Music & Dance

FolkloreCalling dances

I call traditional square dances and contra dances. I call simple and fun dances that are accessible to everyone, including beginners.

Among my favorite dances I’ve called are the DC Square Dance (which I co-founded and continue to co-organize), the Baltimore Square Dance, Folklore Village in Wisconsin, the Louisville square dance, the Cincinnati square dance and the Silver Spring Contra Dance. I’ve also called at benefits, house parties and weddings.

Upcoming calling dates:

DC Square Dance, Saint Stephens Church, 1525 Newton St., NW, Washington, DC: 8:00 — 11:30 pm, March 11, 2017

 

Past events:

February 20, 2016 – DC Square Dance @ Saint Stephen’s (for 540 people!)

November 21, 2015 – DC Square Dance @ Bardo (along with Bradley Kennedy)

January 8, 2015 – Silver Spring Contra Dance

October 25, 2014 – Baltimore Square Dance

October 16, 2014 – Louisville Square Dance

October 14, 2014 – Northside Square Dance, Cincinnati, OH

September 13, 2014 – DC Square Dance @ Saint Stephen’s

 

Playing

I play traditional Appalachian fiddle and old-time guitar. I’m partial to the beautiful and haunting tunes from my home state of Kentucky, but I also play traditional music from other parts of the Appalachians and the South and Midwest, as well as the occasional Irish, New England or swing tune. And I love playing waltzes.

My favorite gigs are for dances, farmers markets and community events. I also played a solo house concert in February 2014.

 

Please contact me if you’re interested in having me play or call at your event.

 

Organizing

I helped found the DC Square Dance Collective, which puts on regular dances at Saint Stephens Episcopal Church in Washington, DC. I believe we have the largest regularly occurring traditional square dance in the nation, if not the world.

Traditional square dancing has exploded in popularity in the past few years, especially among young people who are discovering or re-discovering this non-commercial, community-based activity. I’ve been organizing dances in and around DC since 2008. I started with house parties and progressed to benefits and larger dances. In that time I think I’ve figured out a few things that might be helpful to others who are thinking of organizing a square dance. If you’re interested, I’ve written some thoughts and suggestions.

 

Writing about music and dance

Chasing the rabbit in D.C., Washington Post, January 22, 2016

Snow is on the Ground (pdf), Country Dance and Song Society News, Spring 2011

Fiddle Physics, PhysicsCentral