Music & Dance

Calling dances

Outside of my writing life, I call traditional square dances and contra dances. I specialized in simple and fun dances that are accessible to everyone, including beginners. (The Washington Post Magazine profiled me in early 2019.)

Among my favorite dances I’ve called are the DC Square Dance (which I co-founded and organized until 2019), the Baltimore Square Dance, Folklore Village in Wisconsin and the Silver Spring Contra Dance. I’ve also called at benefits, house parties and weddings.

Upcoming calling dates:

Social dancing and social distancing — not a good match. Stay tuned.. maybe.

Past events:

Thursday, March 12, 2020 — Silver Spring Contra Dance

April 14, 2018 — DC Square Dance with the Sligo Creek Stompers

September 14, 2017 — private event

October 12, 2017 — Silver Spring Contra Dance, Silver Spring Civic Center, One Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring, MD. With the Sligo Creek Stompers!

March 11, 2017 — DC Square Dance, Saint Stephens Church. With Paul Brown and the Old-Time Wall of Sound

February 20, 2016 — DC Square Dance @ Saint Stephens (for 540 people!)

November 21, 2015 — DC Square Dance @ Bardo (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 Stephens

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. I love playing waltzes. Since 2018, I’ve been focusing on klezmer fiddling with the DC Klezmer Orchestra.

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 created the largest regularly occurring traditional square dance in the nation, if not the world. (I retired from organizing in 2019.)

Traditional square dancing has exploded in popularity in the past decade, especially among young people and urban people who are discovering or re-discovering this fun, 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.

My writing about music and dance

Profile of Anna-Roberts Gevalt, Wesleyan Magazine, April 5, 2016

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