 years ago, starting with Ontario Step Dancing, then ceilidgh dances, contra dance, family dances, and squares. I have called for dances in Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa, Richmond QC, Montreal, and Buffalo, and have taught and participated in folk dance camps and programs in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Kentucky.
I love to teach all levels of dancers, from novice to advanced. I take 'having fun' on the dance floor extremely seriously.
What is Contra Dancing?
Contra dancing, in a nutshell, is very much like square dancing. Contra dancing uses the same movement vocabulary (ie dosido your neighbour, swing your parnter, etc.) but instead of dancing with just 8 people, as in a square, in a contra dance you have the opportunity to dance with perhaps 30 people.
What is a caller?
Contra dances, like square dances, are done with the help of a "caller". That's where I come in. The caller teaches each dance before it begins in what's known as a 'walk through'. Once the dancers have done the walk through, the caller will strike up the band, and she/he will continue to prompt the dance until it looks like everyone is flowin' along on their own. A caller is also the person who thinks up what dances would be fun for a particular group- they plan the evening, talk to the band, and make sure everyone is happy, in general.