All Past News


Next Dance: April 1, 2017

Next Dance:

Saturday April 1, 2017

Guest Band: Spinning Wheel

Guest Caller: Jacob LeGrone

Beginners Lesson at 7:00

Dance: 7:30-10:30pm

Admission $7, HJDS Members and Students $5

Posted by: David Wiley on March 19, 2017

Next Dance: Feb 18, 2017

Join us for the next contra dance in Jonesborough:

Saturday February 18,2017

Guest Band: Joyful Noise

Guest Caller: Terry Doyle

Beginners lesson at 7:00pm

Dance 7:30-10:30pm

Waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm

Admission: $7, HJDS Members and Students $5

Posted by: David Wiley on February 7, 2017

Next Dance: Feb 4, 2017

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present the FOOT BALL in honor of Super Bowl weekend. The dance will be on Saturday Feb 4, 2017 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street.
The evening will start with a tailgate styled potluck dinner at 6:00pm with recorded waltz music.

Beginners lesson at 7:00pm with Caller Nick Boulet

The dance runs from 7:30-10:30pm with Windmill (Laurie Fisher and Steve Trisman)providing the tunes

Buy One Get One FREE for new dancers!

Posted by: David Wiley on January 27, 2017

Event Cancelled

Due to snow, dangerous road conditions and wind chilled low temps, we are cancelling the remainder of New Years Affair!

Posted by: David Wiley on January 7, 2017

New Years Affair Update

Hello Dancers:

Due to snow, we are cancelling the program for tonight only. We will resume on Saturday at 1:30pm with a waltz at the Visitors Center followed by contra for the rest of the evening. Both bands will play and Will Mentor will call. The techno with BUDDY System is still on for 9pm.

Thanks,
David Wiley
423-534-8879

Posted by: David Wiley on January 6, 2017

Next Event: A New Years Affair

First Dance of 2017:

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will kick of the 2017 dance year with a repeat of A New Years Affair featuring BUDDY SYSTEM and PLAYING WITH FYRE with featured callers Beth Molaro and Will Mentor.

Dates: January 6 & 7, 2017
Place: Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street
Admission: $40, HJDS Members (2017) and Students $30

Buddy System will play both acoustic and techno.

Tickets go on sale NOW at newyearsaffair2017.eventbrite.com

Schedule:

Friday Jan 6

07:00-08:45 Playing with Fyre

08:30-09:00 Desert Break

09:00-11:30 Buddy System (acoustic)

Saturday Jan 7

10:30-12:00 Buddy System (acoustic)

12:00-01:30 Lunch

01:30-02:15 Waltz with Buddy System

02:30-05:00 Playing with Fyre (challenging contras)

05:00-07:00 Dinner Break

07:00-08:45 Playing with Fyre

09:00-11:30 Buddy System (TECHNO)

Posted by: David Wiley on December 28, 2016

New Years Affair 2017

New Years Affair is a two-day dance event in Jonesborough. Here is the schedule and prices:

Posted by: David Wiley on December 18, 2016

Next Dance: December 17, 2016

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Posted by: David Wiley on December 14, 2016

Next Dance: December 3, 2016

Saturday December 3,2016

Band: S.A.L. (Suzi Gott, Art Shuster, Laurie Fisher)

Caller: George Segebade

Beginners lesson 7:00pm.

Dance: 7:30-10:30pm

Admission $7, $5 for HJDS Members & Students

Posted by: David Wiley on November 21, 2016

Next Dance

ContraForce with Emily Abel on Saturday November 19,2016

Posted by: David Wiley on November 15, 2016

فثسف

سفثف

Posted by: Nick on November 5, 2016

Next Dance: October 29, 2016

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a special Halloween Costume Contra Dance on Saturday, Oct 29, 2016 at Serenity Knoll Farm, 542 Bacon Branch Road, Jonesborough, 37659. Costumes are recommended especially for the contest and prize awards but not required. The dance will take place in the open-air pavilion with temperatures forcasted in the low 50's (Perfect!). The caller is Beth Molaro from Asheville. The beginners lesson will be 30 minutes earlier at 6:30pm. The dance will run from 7:00-10:00pm.

You are also invited to go across the river to Fender's Farm Corn Maze and Haunted Village after the dance at your own expense. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS Members, students and children.

The featured band is SEAGLASS which is Andrew VanNorstrand (from Great Bear Trio), Rachel Bell and Eileen Nicholson. They bring classic contra dance tunes and French Balfolk music and more weaving in roots-rock grooves and captivating improvisations, swing tunes and cowboy songs. This will be a most entertaining dance not to mention the craziness that comes with Halloween costuming.

Posted by: David Wiley on October 28, 2016

Next Dance: October 14-16

Mountain Madness Dance Weekend Oct 14-16
Place: Jonesborough Visitors Center & Serenity Knoll

Schedule is posted at Facebook.

Session pricing as follows:

Friday Early Bird Warm-Up: Toss the Possum with Will Mentor $10 (this is included in full registration)
Friday Evening: Waltzes and Contras $25
Saturday Morning: Workshops/Dances $10
Saturday Afternoon: RUSHFEST or Contra at SK $15
Saturday Evening: Waltzes and Contras $25
Sunday: Concert, Waltzes and Contras $15

Posted by: David Wiley on October 7, 2016

Next Dance: October 1, 2016

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a community contra dance on Saturday, Oct 1, 2016 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street.

The featured band is Sugar High from Asheville with Jesse Edgerton calling.

Beginners lesson at 7pm, dance from 7:30-10:30pm.

Admission $7, $5 for HJDS Members and Students

Posted by: David Wiley on September 23, 2016

Next Event: Saturday Sept 3rd

Contrathon XX Warm Up Dances!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a series of dances on Saturday, September 3, 2016 at Serenity Knoll Farm and the Jonesborough Visitors Center as a lead up to Contrathon XX on Sunday September 4th. You do not have to be registered for Contrathon XX to attend these events.

Saturday 3:00-5:00pm Waltz at Serenity Knoll with Zeke's Fancy $7 at the door

Saturday 7:30-10:30pm Contra Dance with Zeke's Fancy. Charlotte Crittenden & Charley Harvey calling. $7, $5 for students and HJDS members.

Saturday 11:00pm-1:00am Techno Contra with B-ham calling and playing the tunes $5

Serenity Knoll is located at 542 Bacon Branch Road, Jonesborough, TN

CONTRATHON XX will follow on Sunday September 4th and is SOLD OUT! No walk up registrations will be accepted.

Posted by: David Wiley on August 23, 2016

Next Dance: August 6, 2016

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, August 6, 2016 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street from 7:30-10:30pm.

Dancers are encouraged to bring friends and get them in for only $1.00. The promotion is "Buy one, get one FREE plus $1.00. Bring someone who has never contra danced before and $1.00 is all it takes for them to give it a try.

Guest band is RICOCHET from Charlottesville, VA

The guest caller is Dean Snipes from Charlotte.

Beginners lesson at 7:00pm. Dance from 7:30-10:30pm

Admission $7, HJDS Members and Students $5

Bring a friend who has never tried contra dance and they get in for only $1.

Posted by: David Wiley on July 31, 2016

Next dance: July 30, 2016

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a waltz workshop and waltz on Saturday, July 30, 2016 at Serenity Knoll Farm, 542 Bacon Branch Road, Jonesborough, TN 37659.

Attendees are invited to compete for the best home made cheesecake which will be judged by the dancers during the break from 7:00pm-8:00pm. The winner of the competition will receive 2 FREE Passes to Mountain Madness 2016, a $199.00 value.

The schedule will include a beginner and intermediate level watlz workshop from 5:00-7:00pm taught by Asheville's Scott Baxla. Cost for any part or all of the workshop is $10. The goal of the workshop is to learn how to connect with your partner and both basic and intermediate level dance moves.

The waltz music will be provided by "Flying the Tune" which consists of June Advincula on piano and Lew Gelfond on fiddle. The waltz will run from 8:00pm-10:00pm. Cost for the waltz is $10.

After the waltz, there will be a swing dance session to recorded music for an additional hour. Then, we will have a movie (yet to be determined) on the big screen.

Free camping is available with hot showers.

Bring a picnic and your finested cheesecake and compete for the grand prize.

Posted by: David Wiley on July 29, 2016

Next dance: July 30, 2016

Waltz Workshop and Waltz at Serenity Knoll Saturday July 30th.

5:00-7:00pm Waltz Workshop $10
8:00-10:00pm Waltz with Flying the Tune

542 Bacon Branch Road
Jonesborough, TN

Posted by: David Wiley on July 29, 2016

Free Contra Dance 7/9

Hello Dancers: There will be a FREE contra dance at beautiful SERENITY KNOLL, 542 Bacon Branch Road, Jonesborough, on Saturday July 9, 2016 starting at 8:00pm. The dance will follow the wedding of KIRSTY ZAHNKE and CLAY SKARDA. Footspring from Charlotte will provide the music. Diane Silver will do the calling. You may begin to arrive anytime after 7:00pm. Hope to see you there!

Posted by: David Wiley on July 3, 2016

Next Event: Contra Dance July 2, 2016

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a picnic, dance, sky watch and midnight movie at Serenity Knoll, 542 Bacon Branch Road in Jonesborough, TN on Saturday July 2, 2016.

The event will begin with a potluck dinner starting at 5pm. Then a contra dance will ensue from 7:30-10:30pm with touring band, ANADAMA (From Boston) bringing the tunes with Vicki Herndon calling. Admission $7 for all comers.

Bring food, swimsuit (in case we have waterslide or pool) binoculars, telescope and mosquito repellent.

After the dance, we will have couples dancing to recorded music that will include swing, hip-hop and other partner dances.

Of course, there will be fireworks not only on the dance floor but throughout the valley below.

When things calm down at midnight, Stargazer columnist, Mark Marquette will lead us in a special "Contra Cosmic Connection," The evening of dance will be enhanced with the naked eye stargazing of constellations and telescopic views of Venus Jupiter and the gibbous Moon.

And when the lights go out in the dance hall there will be a chance for some serious stargazing of galaxies and nebulae through telescopes provided by Bristol and Bays Mountain amateur astronomers led by local sky popularizer Marquette. Bring your own telescope and the experts will show you how to properly use it.

At midnight, we'll show the movie DIRTY DANCING on the big screen with hot popcorn for all.

Free camping is available.

Posted by: David Wiley on June 23, 2016

Next dance: June 18, 2016

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a community contra dance on Saturday June 18, 2016 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street.

Performing for twhe dance is the band S.A.L from Asheville, NC. THe band is made up of Laurie Fisher, Art Shuster and Susi Gott. The caller is Joy Greenwolfe from Durham, NC.

There will be a beginners lesson at 7:00pm. The dance runs from 7:30-10:30pm.

Admission is $7, $5 for HJDS members, Students and Children.

Posted by: David Wiley on June 5, 2016

Next Dance: June 4, 2016

Guest performers:

Band: Rhythm Road
Caller: Terry Doyle

Beginners Lesson at 7:00pm
Dance: 7:30-10:30pm

Admission $7, HJDS Members, Students and Children $5

No Partner Necessary, All dances taught, Smoke, Alcohol and Fragrance Free.

Posted by: David Wiley on May 30, 2016

Next Dance: May 21, 2016

Band: Unusual Suspects
Caller: Clinton Ross

Beginners Lesson at 7:00pm
Dance 7:30-10:30pm

Admission $7, HJDS Members, Students and Children $5

Posted by: David Wiley on May 16, 2016

Next Dance: May 7th, 2016

Band: Zeke's Fancy
Caller: Diane Silver

Posted by: David Wiley on May 6, 2016

Next Dance: April 10, 2016

Member Appreciation Dance at Serenity Knoll Farm, 542 Bacon Branch Road, Jonesborough, TN 37659

Band: Cailen Campbell & The Pond Brothers
Caller: Clinton Ross

Class for beginners at 1:30pm
Dance 2:00pm-5:00pm

Admission FREE for HJDS Members
Others: $7 adults, $5 students and children

Posted by: David Wiley on April 3, 2016

Next dance: April 2, 2016

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday April 2, 2016 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street.

The Guest Performers are Atlantic Crossing from Vermont with Donna Hunt calling.

Class for beginners at 7:00pm, Dance from 7:30-10:30pm.

Waltz & Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm.

Admission $7, HJDS Members, Students and Children $5

Posted by: David Wiley on March 20, 2016

Next dance: Feb 20,2016

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, February 20, 2016 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A family package allows parents to bring all of their own children for a total of $15. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. No partner is necessary. Families and children are welcome! A half hour contra dance workshop will be offered at 7pm.

Performing for this event will be the band Cailen Campbell from Asheville and George Paul from Blacksburg, VA. The caller is Terry Doyle from Morganton, NC. The dance on will run from 7:30-10:30pm.

Posted by: David Wiley on February 9, 2016

Next Event: Feb 6, 2016

Jonesborough Contra Dance! Shake those winter blues on the dance floor!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday February 6, 201 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street at 7:30 PM. Dot-Dot-Dash will play the tunes while Phoebe Williams will do the calling. Admission is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A special family package for members is now offered for a total of $15. Parents and all of their own children under age 18 can gain admission for one price. All dances are taught. The event is smoke, alcohol and fragrance free.

Dot-Dot-Dash has been playing contra dances in the Southern Appalachian region for over 12 years. From a whisper to a growl, they play a variety of traditional dance music as have a large and growing repertoire of original tunes. Band members include Bill Anderson on fiddle (Boone, NC), Matt Livingston on mandolin (Roanoke, VA), and Patrick Turner on bass (Blacksburg, VA). Special guest pianist, Kerry Morgiewicz will be joining Dot Dot Dash on keyboards for this event.

Phoebe Williams hails from Blacksburg, Virginia where she is a big part of the traditional dance community. Phoebe was born into a contra dance family. She started calling about five years ago and now
teaches swing, waltz, Irish set, Irish step, Scottish country dance.

As a caller, Phoebe focuses on the community aspect of dance, the overall pattern of the dance and making beginners feel welcome.

After the dance gets going, Phoebe has a knack for teaching style points as a refinement.

Posted by: David Wiley on January 22, 2016

Next Event: January 16, 2016

Contra Dance!

Guest caller: Jacob Legrone

Guest band: The Stuff (Nic Coker & Gretchen Caverly)

Class for beginners 7:00pm.

Dance 7:30-10:30pm

Posted by: David Wiley on January 5, 2016

Next Event: January 2-3, 2016

A New Years Affair 2016

Bands: Playing with Fyre & Buddy System

Caller: Charlotte Crittenden & Jesse Edgerton

Schedule:

Saturday Jan 2nd:

10:30am - 12 noon Contra w/Buddy System (Acoustic)

12:00pm - 1:30pm Lunch

01:30pm - 2:15pm Waltz with Buddy System

02:30pm - 5:00pm Contra w/Playing with Fyre

05:00pm - 7:00pm Dinner Break

07:00pm - 8:45pm Contra w/Playing with Fyre

09:00pm - 11:30pm Techno Contra with Buddy System


Sunday January 3rd

10:30am - 11:45am Waltz

12:00pm - 01:45pm Contra w/Buddy System

02:00pm - 03:45pm Contra w/Playing with Fyre


Admission price:
_____$40 for all events in advance, $30 for HJDS Members, Students in advance
_____$15 for Sunday, $10 for HJDS Members, Students
_____$15 for Saturday day, $10 for HJDS Members, Students
_____$15 for Saturday night, $10 for HJDS Members, Students

Posted by: David Wiley on December 20, 2015

Next Event: Dec 19th

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday December 19, 2015, at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street.

The guest performers are Sassafras Stomp from Maine. They are Ad.am Nordell on guitar and Johanna Davis on fiddle. The guest caller is Warren Doyle from Laurel Bloomery, TN.

The Christmas Holiday Season event invites all comes to bring sweet treats to share during the evening and waltz break.

Beginners lesson at 7:00pm taught by Warren (Santa) Doyle. The dance runs from 7:30-10:30pm.

Admission $7, $5 for HJDS Members and Students.

All dances are smoke, alcohol and fragrance free.

Posted by: David Wiley on December 8, 2015

Next Event: Nov 21, 2015

“West Virginia Quartet plays for Jonesborough Contra Dance & Food Raiser”


The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance on Saturday, November 21, 2015 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center. The featured band will be the Contrarians with Dean Snipes calling. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members and students $5. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. A workshop for beginning contra dancers will be led by the callers at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm where, once again, Klondike Bars will be served to all who attend.

The Food Raiser, a month-long collection, is being organized to supply non-perishable food stuffs for the Jonesborough Area Ministerial Association Food Bank. Nationwide food bank donations continue to decline. Donor fatigue may be setting in as the economy puts more and more families at risk and unable to feed themselves. “We are asking all dancers and members of the local community to bring non-perishable food stuffs to give to those in need” adds even organizer, David Wiley.

Some truly exceptional talent is coming to Jonesborough! The Contrarians hail from the Charleston, WV area. The Contrarians consist of Paul Epstein on fiddle, John Longwell on mandolin and tenor saxophone, Will Carter on bass and Andy Park on guitar.

From early childhood, John Longwell played piano. Into high school, the tenor saxophone and folk guitar were his preferred musical instruments. In the early 70’s, he moved from Pennsylvania to rural West Virginia near Charleston as part of the “Back to the Land” movement. He and his wife Peggy found themselves in somewhat of an intentional community that was filled with Old Time music devotees. John picked up and mastered the fiddle and mandolin and became part of Paul Epstein’s band “Booger Hole Revival” and later on the “Back Road Travelers”. Professionally, John was involved in every part of the wood working industry after starting the Green Creek Woodshop in the early 80’s where he had a sawmill, custom cabinet and furniture shop and also ran a sizeable farm. He and Peggy raised a son who now lives on their farm with two grandchildren.

Andy Park is a retired public school teacher from who currently lives in Charleston, WV. Now 58 years old, he has played music in bands since he was 16. During the 1990s I was in an alternative band called “Crazy Jane” that had some regional success. They released 3 CDs. After Crazy Jane disbanded, he joined a band named “Voodoo Katz” which is a world beat band. World Beat is a music genre that blends Western pop music or rock music with traditional, folk or world music influences. “Voodoo Katz” released two CDs to date..

Andy joined the Contrarians in September of 2013 playing guitar in addition to some fiddle, mandolin and banjo. He has a solo CD called “True Love” in which he sings original tunes. Andy played at the Acoustic Coffeehouse in Johnson City several years ago.

Will Carter, the Contrarian’s bass player, was raised in Charleston, West Virginia and now lives in a small intentional community in rural Putnam County, West Virginia. He and his wife Martha are the parents of Trace Carter, an avid contra dancer who a second-years student at Warren Wilson College. Will also plays bass in Blue Yonder, an acoustic honky-tonk trio featuring national-award-winning musicians John Lilly (singer-songwriter) and Robert Shafer (guitar), and is the founder of the Appalachian String Band Music Festival, better known as "Clifftop". A Harvard-educated attorney, Will's day job is leading a company he founded that specializes in holistic financial planning.

Band leader, Paul Epstein, is also a retired educator. Paul plays fiddle and does abundant song writing, composing and arranging the tune sets for the band.

Dean Snipes is a favorite caller of the Jonesborough dance community. He is known for his great choice of dances, easy teaching and brings a sense of generosity and great enthusiasm to the dances. Dean also wrote a dance to honor the dance community called “The Jonesborough Way”.

Posted by: David on November 13, 2015

Next Event: Nov 7, 2013

10th Year Anniversary Dance

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will celebrate the 10th year of community contra dances in Jonesborough with a Medieval Masked Contra Ball on Saturday, November 7, 2015.

Formed in the fall of 2005 and launching the first dance event on January 6, 2006, 10 years of wonderful tunes and dances have brought us to the point of a milestone celebration.

Gold 'N Light (Roger Gold & Laura Light) will provide the tunes while Myra Hirschberg and Tom Colwell will do the calling.

Door prizes will be given away and delicious food will be served to the dancers.

Admission $7, HJDS Members and Students $5.

If you have ever been a part of one of the Jonesborough Contra dances over the years, join us in celebration.

Beginners lesson at 7:00pm. Dance from 7:30-10:30pm









Created for Historic Jonesborough Dance Society







The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will celebrate the 10th year of community contra dances in Jonesborough with a Medieval Masked Contra Ball on Saturday, November 7, 2015.

Formed in the fall of 2005 and launching the first dance event on January 6, 2006, 10 years of wonderful tunes and dances have brought us to the point of a milestone celebration.

Gold 'N Light (Roger Gold & Laura Light) will provide the tunes while Myra Hirschberg and Tom Colwell will do the calling.

Door prizes will be given away and delicious food will be served to the dancers.

Admission $7, HJDS Members and Students $5.

If you have ever been a part of one of the Jonesborough Contra dances over the years, join us in celebration.

Beginners lesson at 7:00pm. Dance from 7:30-10:30pm

Posted by: David Wiley on November 1, 2015

Next Event: Oct 31, 2015

Halloween Costume Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance on Saturday, October 31, 2015 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The featured band will Playing with Fyre with Andrea Nettleton as caller. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5, Students $5. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. A workshop for beginning contra dancers will be led by the caller at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm where, once again, Klondike Bars will be served to all who attend Costume judging and prize awards will take place during the break.

Playing with Fyre is a relatively new ensemble although the performers are in no way new to the contra dance community. Percussionist, Joey Dorwart, comes from the popular non-trad band, ContraForce. Pianist and composer, George Paul, comes from years of performing around the world with the Avant Gardeners. Fiddler, Rob Zisette, grew up in the family band, Toss the Possum. “This trio has incredible talent and delivers very high musical energy for the dancers” offers event organizer, David Wiley. “We are so excited that they are playing for our dances on Halloween night and again on January 2nd and 3rd for our New Years Affair weekend.”

Andrea Nettleton currently hails from Atlanta, GA. She is rapidly making a name for herself as caller for contra, English and Celtic dance. She brings a repertoire of fun dances and excellent instruction. This event will be Andrea’s first visit to Jonesborough.

Its Halloween night which means that all comers are invited to tap in to
their costume creative talent. “Last year’s dance brought so many wonderful costume ideas that we had a hard time picking the winners” offers David Wiley, President of HJDS. At the break, costume contestants will promenade around the dance floor as the judges select the finalists. Then, by applause from the crowd, the winners will be selected. Winners will receive gift certificates from local Jonesborough merchants or free passes to future contra
dance events. Costumes are recommended but not required for the dance.

On November 7, 2015, the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will celebrate 10 years of community contra dance in Jonesborough with a Medieval Masked Contra Ball. The first dance was January 6, 2006. Now 300 events later, a big celebration is planned. Anyone who ever played music, called dances or danced in Jonesborough in the last 10 years is invited to rejoin the community for this special celebration.

Posted by: David Wiley on October 30, 2015

Next Event: Contra Dance Saturday Sept 19th

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a community contra dance on Saturday, September 19, 2015, at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street.

The evening starts with a beginners lesson at 7:00pm led by caller, Christi Bothwell Henn following by contra dance from 7:30-10:30pm with guest band, Spinning Wheel, from Asheville.

Admission $7, HJDS Members and Students $5.

Waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm.

Posted by: David Wiley on September 9, 2015

Next Event: Contra Dance Saturday August 15, 2015

Mother-Daughter Quartet Plays for Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold another contra dance on Saturday August 15, 2015 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. HJDS welcomes back mother-daughter combo, Firefly, from Asheville, North Carolina. The contra dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5 and students $5. A contra dance class for newcomers will be held from 7-7:30pm. The caller for the event will be Bob Dalsemer from Brasstown, NC.

FIREFLY is an all-women’s acoustic combo that plays spirited old-time music,
with surprising and lovely vocal harmonies on waltzes. Pearl Mueller (Mock
Turtle Soup) is on fiddle, Barbara Davis (Far Horizons and the Whoalls) on
guitar, and Laurel Willoughby (performed with Owen Morrison and Steve
Hickman, and with Bob Willoughby) plays stand-up bass and Julia Weatherford on fiddle and cello.

Based in the mountains of western North Carolina, Firefly members have performed at
LEAF, in Great Britain, the Laurel Theater in Knoxville, TN, and
throughout the country from Birmingham to DC, Wilmington to the Rockies.

Bob Dalsemer lives in Hayesville, North Carolina in the extreme southwestern corner of the state: 2 miles from Georgia, 30 miles from Tennessee and "about two and a half hours from everywhere."

He was born and raised in Baltimore, where he co-founded the Baltimore Folk Music Society and helped start the dance program for the Folklore Society of Greater Washington. He served as president of The Country Dance and Song Society from 1990-1996. In the early 1980's Bob became a regular dance instructor at The John C. Campbell Folk School and moved to southwestern North Carolina in 1991 to become Coordinator of Music and Dance Programs at The Folk School. In his 22 years at the school he greatly expanded the music program, instituted annual training courses for callers and dance musicians and began producing a concert series featuring many fine local and regional traditional musicians. In 2011 The Country Dance and Song Society awarded Bob its Lifetime Contribution Award.

Bob specializes in calling traditional American contra, square and circle dances. He has composed a number of new dances in traditional style and published two collections of traditional square dances ( Smoke On the Water and When The Work's All Done ) which, after being out of print for some time are available again from Hanhurst's Tape and Record Service.

Bob’s 1982 book, West Virginia Square Dances, about old time square dancing in five W.Va. communities is also available again, free, online. He also enjoys teaching, calling, and dancing English country dances.

Since 2000 Bob has been the principal caller for the Mountain Folk Festival at Berea College in Kentucky, an annual dance weekend for middle and high school age dance groups.

In addition to calling, Bob plays fiddle, guitar, mandolin and piano accordion. He is a musician for Sticks In the Mud Morris, Rural Felicity Garland Dancers, Dames Rocket Northwest Morris and a member of the Dog Branch Cats string band.

Bob retired from administrative duties at the Folk School in April, 2013. He continues calling, playing music, teaching callers’ workshops and volunteering as a Guardian Ad Litem (Court Appointed Special Advocate).

At the contra dance, you will be part of a living tradition passed on by the experienced dancers helping the newcomers. The dancers, the musicians, and caller aim for an evening of low-pressure, often energetic, camaraderie. Come alone or with others. We suggest changing partners every dance, although dates who attend together and significant others might dance with each other more than once. Sometimes you choose a partner and sometimes you get chosen. It's acceptable for women to ask men to dance.

Contra dancing is an evening of fun, featuring dancing in "sets" of about a dozen couples. You interact with your partner and everyone else in the set too as you dance with easy walking steps to energetic music. A caller, working with a group of live musicians, guides new and experienced dancers through a variety of dances.

The caller teaches each dance before it is actually done to the music. This walk through gives everyone an idea of what to expect so the movements can be easily executed. The caller calls the dances as they are being performed to the music, so dancers are able to execute each movement to the music. Once the dancers appear to have mastered a dance, the caller may stop calling, leaving the dancers to enjoy the movement with music alone.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. Also join the HJDS Facebook group for latest updates.

Posted by: David Wiley on August 7, 2015

Next Event: July 4th @ Serenity Knoll

Rockin' 4th of July Party & Dance

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a picnic, dance and sky watch at Serenity Knoll, 542 Bacon Branch Road in Jonesborough, TN on Saturday July 4, 2015.

The event will begin with a potluck dinner starting at 5pm. Then a contra dance will ensue from 7:00-10:00pm with JOSEPH SOBOL & CHAD BEAUCHAINE bringing the tunes and MARK LANGNER calling. Admission $7 for all comers.

Bring food, swimsuit (in case we have waterslide or pool) binoculars, telescope and mosquito repellent.

Special Guest EMILY RUSH will continue the dance fun with a RUSHFEST session from 10:30-Midnight. The cost for Rushfest is a suggested $5 donation.

Of course, there will be fireworks not only on the dance floor but throughout the valley below.

When things calm down at midnight, Stargazer columnist, MARK MARQUETTE will lead us in a special "CONTRA COSMIC CONNECTION," The evening of dance will be enhanced with the naked eye stargazing of constellations and telescopic views of Venus Jupiter and the gibbous Moon.

And when the lights go out in the dance hall there will be a chance for some serious stargazing of galaxies and nebulae through telescopes provided by Bristol and Bays Mountain amateur astronomers led by local sky popularizer Marquette. Bring your own telescope and the experts will show you how to properly use it.

Posted by: David Wiley on June 21, 2015

Next Event: Concert & Contra Dance June 10th

“New England Trio plays for Special Contra Dance in Jonesborough!”

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will host the next contra dance of the season on Wednesday June 10, 2015 at the Pavilion at Serenity Knoll, 542 Bacon Branch Road, Jonesborough. The featured band is NOVA from Boston, MA. The caller is Will Mentor from Vermont. Admission for the dance is $8 for all comers.

The evening will begin at 5:30pm with a potluck dinner and a concert by Morgantown, VA based fiddler Rachel Eddy. Admission to the concert is $5-10 suggested donation. Rachel Eddy is a well-traveled singer, songwriter and teacher who just recently released a CD called “Nothing But Corn”. She is currently living in Morgantown, teaching Appalachian music at WVU. She lived, toured and taught in Sweden/Europe 2009-2014 while playing fiddle, banjo, guitar and singing.

The NOVA Trio consists of Kathleen Fownes on fiddle, Everest Witman on guitar and Guillaume Sparrow-Pepin on piano and accordion.

Fiddler Kathleen Fownes plays with a fire and versatility that shows her deep passion for the music. Beginning as a child, Kathleen studied both folk and classical playing. Her lyrical playing, coupled with her fearless improvisation, create a powerful and dynamic musical range which make her one of the most sought after young fiddlers on the scene. Besides playing in Nova, Kathleen also plays in a duo, with her father Jim Fownes, called Light Reaction.

Everest Witman’s guitar playing is energetic and full of life. Heavily influenced by the playing of his former teacher Keith Murphy, he provides a compelling and driving backup guitar style. After finding the folk music scene in his early teens, he quickly fell in love with music and dancing. Everest plays in the DADGAD tuning and draws from the styles of New England, Québécois and Irish guitar playing to create a versatile and satisfying sound. Everest plays in a variety of other bands besides Nova and also teaches guitar lessons.

Guillaume Sparrow-Pepin draws on jazz, traditional, and world music to play with an expressive and dynamic style melding the worlds of accompaniment and melody. A singer and pianist, he picked up the accordion in 2012 and, under the tutelage of Jeremiah McLane, found his way to the folk music scene. He studied computer science and music at the University of Vermont and currently works as a musician and freelance web designer.

“These three young musicians are taking the country by storm. They just recently headlined at the annual Great Bear Groove in Oswego, NY, and will be touring this area all week long. We are so excited to showcase their talent here as they have already been booked for our annual Jonesborough Dance Weekend, Mountain Madness, to be held October 9-11, 2015.” Added event organizer, David Wiley, HJDS President.

Will Mentor, art professor at St. Michael’s College in Colchester, VT, will teach a contra class for beginners at 7:00 PM and the dance will run from 7:30-10:30 PM with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm. No partner is necessary. It is customary at contra dances to change partners after each dance. As always, our dances are smoke, alcohol and fragrance free.

Posted by: David Wiley on June 7, 2015

Next Event: Contra Dance Saturday June 6, 2015

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a dance on Saturday June 6, 2015 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street at 7:00pm featuring the Asheville band “Boom Chuck” with Lauren Kriel calling the dance. Admission is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A class for newcomer contra dances will run from 7:00-7:30pm. The dance will go from 7:30-10:30pm.

Posted by: David Wiley on May 29, 2015

Contrathon XVII

CONTRATHON XVII is now SOLD OUT!

Thank you!

Posted by: David Wiley on April 28, 2015

Next Event: Contra Dance & Workshop Saturday May 2

Contra Dance & Free Workshop in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, May 2, 2015 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A family package allows parents to bring all of their own children for a total of $15. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. No partner is necessary. Families and children are welcome! A half hour contra dance workshop will be offered at 7pm.

At the 9:00pm waltz break, Klondike Ice Cream Bars, the official frozen treat of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society, will be offered to all dancers courtesy of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society.

The evening will begin with a free two-hour workshop at 4:00pm called “Beyond the Beginners’ Workshop; How to Become Everyone’s Favorite Dance Partner” led by caller/teacher Charley Harvey. This workshop is for dancers of any level designed to make your evening of dance more pleasurable for you and others on the dance floor. The goal of the workshop for is for everyone to come away with new skills and techniques that make them a better dancer.

A better dancer is able to take good care of their partner by better understanding the flow of the dance. A better dancer is on time for every move during the dance because they understand the timing of the dance moves. That means you are in the right place at the right time. Once a dancer understands the basics, then they are free to play with Twirls and Embellishments and non-verbal communication between partners.

The final segment of the afternoon class will teach basic rotary waltz, how to add swing dance embellishments and achieving flow.

Performing for this event will be the band Hot Sonata from Asheville, NC. Charley Harvey will also call the evening dance from 7:30-10:30pm.


For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org

Posted by: David Wiley on April 23, 2015

Next Event: Contra Dance Saturday April 18, 2015

Jonesborough Contra Dance!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday April 18, 2015 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Guest performers are Laurie Fisher and Steve Trisman from Asheville. Their band is called Windmill. David Winston will be calling the dance.

Admission is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A class for newcomer contra dancers will run from 7:00-7:30pm followed by the contra dance from 7:30-10:30pm.

Laurie Fisher is a popular musician, dance caller and music teacher. She plays fiddle, keyboard, guitar and bass and has performed and called in Jonesborough on many occasions most recently with her band “BOOM CHUCK”.

Joining Laurie Fisher is fiddler/violinist Steve Trisman from Asheville. Trisman is an accomplished musician who plays with Asheville bands, One Leg Up, Bayou Diesel, Jupiter Coyote and many others. Trisman is moving over from the electric sound to more acoustic to play contra dance music.

David Winston, senior software engineer for IBM, lives in Asheville. He started contra dancing in 2000 in the Washington, D.C. area where he met his wife Juliette. His first calling workshop in 2003 was led by Tom Hinds who recently called our dance on June 1st. David strives to connect with all levels of dancers through his clear teaching and steady calling. He is always willing to help new dancers learn basic skills, feel comfortable, and enjoy the contra dancing experience. Their 11-year old daughter, Genevieve, is an excellent contra dancer. The Winstons are definitely a contra dancing family.

Posted by: David Wiley on April 9, 2015

Next Event: Contra Dance 04/04/2015

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, April 4, 2015 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street.

The guest performers are Atlantic Crossing from Vermont and Diane Silver, caller, from Asheville.

Class for beginners at 7:00pm. Dance 7:30-10:30pm.

Admission $7, $5 HJDS Members and Students
POSTS

Posted by: David Wiley on March 22, 2015

Next Event: Contra Dance March 21st

Boston/New York Based band come to play for Jonesborough Contra Dance!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday March 21, 2015 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30 pm with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm. Coming to Jonesborough to perform for the dance will be Party of Three touring the area from New York and Boston. Calling for the dance will be Nick Boulet from Winston-Salem, NC.

Party of Three brings together three musicians from diverse musical backgrounds who share a depth of experience playing for dancing. Combining high energy Scottish and Cape Breton fiddle music with Latin and Funk influenced piano and drum grooves, Party of Three has been enthusiastically received by dancers across the mid-atlantic and northeast. Members include Lilly Pearlman on fiddle, Neil Pearlman on piano and Joe De Paolo on drums and percussion.
Pianist and mandolinist Neil Pearlman is rapidly distinguishing himself as a uniquely innovative artist in the contemporary traditional music scene. Called “a tremendous pianist” on BBC Radio Scotland and “a force to be reckoned with” by WGBH’s Brian O’Donovan, Neil is recognized in many Celtic music circles for his unique approach to the piano. Rooted in traditional Cape Breton piano styles, Neil brings in ideas from many other genres and the result is an exciting new sound that remains true to its traditional roots.

Fiddler Lilly Pearlman has grown up immersed in the musical traditions of Scotland and Cape Breton, performing with family band Highland Soles since the age of nine. Through her experiences living and studying in New York City and Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, she has continued to explore and incorporate influences from various other musical genres--from bluegrass to samba to funk-- into her unique Celtic-based fiddle sound. Lilly has played across the nation with the bands Party of Three and Alba's Edge since 2011. She was also on staff for Scottish Fiddle and Cello Camp at Ashokan, March 2014. Lilly graduates from Barnard College in 2014 with a degree in Dance.

Joe De Paolo has been drumming for over 30 years. His early studies were with Master Drum Teachers Sam Ulano and Joe Cusatis. He has also studied at both Drummers Collective and Irish Art Center in New York City. Throughout his career Joe has played in jazz/rock fusion, funk, Zydeco, Cajun and contra dance bands. He also plays and teaches bodhran and doumbek. Joe also calls for contra dances and at times combines calling with drumming. His eclectic past has influenced his current style of playing and can be heard on the three CDs that he is featured on. He has recorded with Eclectic Dance Orchestra, Coracree and Party of Three.

Nick Boulet began dancing in Knoxville in the 1980s and calling in the 1990s. He has called in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Nashville, Dayton, TN, Damascus VA, Greensboro, NC, Winston-Salem NC, Berea KY, Huntsville AL, as well as Jonesborough TN. He is known for dances that he has written like "Warmin' Up The Car." He loves to dance and calls dances that keep the energy up. He invites all to come on out and dance!

Posted by: David Wiley on March 8, 2015

Next Event: Saturday March 7, 2015

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday March 7, 2015 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street.

The guest performers are Dot-Dot-Dash from Blacksburg, VA with guest callers Tom Colwell & Myra Hirschberg from Asheville.

A class for beginner contra dancers will be held at 7:00pm. The dance will follow from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm.

Admission $7, $5 for HJDS Members and full time students.

Families with children are welcome. All dances are smoke, alcohol and fragrance free.

Posted by: David Wiley on February 22, 2015

Next Event: Contra Dance Saturday Feb 21, 2015

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, February 21, 2015 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A family package allows parents to bring all of their own children for a total of $15. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. No partner is necessary. Families and children are welcome! A half hour contra dance workshop will be offered at 7pm.

Performing for this event will be the band Cailen Campbell and The Pond Brothers from Asheville. The caller is Deanna Palumbo from Atlanta, GA. The dance on will run from 7:30-10:30pm.

Deanna Palumbo is a contra, techno and square dance caller from Atlanta, GA, known for her clear, infectious and melodious voice. She has called throughout the Atlanta and surrounding areas, in demand especially for contra, techno contra and private functions.

Cailen Campbell has been thrilling contra dancers all over the southeast and around the country for over a decade. His innovative, highly improvisational, lyrical fiddling has been heard in numerous acclaimed regional dance bands, including The Atomic City Rhythm Rascals, The String Beings, The Rocket Boys, The Gypsy Hicks, in addition to a dynamic duo with renowned Asheville area guitarist and banjo virtuoso David Brown. Campbell recently played with the Greasy Beans on behalf of the North Carolina Dance Theater at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

Cailen Campbell has been described as one of the most virtuosic and high-energy fiddlers in the Southeast. As both a dancer and musician he is known for his stunning ability to improvise, cross time signatures and musical genres with ease, and for his brilliant self-expression. Cailen joined David Brown on guitar to play as Contraversial until last year when David became part of the very successful touring band, Rising Appalachia.

Last Summer, Campbell joined forces with George and Andy Pond, members of the Snake Oil Medicine Show, to dazzle the dance crowds in the Asheville area with incredible music. The Snake Oil Medicine Show started their bluegrass, hillbilly ragtime bop, reggae and experimental jazz journey in 1995 in the Boone, NC area. For many years, along with George’s wife Caroline and an assortment of other musicians, Snake Oil Medicine Show performed all over the world. These days, with small children at home, they are playing local and have found Cailen Campbell to be all about having fun playing for contra dances.

Posted by: David Wiley on February 11, 2015

Next Event: Feb 7, 2015

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, February 7, 2015 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street.

The guest performers are Stoll 'N Gold, Roger Gold, Pam and Fred Stoll with Laurie Fisher calling.

Beginners lesson at 7:00pm.
Dance 7:30-10:30pm
Waltz & Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm.

Admission $7, HJDS Members and students $5

Posted by: David Wiley on February 3, 2015

Next Event: Contra Dance Saturday January 17, 2015

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, January 17, 2015 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The guest performers are CONTRAFORCE from Charleston with Margaret Matthews calling the dance.

Class for beginners at 7:00pm, dance from 7:30-10:30pm.

David Kehs and Dana Jensen will be married in the afternoon in a private ceremony. We will celebrate their marriage at our dance in the evening.

Admission $7, $5 for HJDS Members and Students.

Posted by: David Wiley on January 6, 2015

Special Dance Event Jan 2-3

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society welcomes you to a special dance event on January 2nd and 3rd 2015 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street, featuring Perpetual e-Motion and The Buddy System for a day and a half of bringing-in-the-new year dancing.

Calling for this event will be Charlotte Crittenden and Will Mentor.

Cost is $40 per person, $30 for HJDS Members and Students. Session tickets are available for Friday night, Saturday Day and Saturday evening.

Registration is now open at www.anewyearsaffair.eventbrite.com

Capacity is 160 dancers.

Schedule & Prices

Friday Evening-January 2nd

7:30 pm - 11:30 pm contra -- both bands
7:30 - 9:00 Buddy System acoustic
9:30 - 11:30 Perpetual e-Motion

Saturday Daytime-January 3rd

10:30 am - 12:00 p Flow + Glide contras -- Buddy System acoustic
12:00 - 1:30 lunch break
1:30 - 2:15 waltzing -- Buddy System
2:30 - 5:00 Challenging contra dance -- Perpetual e-Motion

6:00 - 8:00 dinner break

Saturday Evening-January 3rd

6:30 – 8:30 Perpetual e-Motion
8:30 – 9:00 Dessert Break
9:00- 11:00 Buddy System (techno contra)



Admission price:
_____$40 for all events in advance, $30 for HJDS Members, Students in advance
_____$15 for Friday night, $10 for HJDS Members, Students
_____$15 for Saturday day, $10 for HJDS Members, Students
_____$15 for Saturday night, $10 for HJDS Members, Students

Posted by: David Wiley on December 21, 2014

Next Event: Christmas Contra Dance & Waltz Dec 20th

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society and the Jolly Ole Elf will hold a dance extravaganza on Saturday December 20, 2014 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street at 7:00pm featuring the Asheville band “Eric The Cat” with Warren Doyle calling the dance. Admission is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A class for newcomer contra dances will run from 7:00-7:30pm. The dance will go from 7:30-10:30pm. Dancers are invited to bring their favorite holiday desserts for the 9:00pm intermission.

Dancers are invited to waltz from 6:00-7:00pm to recorded tunes. “We do country dance waltz compared to ballroom style waltz” offers David Wiley, event organizer. The folk waltz is quite different; it's sometimes described as a “one-step waltz”. You still do three steps: right, left, right — but the second and third are pretty much on the spot; the first step is where you do most of the travelling. It really isn't forward-side-together; it's step-two-three, step-two-three. If you concentrate on the first step and let the other two just happen, you'll find the whole thing much easier. Turn your shoulders and your feet will follow — it sounds silly, but it's absolutely true. HJDS is planning a series of waltz workshops in the new year to teach country waltz.

Eric The Cat specializes in contra dance music. The four cats include Alan Dillman, fiddle; Wes Maluk, mandolin, tenor banjo, guitar and whistle; Terry Maluk, hand and foot percussion, banjo uke; Karen Gaughan, keyboard. All four Cats have been playing dance music for over 25 years in other bands such as Merriweather, Skeeziks, Hot Sonata, Good & Plenty. Wes and Terry Maluk also have a long history of providing sound engineering for dances, dance festivals, and dance weekends locally and around the county. Eric The Cats music includes a variety of styles ranging from Celtic to French Canadian, to New England to Old-Time and various other influences from evolving traditions. To discover more information about the band, visit their website for current schedule and contact info: http://westerry.com/eric.

Warren Doyle is the co-founder of the Appalachian Folk School located near Mountain City, TN. For many years, Doyle was an educator for area colleges, hiked the Appalachian Trail, danced and called dances all over the country. His folk school houses the Appalachian Trail Institute where prospective trail hikers come for extensive training and orientation before their journey begins. Now retired, Doyle travels far and wide to continue his journey as caller, dancer and hiker. He served on the HJDS board for several years helping to building the dance tradition here and produces a very popular dance weekend in Morgantown, WV called Contradancers Delight Holiday the last week of each year.

For more information on Saturday’s dance or any upcoming events, please call David Wiley at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. Or the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on December 11, 2014

Next Event: Contra Dance Saturday Dec 6th

Contra Dance in Jonesborough Honoring Charley Harvey!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a Contra Dance on Saturday December 6, 2014 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street. Class for beginning contra dancers starts at 7:00 pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30 pm with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm. Guest performers include “Toss the Possum” band from Blacksburg, VA, and a group of all-stars that include Barbara Groh, Lindsay Morris, Terry Doyle and Diane Silver.

The evening dance includes a tribute to caller Charley Harvey. Harvey began dancing in Berea Kentucky over twenty five years ago. He has called dances far and wide, teaching American Folk dance in Denmark and leading local dances and dance weekends throughout the eastern US.

Harvey began as an English Country Dancer, went on to become a member of Berea College Country Dancers. In 1992 he helped found the Berea Kentucky dance series "Oh Contraire!" and began calling dances regularly shortly after that. He has served as a workshop leader (Waltz, Swing, Hambo, Salty Dog Rag to name a few) at various Contra Dance Weekends throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Mid-West.

Widely regarded as an exciting and enthusiastic dance caller and sometime Washboard impresario, Harvey has worked with highly regarded bands such as Giant Robot Dance, Notorious, Hotpoint Stringband, Crowfoot, Footloose, The Avant Gardeners, Atlantic Crossing, Euphor and The Berea Castoffs. A prolific dance composer, Harvey will be honored by the assembled callers who will be calling his dances all evening.


The name Toss the Possum was inspired by a possum who found itself trapped under a spare dresser drawer in the garage of the Zisette family. This family band originally consisted of Chas on bass, Jane on flute, Rob on fiddle and Laura (mom) on keyboard.
Nowadays, Rob and Laura carry on as the kids grew up and moved away.

Rob Zisette, age 23, is the fiddler for Toss the Possum. After playing violin for a year and a half, he entered the fiddle contest sponsored by the Festival of the American West at age 10. He won first prize and has been fiddling ever since. Rob also likes to compose and was a percussionist in high school, but now attends Virginia Tech majoring in physics and math.

Laura (mom) taught Piano at Utah State University until she moved to Virginia. In Utah she played with Barnstorm and Leaping Lulu. Now she’s hanging on for the ride with Toss the Possum and has teamed up with Rob to compose over 50 original waltz tunes.

Come as you are; wear soft flexible shoes for dancing. Come to dance or just to listen. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught. As always, our dances are smoke, alcohol and fragrance free. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for students.

Posted by: David Wiley on November 26, 2014

Next Event: Contra Dance & Food Drive

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance and food drive on Saturday November 15, 2014 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street.

There will be a "Meet and Greet the Posse" potluck dinner from 5:30pm until 7:00pm. Bring a covered dish or dessert to share. Let's show some Jonesborough hospitality for our friends Tristan, Pete and Oliver from Vermont.

Performing for the dance is Pete's Posse from Vermont.. The dance will be called by Diane Silver from Asheville, NC.

The event will focus on the collection of non-perishable food stuffs for the Jonesborough Area Ministerial Association Food Bank.

Beginners lesson at 7:00pm. Dance from 7:30-10:30 with waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm

Posted by: David Wiley on November 2, 2014

Next Event: Oct 25th Halloween Costum Contra

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold the Halloween Costume Contra Dance on Saturday Oct 25th at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street.

Featured Band: Bare Knuckle Quartet
Featured Caller: Lindsay Morris

Beginners Lesson 7:00pm
Dance 7:30-10:30pm

Costume contest 9:00pm Prizes for winners

Posted by: David Wiley on October 15, 2014

Mountain Madness 2014

Mountain Madness Visitors Center Visitors Center Workshop Serenity Knoll Serenity Knoll Workshop
Friday Friday Friday Friday Friday
4:00pm-6:00pm Early Bird Contra Nils Fredland w/Rob , Noah, Laura Z

6:30pm-7:30pm Waltz w/Toss the Possum

8:00pm-9:50pm Maivish w/Will Mentor
10:00pm-11:45pm Nor'easter w/Tom Hinds


Saturday Saturday Saturday Saturday Saturday
8:00-9:00am Alexander Technique for Dancers w/Jaige Trudel
9:00-9.45am Spin & Catch (Open Position Flourishes) Morning sing w/Nils
10:00am-10:45am Never Let Me Go (Closed Position Flourishes) Contra w/Maivish & Tom Hinds
11:00am-12:00pm Singing Squares with Nils & Nor'easter "
12:00pm-01:30pm Lunch (BYOF)  Lunch (BYOF)  Lunch (BYOF) Lunch (BYOF) 
Mountain Madness Visitors Center Visitors Center Workshop Serenity Knoll Serenity Knoll Workshop
Saturday Saturday Saturday Saturday Saturday
1:30pm-2:30pm Clogging & Flatfooting w/Matthew Contra w/Nor'easter & Will Mentor Callers Workshop w/Tom Hinds (inside)
2.45pm-4:00pm Give & Take w/Adam & Jaige "
04:00pm-5:00pm Hi Tea (Root Beer Tasting)
5:00pm-6:30pm Dinner Break Dinner Break Dinner Break Dinner Break
6:15pm-7:00pm Waltz w/Toss the Possum

7:30pm-8:50pm Nor'easter w/Tom Hinds
9:00pm-10:30pm Maivish w/Will Mentor

11:00pm-Till Buddy System (Techno) Noah VanNorstrand & Julie Vallimont


Sunday Sunday
9:00am-10:00am Morning Sing w/Nils
9:15am-10:15am Waltz with Toss the Possum
10:30am-12:30pm Maivish w/Tom Hinds
12:45pm-03:00pm Nor'easter w/Will Mentor

Posted by: David Wiley on October 10, 2014

Cancelled & Rescheduled

The Concert & Contra Dance scheduled for Saturday Oct 4th at the Pavilion @ Serenity Knoll has been CANCELLED.

The contra dance has been rescheduled for Sunday afternoon Oct 5th from 2:00-5:00pm. Lesson at 1:30pm

Hope to see you there!

Thanks,

David Wiley
423-534-8879

Posted by: David Wiley on October 2, 2014

Next Event: Contra & Marimba Concert @ Serenity Knoll

“Contra Dance and Marimba Concert in Jonesborough!”

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will host the next Contra Dance of the season on Saturday October 4, 2014 at the Pavilion at Serenity Knoll, 542 Bacon Branch Road, Jonesborough. The featured band is Gold ‘n Light from Asheville. The caller us Susan Michaels from Los Angeles, CA. Admission is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students.

The evening will begin at 5:30pm with a potluck dinner and a concert by Asheville based Zimbabwean style marimba band, Chikomo Marimba. Admission to the concert is $10 suggested donation.

Chikomo Marimba is a group that plays contemporary and traditional Zimbabwean music. Their mission is to share and celebrate the joy of the music that they play among themselves and with others. The interweaving parts and expressions that come together through their music creates synergy, celebrates the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and encourages audience participation, celebration, and dance. This upbeat percussive performance will definitely get everyone prepped up for contra dancing at 7:30pm.

Roger Gold plays guitar and is joined on fiddle by Laura Light. This duo performed for a Jonesborough contra dance back in March and thrilled a room full of dancers.

Susan Michaels will teach a contra class for beginners at 7:00 PM and the dance will run from 7:30-10:30 PM with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm. No partner is necessary. It is customary at contra dances to change partners after each dance. As always, our dances are smoke, alcohol and fragrance free. Families, students and singles are welcome. All dances are taught by the caller. No previous dance experience is necessary.

For more information, contact David Wiley at 423-534-8879, or email to david@historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. Also visit the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on September 24, 2014

Next Event: ContraForce

Let the ContraForce be with you! It’s Contra Dance Time in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance on Saturday, September 20, 2014 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The featured band will be ContraForce from Charleston, SC with Chattanooga’s Vicki Herndon calling. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5, Students $5. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. A workshop for beginning contra dancers will be led by the caller at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm where, once again, Klondike Bars will be served to all.

ContraForce’s goal is to bring the rock influence to some folk tunes. This three-piece powerhouse packs the frenzied bowing arm of Andrae Raffield, the Donkey Kong slammin’ palms of drummer and saxophone player Joey Dorwart, and the acoustic and electric guitar onslaught of Jimi “Two Nails” Periano, into a hurricane of wild, energetic, kick-in-the-mouth contra music that will leave you gasping for breath and begging for more.

Andrae and Joey were old hands at the contra band scene, having vetted themselves in local Charleston bands, Anna’s Bananas and Shady Groove, for over fifteen years before deciding to create ContraForce to explore their new and exciting vision for contra dance music. To complete the rockin’ trinity, Jimi “Two Nails” Periano came on board to begin experimenting with “rocking out some fiddle tunes”. This synergy quickly led to a period of this new band writing much of their material. On the side, Joey and Jimi are registered nurses while Andrae is teaching music at a Charleston middle school.

Thus, a new band was born merging traditional contra music with psychedelic, surf rock and metal to create a new force: ContraForce! With these crazy jokers at the wheel, there’s no telling where the dance will end up, but you can be sure that the hall will be filled with happy dancers as was the case when they played for the FOOT BALL in Jonesborough on February 2nd and at Serenity Knoll on August 8th. They were one of the featured bands at the 2014 Moon Dance at Table Rock State Park last weekend.

Thus, a new band was born merging traditional contra music with psychedelic, surf rock and metal to create a new force: ContraForce! With these crazy jokers at the wheel, there’s no telling where the dance will end up, but you can be sure that the hall will be filled with happy dancers.

Vicki Herndon has been a dancer since 1997, when she accidentally came across contra dancing, and has been a dance lover since. She began calling in 2000, and have called all around the southeast. Wedding dances in open fields, and dances with kids are all part of the diversity she represents, and loves.

Vicki is very active part of the Chattanooga dance community. “Keeping my home group growing and strong has become very important to me over the years. Welcoming newcomers, and giving them confidence is my specialty. Dancers must have this to return to your dance and thrive” offers Ms. Herndon.

Being a dance gypsy has led Vicki to be a familiar face at many dance weekends along with her husband, Steve, where her enthusiasm as a caller is just as evident as when she is dancing. “There's not much more than I love to do . . . dance and call”, she adds.

Contra dancing is a traditional form of American folk dance that evolved from the long ways country dances popular in English society centuries ago. Contra dance communities now thrive all over the country. There are websites that can direct you to contra dances in most states. The modern contra dances provide dancers of all ages and experience levels with the opportunity to smile, move, connect, flirt and create an evening of dance nirvana with each other. No previous dance experience is necessary. No fancy footwork is required. If you can walk and count to eight, you can contra dance!

Contra dances are community events. At almost any contra you will find people of all ages and all dance skill levels, from young to old, beginner to expert. Contra dancers form a very open and welcoming group of people. You can come alone or with others since it is a tradition to dance with a variety of partners throughout the night. It is perfectly acceptable for either a man or a woman to ask someone to dance. It’s a great way to make friends with someone they haven’t met before. You will find contra dancing a great way to make new friends.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-534-8879, visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org and on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on September 10, 2014

Next Event: September 6, 2014

“Velocipede” Invades Jonesborough for Contra Dance!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, September 6, 2014 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A family package allows parents to bring all of their own children for a total of $15. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. No partner is necessary. Families and children are welcome! A 30-minute class for beginners will be held at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm.
At the 9:00pm waltz break, again Klondike Ice Cream Bars, the official frozen treat of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society, will be offered to all dancers courtesy of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society.

Performing for this event will be duo, Velocipede, from Maine. The caller will be David Winston from Asheville.

Julia Plumb (fiddle, viola, foot percussion) and Baron Collins-Hill (mandolin, tenor guitar) met at fiddle camp in Maine in 2008. Once they began playing together, the tunes came flooding uncontrollably out of their fingers. They have been playing together ever since. Hailing from Maine, Velocipede plays original and traditional tunes from New England, Quebec, Appalachia, Scandinavia and the British Isles. They play with a tight, close sound staying true to the tunes and bolstering them with driving dance rhythms and sweet harmonies. Julia and Baron are capable of delivering a ripping set of reels for contra dance and will be sure to catch listener’s ears and set toes tapping. For more information, visit www.velocipedemusic.com.

Posted by: David Wiley on September 1, 2014

Next Event: Contrathon Weekend

Here is the update information for Contrathon events:

August 30:

10:30am-11:00am Flashmob contra dance at the Jonesborough Farmers Market. Lunch to follow at the new Black Oliver Restaurant, 125 E. Jackson in Jonesborough

7:00pm-07:30pm Beginners lesson for contra dance

7:30pm-10:30pm Contrarians with Christi Bothwell & Clinton Ross (Jonesborough Visitors Center) $7, HJDS Members & Students $5

11:00pm-01:00am RUSHFEST with Emily Rush at the Pavilion @ Serenity Knoll (DJ'd pop music to contra dance calling) $3 suggested
542 Bacon Branch Road. Look for contra dance signs

August 31: Contrathon XVI

Jonesborough Visitors Center-Emily Rush & Emily Abel calling
11:00am-01:30pm Fyrefly
02:00pm-02:30pm Break
02:30pm-04:30pm Contrarians


Serenity Knoll-Emily Rush & Emily Abel calling

04:30pm-06:00pm Couples dancing to recorded music
06:00pm-08:00pm Fyrefly
08:30pm-11:00pm Contrarians

Registration for all events still open. $15 for half day (11:00-4:30 or 6:00-11:00) $30 for all day, students $12/$20.

If you are coming to Contrathon, please send in registration asap or let me know for sure you are coming!

Form available at www.hjdsevents.com

Camping is free at Serenity Knoll
The swimming pool at Dragon Hatchery is open on Sat and Sun.

Questions and registration updates: 423-534-8879

Posted by: David Wiley on August 26, 2014

Next Event: August 16, 2014

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a dance on Saturday August 16, 2014 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street at 7:00pm featuring the Asheville band “Boom Chuck” with Diane Silver calling the dance. Admission is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A class for newcomer contra dances will run from 7:00-7:30pm. The dance will go from 7:30-10:30pm.

Posted by: David Wiley on August 12, 2014

Next Event: Summer Harvest Potluck & Dance

Summer Harvest Potluck & Contra Dance in Jonesborough
The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present the Annual Summer Harvest Potluck Dinner & Contra Dance on Saturday August 2, 2014. The potluck dinner and contra dance will be held at the Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street beginning at 6:00 pm. Class for beginning contra dancers will follow at 7:00 pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30 pm with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm. Coming to Jonesborough to perform for the dance will be Spinning Wheel from Asheville. Calling for the dance will be Nick Boulet from Winston-Salem. During the dinner hour, guests can also waltz to recorded music.

The Summer Harvest Potluck Dinner will begin at 6:00pm. Nothing brings people together like a potluck, and nothing gets them talking together like the subject of food. Just watch as the buffet table fills up with salads, casseroles, pastas and desserts and you’ll see for yourself. “We are building a community through traditional music and dance. We hope to get our dancers chatting happily, exchanging recipes and telling the story behind each recipe,” adds Wiley. Food talk at a potluck can teach us a lot about each other and the world around us. Prizes will be given to the most creative and mouthwatering dishes. If you are not a home gardener, support your local Farmer’s Market including the Jonesborough Farmer’s Market held every Saturday from 8 am until noon in the parking area next to the Court House on Main Street.

Spinning Wheel unites two friends who have played for contra dances in the area for many years. The band consist Karen Gaughan on keyboard and Nic Coker on fiddle. Coker also plays for Boom Chuck which performed at a recent Jonesborough contra dance. Karen plays keyboard for a number of very popular contra dance bands including Eric The Cat, Hot Sonata, Good and Plenty and May Daze.

Nick Boulet is a singer and song writer whose acoustic sound, powerful lyrics, and eclectic mix of guitar and percussion celebrates the joy and simple complexities of life. At the same time, Nick is an avid contra dancer and dance caller who spent many years in the Knoxville area but now calls Greensboro his home.
Come as you are; wear soft flexible shoes for dancing. Come to dance, join the potluck dinner or just to listen. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught. As always, our dances are smoke and alcohol free. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. Families with their own children are all admitted for only $15 as a package.

For further information call event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on August 1, 2014

Next Event: Jonesborough Days "Day of Dance"

Contra Dancing!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present the 2014 "Day of Dance" Program on Saturday S July 5th.

The featured band will be “Celador" from Asheville which is David Hayes on Guitar and Gretchen
Caverly on Fiddle

Dean Snipes, Connie Carringer and Scott Baxla calling and teaching.

JONESBOROUGH DAYS “DAY OF DANCE” 2014

Schedule:

Saturday July 5th
12:00pm-02:00pm Waltz Workshop with Scott Baxla
02:00pm-03:00pm Waltz with Celador
03:00pm-06:00pm Contra Dance with Celador
06:00pm-07:00pm Dinner Break
07:00pm-10:00pm Contra Dance with Celador
10:00pm-10:30pm Fireworks

ALL DANCES IN THE JONESBOROUGH VISITORS CENTER, 117 Boone Street
NO Advance Registration Required!
Admission: Waltz Workshop & Waltz $5 for all
Saturday Afternoon Contra $7, $5 Full Time Students
Saturday Evening Contra $7, $5 Full Time Students

For more information, please visit us at www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org
Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK
Questions/Directions: 423-534-8879

Posted by: David Wiley on June 24, 2014

Next Event: June 11, 2014

SPECIAL WEDNESDAY CONTRA DANCE!

Wednesday June 11, 2014
Place: Pavilion @ Serenity Knoll, 542 Bacon Branch Road Jonesborough
Band: Maivish (Adam Broome & Jaige Trudel)
Caller: George Marshall

Potluck Dinner starting 6pm
Beginners Lesson at 7pm
Dance 7:30-10:30pm
$7 for all comers

Posted by: David Wiley on June 7, 2014

Next event: Special Sunday Dance

Sunday June 1, 2014

Contra Dance 2:00-5:00pm
Beginners at 1:30pm

Band: Coffee Zombies
Caller: Darlene Underwood

Posted by: David Wiley on May 31, 2014

Contrathon XV

Contrathon XV is sold out for the evening session from 5-11pm.
There are some slots open for the early session from 11am-5pm.
Please contact David Wiley for more information.

423-534-8879

Posted by: David Wiley on May 20, 2014

Next Event: May 17, 2014

Contras and Cupcakes

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance and cupcake baking contest on Saturday May 17th at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street.

The evening will start with a family dance led by Christi Bothwell at 5:30pm

The guest performers are the Dancing Bears with caller Barbara Groh from Asheville.

Bakers are asked to prepare their most delicious and delectable cupcakes for competition to be judged at the 9:00pm break. There will be a grand prize and two runners up awards. The judging will be based on design originality and taste.

For contra dancers, a class for beginners will take place at 7:00pm followed by a contra dance from 7:30-10:30pm.

Admission $7, HJDS Members and full time students $5

Posted by: David Wiley on May 4, 2014

Next Event May 2-3

Contra Dance Double Header in Jonesborough & Johnson City

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance double header Friday and Saturday May 2nd and 3rd, 2014 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street and as part of “First Friday” in Johnson City.

The Friday night event is a street dance free and open to all dancers as part of the “First Friday” initiative by the Johnson City Downtown Merchants Association. Guest performers will be “Boom Chuck” from Asheville with local callers, Christi Bothwell and Clinton Ross, handling the dance calling.
There will be a beginner’s lesson at 7:30. The dance will run from 8:00-10:30pm.

The Saturday evening event will be at the Jonesborough Visitors Center. The guest performers will be “Eric The Cat” from Greenville, SC. The caller is Asheville’s Beth Molaro.

A class for beginners will be held at 7:00pm. The contra dance will run from 7:30pm-10:30pm with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm. No partner is necessary. All the dances are taught and walked through before the music begins. All HJDS events are smoke and alcohol free and family oriented. Admission to the dance is $7.00, $5 for HJDS Members and $5 for students.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on April 24, 2014

Next Event: April 5, 2014

Jonesborough Contra Dance!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday April 5, 2014 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Guest performers are Laurie Fisher and Steve Trisman with Vicki Herndon calling the dance.

Admission is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A class for newcomer contra dancers will run from 7:00-7:30pm followed by the contra dance from 7:30-10:30pm.

Laurie Fisher is a popular musician, dance caller and music teacher. She plays fiddle, keyboard, guitar and bass and has performed and called in Jonesborough on many occasions most recently with her band “BOOM CHUCK”.

Joining Laurie Fisher is fiddler/violinist Steve Trisman from Asheville. Trisman is an accomplished musician who plays with Asheville bands, One Leg Up, Bayou Diesel, Jupiter Coyote and many others. Trisman is moving over from the electric sound to more acoustic to play contra dance music.

Vicki Herndon has been a dancer since 1997, when she accidentally came across contra dancing, and has been a dance lover since. She began calling in 2000, and have called all around the southeast. Wedding dances in open fields, and dances with kids are all part of the diversity she represents, and loves.

Vicki is very active part of the Chattanooga dance community. “Keeping my home group growing and strong has become very important to me over the years. Welcoming newcomers, and giving them confidence is my specialty. Dancers must have this to return to your dance and thrive” offers Ms. Herndon.

Being a dance gypsy has led Vicki to be a familiar face at many dance weekends along with her husband, Steve, where her enthusiasm as a caller is just as evident as when she is dancing. “There's not much more than I love to do . . . dance and call”, she adds.

For more information on Saturday’s dance or any upcoming events, please call David Wiley at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. Or Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on March 23, 2014

Next Event: March 30, 2014

Special Sunday afternoon dance on March 30, 2014 with Atlantic Crossing and Diane Silver calling.

Location: Pavilion @ Serenity Knoll, 542 Bacon Branch Road, Jonesborough, TN 37659

Park perpendicular to the driveway in the grass and walk up to the Pavilion in back.

$7 for all comers. HJDS Members are FREE!

beginners lesson at 1:30pm
dance 2:00-5:00pm

Picnic lunches are welcome!

Posted by: David Wiley on March 16, 2014

Next Event: March 15, 2014

Contra & Family Dance

Historic Jonesborough Dance Society welcomes GOLD AND LIGHT for contra dance on Saturday, March 15, 2014 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center.

Roger Gold on guitar is joined by Laura Light (Formerly of Avant Gardeners) on fiddle. Christi Bothwell is the caller.

Family Dance 5:30-6:45pm
Class for beginning contra dance 7:00pm
Dance 7:30-10:30pm

$7, HJDS Members and Students $5

Posted by: David Wiley on March 8, 2014

Next Event: March 1, 2014-Communty Band Night

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday March 1, 2014 at the HISTORIC JONESBOROUGH Visitors Center & Museum, 117 Boone Street.

Ever wanted to play music for a dance? This is YOUR chance! Join a diverse group of community musicians who come together to provide music for dancing four times a year. Develop your skill at accompanying dancers and supporting this community activity. All instruments are welcome - please contact Lee Bidgood (blidgood@gmail.com) to learn more and to obtain the song sheets. Wind players are particularly needed to add a new element to a mostly string band.

Two practice sessions are scheduled:

7-9pm Wednesday 2/20/2014 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street

7-9pm Tuesday, 2/25/2014 in Room 306, Brooks Gym, ETSU, Johnson City, TN

The dance will be called by team Tom Colwell & Myra Hirschberg

Beginners lesson at 7:00pm
Dance 7:30-10:30pm

$7, HJDS Members $5, Full time students $5

Posted by: David Wiley on February 16, 2014

Dance Update

We are definitely ON FOR TONIGHT Feb 15th! Come dance to the fabulous music of Roger Gold and David White. Bring your sweet treats to share! Contra dance in Jonesborough! Beginners at 7pm, dance 7:30-10:30pm. Shake off the cabin fever!

Posted by: David Wiley on February 15, 2014

Next Event: Valentine's Contra

Valentine’s Contra Dance-You’ll Feel The Love!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a Valentine’s Contra Dance on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 7:30pm at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street. Performing for the dance will be “Steamshovel” from Asheville, NC with caller Clinton Ross. A class for beginners will be held at 7:00pm. Every dancer is encouraged to attend the class to become familiar with dance steps, formations and flow.

The evening will begin with a family dance at 5:30pm where caller Christi Bothwell will lead parents or grandparents and children in a series of fun and simple dances with music performed by students from the ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music program.

Our dance will celebrate Valentine’s Day two days late. Clinton Ross will call such
Dances as “Heartbeat Contra”, “Sharie’s Valentine”, “Roll in the Hey”, “The Rendezvous” “The Hussy Bride” and the “Flirtation Reel” in hopes of sparking romance on the dance floor. Dancers are encouraged to wear something Red, White or Pink. Smiling, eye contact and flirtation are part of the fun of contra dancing. In addition, there will be a series of “Sadie Hawkins” style dances where the ladies get to choose their gentlemen partners.

A committee of volunteers will decorate the hall with pink and red streamers and Valentine cards.

At the 9:00pm break, members will provide tasty finger food such as chocolate fondue, truffles, cakes, fudge, candy and other chocolate and red colored delicacies. Every lady who comes to the dance will receive a long-stem red rose as a gift from one of our supporters.

“Our dancers are really getting the hang of it and the skill level is really getting better”, states event organizer David Wiley. Our dance is for all ages. “For some reason, I hear folks saying that they think our contra dance is geared to the older crowd. We have dancers of all ages from 8 to eighty. Plus, you don’t have to have a partner.” The best way to learn contra dance is by asking a more experienced partner to dance. It is perfectly acceptable for ladies to ask gentlemen to dance.

Admission to the dance is $7 for (yet-to-be members), $5 for HJDS members and full-time students get in for $5. A Family Package offer allows parents and as many children in their core family to get in for only $15.

Clinton Ross began his calling career in 2012. Ross, a member of the ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music program, is an accomplished musician but took very quickly to contra dance after participating in the on-campus dances twice a month at the Culp Center. He was immediately drawn to calling. He attended the Cumberland Dance Week, a camp in Nancy, KY, two summers ago where he was tutored by one of the nation’s top callers, Seth Tepfer, from Atlanta. After calling in Jonesborough in January of 2013, Clinton has traveled around the country making calling appearances in many established dance communities. He will graduate from ETSU in May of 2014.

Steamshovel unites two career musicians who have played for contra dances in this region for many years. Roger Gold on guitar and foot percussion and David White on fiddle and banjo.

Roger Gold grew up surrounded by music. His parents and older sister all sing and play various instruments. He knew at the age of six that he wanted to play guitar and persisted until his parents found a teacher. His interests took his guitar playing from the ever present folk, through electric teen-age-rock, to traditional, Celtic, and more. He likes to "play" with the music; turning waltzes to klezmer, Bach into swing, and doing even stranger things to the tunes he writes. Roger's guitar styles range from classical to hard driving, rhythmic, contra dance music. He enjoys contra dancing, and enjoys playing music for contra dances, and has yet to figure out how to do both at the same time. Roger partners with Mara Shea on fiddle to become the Elftones who just recently performed at an HJDS dance back in November 2011.

Currently living in Pickens, SC, David White has been playing stringed instruments for almost 30 years. Only in the past 16 years he became rather consumed by contra dancing and the music that drives it. David fell in love with traditional Appalachian old time music – especially that played by bands and musicians that create driving rhythms. That passionate driving style is evident when David plays guitar, claw hammer banjo or fiddle. The fact that David has always loved contra dancing has helped him become a master of creating great dance energy from old time tunes and melodies. He loves to sing as well. David has played in several bands in the past and more recently with Appalachian Storm, Steamshovel (w/ Roger Gold), the Inexplicabilies, Shifty Tweeds and the Carolina Coal Rollers. His habit of ‘gyrating’ while playing the fiddle while wearing his Dad’s old tweed hat earned him the nickname ‘the Shifty Tweed.’

For more information, contact event organizer David Wiley at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org on the web and on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on February 5, 2014

Next Event: Super Contra Weekend

Super Contra Weekend including the “FOOT BALL” on Super Bowl Sunday!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a double-header contra dance Saturday and Sunday, February 1-2, 2014 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The featured band is ContraForce from Charleston, SC. The calling team is David Winston and Charlotte Crittenden. Admission to the dances is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. All dances are smoke, alcohol and fragrance free. No partner is necessary. Families and children are welcome.
Saturday’s dance includes our firs “Eyeglass Roundup” in conjunction with the Lions Club of Johnson City. A class for beginners will be held at 7:00pm where the caller will invite everyone to the dance floor to review calls, steps, flow and other helpful ideas to get everyone started on the right foot. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm.
Super Bowl Sunday brings the second event of the doubleheader. It’s the 6th Annual “FOOT BALL”. While the fans of the sport of NFL Football are gearing up for the championship game of the season, contra dancers will asked to enjoy a potluck dinner and an hour of waltz before the dance. ContraForce will play waltz tunes from 1:30 to 2:30pm. The contra dance runs from 2:30-5:30pm Admission is $7 for all comers. “We’ve done this event last five years and had well over 100 dancers come for the afternoon dance” states event organizer David Wiley, President of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society. It’s a way to burn off a few calories before indulging in the snacks and treats at Super Bowl parties.
Contra Force’s goal is to bring the rock influence to some folk tunes. This three-piece powerhouse packs the frenzied bowing arm of Andrae Raffield, the Donkey Kong slammin’ palms of drummer and saxophone player Joey Dorwart, and the acoustic and electric guitar onslaught of Jimi “Two Nails” Periano, into a hurricane of wild, energetic, kick-in-the-mouth contra music that will leave you gasping for breath and begging for more.

Andrae and Joey were old hands at the contra band scene, having vetted themselves in local Charleston bands, Anna’s Bananas and Shady Groove, for over fifteen years before deciding to create ContraForce to explore their new and exciting vision for contra dance music. To complete the rockin’ trinity, Jimi “Two Nails” Periano came on board to begin experimenting with “rocking out some fiddle tunes”. This synergy quickly led to a period of this new band writing much of their material.
Thus, a new band was born merging traditional contra music with psychedelic, surf rock and metal to create a new force: ContraForce! With these crazy jokers at the wheel, there’s no telling where the dance will end up, but you can be sure that the hall will be filled with happy dancers as was the case when they played Jonesborough in December of 2012!

The dance will conclude at 5:30pm in plenty of time for dancers to change back over to football fans as the Super Bowl Game between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks kicks off at 6:25pm or attend a post-dance meal and social at the Vega’s Fiesta Restaurant at 1976 11-E Highway in Jonesborough.

For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org and the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on January 19, 2014

Next Event: Jan 18, 2014

Jonesborough Contra & Family Dance Saturday January 18th!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, January 18, 2014 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. with a class for beginners starting at 7:00 p.m. The featured band will be “Flying The Tune” consisting of Lew Gelfond on fiddle and June Advincula on keyboard. Calling the dance will be ETSU Student, Clinton Ross from Charlotte.. Admission is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students.

The evening will begin with a family dance from 5:30-6:45pm. The family dance is truly a family event where parents or grandparents and children ages four and up learn traditional dances. The dance will consist of easy steps for participants of all ages taught by Christi Bothwell. The goal is to teach the fundamentals of dancing with a focus on having fun and placing less of an emphasis on dance techniques. Types of dances include circles, long-ways sets, squares, and odd number sets. All dances will be taught and called with high-energy live music from students in the ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time & Country Music program. Family dances promote community, inter-generational interaction, and bring traditional dance to a new generation, making the dance community stronger and enduring. Admission to the family dance is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Family package costs $15 for parents and all their children. If the participants wish to stay for the regular dance, their Family Dance admission can be applied to the regular admission costs.

Clinton Ross began his calling career in 2012. Ross, a member of the ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music program, is an accomplished musician but took very quickly to contra dance after participating in the on-campus dances twice a month at the Culp Center. He was immediately drawn to calling. He attended the Cumberland Dance Week, a camp in Nancy, KY, two summers ago where he was tutored by one of the nation’s top callers, Seth Tepfer, from Atlanta. After calling in Jonesborough in January of 2013, Clinton has traveled around the country making calling appearances in many established dance communities.


For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org and Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on January 10, 2014

Next Event: January 5, 2013

“Contra Dance Begins 9th Year in Jonesborough!”

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society opens its ninth year with a contra dance on Saturday January 5, 2014. The event will be held at the Jonesborough Visitors Center at 7:00pm featuring the Asheville band “Spinning Wheel” with Lindsay Morris calling the dance. Admission is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A class for newcomer contra dances will run from 7:00-7:30pm. The dance will go from 7:30-10:30pm with a Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm.

“Contra dance is a way for all citizens of the area to rededicate themselves to New Year’s higher ideas and ideals for diet and exercise changes. We know from the experts that most people start the year with ambitious goals for weight loss, smoking cessation or other behavioral changes during the first ten days of the New Year”, states organizer David Wiley. “The problem is that many of these commitments fade away in the short term” adds Wiley. “Our contra dance program, even though it is held only twice per month can jump start anyone toward their goals. We had 30 dances again 2013. In and of itself, 30 dances won’t make or break anyone’s fitness program, but for many, it made a difference. We have built the foundation for our own dance community in addition to starting a monthly family dance series. Now, one can contra dance twice a month for FREE at ETSU on the second and fourth Tuesday.

Spinning Wheel unites two friends who have played for contra dances in the area for many years. The band consists Karen Gaughan on keyboard and Nic Coker on fiddle. Coker also plays for Boom Chuck which performed at the most recent Jonesborough contra dance.


Contra dance is a form of American folk dance in which the dancers form a set of two parallel lines that run the length of the hall. Each dance consists of a sequence of moves and steps that ends with the couples having progressed one position up or down the set. All dances are taught by the caller. No partner is necessary and you are encouraged to dance with as many different people as possible.

Many of the basic moves resemble square dancing—swings, allemandes, do-si-dos—but contra dancing are more a sort of amusement park ride that the dancers make for themselves. A square dance set is comprised of only four couples, whereas the length of the hall only limits the number of couples in a contra dance set. To join a set, only a partner and soft-soled shoes are necessary. All that is left is to have fun dancing. You are encouraged to dress comfortably and stay hydrated with lots of water.

Posted by: David Wiley on December 25, 2013

Next Event: Christmas Contra & Family Dance

Christmas Contra, Family Dance & Waltz in Jonesborough!”

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a dance extravaganza on Saturday December 21, 2013 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street at 7:00pm featuring the Asheville band “Boom Chuck” with Vicki Herndon calling the dance. Admission is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A class for newcomer contra dances will run from 7:00-7:30pm. The dance will go from 7:30-10:30pm. Dancers are invited to bring their favorite holiday desserts for the 9:00pm intermission.

The evening will start with a family dance from 5:00-6:00pm where parents and children will enjoy simple and fun dances while members of Boom Chuck play tunes and Laurie Fisher leads the dance.

Dancers are invited to waltz from 6:00-7:00pm to Boom Chuck tunes. “We do country dance waltz compared to ballroom style waltz” offers David Wiley, event organizer. When people say “I can't waltz”, they're probably thinking back to their ballroom dancing days. But a ballroom waltz is quite a different animal from a country dance waltz. For one thing, it's a lot slower. For another, you spend almost the whole time in ballroom position. But the crucial difference is that a ballroom waltz is made up of three steps. The man steps forward, putting his right leg between his partner's legs, then he takes his left leg forward and to the side, then he closes right to left. In the next bar he steps backward on his left, and it's the lady's turn to step forward on the right.

The folk waltz is quite different; it's sometimes described as a “one-step waltz”. You still do three steps: right, left, right — but the second and third are pretty much on the spot; the first step is where you do most of the travelling. It really isn't forward-side-together; it's step-two-three, step-two-three. If you concentrate on the first step and let the other two just happen, you'll find the whole thing much easier. Turn your shoulders and your feet will follow — it sounds silly, but it's absolutely true. HJDS is planning a series of waltz workshops in the next few months to teach country waltz.

The contra dance will include several historic dances that have a Christmas theme including “Holiday Jig” by Ted Sanella, “Christmas Eve Quadrille” by Tom Hinds and “Christmas Hornpipe” by Ralph Page. Boom Chuck also has adapted several Christmas Carols for contra dance.

Vicki Herndon has been a dancer since 1997, when she accidentally came across contra dancing, and has been a dance lover since. She began calling in 2000, and have called all around the southeast. Wedding dances in open fields, and dances with kids are all part of the diversity she represents, and loves.

Vicki is very active part of the Chattanooga dance community. “Keeping my home group growing and strong has become very important to me over the years. Welcoming newcomers, and giving them confidence is my specialty. Dancers must have this to return to your dance and thrive” offers Ms. Herndon.

Being a dance gypsy has led Vicki to be a familiar face at many dance weekends along with her husband, Steve, where her enthusiasm as a caller is just as evident as when she is dancing. “There's not much more than I love to do . . . dance and call”, she adds.

For more information on Saturday’s dance or any upcoming events, please call David Wiley at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. Or Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on December 13, 2013

Next Event: Christmas Contra & Family Dance

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra and family dance on Saturday December 21, 2013 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street.

Featured band is BOOM CHUCK from Asheville with Vicki Herndon calling.

Family Dance 5:00-6:00pm
Waltz 6:00-6:45
Class for beginners at 7:00pm
Dance from 7:30-10:30pm

Dancers are encouraged to bring your favorite holiday dessert to share at the 9:00pm intermission

$7 adults, $5 for HJDS Members and Students, Family Package is $15

For more information contact event organizer, David Wiley 423-534-8879

Posted by: David Wiley on December 8, 2013

Next Event: December 7th

Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a community Contra Dance on Saturday December 7, 2013 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street. A Class for beginning contra dancers will start at 7:00 pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30 pm with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm. Coming to Jonesborough to perform for the dance will be Celador from Asheville. Calling for the dance will be Mark Langner from Burnsville, NC.

Celador is relatively new on the contra dance scene. David Hayes, for several years, was the rhythm guitarist for Appalachian Storm. Early in 2013, he partnered with fiddler Gretchen Caverly to form a new contra dance sound that will appear soon in over 60 dance venues around the country starting in January. Celador is two musicians who are passionate about all things contra, love dancing almost as much as playing, feed off the energy, connection, and enthusiasm of the dance, relish the feel of the music - the building crescendo, the abrupt transition, the smooth sensual flow - add to that a bit of electronic wizardry, a touch of eccentric instrumentation, a heaping handful of eclectic musical selection, a generous dash of unusual arranging and you have a big sound, high energy, good time.

Mark Langer is a very popular caller in the area. Mark will delight you with his fun instructional style and smooth flowing dances. Be prepared to be challenged as the night goes on. His pleasant style and graceful teaching put dancers at ease and set the stage for a great evening.

Come as you are; wear soft flexible shoes for dancing. Come to dance or just to listen. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught. As always, our dances are smoke and alcohol free. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. Families with their own children are all admitted for only $15 as a package.

For further information call event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on November 22, 2013

Next Event Nov 16

Contra Dance & Food Raiser in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance on Saturday, November 16, 2013 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center. The featured band will be Contra Culture from Winston-Salem with Jack Mitchell calling. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members and students $5. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. A workshop for beginning contra dancers will be led by the callers at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm where, once again, Klondike Bars will be served to all who attend.

The Food Raiser, a month-long collection, is being organized to supply non-perishable food stuffs for the Jonesborough Area Ministerial Association Food Bank. Nationwide food bank donations continue to decline. Donor fatigue may be setting in as the economy puts more and more families at risk and unable to feed themselves. “We are asking all dancers and members of the local community to bring non-perishable food stuffs to give to those in need” adds even organizer, David Wiley.

Contra Culture is an exciting new contra dance band from the North Carolina Piedmont made of two established classical music teacher/contra dancers. Contra Culture plays a mix of contemporary fiddle tunes along with traditional Southern Appalachian, New England, Cape Breton, Irish and Scottish tunes. They create a beautiful balance in their sets by playing highly energetic tunes along with transcendent lyrical melodies. Guitarist Austin Murry began studies on the classical guitar at the age of seven and holds an undergraduate and master’s degree from the University Of North Carolina School of the Arts in classical guitar. Austin enjoys playing a variety of styles of music including traditional music. He was introduced to contra dance in 1997 and has been immersed in the contra dance scene ever since. Fiddler Jennifer Lane began playing violin at the age of 8 and holds a Bachelor’s degree from Jacksonville University in violin. She has been playing Irish, Scottish, and Bluegrass fiddle for 12 years and has a diverse background in dance including contra dance, English country dance, and ballroom.

Posted by: David Wiley on November 13, 2013

Next Event-Sat Nov 2

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS members $5 and full time students $5. A family package allows parents and their children to be admitted for one price of $15. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. All dances are taught and it is not necessary to come with a partner.

Performing for the dance will be the band Skeeziks from Greenville, South Carolina. The band is made up of Allan Dillman on fiddle, Wes Maluk on guitar and tenor banjo, Joel McConnell on banjo and bouzouki and Terry Maluk on percussion. The dance will be called by Tom Colwell and Myra Hirschberg from Canada.

Tom and Myra from Peterborough, Ontario, have called dances separately and together throughout the United States and Canada. They are known for their easy-going, low-key teaching style, their out-of-the ordinary dance programs and their quirky original dance compositions. They are currently renovating a house in Asheville and look forward to calling many more dances in the area.

There will be a class for beginners at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm.

For more information, contact event organizer,David Wiley, 423-534-8879

Posted by: David Wiley on October 27, 2013

Next Event Oct 26

Halloween Contra Dance & Family Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance on Saturday, October 26, 2013 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The featured band will be Joseph Sobol and Trae McMaken from Johnson City, with Laurie Fisher as caller. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5, Students $5. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. A workshop for beginning contra dancers will be led by the caller at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm where, once again, Klondike Bars will be served to all who attend Costume judging and prize awards will take place during the break.

The evening will begin with a family dance from 5:30-6:45pm. The family dance is truly a family event where parents or grandparents and children ages four and up learn traditional dances. The dance will consist of easy steps for participants of all ages taught by Katy Tarter German of Asheville. The goal is to teach the fundamentals of dancing with a focus on having fun and placing less of an emphasis on dance techniques. Types of dances include circles, long-ways sets, squares, and odd number sets. All dances will be taught and called with high-energy live music from students in the ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time & Country Music program. Family dances promote community, inter-generational interaction, and bring traditional dance to a new generation, making the dance community stronger and enduring. Admission to the family dance is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Family package costs $15 for parents and all their children. If the participants wish to stay for the regular dance, their Family Dance admission can be applied to the regular admission costs.

Storyteller, musician, folklorist, and author, Joseph Daniel Sobol is an artist of wide-ranging accomplishments. An artist-in-residence for many years in North and South Carolina, he received a Masters in Folklore from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University. He toured the country from 1994 through 1999 with his award-winning musical theatre piece In the Deep Heart's Core based on the works of Irish poet W. B. Yeats. His book on the American storytelling revival, The Storytellers' Journey, was published in 1999 by the University of Illinois Press. In addition he has released a cassette and three CDs of music and stories, alone and with his group Kiltartan Road. His most recent recording, Citternalia: Celtic Music for Cittern was honored with a "Homegrown CD Award" by Acoustic Guitar Magazine, which called the album "a watershed project--dazzling speed and precision." After eleven years in Chicago, Illinois, doing folklore residencies with high school ESL and multilingual programs and performing regularly with some of America's top Irish traditional musicians, he is proud to have been named Director of the Graduate Program in Storytelling at East Tennessee State University.

Having grown up on the Michigan-Ontario border, from a young age Trae McMaken imbibed varied styles of fiddle playing including Irish, Scottish, Quebecois, Ontario Old Time, and Michigan Old Time. Trae can not only switch between these stylistic accents, he melds them into a dynamic creolized language of fiddling that reflects the diverse traditional heritage of his home region.

Trae's 2011 album For the Long Winter Nights takes a vivifying look at the fiddle and song traditions of Michigan and the Great Lakes and also incorporates some of his original numbers. His love for the folk cultures and music of the Great Lakes led Trae to found MichiganFiddle.com as a resource for centralizing historical collections of Michigan fiddling and for promoting this often neglected tradition. Not many people play the old Michigan tunes any longer, but Trae studies the playing of the old fiddlers from Michigan and the Great Lakes region in order to carry on the wonderful music of the lumbercamps and the windjammers, the fur trade and the farm.

While pursuing a master’s degree focusing on storytelling, traditional music, and regional studies at East Tennessee State University, Trae actively performed Appalachian music both in Appalachia and also during a short tour with the ETSU Old Time Pride Band to the Czech Republic in the summer of 2011 where he performed on fiddle and claw-hammer banjo. He recently performed with the same group on the PBS concert series, “Song of the Mountains.” Trae is a singer, songwriter, storyteller, and multi-instrumentalist who love opportunities to share his passion for traditional arts and the blending of music and story.

Since receiving his degree, Trae has started teaching old time fiddle and banjo as an adjunct professor in East Tennessee State University's Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Program.

“Joseph and Trae will dazzle us with their Celtic and Old Time tunes. The jigs and reels will be great fun to dance to. We are all very lucky to have them in the area. Now and then, Joseph will drop by for a dance or to jam with the hired band for the night” adds Wiley. Both Sobol and McMaken will have numerous CD recordings that will be offered to contra dance crowd.

Its Halloween weekend which means that all comers are invited to tap in to
their costume creative talent. “Last year’s dance brought so many wonderful costume ideas that we had a hard time picking the winners” offers David Wiley, President of HJDS. At the break, costume contestants will promenade around the dance floor as the judges select the finalists. Then, by applause from the crowd, the winners will be selected. Winners will receive gift certificates from local Jonesborough merchants or free passes to future contra
dance events. Costumes are recommended but not required for the dance.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-534-8879, visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org and on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on October 18, 2013

Mountain Madness Update 10/6

Dancers:

still room for more registrations and walk-ups. Can't do it all. Come and pay for the session of your choice:

Friday night: $20
Sat Morning: $1)
Sat Afternoon:$15
Sat Night: $25
Sunday: $15

Posted by: David Wiley on October 6, 2013

Mountain Madness 2013 Schedule

MOUNTAIN MADNESS 2013
SCHEDULE


Jonesborough Visitors Center
Friday 10/11 06:30pm-07:30 pm Waltz with Toss the Possum
08:00pm-09:50 pm Great Bear Trio with Beth Molaro (Contra)
10:00pm-11:45 pm Hot Point String Band with Diane Silver (Contra)

Have to be out of Visitors Center by midnight!

Pavilion @ Serenity Knoll
Saturday 10/12 10:00am-12:00pm Great Bear Trio with Beth Molaro (Square)
12:00pm-1:30pm Picnic Lunch (BYOF)
01:30pm-2:00pm Yoga Stretch and Power Nap
02:00pm-5:00pm Hot Point String Band with Diane Silver (Contra)

Jonesborough Visitors Center Saturday 10/12 10:00am-12:00pm Toss the Possum with Terry Doyle (Contra)
12:00pm-02:00pm Lunch Break
02:00pm-05:00pm Workshops
05:00pm-06:30pm Dinner Break
06:30pm-07:30pm Waltz with Toss the Possum
08:00pm-09:50pm Great Bear Trio with Diane Silver (Contra)
10:00pm-11:45pm Hot Point String Band with Beth Molaro (Contra)
11:30 Till After Dance Party at Dragon Hatchery

Have to be out of the Visitors Center by midnight

Jonesborough Visitors Center
Sunday 10/13 09:00am-10:15am Waltz with Toss the Possum
10:30am-12:30pm Hot Point with Diane Silver (Contra)
12:45pm-03:00pm Great Bear Trio with Beth Molaro (Contra)


SATURDAY WORKSHOPS


Jonesborough Visitors Center
Saturday 10/12
02:00pm-03:00pm Salty Dog Rag with Terry Doyle
03:00pm-04:00pm Dance Help with Rob Zisette “How to connect
With your partner”
04:00pm-05:00pm Flatfooting with Rebecca Molaro

Posted by: David Wiley on September 26, 2013

Next Event: September 21

Community Open Band plays for Jonesborough Contra!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will host the next Contra Dance of the season on Saturday September 21, 2013 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street at 7:30 PM. There will be a community open band led and hosted by ETSU Professor, Lee Bidgood. Christi Bothwell and Clinton Ross will do the calling. Admission is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A special family package for members is now offered for a total of $15. Parents and all of their own children under age 18 can gain admission for one price.

The evening begins with a family dance led by Asheville’s Katy Tater German with music by students from the ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music program. The family event runs from 5:30-6:45pm. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children. An entire family can get in for only $15.

The contra dance will be called by Christi Bothwell and Clinton Ross who have been working hard to learn the craft of dance calling. Musicians are welcome to join the band. Sheet music will be provided for those who play guitar, fiddle, banjo, bass, flute, clarinet, keyboard or accordion and percussion. It is recommended that participating musicians meet Bidgood in the community room at 6pm for orientation.

The caller will teach a class for beginners at 7:00 PM and the dance will run from 7:30-10:30 PM with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00 PM. Come to dance or come to listen. No partner is necessary. It is customary at contra dances to change partners after each dance. As always, our dances are smoke, alcohol and fragrance free. Families, students and singles are welcome. All dances are taught by the caller. No previous dance experience is necessary.

For more information, contact David Wiley at 423-534-8879, or email to david@historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. Also visit the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on September 8, 2013

Contrathon Update 8/26

CONTRATHON UPDATE!!

Still plenty of room for walk up registration at Contrathon XIV on Sunday September 1st. No need to mail anything at this point.

The weekend events will begin on Saturday, August 31st with an afternoon waltz in the Pavilion @ Serenity Knoll, 542 Bacon Branch Road, Jonesborough, Original waltz music by ContraForce. Time: 4:00-5:30pm. Cost $5.00.

An evening of contra dance will follow at the Jonesborough Visitors Center starting with a lesson for beginners at 7:00pm followed
by dancing from 7:30-10:30pm. Music provided by ContraForce. Dance callers are Dean Snipes & Charlotte Crittenden. There will
be a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm.

Contrathon XIV kicks off on Sunday promptly at 11:00am. Dean & Charlotte will team call throughout the day. Here is the schedule:

11:00am-01:30pm Contra Dance with ContraForce
01:30pm-02:00pm Break
02:00pm-04:30pm Contra Dance with Pigtown Alley
04:30pm-06:00pm Dinner Break
06:00pm-08:15pm Contra Dance with Celador
08:30pm-11:00pm Contra Dance with Pigtown Alley
11:00pm Clean up and pack out (please help)

Admission:

All Day 11am-11pm $30
11am-5pm $15
05pm-11pm $15

Student Rate: $20 all day, $12 half day

Please let me know if you can house any of our out-of-town visitors. We need hospitality for several.
Some area restaurants will be closed. I'll try to have a list of dining options at registration.

Stacy Bower will be in charge of snacks. Please let me know if you can help her during the event.

Thanks,
David Wiley
Historic Jonesborough Dance Society
423-534-8879

Posted by: David Wiley on August 26, 2013

Next Event : Contra Dance & Contrathon

Contra Dance Leads to Contrathon for Labor Day Weekend Fun!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance on Saturday, August 31, 2013 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The featured band will be ContraForce from Charleston, SC with Charlotte Crittenden and Dean Snipes as callers. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5, Students $5. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. A workshop for beginning contra dancers will be led by the caller at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm where, once again, Klondike Bars will be served to all.

The evening will begin with a waltz at the Pavilion @ Serenity Knoll from
4:00pm-5:30pm with music by ContraForce. The Pavilion is located at 542 Bacon Branch Road, Jonesborough. Admission $6.

Contra Force’s goal is to bring the rock influence to some folk tunes. This three-piece powerhouse packs the frenzied bowing arm of Andrae Raffield, the Donkey Kong slammin’ palms of drummer and saxophone player Joey Dorwart, and the acoustic and electric guitar onslaught of Jimi “Two Nails” Periano, into a hurricane of wild, energetic, kick-in-the-mouth contra music that will leave you gasping for breath and begging for more.

Andrae and Joey were old hands at the contra band scene, having vetted themselves in local Charleston bands, Anna’s Bananas and Shady Groove, for over fifteen years before deciding to create ContraForce to explore their new and exciting vision for contra dance music. To complete the rockin’ trinity, Jimi “Two Nails” Periano came on board to begin experimenting with “rocking out some fiddle tunes”. This synergy quickly led to a period of this new band writing their material.

Thus, a new band was born merging traditional contra music with psychedelic, surf rock and metal to create a new force: ContraForce! With these crazy jokers at the wheel, there’s no telling where the dance will end up, but you can be sure that the hall will be filled with happy dancers.

ContraForce will also be a part of an ALL-STAR lineup of bands for the 14th edition of Contrathon which will be held at the Jonesborough Visitors Center on Sunday, September 1st. Joining ContraForce will be Pigtown Alley from Cincinnati and Celador from Asheville. There will be 9-1/2 hours of actual dance time during the day which begins at 11:00am. Admission is $30 for all day, $15 for half the day. There is a discount for full time students giving the admission for $20 and $12 respectively. Dean and Charlotte will team up for all the dance calling. The day of dance concludes at 11:00pm.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-534-8879, visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org and on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on August 23, 2013

Next Dance : August 17, 2013

Contra & Family Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a community contra dance on Saturday August 17, 2013 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street. Class for beginning contra dancers will happen at 7:00 pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30 pm with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm. Coming to Jonesborough to perform for the dance will be the Dancing Bears from Asheville. Calling for the dance will be the ever popular Barbara Groh from Asheville.

The evening will begin with a family dance from 5:30-6:45pm. The family dance is truly a family event where parents or grandparents and children ages four and up learn traditional dances. The dance will consist of easy steps for participants of all ages. The goal is to teach the fundamentals of dancing with a focus on having fun and placing less of an emphasis on dance techniques. Types of dances include circles, long-ways sets, squares, and odd number sets. All dances will be taught and called with high-energy live music from students in the ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time & Country Music program.

Now that contra dance has become so popular all over this country, there are many step-by-step guides on how to do contra dance on the internet. “Even though we teach a brief workshop prior to the dance, there are other resources including contra dance videos, essays and other instruction available all over the web” states event organizer David Wiley. “We also encourage newcomers to partner with experienced dancers for the first few dances to build their confidence and show them how easy and fun contra dancing is”. You can bring the whole family to dance.

The Dancing Bears consists of Lew Gelfond on fiddle, Mark Langner on guitar, John Culp mandolin and banjo. Lew Gelfond has been playing the fiddle since long before the cows came home. He is a solo performer of old time fiddle and banjo music and also plays swing, ragtime, Celtic, gypsy, country, Klezmer, tangos, and other traditional music. Lew performs at schools, concerts, workshops and festivals and has been a violin, viola and fiddle teacher for over 20 years. Mark Langner started playing keyboards and guitar in a garage rock band in high school. In college, he played coffeehouses as part of a duo which did an eclectic mix of music ranging from Merle Haggard to Grateful Dead to Frank Zappa. Mark’s current interest is in swing and jazz, which colors most things the Bears do. Mark is also a certified hypnotherapist and builds acoustic arch top guitars. John Culp got his first real guitar on his 16th birthday and has been picking’ strings ever since. Since meeting his bride and favorite caller, Barbara Groh, and becoming submerged in the contra dance community, he has concentrated on mandolin and tenor banjo.

Barbara Groh, a resident of Asheville, NC, has been calling contra dances all over the Southeast since 1989. She has called such festivals as the Charleston Bug Stomp, Gotta Dance, the Summer Soiree, the Black Mountain Music Festival, Moon Dance, and the Gypsy Meltdown. Her smooth style, clear teaching and collection of interesting dances will help you achieve Contra Nirvana.

Barbara has been immersed in the traditional music and dance scene for three decades. She became an avid square dancer at age thirteen. In college she fell in love with contra dancing and learned to play old-time banjo. As a caller, her patience and ability to give precise dance instructions stem in part from her 15 years as a classroom teacher and private tutor. She currently works with children of all ages who have dyslexia.

Come as you are; wear soft flexible shoes for dancing. Come to dance, join the potluck dinner or just to listen. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught. As always, our dances are smoke and alcohol free. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. Families with their own children are all admitted for only $15.

For further information call event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on August 7, 2013

Next Dance

Summer Harvest Potluck & Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present the Annual Summer Harvest Potluck Dinner & Contra Dance on Saturday August 3, 2013. The potluck dinner and contra dance will be held at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street beginning at 6:00 pm. Class for beginning contra dancers will follow at 7:00 pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30 pm with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm. Coming to Jonesborough to perform for the dance will be Celador from Asheville. Calling for the dance will be David Winston from Asheville. During the dinner hour, guests can also waltz to recorded music.

The Summer Harvest Potluck Dinner will begin at 6:00pm. Nothing brings people together like a potluck, and nothing gets them talking together like the subject of food. Just watch as the buffet table fills up with salads, casseroles, pastas and desserts and you’ll see for yourself. “We are building a community through traditional music and dance. We hope to get our dancers chatting happily, exchanging recipes and telling the story behind each recipe,” adds Wiley. Food talk at a potluck can teach us a lot about each other and the world around us. Prizes will be given to the most creative and mouthwatering dishes. If you are not a home gardener, support your local Farmer’s Market including the Jonesborough Farmer’s Market held every Saturday from 8 am until noon in the parking area next to the Court House on Main Street.

Celador is relatively new on the contra dance scene. David Hayes, for several years, was the rhythm guitarist for Appalachian Storm. Early in 2013, he partnered with fiddler Gretchen Caverly to form a new contra dance sound that will appear soon in over 60 dance venues around the country. Celador is two musicians who are passionate about all things contra, love dancing almost as much as playing, feed off the energy, connection, and enthusiasm of the dance, relish the feel of the music - the building crescendo, the abrupt transition, the smooth sensual flow - add to that a bit of electronic wizardry, a touch of eccentric instrumentation, a heaping handful of eclectic musical selection, a generous dash of unusual arranging and you have a big sound, high energy, good time.

David Winston, senior software engineer for IBM, lives in Asheville. He started contra dancing in 2000 in the Washington, D.C. area where he met his wife Juliette. His first calling workshop in 2003 was led by Tom Hinds who recently called our dance on June 1st. David strives to connect with all levels of dancers through his clear teaching and steady calling. He is always willing to help new dancers learn basic skills, feel comfortable, and enjoy the contra dancing experience. Their 9-year old daughter, Genevieve, is an excellent contra dancer. The Winstons are definitely a contra dancing family.

Come as you are; wear soft flexible shoes for dancing. Come to dance, join the potluck dinner or just to listen. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught. As always, our dances are smoke and alcohol free. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. Families with their own children are all admitted for only $15 as a package.

For further information call event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on July 24, 2013

Next Dance 7/20

Contra & Family Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra and family dance on Saturday, July 20, 2013, at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. No partner is necessary. Families and children are welcome!

The evening will begin with a family dance from 5:30-6:45pm. The family dance is truly a family event where parents or grandparents and children ages four and up learn traditional dances. The dance will consist of easy steps for participants of all ages taught by Christi Bothwell. The goal is to teach the fundamentals of dancing with a focus on having fun and placing less of an emphasis on dance techniques. Types of dances include circles, long-ways sets, squares, and odd number sets. All dances will be taught and called with high-energy live music from students in the ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time & Country Music program. Family dances promote community, inter-generational interaction, and bring traditional dance to a new generation, making the dance community stronger and enduring. Admission to the family dance is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Family package costs $15 for parents and all their children. If the participants wish to stay for the regular dance, their Family Dance admission can be applied to the regular admission costs.

Performing for the contra dance will be Stoll ‘N Gold from Asheville & Spartanburg which consists of Roger Gold on guitar, percussion, Pam Stoll on fiddle, recorder and Fred Stoll on fiddle, mandolin and banjo.

For the contra dance, caller Cary Ravitz will conduct a class for beginners at 7:00pm where newcomers and experienced dancers alike will learn the basic steps, formations and flow of contra dance. The contra dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm.

Pam Stoll has fiddled for dances since 1992. She has played with Stringdancer, Brittany Bay, Pigtown Alley, KudZoo and Queen City Consort while living in Cincinnati.

Fred has been playing for contra and square dances for 30 years in Florida, Virginia and Ohio. His playing draws on a variety of traditional fiddle styles, and well as jazz-inspired improvisation, and he enjoys developing intricate two-fiddle harmonies with Pam. He has won the Florida state rustic-style fiddle championship.

Posted by: David Wiley on July 12, 2013

Next Dance 7/20

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra & family dance on Saturday July 20, 2013 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The featured band is Stoll ‘N Gold featuring Roger Gold on guitar, Pam and Fred Stoll on dual fiddles. From Cincinnati, Ohio, Cary Ravitz comes to call the dances.

The family dance will be held from 5:30-6:45pm where parents or grand parents and their children are invited to come and do easy and fun traditional dances to the tunes of ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time and Country music students.

The contra dance runs from 7:30-10:30pm with a class for beginner contra dancers at 7:00pm.

Admission $7, $5 for HJDS members and full time students.

For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-534-8879

Posted by: David Wiley on July 8, 2013

Jonesborough Days Dance

Historic Jonesborough Dance Society welcomes Alaska band “Eel House”!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance during the annual Jonesborough Days Celebration on Saturday July 6th at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance is $7 per person, $5 for HJDS members and full time students. An entire family can gain admission for only $15. A class for beginners will be held at 6:00pm. The dance will run from 6:30-9:45pm finishing in time for the fireworks show at 10:00pm. No Partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. All dances are smoke, alcohol and fragrance free.

Event organizer, David Wiley states “Being a part of Jonesborough Days gives us a chance to showcase our dance program to everyone in the region. Our dancers come to enjoy the traditional music and dance, get some exercise and to be a part of a dance community that is intergenerational and family oriented. Now in our eighth year in Jonesborough, we have produced over 200 dance events that are open to all comers”
“We are so lucky to catch a touring band from Alaska for this event,” adds Wiley. “

Eel House, from Fairbanks, Alaska, is a progressive contra dance band that plays a mix of traditional Celtic, jazz, rock and fiddle inspired tunes. The band consists of Eric Barker, Susie Hallinan, Chazz Gist & Alisa Williams. The r recipe for Eel House: mix one part fiddle and contra dance, one part folk, one part rock, one part jazz, add a pinch of classical, and season with wild creative energy. Add four musicians who grew up in Fairbanks Alaska, were immersed in music since before they could remember, and played music with their families. Despite their shared roots, each member of Eel House has traveled a different musical... journey to bring a unique set of skills to the group:

Eric took the modernistic approach, emerging from Oberlin Conservatory with a degree in electronic music composition. Returning to Fairbanks, he threw his energies into a rock band and meanwhile discovered New England Contra dance music and traditional Irish tunes.

Ryan was more old-fashioned. He learned acoustic bass on-the-job performing with a young contra dance band and soon was writing and singing his own quirky and engaging brand of bluegrass. Ryan is nearly finished with a degree in vocal performance from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Susie was not truly born with a fiddle in her hand…she waited until age four to begin classical violin studies. Soon she discovered something more joyous: fiddle music! A four-year stint at the University of Alaska Fairbanks earned Susie a music degree, a teaching certificate, and a determination to train up a whole new crop of fiddlers.

Alisa, on the other hand, was born into a family of singers. Besides learning every instrument she could get her hands on, she showed her exquisite craftsmanship writing country and folk songs. In college, she also studied classical cello and earned music minor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Anne Marie Walter is a long time caller in the Asheville area. She also helps to organize and call for the monthly English Country Dance there.

For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-534-8879 or follow the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on Facebook.

Posted by: David Wiley on June 19, 2013

Next Dance

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, June 15, 2013 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A family package allows parents to bring all of their own children for a total of $15. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. No partner is necessary. Families and children are welcome! A half hour contra dance workshop will be offered at 7pm.

At the 9:00pm waltz break, Klondike Ice Cream Bars, the official frozen treat of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society, will be offered to all dancers courtesy of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society.

The evening will begin with a family dance from 5:30-6:45pm. The family dance is truly a family event where parents or grandparents and children ages four and up learn traditional dances. The dance will consist of easy steps for participants of all ages taught by of Asheville. The goal is to teach the fundamentals of dancing with a focus on having fun and placing less of an emphasis on dance techniques. Types of dances include circles, long-ways sets, squares, and odd number sets. All dances will be taught and called with high-energy live music from students in the ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time & Country Music program. Family dances promote community, inter-generational interaction, and bring traditional dance to a new generation, making the dance community stronger and enduring. Admission to the family dance is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Family package costs $15 for parents and all their children. If the participants wish to stay for the regular dance, their Family Dance admission can be applied to the regular admission costs.

Performing for this event will be the duet consisting of Andrew Finn Magill of New York City and David Brown from Asheville. The caller is Kristin Seibert from Durham, NC. The dance on will run from 7:30-10:30pm.

Andrew Finn Magill grew up in Asheville and comes from a talented musical family. He is a fiddler/violinist who straddles genres. From Cuban Charanga to traditional Irish and Scottish music, Andrew Finn has toured with a diverse array of ensembles.

Andrew’s background is in traditional Irish music, having been a two-time finalist at the All-Ireland fiddle championships starting when he was just 14. He has performed alongside many Irish luminaries including John Doyle, Liz Carroll, Altan, Flook, Lunasa, and Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill.

He has toured France with Liz Knowles & Kieran O’Hare as part of the international phenomenon Celtic Legends, the U.S. and Canada with the Paul McKenna Band the 2009 Scots Trad Music winners of “Best Up & Coming Band,” and Malawi with music icon Peter Mawanga with whom he co-produced the highly acclaimed concept album Mau a Malawi: Stories of AIDS.

In 2005 he released Drive & Lift, his self-produced debut featuring Grammy-nominees Al Petteway and John Doyle. It received rave reviews in Dirty Linen and Sing Out! Magazine and has been featured multiple times on NPR’s The Thistle & Shamrock.

In 2009, Andrew received a Fulbright-MtvU fellowship to create a fundraiser concept album entitled Mau a Malawi: Stories of AIDS, a fusion project with acclaimed Malawian musician and social activist Peter Mawanga.

Spending a year in Malawi recording AIDS narratives, Andrew & Peter wrote and produced a ten track album that musically captures the experiences of ten people through song. It was released on October 14th at the University of North Carolina’s Memorial Hall. Sales from Mau a Malawi will be invested in programs to keep vulnerable Malawian children in school and empower them through the arts. To learn more about that project please visit www.storiesofaids.com

David Brown provides the pulse to the music. He is renowned and accolade as a 5-string banjo player, and plays professionally on a half dozen other instruments, including the baritone guitar. This unusual instrument is a hybrid between a regular guitar and a bass guitar, and in David's hands, it provides hypnotic rhythm and harmonic texture to the music. David performs frequently with Cailen Campbell in the band Contraversial but can also be found playing with renowned Scottish fiddler, Jamie Laval, and tour the country and internationally with the band Appalachian Rising.

Kristin has been a contra dancer since birth and a dance gypsy since high school. Sidelined by a badly sprained ankle in early 2009, she started calling for her school's dance club. Nobody had told her that you needed to be taught how to call! Like a bird learning to fly, she picked up calling quickly and naturally, and once behind the microphone, there was no going back.
These days, Kristin delights in touring the country, creating programs that are exciting for experienced dancers while introducing moves in a way that allows complete beginners to have just as much fun. Her walk-throughs are clear and concise, and when the music starts, her uniquely subtle calling style will have you whirling and twirling all night long.


For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org and the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on June 3, 2013

Dance All Day

Historic Jonesborough Dance Society presents “Dance All Day”!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance on Saturday, June 1, 2013 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center. The featured band will be Contra Culture from Winston-Salem with Tom Hinds calling. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members and students $5. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. A workshop for beginning contra dancers will be led by the callers at 1:00pm. The dance will run from 1:30-4:30pm with a waltz break at 3:00pm where, once again, Klondike Bars will be served to all who attend.

The “Dance All Day” program also includes a morning square dance ($5) at the Pavilion at Serenity Knoll from 10-12pm, a waltz workshop ($8) from 1:30-3:30pm and a live waltz ($10) from 3:30-5:30pm. The Pavilion is located at 542 Bacon Branch Road near Jonesborough.

Contra Culture is an exciting new contra dance band from the North Carolina Piedmont made of two established classical music teacher/contra dancers. Contraculture play a mix of contemporary fiddle tunes along with traditional Southern Appalachian, New England, Cape Breton, Irish and Scottish tunes. They create a beautiful balance in their sets by playing highly energetic tunes along with transcendent lyrical melodies. Guitarist Austin Murry began studies on the classical guitar at the age of seven and holds an undergraduate and master’s degree from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in classical guitar. Austin enjoys playing a variety of styles of music including traditional music. He was introduced to contra dance in 1997 and has been immersed in the contra dance scene ever since. Fiddler Jennifer Lane began playing violin at the age of 8 and holds a Bachelor’s degree from Jacksonville University in violin. She has been playing Irish, Scottish, and Bluegrass fiddle for 12 years and has a diverse background in dance including contra dance, English country dance, and ballroom.

The morning square dance called by Tom Hinds from Charlottesville, VA will feature student musicians from the ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music program. The waltz workshop is taught by Asheville’s Scott Baxla. The workshop will teach levels from beginner to intermediate. Lori McClimans and Owen Cauley will perform piano and violin waltz tunes for the dancers.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-534-8879, visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. and FACEBOOK on the web.

Posted by: David Wiley on May 29, 2013

Dance All Day

Historic Jonesborough Dance Society presents “Dance All Day”!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance on Saturday, June 1, 2013 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center. The featured band will be Contra Culture from Winston-Salem with Tom Hinds calling. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members and students $5. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. A workshop for beginning contra dancers will be led by the callers at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm where, once again, Klondike Bars will be served to all who attend.

The “Dance All Day” program also includes a morning square dance ($5) at the Pavilion at Serenity Knoll from 10-12pm, a waltz workshop ($8) from 1:30-3:30pm and a live waltz ($10) from 3:30-5:30pm. The Pavilion is located at 542 Bacon Branch Road near Jonesborough.

Contra Culture is an exciting new contra dance band from the North Carolina Piedmont made of two established classical music teacher/contra dancers. Contraculture play a mix of contemporary fiddle tunes along with traditional Southern Appalachian, New England, Cape Breton, Irish and Scottish tunes. They create a beautiful balance in their sets by playing highly energetic tunes along with transcendent lyrical melodies. Guitarist Austin Murry began studies on the classical guitar at the age of seven and holds an undergraduate and master’s degree from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in classical guitar. Austin enjoys playing a variety of styles of music including traditional music. He was introduced to contra dance in 1997 and has been immersed in the contra dance scene ever since. Fiddler Jennifer Lane began playing violin at the age of 8 and holds a Bachelor’s degree from Jacksonville University in violin. She has been playing Irish, Scottish, and Bluegrass fiddle for 12 years and has a diverse background in dance including contra dance, English country dance, and ballroom.

The morning square dance called by Tom Hinds from Charlottesville, VA will feature student musicians from the ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music program. The waltz workshop is taught by Asheville’s Scott Baxla. The workshop will teach levels from beginner to intermediate. Lori McClimans and Owen Cauley will perform piano and violin waltz tunes for the dancers.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-534-8879, visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. and FACEBOOK on the web.

Posted by: David Wiley on May 29, 2013

Next Dance

Contra Dance
Saturday May 25,2013
"EUPHOR" with Jesse Edgerton & Connie Carringer calling
Jonesborough Visitors Center
117 Boone Street
Beginners 7:00pm
Dance: 7:30-10:30pm

Contrathon XIII
Sunday May 26, 2013
11:00am-11:00pm
Pavilion @ Serenity Knoll, 542 Bacon Branch Road, Jonesborough, TN
"EUPHOR", Rob Z & The Trustees
Jesse Edgerton & Connie Carringer calling

Schedule:
11:00-01:30pm Contra Dance with Rob Z & Trustees w/Connie
01:30-02:00pm Break
02:30-04:30pm Contra Dance with EUPHOR & Jesse
04:30-06:00pm Dinner Break & Couples Dancing
06:00-08:15pm Contra Dance with Rob Z & Trustees w/Connie
08:15-08:30pm Break
08:30-11:00pm Contra Dance with EUPHOR & Jesse
11:00pm Clean up & Pack up

Admission: Unless you pre-registered
Entire event $30
11am-5pm $15
5pm-11pm $15
College/HS Students ($20/$12) with no late fee
Evening Dance Only ($10) for all comers

Posted by: David Wiley on May 23, 2013

next dance

Next Dance:

Saturday May 18, 2013

Spring Chickens with Laurie Fisher calling
Beginners: 7:00pm
Dance: 7:30-10:30pm
No Family Dance

Posted by: David Wiley on May 18, 2013

Next Dance "Celtic Contra"

Celtic Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, May 4, 2013 at 7:30pm at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Performing for the dance will be Joseph Sobol and Trae McMaken. The caller is Charlotte Crittenden from Brasstown, NC. A class for beginners will be held at 7:00pm. Every dancer is encouraged to attend the class to become familiar with dance steps, formations, and flow. Klondike Bars, the official frozen treat of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society, will be served at the 9:00pm waltz break. This event is open to all.

Admission to the dance is $7 for (yet-to-be members), $5 for HJDS members. Full time Students get in for $5. A Family Package has been instituted for members that allows parents and as many children in their core family to get in for only $15.

Charlotte Crittenden is fast becoming a popular regional caller who has recently called at River Falls, Grey Eagle and Sautee, GA and the Old Farmers Ball... Her enthusiasm is contagious!

Storyteller, musician, folklorist, and author, Joseph Daniel Sobol is an artist of wide-ranging accomplishments. An artist-in-residence for many years in North and South Carolina, he received a Masters in Folklore from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University. He toured the country from 1994 through 1999 with his award-winning musical theatre piece In the Deep Heart's Core based on the works of Irish poet W. B. Yeats. His book on the American storytelling revival, The Storytellers' Journey, was published in 1999 by the University of Illinois Press. In addition he has released a cassette and three CDs of music and stories, alone and with his group Kiltartan Road. His most recent recording, Citternalia: Celtic Music for Cittern was honored with a "Homegrown CD Award" by Acoustic Guitar Magazine, which called the album "a watershed project--dazzling speed and precision." After eleven years in Chicago, Illinois, doing folklore residencies with high school ESL and multilingual programs and performing regularly with some of America's top Irish traditional musicians, he is proud to have been named Director of the Graduate Program in Storytelling at East Tennessee State University.

Having grown up on the Michigan-Ontario border, from a young age Trae McMaken imbibed varied styles of fiddle playing including Irish, Scottish, Quebecois, Ontario Old Time, and Michigan Old Time. Trae can not only switch between these stylistic accents, he melds them into a dynamic creolized language of fiddling that reflects the diverse traditional heritage of his home region.

Trae's 2011 album For the Long Winter Nights takes a vivifying look at the fiddle and song traditions of Michigan and the Great Lakes and also incorporates some of his original numbers. His love for the folk cultures and music of the Great Lakes led Trae to found MichiganFiddle.com as a resource for centralizing historical collections of Michigan fiddling and for promoting this often neglected tradition. Not many people play the old Michigan tunes any longer, but Trae studies the playing of the old fiddlers from Michigan and the Great Lakes region in order to carry on the wonderful music of the lumbercamps and the windjammers, the fur trade and the farm.

While pursuing a master’s degree focusing on storytelling, traditional music, and regional studies at East Tennessee State University, Trae actively performed Appalachian music both in Appalachia and also during a short tour with the ETSU Old Time Pride Band to the Czech Republic in the summer of 2011 where he performed on fiddle and claw-hammer banjo. He recently performed with the same group on the PBS concert series, “Song of the Mountains.” Trae is a singer, songwriter, storyteller, and multi-instrumentalist who love opportunities to share his passion for traditional arts and the blending of music and story.

Since receiving his degree, Trae has started teaching old time fiddle and banjo as an adjunct professor in East Tennessee State University's Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Program.

“Joseph and Trae will dazzle us with their Celtic and Old Time tunes. The jigs and reels will be great fun to dance to. We are all very lucky to have them in the area. Now and then, Joseph will drop by for a dance or to jam with the hired band for the night” adds Wiley. Both Sobol and McMaken will have numerous CD recordings that will be offered to contra dance crowd.

For more information, contact event organizer David Wiley at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org and Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on April 21, 2013

Next Dance

“Expresso” Plays for Contra in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society welcomes Asheville band “Expresso” and caller Lindsey Morris to the next contra
on Saturday, April 20, 2013 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. There will be a class for beginners at 7:00pm followed by the dance from 7:30-10:30pm. There will be a short waltz break at 9:00pm at which time Klondike Bars will be offered to all comers.Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students.

"Expresso" is made up of Paul Moore on keyboard, Jeff Baker on fiddle, Steve Kemble on percussion.

For more information, contact David Wiley, event organizer at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on April 12, 2013

Next Dance!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, April 6, 2013 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A family package allows parents to bring all of their own children for a total of $15. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. No partner is necessary. Families and children are welcome! A half hour contra dance workshop will be offered at 7pm.

At the 9:00pm waltz break, Klondike Ice Cream Bars, the official frozen treat of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society, will be offered to all dancers courtesy of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society.

Performing for this event will be the band STEAM! The caller is Dean Snipes from Charlotte, NC. The dance on will run from 7:30-10:30pm.

A new contra dance band featuring flying fiddle & mandolin harmonies with solid foot-happy drive comes to Jonesborough from Arizona. Offering a diverse repertoire based on years of playing, they imbue each dance with a unique feel, slink jigs, driving reels with a knack for pouncing on the balances and flowing on the heys. Happy playing Irish, old-time, French Canadian, New England, and modern tunes, each evening is filled with variety and spice. STEAM! is Dave Firestine, Alice Boyle, Robert Rosenberg, and Claire Zucker.

Although these four long-time friends have each played in their own bands for years, they have taken a leap into this new cross-continental venture combining their music and energy to fill dance halls from coast to coast. Since forming in the fall of 2010, STEAM! has played to dancers and audiences in the Southwest ("Dance in the Desert" dance camp, Phoenix contra dance, Tucson Celtic Festival), in the Northeast (Glen Echo Spanish Ballroom and advanced Sunday dances, Baltimore, Richmond VA), Colorado (Black Rose Acoustic Music Society, Denver Zesty contra), and the Bay area (Palo Alto, Hayward, and San Francisco). STEAM! has enjoyed working with some wonderful callers including Lisa Greenleaf, Bob Isaacs, Eric Hoffman, and Tina Fields. Steam members have produced 10 CDs with various bands. Dave and Claire perform as a duo called Púca, but also enjoy playing reunion gigs with bands Round the House, the Privy Tippers, and New Potatoes. Alice and Robert also perform as a duo called the Dire Ducks, and make appearances with several Celtic, folk, and dance bands, separately and together. Veteran performers, STEAM! members have been hired as staff for various camps and to teach workshops at festivals. They were recently chosen to perform at the 2013 Catapult Dance Weekend in Atlanta.

Contra dancing is a traditional form of American folk dance that evolved from the long ways country dances popular in English society centuries ago. Contra dance communities now thrive all over the country. There are websites that can direct you to contra dances in most states. The modern contra dances provide dancers of all ages and experience levels with the opportunity to smile, move, connect, flirt and create an evening of dance nirvana with each other. No previous dance experience is necessary. No fancy footwork is required. If you can walk and count to eight, you can contra dance!

Contra dances are community events. At almost any contra you will find people of all ages and all dance skill levels, from young to old, beginner to expert. Contra dancers form a very open and welcoming group of people. You can come alone or with others since it is a tradition to dance with a variety of partners throughout the night. It is perfectly acceptable for either a man or a woman to ask someone to dance. It’s a great way to make friends with someone they haven’t met before. You will find contra dancing a great way to make new friends.

For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org and the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David on March 19, 2013

Next Dance-Contra St. Patrick Style

Jonesborough Contra Dance St.Patrick Style!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will host the next Contra Dance of the season on Saturday March 16, 2013 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street at 7:30 PM. There will be a community open band this year led by ETSU Professor, Lee Bidgood. Hank Morris will do the calling. Admission is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A special family package for members is now offered for a total of $15. Parents and all of their own children under age 18 can gain admission for one price.

The evening begins with a family dance led by Asheville’s Katy Tater German. The family event runs from 5:30-6:45pm.

Come as you are; wear soft flexible shoes for dancing. Being St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is encouraged to wear GREEN. Forget to wear green on St. Patty’s Day? Don’t be surprised if you get pinched. No surprise, it’s an entirely American tradition that probably started in the early 1700s. St. Patrick’s revelers thought wearing green made one invisible to leprechauns, fairy creatures who would pinch anyone they could see (anyone not wearing green). People began pinching those who didn’t wear green as a reminder that leprechauns would sneak up and pinch green-abstainers. Not Irish? Not too worry. Everyone can be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.

The caller will teach a class for beginners at 7:00 PM and the dance will run from 7:30-10:30 PM with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00 PM. Come to dance or come to listen. No partner is necessary. It is customary at contra dances to change partners after each dance. As always, our dances are smoke, alcohol and fragrance free. Families, students and singles are welcome. All dances are taught by the caller. No previous dance experience is necessary.

For more information, contact David Wiley at 423-534-8879, or email to david@historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. Also visit the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on March 3, 2013

Free Contra Dance Workshop

“Contra Dance 101” A Workshop for Beginners!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will offer a FREE three-hour comprehensive workshop for people interested in learning how to contra dance. This event will be held on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street from 3:00pm-6:00pm.

Leading the workshop will be Warren Doyle from Mountain City, TN. Warren has over 40 years of experience as an educator, contra dancer, dance instructor/caller and dance event organizer.

To help maintain, and improve, the overall dancing level in Jonesborough and in the region by discussing, and demonstrating:
a) Importance of listening, timing and grace (gentle strength) in dancing
b) Barriers common to smooth and joyful movement
b) Challenges of creative, individual movement within the collective structure
c) Reasons why people contra dance

The class/workshop will be relaxed but meaningful with a healthy balance of discussion and dancing. Not only are beginners welcome, but also experienced dancers who wish more in depth training in the art of contra dance.

Participants are encouraged to attend the entire session. However, if that is not possible, I would prefer that people who cannot stay the whole time be there for the beginning orientation at 3pm. Late arrivals will have to join in progress.

Adults and children are welcome. No pre-registration is required.
Attendees are encouraged to stay for the evening contra dance with music performed by “Good & Plenty” from Asheville with the dance being called by Warren Doyle. A class for beginners starts at 7:00pm with the dance running from 7:30-10:30pm. Admission is $7, HJDS Members and full time students $5.

For further information, contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-534-8879.

Posted by: David Wiley on February 20, 2013

Next Dance - Valentine's Dance

Valentine’s Contra Dance-You’ll Feel The Love!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a Valentine’s Contra Dance on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:30pm at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street. Performing for the dance will be “Yellow Goats Beard” from Durham, NC with caller Valerie Helbert. A class for beginners will be held at 7:00pm. Every dancer is encouraged to attend the class to become familiar with dance steps, formations and flow.

The evening will begin with a family dance at 5:30pm where caller Helbert will lead parents or grandparents and children in a series of fun and simple dances with music performed by students from the ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music program.

Our dance will celebrate Valentine’s Day two days late. Valerie Helbert will call such
Dances as “Heartbeat Contra”, “Sharie’s Valentine”, “Roll in the Hey”, “The Rendezvous” “The Hussy Bride” and the “Flirtation Reel” in hopes of sparking romance on the dance floor. Dancers are encouraged to wear something Red, White or Pink. Smiling, eye contact and flirtation are part of the fun of contra dancing. In addition, there will be a series of “Sadie Hawkins” style dances where the ladies get to choose their gentlemen partners.

A committee of volunteers will decorate the hall with pink and red streamers and Valentine cards.

At the 9:00pm break, members will provide tasty finger food such as chocolate fondue, truffles, cakes, fudge, candy and other chocolate and red colored delicacies. Every lady who comes to the dance will receive a long-stem red rose as a gift from one of our supporters.

“Our dancers are really getting the hang of it and the skill level is really getting better”, states event organizer David Wiley. Our dance is for all ages. “For some reason, I hear folks saying that they think our contra dance is geared to the older crowd. We have dancers of all ages from 8 to eighty. Plus, you don’t have to have a partner.” The best way to learn contra dance is by asking a more experienced partner to dance. It is perfectly acceptable for ladies to ask gentlemen to dance.

Admission to the dance is $7 for (yet-to-be members), $5 for HJDS members and full-time students get in for $5. A Family Package offer allows parents and as many children in their core family to get in for only $15.

Valerie Helbert, along with the Yellow Goats Beard band, comes to Jonesborough for the first time. Valerie hails from Harrisonburg VA, and has been calling community and regional contra dances since January 2010. She was a featured caller at the Catapult Showcase last May in Atlanta and loves to put together programs that are both accessible to beginners and interesting for advanced dancers. One of her favorite things about calling is to see the huge smile on a new dancer's face when they finally 'get' how things work. Her favorite vegetable is Spinach.

Yellow Goats Beard is Danny Blose on fiddle and mandolin, and David Prins on keyboard. Based in Raleigh-Durham, NC, they have been playing for local and regional contra dances since December 2010. They bring energy and creativity to their dance arrangements, with a fresh interpretation of both traditional and modern tunes. Their ultimate goal is to thrill the dancers and warm their hearts with foot stomping music. They pose the question to any who would attend: Are you ready to rumble?

For more information, contact event organizer David Wiley at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org on the web and on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on February 7, 2013

Next Dance - Valentine's Dance

Next dance: Saturday February 16, 2013

Family Dance: 5:30-6:45pm

Contra Dance: 7:30-10:30pm

Beginners Class: 7:00pm

Band: Yellow Goat's Beard
Caller: Valerie Helbert

Posted by: David Wiley on February 4, 2013

Foot Ball on Sunday

The Foot Ball on Super Bowl Sunday is on for today!

Beginners at 2:00 pm
Dance 2:30-5:30

Posted by: David Wiley on February 3, 2013

Dance Cancelled

The contra dance scheduled for tonight Feb 2nd has been cancelled because of the weather.

Please join us Sunday afternoon at 2:00pm for the 4th Annual FOOT BALL on Super Bowl Sunday.

Appalachian Storm plays with Terry Doyle calling the dances.

Beginners at 2:00pm, dance from 2:30-5:30pm

Dinner to follow at Vega's Fiesta Restaurant in Jonesborough.

Posted by: David Wiley on February 2, 2013

Next Dance (Super Contra Weekend)

Super Contra Weekend including the “FOOT BALL” on Super Bowl Sunday!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a double-header contra dance Saturday and Sunday, February 2-3, 2013 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dances is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. All dances are smoke, alcohol and fragrance free. No partner is necessary. Families and children are welcome.
Saturday is Groundhog Day! We’ll change the name to “Ground Bear Day” in honor of the Dancing Bears from Asheville who will perform for the evening dance. The callers will be Tom Colwell and Myra Hirschberg who split time between Asheville and Ontario, Canada. A class for beginners will be held at 7:00pm where the caller will invite everyone to the dance floor to review calls, steps, flow and other helpful ideas to get everyone started on the right foot. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm. The Dancing Bears are Lew Geflond on fiddle, John Culp on mandolin and Mark Langner on guitar.
Super Bowl Sunday brings the second event of the doubleheader. It’s the 5th Annual “FOOT BALL”. While the fans of the sport of NFL Football are gearing up for the championship game of the season, contra dancers will asked to bring snacks to share during the dance and waltz. Recorded waltz music will play from 1:00 to 2:00pm. The contra dance runs from 2:30-5:30pm with a beginner’s class at 2:00pm. Performing for this dance is Appalachian Storm with David Hayes on guitar, Kris Wallace on fiddle, Terrell Jones on Bass/drums and David White on fiddle and banjo. Terry Doyle will call the dance. Admission is $7 for all comers. “We’ve done this event last four years and had well over 100 dancers come for the afternoon dance” states event organizer David Wiley, President of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society. It’s a way to burn off a few calories before indulging in the snacks and treats at Super Bowl parties.
The dance will conclude at 5:30pm in plenty of time for dancers to change back over to football fans as the Super Bowl Game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens kicks off at 6:25pm or attend a post-dance meal and social at the Vega’s Fiesta Restaurant at 1976 11-E Highway in Jonesborough.
To complete the weekend of dancing, a third contra dance will be held on Friday night in the lobby of the King Centre at Main and Roan in Johnson City Volunteer callers will lead the dancing as students from the ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music program play the tunes. The hat will be passed asking dancers for donations to pay the musicians. Beginners at 7:00pm, dancing from 7:30-9:30pm. All dancers are invited to stay for pizza at nearby Main Street Pizza!
For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org and the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on January 23, 2013

Next Dance

Contra & Family Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, January 19, 2013 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A family package allows parents to bring all of their own children for a total of $15. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. No partner is necessary. Families and children are welcome! A half hour contra dance workshop will be offered at 7pm.

Performing for this event will be the “Honey Badgers” from Asheville consisting of David Lynch on fiddle, Beth Molaro on banjo ukulele and Vollie McKenzie on guitar. The caller is Katy Tarter German from Asheville. The dance on will run from 7:30-10:30pm.

At the 9:00pm waltz break, Klondike Ice Cream Bars, the official frozen treat of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society, will be offered to all dancers courtesy of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society.

The evening will begin with a family dance from 5:30-6:45pm. The family dance is truly a family event where parents or grandparents and children ages four and up learn traditional dances. The dance will consist of easy steps for participants of all ages taught by Katy Tarter German of Asheville. The goal is to teach the fundamentals of dancing with a focus on having fun and placing less of an emphasis on dance techniques. Types of dances include circles, long-ways sets, squares, and odd number sets. All dances will be taught and called with high-energy live music from students in the ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time & Country Music program. Family dances promote community, inter-generational interaction, and bring traditional dance to a new generation, making the dance community stronger and enduring. Admission to the family dance is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Family package costs $15 for parents and all their children. If the participants wish to stay for the regular dance, their Family Dance admission can be applied to the regular admission costs.

Contra dancing is a traditional form of American folk dance that evolved from the long ways country dances popular in English society centuries ago. Contra dance communities now thrive all over the country. There are websites that can direct you to contra dances in most states. The modern contra dances provide dancers of all ages and experience levels with the opportunity to smile, move, connect, flirt and create an evening of dance nirvana with each other. No previous dance experience is necessary. No fancy footwork is required. If you can walk and count to eight, you can contra dance!
Contra dances are community events. At almost any contra you will find people of all ages and all dance skill levels, from young to old, beginner to expert. Contra dancers form a very open and welcoming group of people. You can come alone or with others since it is a tradition to dance with a variety of partners throughout the night. It is perfectly acceptable for either a man or a woman to ask someone to dance. It’s a great way to make friends with someone they haven’t met before. You will find contra dancing a great way to make new friends.

Posted by: David Wiley on January 10, 2013

Press Release-Next Dance

“Contra Dance Begins 8th Year in Jonesborough!”

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society opens its eighth year with a contra dance on Saturday January 5, 2013. The event will be held at the Jonesborough Visitors Center at 7:00pm featuring the Asheville band “Boom Chuck” with Clinton Ross calling the dance. Admission is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A class for newcomer contra dances will run from 7:00-7:30pm. The dance will go from 7:30-10:30pm with a Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm.

“Contra dance is a way for all citizens of the area to rededicate themselves to New Year’s higher ideas and ideals for diet and exercise changes. We know from the experts that most people start the year with ambitious goals for weight loss, smoking cessation or other behavioral changes during the first ten days of the New Year”, states organizer David Wiley. “The problem is that many of these commitments fade away in the short term” adds Wiley. “Our contra dance program, even though it is held only twice per month can jump start anyone toward their goals. We had 30 dances again 2012. In and of itself, 30 dances won’t make or break anyone’s fitness program, but for many, it made a difference. We have built the foundation for our own dance community in addition to starting a monthly family dance series. Now, one can contra dance twice a month for FREE at ETSU on the second and fourth Tuesday.

Boom Chuck unites three friends who have played for contra dances in the area for the last three years. The band consists Laurie Fisher on fiddle, Nic Coker on guitar and banjo and Ricky Cooper on bass.

Clinton Ross, an ETSU student from Charlotte, began his calling career in 2012. Ross, a member of the ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music program, is an accomplished musician but took very quickly to contra dance after participating in the on-campus dances twice a month at the Culp Center. He was immediately drawn to calling. He attended the Cumberland Dance Week, a camp in Nancy, KY, this past summer where he was tutored by one of the nation’s top callers, Seth Tepfer, from Atlanta. This will be Clinton’s first calling gig for the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society.

For more information on Saturday’s dance or any upcoming events, please call David Wiley at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. or Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on December 25, 2012

Coming Attraction!

Contra & Family Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance on Saturday, December 15, 2012 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The featured band will be ContraForce from Charleston, SC with Maggie Jo Saylor as caller. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5, Students $5. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. A workshop for beginning contra dancers will be led by the caller at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm where, once again, Klondike Bars will be served to all.

The evening will begin with a family dance from 5:30-6:45pm. The family dance is truly a family event where parents or grandparents and children ages four and up learn traditional dances. The dance will consist of easy steps for participants of all ages taught by Maggie Jo Saylor of Asheville. The goal is to teach the fundamentals of dancing with a focus on having fun and placing less of an emphasis on dance techniques. Types of dances include circles, long-ways sets, squares, and odd number sets. All dances will be taught and called with high-energy live music from the Empty Bottle String Band. Family dances promote community, inter-generational interaction, and bring traditional dance to a new generation, making the dance community stronger and enduring. Admission to the family dance is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Family package costs $15 for parents and all their children. If the participants wish to stay for the regular dance, their Family Dance admission can be applied to the regular admission costs.

Contra Force’s goal is to bring the rock influence to some folk tunes. This three-piece powerhouse packs the frenzied bowing arm of Andrae Raffield, the Donkey Kong slammin’ palms of drummer and saxophone player Joey Dorwart, and the acoustic and electric guitar onslaught of Jimi “Two Nails” Periano, into a hurricane of wild, energetic, kick-in-the-mouth contra music that will leave you gasping for breath and begging for more.

Andrae and Joey were old hands at the contra band scene, having vetted themselves in local Charleston bands, Anna’s Bananas and Shady Groove, for over fifteen years before deciding to create ContraForce to explore their new and exciting vision for contra dance music. To complete the rockin’ trinity, Jimi “Two Nails” Periano came on board to begin experimenting with “rocking out some fiddle tunes”. This synergy quickly led to a period of this new band writing their own material.

Thus, a new band was born merging traditional contra music with psychedelic, surf rock and metal to create a new force: ContraForce! With these crazy jokers at the wheel, there’s no telling where the dance will end up, but you can be sure that the hall will be filled with happy dancers.

The December 15th event will end the seventh year of community contra dance in Jonesborough with many more exciting dances scheduled for years to come.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-534-8879, visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org and on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on December 5, 2012

NEXT DANCE!

Celtic Band “Sigean” Plays for Jonesborough Contra!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The featured band will be local band, Sigean with Keith Eustis, leading the dance. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5 and full time students $5. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. A workshop for beginning contra dancers will be led by the caller at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm where, once again, Klondike Bars will be served to all who attend.

The sound of fiddles and pipes comes to Jonesborough to fill the dance hall with the finest Celtic music in the region. Sigean is a traditional Celtic band that has some Americana/bluegrass/old-time roots because of its members' musical experience. Sigean was formed in 1997, in Bristol, Tennessee, in order to allow local musicians to perform Irish traditional music. Guitars, fiddles, Irish pipes, whistles, bodhran (Irish frame drum) tenor banjo, and sometimes 5-string banjo, upright bass and vocals from a Scottish vocalist. Traditional reels and jigs, airs, ballads from Scotland, Ireland and the British Isles.

The band consists of Tom Swadley on guitar, Frank Wing on fiddle and tenor banjo, John Rushing on bass, Marcianne O’Day on fiddle and Debbie Shrewsbury on flute and whistles. Recent recordings include “Live at the Paramount” during 2007 Bristol Rhythm and Roots Festival and “Lone Shanakyle” from 2010. For more information, please visit their website: www.sigeanband.com or their fan page on FACEBOOK.

The area of East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, Western North Carolina and Eastern Kentucky was heavily settled by "Scots-Irish" immigrants in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Therefore, Sigean exists to perform the music of the Celts, the jigs and reels that were once and are still heard throughout the green fields of Ireland, to a contemporary American audience or room full of contra dancers. Their music is greatly influenced in the tradition and flavor of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and the other Celtic nations.

Having called for over 18 years, Keith Eustis has found a following of dancers who enjoy her clear teaching and joyful calling. Choosing interesting dances that flow so that dancers can groove with the music, and move with ease through the dance, is one of her strengths. Keeping the dance moving while inviting new dancers to the floor is part of her welcoming approach to dancers of all skill levels.

Eustis, from Greenville, SC, has called at numerous local dances, festivals, dance weekends, and dance camps throughout the United States and Canada and on dance trips to several other countries, including Costa Rica, Peru, and New Zealand. Her calling has been described as "joyful", "scintillating", "fun", "exciting", and "welcoming". Her smiling enthusiasm and love of the dance radiates through to the crowd. This will be Keith’s first calling gig in Jonesborough.

Now that contra dance has become so popular all over this country, there are many step-by-step guides on how to do contra dance on the internet. “Even though we teach a brief workshop prior to the dance, there are other resources including contra dance videos, essays and other instruction available all over the web “states event organizer David Wiley. “We also encourage newcomers to partner with experienced dancers for the first few dances to build their confidence and show them how easy and fun it is to contra”.

Beginner dancers are offered buttons that say “Dancer in Training, Handle with Care”. Experienced dancers pin on the words “I Like Beginners, Ask Me to Dance”.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or visit the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on November 20, 2012

Press Release

Contra & Family Dance & Food Raiser in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, November 17, 2012 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A family package allows parents to bring all of their own children for a total of $15. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. No partner is necessary. Families and children are welcome! A half hour contra dance workshop will be offered at 7pm.

Non-perishable food stuffs will be collected at this dance on behalf of the Jonesborough Area Ministerial Association Food Bank.

At the 9:00pm waltz break, Klondike Ice Cream Bars, the official frozen treat of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society, will be offered to all dancers courtesy of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society.

The evening will begin with a family dance from 5:30-6:45pm. The family dance is truly a family event where parents or grandparents and children ages four and up learn traditional dances. The dance will consist of easy steps for participants of all ages taught by Connie Carringer of Durham, NC. The goal is to teach the fundamentals of dancing with a focus on having fun and placing less of an emphasis on dance techniques. Types of dances include circles, long-ways sets, squares, and odd number sets. All dances will be taught and called with high-energy live music from students in the ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time & Country Music program. Family dances promote community, inter-generational interaction, and bring traditional dance to a new generation, making the dance community stronger and enduring. Admission to the family dance is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Family package costs $15 for parents and all their children. If the participants wish to stay for the regular dance, their Family Dance admission can be applied to the regular admission costs.

Performing for this event will be the band Hands Four from Boone, NC. The caller is Connie Carringer from Durham, NC. The dance on will run from 7:30-10:30pm.
Hands Four is made up of M.Mueller on fiddle, Georgie Donovan on keyboard, Vergil Weatherford on mandolin and Jessie Moon on guitar. Carringer, who attended Appalachian State University has word with this band on many occasions.

For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org and the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on November 6, 2012

Press Release Next Dance

Contra Dance and Food Raiser in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 7:30pm at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Performing for the dance will be Joseph Sobol and Trae McMaken. The colors and husband and wife team Tom Colwell and Myra Hirschberg. A class for beginners will be held at 7:00pm. Every dancer is encouraged to attend the class to become familiar with dance steps, formations, and flow. Klondike Bars, the official frozen treat of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society, will be served at the 9:00pm waltz break. This event is open to all.

The Food Raiser, a month-long collection, is being organized to supply non-perishable food stuffs for the Jonesborough Area Ministerial Association Food Bank. Nationwide food bank donations continue to decline. Donor fatigue may be setting in as the economy puts more and more families at risk and unable to feed themselves. “We are asking all dancers and members of the local community to bring non-perishable food stuffs to give to those in need” adds even organizer, David Wiley. The second collection dance will be November 17th.

“Our dancers are really getting the hang of it, and the skill level is getting amazingly better,” states event organizer David Wiley. “Our dance is for all ages. We are getting high school and college dancers along with families and children coming to learn contra dance. Also, you don’t have to have a partner.” The best way to learn contra dance is by asking a more experienced partner to dance. It’s perfectly acceptable for ladies to ask gentlemen to dance. “We are approaching the end of our seventy year in operation, have the finest dance floor anywhere in the region and are booking some of the best bands and callers in the business. Our program has been a huge success!” adds Wiley.

Admission to the dance is $7 for (yet-to-be members), $5 for HJDS members. Full time Students get in for $5. A Family Package has been instituted for members that allows parents and as many children in their core family to get in for only $15.

Storyteller, musician, folklorist, and author, Joseph Daniel Sobol is an artist of wide-ranging accomplishments. An artist-in-residence for many years in North and South Carolina, he received a Masters in Folklore from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University. He toured the country from 1994 through 1999 with his award-winning musical theatre piece In the Deep Heart's Core based on the works of Irish poet W. B. Yeats. His book on the American storytelling revival, The Storytellers' Journey, was published in 1999 by the University of Illinois Press. In addition he has released a cassette and three CDs of music and stories, alone and with his group Kiltartan Road. His most recent recording, Citternalia: Celtic Music for Cittern was honored with a "Homegrown CD Award" by Acoustic Guitar Magazine, which called the album "a watershed project--dazzling speed and precision." After eleven years in Chicago, Illinois, doing folklore residencies with high school ESL and multilingual programs and performing regularly with some of America's top Irish traditional musicians, he is proud to have been named Director of the Graduate Program in Storytelling at East Tennessee State University.

Having grown up on the Michigan-Ontario border, from a young age Trae McMaken imbibed varied styles of fiddle playing including Irish, Scottish, Quebecois, Ontario Old Time, and Michigan Old Time. Trae can not only switch between these stylistic accents, he melds them into a dynamic creolized language of fiddling that reflects the diverse traditional heritage of his home region.

Trae's 2011 album For the Long Winter Nights takes a vivifying look at the fiddle and song traditions of Michigan and the Great Lakes and also incorporates some of his original numbers. His love for the folk cultures and music of the Great Lakes led Trae to found MichiganFiddle.com as a resource for centralizing historical collections of Michigan fiddling and for promoting this often neglected tradition. Not many people play the old Michigan tunes any longer, but Trae studies the playing of the old fiddlers from Michigan and the Great Lakes region in order to carry on the wonderful music of the lumbercamps and the windjammers, the fur trade and the farm.

While pursuing a masters degree focusing on storytelling, traditional music, and regional studies at East Tennessee State University, Trae actively performed Appalachian music both in Appalachia and also during a short tour with the ETSU Old Time Pride Band to the Czech Republic in the summer of 2011 where he performed on fiddle and claw-hammer banjo. He recently performed with the same group on the PBS concert series, “Song of the Mountains.” Trae is a singer, songwriter, storyteller, and multi-instrumentalist who loves opportunities to share his passion for traditional arts and the blending of music and story.

Since receiving his degree, Trae has started teaching old time fiddle and banjo as an adjunct professor in East Tennessee State University's Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Program.

“Joseph and Trae will dazzle us with their Celtic and Old Time tunes. The jigs and reels will be great fun to dance to. We are all very lucky to have them in the area. Now and then, Joseph will drop by for a dance or to jam with the hired band for the night” adds Wiley. Both Sobol and McMaken will have numerous CD recordings that will be offered to contra dance crowd.

For more information, contact event organizer David Wiley at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org and Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on October 29, 2012

Next Dance

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a Contra & Family Dance event on Saturday October 27, 2012 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street.

The Family Dance starts at 5:30 with Katy Tarter German leading the dancers. Costumes are recommended. Prizes for best costumes will be awarded. Students from ETSU Bluegrass Old Time and Country Music will provide the tunes.

The regular contra dance music will be provided by Rob Z and the Trustees from Blacksburg, VA. Rob is the well known fiddler from the Toss the Possum band. On keyboard is Shawn Brenneman and on accordian is Matt Labarge. Dance runs from 7:30-10:30pm with costume judging and Klondike Bars at the 9:00pm break.

A contra dance class for beginners will start at 7pm lead by featured caller, Hank Morris

Posted by: David Wiley on October 17, 2012

Mountain Madness 2012

Mountain Madness 2012
MOUNTAIN MADNESS DANCE WEEKEND-October 12-14, 2012

We are just a few weeks away from Mountain Madness 2012. This year, we have the Mean Lids and the Coffee Zombies.

Cis Hinkle and Maggie Jo Saylor will share the calling duties. The warmup waltz music will be provided by the Fine Companions. Each band will perform both Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday day. Harriette Bugel will provide the delicious snacks that we love so much.

The price is the same as last year at $60 not including meals or lodging. There is plenty of space for full weekend admission at this point. If you have not registered and intend to come, please register so we can better estimate our supplies for the snack tables. As long as we do not reach capacity of 150 dancers in the room, you can purchase session admission for the following rates:

Friday Night $15
Saturday AM $10
Saturday PM $10
Saturday Night $20
Sunday $15

If you wish to secure a place for the evening dances, please send payment by check to HJDS, P.0. Box 651, Jonesborough, TN 37659. Your reservation will be secured. If you have already registered, you have been notified by email.

The Saturday night after-dance party will again be held at the Dragon Hatchery and hosted by Paula Postai, Cliff Wiegand and Stefka Postai-Wiegand. Maps, directions and carpool opportunities will be distributed at the admissions table. The party will start immediately after the dance on Saturday.

Schedule of Dances and Workshops

Friday 10/14 07:00pm-07:45 pm Waltz with Fine Companions
08:00pm-09:50 pm Mean Lids and Maggie Jo Saylor
10:00pm-11:45 pm Coffee Zombies and Cis Hinkle



Saturday 10/15 10:00am-12:00pm Mean Lids & Maggie Jo Saylor

12:00pm-01:30pm Lunch Break

03:00pm-05:00pm Coffee Zombies and Cis Hinkle

05:00pm-06:30pm Dinner Break

06:30pm-07:30pm Waltz with Fine Companions

08:00pm-11:30pm Mean Lids with Maggie Jo Saylor

11:30 Till After Dance Party at Dragon Hatchery



Sunday 10/16 09:00am-11:00am Continental Breakfast
09:00am-10:15am Waltz with Fine Companions
10:30am-12:30pm Coffee Zombies with Maggie Jo Saylor
12:45pm-03:00pm Mean Lids with Cis Hinkle


SATURDAY WORKSHOP

Visitors Center Auditorium

09:00am-10:00am Beyond Beginner: Contra Frills & Flourishes

Warren Doyle

2:00-2:50pm Concert with Mean Lids

International Storytelling Center Library

01:30-2:00pm Singing workshop
02:30-3:00pm Storyteller in residence Mitch Capel

Posted by: David Wiley on September 16, 2012

Press Release

Contra & Family Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A family package allows parents to bring all of their own children for a total of $15. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. No partner is necessary. Families and children are welcome! A half hour contra dance workshop will be offered at 7pm.

At the 9:00pm waltz break, Klondike Ice Cream Bars, the official frozen treat of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society, will be offered to all dancers courtesy of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society.

The evening will begin with a family dance from 5:30-6:45pm. The family dance is truly a family event where parents or grandparents and children ages four and up learn traditional dances. The dance will consist of easy steps for participants of all ages taught by Jack Mitchell of Durham, NC. The goal is to teach the fundamentals of dancing with a focus on having fun and placing less of an emphasis on dance techniques. Types of dances include circles, long-ways sets, squares, and odd number sets. All dances will be taught and called with high-energy live music from students in the ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time & Country Music program. Family dances promote community, inter-generational interaction, and bring traditional dance to a new generation, making the dance community stronger and enduring. Admission to the family dance is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Family package costs $15 for parents and all their children. If the participants wish to stay for the regular dance, their Family Dance admission can be applied to the regular admission costs.

Performing for this event will be the band Hot Sonata from Asheville. The caller is Jack Mitchell from Durham, NC. The dance on will run from 7:30-10:30pm.

Hot Sonata unites three friends who have played for contra dances in the area for many years. The band consists Karen Gaughan on piano, Art Shuster on mandolin and Laura Lengnick on fiddle. These three musicians have delighted contra dancers in the region for many years.

Contra dances are community events. At almost any contra you will find people of all ages and all dance skill levels, from young to old, beginner to expert. Contra dancers form a very open and welcoming group of people. You can come alone or with others since it is a tradition to dance with a variety of partners throughout the night. It is perfectly acceptable for either a man or a woman to ask someone to dance. It’s a great way to make friends with someone they haven’t met before. You will find contra dancing a great way to make new friends.

For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org and the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on September 4, 2012

Press Release

Waxwing Band lands in Jonesborough for weekend of Contra Dancing!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, September 1, 2012 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A family package allows parents to bring all of their own children for a total of $15. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. No partner is necessary. Families and children are welcome! A 30-minute class for beginners will be held at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm.

At the 9:00pm waltz break, again Klondike Ice Cream Bars, the official frozen treat of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society, will be offered to all dancers courtesy of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society.

Performing for this event will be Waxwing from Alabama. The caller will be Vicki Herndon from Chattanooga. Many dancers will be coming in for the Saturday night dance which leads up to the Contrathon XII which will be held on Sunday, Sept 2nd at the Jonesborough Visitors Center The Contrathon is a 12-hour event sponsored by HJDS which offers 9-1/2 hours of contra dance in one day. Contrathon XII will feature in addition to the Waxwing, the Dancing Bears and Dry Ridge Runners from Asheville. Calling for Contrathon XII is the ever popular combination of Vicki Herndon and Dana Parkinson from St. Petersburg, FL. Contrathon admission is $30 for all day, $15 for half day. Students get a discount for this event. Dancing begins at 11:00am and concludes at 11:00pm with dinner break from 4:30-6:00pm.

“We are so lucky to have Waxwing not just for the Saturday dance but also for our Contrathon” adds Wiley. The band members are spread all over the South as keyboardist, Wayne Hitt has just relocated to Dallas.

Andrew Levin, fiddler, is an associate professor of music and the orchestra conductor at Clemson University where he also teaches a traditional music class. He is a professional viola player and composer of classical music as well as reels, jigs, and lots of gorgeous waltzes that Waxwing loves to play. He's a long-time contra dancer and dad of the amazing, musical Zander who loves to sing a country song Andrew wrote called "An' you let him in," a song about cockroach infestation.

Robin Behn, our wind player, who studied classical flute at Oberlin College before defecting to penny whistle, directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing at The University of Alabama and also teaches in the MFA Program in Writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is the author of six books of poems, most recently Horizon Note, Naked Writing and The Yellow House. Lately she's been writing poems based on fiddle tunes to perform with Waxwing, combining her two favorite art forms by wrapping the words up in the music. Originally from Barrington, Illinois, Robin lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her son.

Wayne Hitt learned how to get even the most tired dancers back up onto the dance floor when he made a living playing keyboards in the dance clubs of the 70s and 80s. We are glad that the strobe lights haven't entirely worn off. Now he lives in Dallas and works as a professional horticulturalist. When flocks of birds kept appearing every time our band got together, Wayne knew what kind of bird they were: cedar waxwings. Wayne makes amazing food to inspire our rehearsals, and his wife Donna's warmth, hospitality, and belief in our band keeps us all going.

Shawn Webster got his first drum kit when he was fifteen, inspired by Don Brewer’s performance on Grand Funk’s “We’re an American Band.” Seriously. He’s played folk, blues, country, rock, punk, grind core, and free improv on everything from a traditional trap set up to Latin, African, Middle Eastern and a large collection of found object "trash" percussion, with a little guitar, mandolin, bass, ukulele, and hammered dulcimer on the side. He’s a puppeteer, modern dancer, and home repair business owner in his hometown of Huntsville. In Waxwing, Shawn plays Cajon, djembe, various noise makers, and a hybrid trap/percussion set up, and is practicing up for his antique field bugle debut.

Posted by: David Wiley on August 24, 2012

Press Release

Contra & Family Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, August 18, 2012 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A family package allows parents to bring all of their own children for a total of $15. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. No partner is necessary. Families and children are welcome! A half hour contra dance workshop will be offered at 7pm.

At the 9:00pm waltz break, Klondike Ice Cream Bars, the official frozen treat of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society, will be offered to all dancers courtesy of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society.

The evening will begin with a family dance from 5:30-6:45pm. The family dance is truly a family event where parents or grandparents and children ages four and up learn traditional dances. The dance will consist of easy steps for participants of all ages. The goal is to teach the fundamentals of dancing with a focus on having fun and placing less of an emphasis on dance techniques. Types of dances include circles, long-ways sets, squares, and odd number sets. All dances will be taught and called with high-energy live music from students in the ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time & Country Music program. Family dances promote community, inter-generational interaction, and bring traditional dance to a new generation, making the dance community stronger and enduring. Admission to the family dance is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Family package costs $15 for parents and all their children. If the participants wish to stay for the regular dance, their Family Dance admission can be applied to the regular admission costs.

Performing for this event will be the band Contraversial consisting of Cailen Campbell and David Brown from Asheville. The caller is Dean Snipes from Charlotte, NC. The dance on will run from 7:30-10:30pm.

Cailen Campbell has been thrilling contra dancers all over the southeast and around the country for over a decade. His innovative, highly improvisational, lyrical fiddling has been heard in numerous acclaimed regional dance bands, including The Atomic City Rhythm Rascals, The String Beings, The Rocket Boys, The Gypsy Hicks, in addition to a dynamic duo with renowned Asheville area guitarist and banjo virtuoso David Brown. Campbell recently played with the Greasy Beans on behalf of the North Carolina Dance Theater at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
Cailen Campbell and David Brown have a reputation for sparking the contra dances whenever they play. The temperature on the dance floor rises, the dancers' energy intensifies, and the listeners are swept away by their music craft, which infuses traditional Appalachian, Celtic and Roma melodies with exciting and original interpretation.

Cailen Campbell has been described as one of the most virtuosic and high-energy fiddlers in the Southeast. As both a dancer and musician he is known for his stunning ability to improvise, cross time signatures and musical genres with ease, and for his brilliant self-expression.

David Brown provides the pulse to the music. He is renowned and accolade as a 5-string banjo player, and plays professionally on a half dozen other instruments, including the baritone guitar. This unusual instrument is a hybrid between a regular guitar and a bass guitar, and in David's hands, it provides hypnotic rhythm and harmonic texture to the music...

These encantados met in 2005 while touring nationally with the Greasy Beans and NC Dance Theater. A rich musical relationship ensued as they explored their shared love of traditional acoustic music, as well as new grass and jazz. Their vast repertoire, as well as their tight 'mind meld,' creates a rich and expansive sound that captivates dancers and listeners. They defy expectations of how much sound, and how exciting of a sound, a dance duo can make. They're CONTRAVERSIAL!''

Dancers from coast-to-coast will tell you that Beth Molaro is GREAT and when she calls, the dance is always a party! Her enthusiasm is contagious and she makes any dance more energetic and exciting. “Beth has called here in Jonesborough numerous times and continues to wow us with her style, knowledge, personality and love of dance calling” offers David Wiley, event organizer.
Contra dancing is a traditional form of American folk dance that evolved from the long ways country dances popular in English society centuries ago. Contra dance communities now thrive all over the country. There are websites that can direct you to contra dances in most states. The modern contra dances provide dancers of all ages and experience levels with the opportunity to smile, move, connect, flirt and create an evening of dance nirvana with each other. No previous dance experience is necessary. No fancy footwork is required. If you can walk and count to eight, you can contra dance!

Contra dances are community events. At almost any contra you will find people of all ages and all dance skill levels, from young to old, beginner to expert. Contra dancers form a very open and welcoming group of people. You can come alone or with others since it is a tradition to dance with a variety of partners throughout the night. It is perfectly acceptable for either a man or a woman to ask someone to dance. It’s a great way to make friends with someone they haven’t met before. You will find contra dancing a great way to make new friends.

For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org and the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on August 5, 2012

Press Release

Contra Dance & Cupcakes & Waltz in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a waltz workshop, contra dance and cupcake contest on Sunday, July 22, 2012, at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. No partner is necessary. Families and children are welcome!

The afternoon will begin with a free waltz workshop for beginners at 1:15pm. Asheville’s favorite waltz teacher, Scott Baxla will teach the beginning waltz step and progress to simple turns in the 45-minute session. All are welcome to attend, including those who haven’t yet learned the simple, fun, yet life-changing form of movement and expression known as waltz.

Performing for the contra dance will be Good & Plenty from Asheville, which consists of Karen Gaughan on keyboard and Laura Lengnick on fiddle. For the regular contra dance, caller Mark Langner will conduct a class for beginners at 2:00pm where newcomers and experienced dancers alike will learn the basic steps, formations and flow of contra dance.

The cupcake contest idea comes from the enormous popularity of cupcakes, not just on the desert menu but for any kind of snack or treat time. What was once just a love for the delicious treats has now grown into a national obsession and a legitimate mainstream industry nationwide. “Our dancers love sweet treats at the break after dancing for an hour or so. A cupcake contest will meet our snack needs in a fun and creative way” offers event organizer, David Wiley.

Bake and frost six or more of the cupcakes of your dreams. Bring them to the dance along with someone who has never contra danced before and they get in FREE to the dance! At the 4:00pm break, instead of Klondike Bars, we will enjoy the contestant’s offerings after judges DJ and Allison Winfield, owners of the Crazy Cupcake, 135 E. Main Street, determine who has the highest level of culinary prowess. The winner and runner up will be given Cupcake Crowns and a gift certificate donated by the Crazy Cupcake.

Contra dancing is a traditional form of American folk dance that evolved from the long ways country dances popular in English society centuries ago. Contra dance communities now thrive all over the country. There are websites that can direct you to contra dances in most states. The modern contra dances provide dancers of all ages and experience levels with the opportunity to smile, move, connect, flirt and create an evening of dance nirvana with each other. No previous dance experience is necessary. No fancy footwork is required. If you can walk and count to eight, you can contra dance!

Contra dances are community events. At almost any contra you will find people of all ages and all dance skill levels, from young to old, beginner to expert. Contra dancers form a very open and welcoming group of people. You can come alone or with others since it is a tradition to dance with a variety of partners throughout the night. It is perfectly acceptable for either a man or a woman to ask someone to dance. It’s a great way to make friends with someone they haven’t met before. You will find contra dancing a great way to make new friends.

For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org and Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on July 11, 2012

Press Release

Jonesborough “Days of Dance” 2012

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present two days of dance during the annual Jonesborough Days Celebration on June 29th and 30th at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dances and workshops will be per each event. There will be a variety of dances and workshops offered during the event which will include contra, waltz and swing dance.

The callers will be Diane Silver and Noah Grunzweig.

Event organizer, David Wiley states “Being a part of Jonesborough Days gives us a chance to showcase our dance program to everyone in the region. Our dancers come to enjoy the traditional music and dance, get some exercise and to be a part of a dance community that is intergenerational and family oriented. Now in our seventy year in Jonesborough, we have produced almost 200 dance events that are open to all comers”
And a monthly family dance for parents/grandparents and children.

The kickoff dances will be Friday night June 29th starting at 7:00pm with the “Changeling” from Dayton, OH, called by local caller, Noah Grunzweig. “Changeling” is husband and wife Karl and Deborah Colon. “Changeling” guitarist and singer Karl Clark Colón is the perfect Celt: a delicate cross between a scholarly monk and a professional wrestler. One moment he's quietly hunched over his guitar, eyes closed, creating intimate soundscapes to highlight a lament or slow air, but in the blink of an eye he's stamping, shouting and leaping from the rafters in the spirit of a reel. His songs, stories and humor welcome and enthrall a crowd, helping them to discover that traditional music is best enjoyed among friends.

Deborah Colon’s skill and emotional depth have earned her national recognition in Irish and Scottish circles for her fiddling on blistering reels, playful jigs and heartbreaking airs. She has been recording and performing professionally for over ten years, from Chicago and New York to the Bahamas. Her tremendous energy and presence in the music keep her in demand as a performer, studio musician and teacher. Deborah contributed outrageous fiddling to the three new tracks on Gaelic Storm's Billboard World-Music Charting Album (#2!) Special Reserve, adding her to the list of traditional Irish fiddlers to record on Nashville's Music Row. Deborah is a prolific composer of tunes, including "Blue Ash," "The Thirtieth Year," and the notorious "Pizza Reel" on Changeling's latest album, The Hidden World.
________________________________________
The late Friday dance will feature “Boom Chuck” from Asheville.
Their talent for high energy music has no bounds. The band consists of Laurie Fisher on fiddle, Nic Coker on rhythm guitar and banjo and Ricky Cooper plays the upright bass. They have played for Jonesborough contra dances on several occasions and are enjoyed by all dancers.

The rest of the “Days of Dance” will continue on Saturday with workshops and dances for contra and swing dance culminating with a late night swing dance after the fireworks.

Noah Grunzweig and Diane Silver are two of the most popular regional callers. They have performed for Jonesborough Dances on many occasions.

For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-534-8879 or on Facebook.


Here is the 2012 schedule:

Friday June 29th
06:30pm- 07:00pm Contra Dance Lesson
07:00pm-09:00pm Contra Dance with Changeling and Diane Silver
09:00pm-09:30pm Mixed Couples Dance 09:30pm-11:45pm Contra Dance with Boom Chuck and Noah Grunzweig

Saturday June 30th
09:00am-10:00am Waltz to recorded music
10:00am-12:00pm Advanced Contra Dance with Changeling and Diane Silver
12:00pm-02:00pm Lunch Break-Enjoy the Festival
02:00pm-03:00pm Swing Workshop-Beginner & Intermediate (Free)
03:30pm-05:00pm Swing Nuances in Contra Dance with Boom Chuck and Diane and Noah
05:00pm-06:30pm Dinner Break
06:30pm-07:00pm Contra Dance Lesson
07:00pm-10:00pm Contra Dance with Changeling and Diane Silver
10:00pm-10:30pm Fireworks
10:30pm-11:45pm Late Night Swing Dance with Boom Chuck

Admission: Friday Night Contra $7, $5 Full Time Students
Saturday Advanced Contra $7, $5 Full Time Students
Saturday Afternoon Swing $5, $3 Full Time Students
Saturday Evening Contra $7, $5 Full Time Students
Saturday Late Night Swing $3 All
ALL DANCES/WORKSHOPS $25, $20 Full Time Students

Posted by: David Wiley on June 18, 2012

Press Release

“Contra Dance in Jonesborough”

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, June 16, 2012 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. with a class for beginners starting at 7:00 p.m. The featured band will be “Flying The Tune” consisting of Lew Gelfond on fiddle and June Advincula on keyboard. Calling the dance will be Anne Marie Walter from Asheville. Admission is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students.

Posted by: David Wiley on June 6, 2012

Next Dance

Shady Groove returns to the area for their final peformance for a while. They performed for us back at Halloween 2011. Come dance in the afternoon and stay over for the Mean Lids (Jonesborough Days 2011) dance and concert Sat night. See below:

HJDS to Dance to Shady Groove at Cranberry High School in Elk Park, NC

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance on Saturday, June 2, 2012 at the Historic Cranberry High School in Elk Park, NC. The featured band will be Shady Groove from Charleston, SC. with Dana Parkinson and Perry Shafran teaming up for the calling duties. Admission to the dance is $6 for all comers. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. A workshop for beginning contra dancers will be led by the callers at 1:00pm. The dance will run from 1:30-4:30pm with a waltz break at 3:00pm where, once again, Klondike Bars will be served to all who attend.

Dana Parkinson hails from St. Petersburg, FL and is a student at the University of South Florida. Dana and her mother Jan have been frequent visitors to the Jonesborough special event dances. Perry Shafran hails from Maryland and calls dances regularly in the Washington, DC and northern Virginia area.

Members of the Shady Groove band grew up in the Charleston Folk Dance
Community. Sytske Hellenius plays fiddle while Logan Wells handles mandolin and guitar. Rounding out the band lineup is Ian Kelmartin on guitar, didgeridoo and harmonica. Joey Dorwart adds percussion to the mix. Hellenius, Wells and Kelmartin just recently graduated from the College of Charleston.



Shady Groove evolved as a bunch of friends who traveled the world separately and realized they missed playing music together. With a vision to add some variety to the traditional music heard at contra dances, Shady Groove is funky fresh and groovy too blending the diverse forces of Old Time, Appalachian, Funk, Celtic, Klezmer, Blues, and Bluegrass.



This dance will be their last dance for a while as they continue their education in various parts of the world. It should be a fantastic display of exciting music energy.



Dancers are encouraged to stay in the area for dinner, a concert and contra dance by the Mean Lids with Hank Morris calling as part of the Mountain Blossom Contra Dance Weekend.

The Cranberry High School is located at 5215 Elk Park Highway, Elk Park, NC

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-534-8879, visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. and FACEBOOK on the web.

Posted by: David Wiley on June 1, 2012

Press Release

Spring Chickens Play Contra in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society welcomes Asheville band “Spring Chickens” and caller Noah Grunzweig to the next contra
On Sunday, May 20, 2012 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. There will be a class for beginners at 2:00pm followed by the dance from 2:30-5:30pm. There will be a waltz break at 4:00pm at which time Klondike Bars will be offered to all comers. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for students or watchers.

This Sunday dance will be open to all up and coming callers led by Noah Grunzweig. “Occasionally, we open up to those who are in the process of learning to call contra dances” offers David Wiley, event organizer. “Noah has attended many workshops and dance caller camps and has gained valuable experience which has made him a new caller in demand around the region” adds Wiley. The microphone will be open to all those at any experience level to call a dance.

The beginner’s workshop gives the experienced dancers and first timers
a chance to warm up together. The caller explains many of the calls
such as balance and swing, star left and star right, ladies chain across,
Do-si-do, courtesy turn, allemande and hey for four. Many of these
calls would be familiar to anyone who has square danced. The contra
dance employs a longwise set and allows couples to progress up
and down the line to dance with all other couples. It’s a group dance where everyone in the longwise set interacts with everyone else during the song which lasts anywhere from seven to ten minutes.

The Spring Chickens known mostly for their hard driving rhythmic old time repertoire will crossover to add contra dance tunes for our dance. The Spring Chickens are lead by regional potters Rob and Beth Mangum from Weaverville, NC. on fiddle and guitar. The remaining members of their group are McLean Bissell on bass, Art Schuster on mandolin and Ben Harvey on banjo.

Event organizer, David Wiley, believes that our dance community, which is open to all comers, is growing both in size but more importantly in dance skill. “Our last dance had over 150 dancers, but the dancing was excellent.” adds Wiley. “We are getting dancers from all over the region because of our dance floor and because we are a very friendly and welcoming group”.

“We combine traditional live music and dances that anyone can
do” adds Wiley. The dances are held two times per month in the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center. All the dances are taught by
the caller. You don’t have to bring a partner. The dances are smoke and alcohol free.

There will be no family dance on this date.

For more information, contact David Wiley, event organizer at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on May 11, 2012

Press Release

“Skirts and Skirts” Fashion Contra in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society welcomes Asheville band “Steamshovel” and caller Adina Gordon to the next contra
On Saturday, May 5, 2012 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. There will be a class for beginners at 7:00pm followed by the dance from 7:30-10:30pm. There will be a break at 9:00pm where dancers will parade down the runway showing off their colorful skirts and Hawaiian-style or tie-dyed shirts. Klondike Bars will be offered to all comers. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students.

The beginner’s workshop gives the experienced dancers and first timers
a chance to warm up together. The caller explains many of the calls
such as balance and swing, star left and star right, ladies chain across,
Do-si-do, courtesy turn, allemande and hey for four. Many of these
calls would be familiar to anyone who has square danced. The contra
dance employs a longwise set and allows couples to progress up
and down the line to dance with all other couples. It’s a group dance where everyone in the longwise set interacts with everyone else during the song which lasts anywhere from seven to ten minutes.

Roger Gold grew up surrounded by music. His parents and older sister all sing and play various instruments. He knew at the age of six that he wanted to play guitar and persisted until his parents found a teacher. His interests took his guitar playing from the ever present folk, through electric teen-age-rock, to traditional, Celtic, and more. He likes to "play" with the music; turning waltzes to klezmer, Bach into swing, and doing even stranger things to the tunes he writes. Roger's guitar styles range from classical to hard driving, rhythmic, contra dance music. He enjoys contra dancing, and enjoys playing music for contra dances, and has yet to figure out how to do both at the same time. Roger partners with Mara Shea on fiddle to become the Elftones who just recently performed at an HJDS dance back in November 2011.

Currently living in Pickens, SC, David White has been playing stringed instruments for almost 30 years. Only in the past 14 years he became rather consumed by contra dancing and the music that drives it. David fell in love with traditional Appalachian old time music – especially that played by bands and musicians that create driving rhythms. That passionate driving style is evident when David plays guitar, claw hammer banjo or fiddle. The fact that David has always loved contra dancing has helped him become a master of creating great dance energy from old time tunes and melodies. He loves to sing as well. David has played in several bands in the past and more recently with Appalachian Storm, Steamshovel (w/ Roger Gold), the Inexplicabilies, Shifty Tweeds and the Carolina Coal Rollers. His habit of ‘gyrating’ while playing the fiddle while wearing his Dad’s old tweed hat earned him the nickname ‘the Shifty Tweed.’

Adina Gordon finds an outlet for her loves of travel, music, dance and silliness by calling and dancing throughout the US and Canada, creating joy and minor chaos wherever she goes. Combining a voice that makes you want to do what she says with a commitment to using that power for good and not evil, Adina calls contras and squares both old and new that cause spontaneous eruptions of joy on dance floors. She counts it as a job well done whenever anyone says, "I don't really like squares, but I like your squares."

Based in Brattleboro, VT, Adina has called dances in 36 American states spanning all six time zones, as well as 3 Canadian provinces and Israel. Dancers frequently remark on her energy and joy, which is both highly evident and highly contagious. An often-repeated comment is, "You look like you're having too much fun”!

Adina's goal is to get you dancing and get out of the way. She says more, with fewer words, to maximize dancing and minimize talking.

The “Skirts and Shirts” fashion idea came from the fact that many women shop for the prairie or stagecoach skirts at thrift stores, yard sales and other second-hard shops. While twirling, the skirts splay out into a beautiful display of color and style. For the men, you will see many wear flowered or multicolored tie-dyed shirts. What fun it will be to see all the colors twirling down our center floor runway! Some door prizes will be awarded for the most creative and colorful. Of course, anyone can come dressed in the most casual and comfortable attire for dancing.

Event organizer, David Wiley, believes that our dance community, which is open to all comers, is growing both in size but more importantly in dance skill. “Our last dance had a group of 110 dancers or so and the dancing was excellent.” adds Wiley. “We are getting dancers from all over the region because of our dance floor and because we are a very friendly and welcoming group”.

“We combine traditional live music and dances that anyone can
do” adds Wiley. The dances are held two times per month in the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center. All the dances are taught by
the caller. You don’t have to bring a partner. The dances are smoke and alcohol free.

For more information, contact David Wiley, event organizer at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org and the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on April 26, 2012

Press Release

Contra & Family Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a community contra and family dance on Sunday, April 22, 2012 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street. Class for beginning contra dancers will happen at 2:00 pm. The dance will run from 2:30-5:30 pm with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 4:00pm. Coming to Jonesborough to perform for the dance will be the Dancing Bears from Asheville. Calling for the dance will be Ken Gall from Indianapolis, Indiana.

The afternoon will begin with a family dance from 1:00-2:00pm led by caller/teacher and caller, Noah Grunzweig. The family dance is truly a family event where parents or grandparents and children ages four and up learn traditional dances. The dance will consist of easy steps for participants of all ages. The goal is to teach the fundamentals of dancing with a focus on having fun and placing less of an emphasis on dance techniques. Types of dances include circles, long-ways sets, squares, and odd number sets. All dances will be taught and called with high-energy recorded tunes. Family dances promote community, inter-generational interaction, and bring traditional dance to a new generation, making the dance community stronger and enduring. This is the fourth event in the family dance series. Admission to the family dance is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Family package costs $15 for parents and all their children. Neighbors and friends cannot be part of the family package. If the participants wish to stay for the regular dance, their Family Dance admission can be applied to the regular admission costs.

Snacks and treats will be provided throughout the evening by the local EARTH FARE store in Johnson City. Thanks to Kate Van Huss of Earth Fare!

Now that contra dance has become so popular all over this country, there are many step-by-step guides on how to do contra dance on the internet. “Even though we teach a brief workshop prior to the dance, there are other resources including contra dance videos, essays and other instruction available all over the web” states event organizer David Wiley. “We also encourage newcomers to partner with experienced dancers for the first few dances to build their confidence and show them how easy and fun contra dancing is”. You can bring the whole family to dance.

The Dancing Bears consists of Lew Gelfond on fiddle, Mark Langner on guitar, John Culp mandolin and banjo. Lew Gelfond has been playing the fiddle since long before the cows came home. He is a solo performer of old time fiddle and banjo music and also plays swing, ragtime, Celtic, gypsy, country, Klezmer, tangos, and other traditional music. Lew performs at schools, concerts, workshops and festivals and has been a violin, viola and fiddle teacher for over 20 years. Mark Langner started playing keyboards and guitar in a garage rock band in high school. In college, he played coffeehouses as part of a duo which did an eclectic mix of music ranging from Merle Haggard to Grateful Dead to Frank Zappa. Mark’s current interest is in swing and jazz, which colors most things the Bears do. Mark is also a certified hypnotherapist and builds acoustic arch top guitars. John Culp got his first real guitar on his 16th birthday and has been picking’ strings ever since. Since meeting his bride and favorite caller, Barbara Groh, and becoming submerged in the contra dance community, he has concentrated on mandolin and tenor banjo.

In his fifth year of calling, Ken Gall has gained a lot of experience in various settings and with diverse groups. His high spirits and affirming approach to dance and to life creates a lot of smiles and happy memories. Considered a good teacher, Gall has in several cases worked dances where the new folks far outnumbered the more experienced dancers. Gall calls a variety of (mostly contra) dances that are often compared to weekend programs called by more experienced callers. He has called with old timey music, New England chestnuts, swing tunes, Appalachian, Celtic, Quebecois, jigs and reels, and other traditional music. He has called with once-a-month volunteer bands, and with a good number of nationally known musicians. This will be his first visit to Jonesborough.

Come as you are; wear soft flexible shoes for dancing. Come to dance or just to listen
And watch. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught. As always, our dances are smoke and alcohol free. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. Families with their own children are all admitted for only $15 for all members.

For further information call event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on April 12, 2012

Next Dance

Jonesborough Contra Dance! (No Fooling)

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance on Sunday, April 1, 2012 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The featured band will be the Dry Ridge Runners from Asheville with Warren Doyle as caller. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5, Full time Students $5. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. A workshop for beginning contra dancers will be led by the caller at 2:00pm. The dance will run from 2:30-5:30pm with a waltz break at 4:00pm where, once again, Klondike Bars will be served to all who attend.

The Dry Ridge Runners consists of Roy Andrade on fiddle, Adam Tanner on guitar, Parrish Ellis on banjo and Stephanie Wolf on bass.

Roy Andrade, faculty member in the ETSU Bluegrass, Country & Old Time music program, played banjo and performed vocals for the acclaimed string band, The Reel Time Travelers, from 1999-2007. In addition to teaching music, Andrade has many other responsibilities including coaching four student bands and directing the ETSU Contra & Ceilidhs Dance series at the Culp Center on campus once a month.

Adam Tanner can usually be found performing with Mark Jackson as The Twilite Broadcasters. Having come together to sing and play in Weaverville, North Carolina in 2009, the group continues the longstanding tradition of two part rural harmony vocals with simple acoustic string instrument accompaniment once common in the Southern part of the United States (starting in the 1930's). The fundamental components of lead and harmony vocal in tandem with guitar and mandolin are the seminal sounds that set the stage for a variety of American musical styles to come, including: Bluegrass, Folk, Country and Rock n' Roll. The Twilite Broadcasters bring new shadings and highlights to the old songs they present. You can enjoy their most recent CD release called “The Trail of Time”.

Parrish Ellis is a guitarist, banjoist, singer and songwriter specializing in the piedmont style of country blues, and other strains of traditional African-American music. He tours full-time with the acoustic trio, The Wiyos, playing "vaudevillian-ragtime-jug band-blues and hillbilly swing". In addition to finger-picking country blues, he's a proficient rhythm player in the swing and old-time Appalachian music idioms. He has recorded two solo albums and three CDs with The Wiyos.

Stephanie Wolf has been the musical mainstay in the Asheville area old time music scene for many years teaming with many noteworthy musicians to the delight of dancers and listeners.

Contra dance is a form of American folk dance in which the dancers form a set of two parallel lines that run the length of the hall. Each dance consists of a sequence of moves and steps that ends with the couples having progressed one position up or down the set. All dances are taught by the caller. No partner is necessary and you are encouraged to dance with as many different people as possible.

Many of the basic moves resemble square dancing—swings, allemandes, do-si-dos—but contra dancing are more a sort of amusement park ride that the dancers make for themselves. A square dance set is compromised of only four couples, whereas the length of the hall only limits the number of couples in a contra dance set. To join a set, only a partner and soft-soled shoes are necessary. All that is left is to have fun dancing. You are encouraged to dress comfortably and stay hydrated with lots of water.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-534-8879, visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. And The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on March 19, 2012

Press Release

“Euphor” highlights St. Patrick’s Day Contra & Family Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will host the next Contra Dance of the season on Saturday March 17, 2012 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street at 7:30 PM. The featured band is
“Euphor” from Urbana, IL. Asheville’s Charley Harvey will do the calling. Admission is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A special family package for members is now offered for a total of $15. Parents and all of their own children under age 18 can gain admission for one price.

The evening will begin with a family dance from 5:30-7:00pm led by caller/teacher and chief Leprechaun, Noah Grunzweig. The family dance is truly a family event where parents or grandparents and children ages four and up learn traditional dances. The dance will consist of easy steps for participants of all ages. The goal is to teach the fundamentals of dancing with a focus on having fun and placing less of an emphasis on dance techniques. Types of dances include circles, long-ways sets, squares, and odd number sets. All dances will be taught and called with high-energy recorded tunes. Family dances promote community, inter-generational interaction, and bring traditional dance to a new generation, making the dance community stronger and enduring. This is the fourth event in the family dance series. Admission to the family dance is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Family package costs $15 for parents and all their children. Neighbors and friends cannot be part of the family package. If the participants wish to stay for the regular dance, their Family Dance admission can be applied to the regular admission costs.

Snacks and treats will be provided throughout the evening by the local EARTH FARE store in Johnson City. Some of the entrees will come from local farms including the Good Fork Farm and the OakMoon Creamery. Thanks to Kate Van Huss of Earth Fare!


Euphor brings a powerful current of high-energy contra dance music from the Midwest. Euphor (U4) will send a shiver down your spine! They perform both traditional and new music, and they write much of their own material. Get ready to hear a mix of kickin’ old-time and new music, including a bunch of gorgeous, swelling, minor tunes with a chuggin feel. Euphor consistently surprises dancers with the beauty and power of their music. They feature Tom Turino on banjo, vocals, and fiddle, Matt Turino on fiddle, Michael Valliant on bass, and Sam Payne on guitar. Tom and Matt Turino write much of the band’s music.

Come as you are; wear soft flexible shoes for dancing. Being St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is encouraged to wear GREEN. Forget to wear green on St. Patty’s Day? Don’t be surprised if you get pinched. No surprise, it’s an entirely American tradition that probably started in the early 1700s. St. Patrick’s revelers thought wearing green made one invisible to leprechauns, fairy creatures who would pinch anyone they could see (anyone not wearing green). People began pinching those who didn’t wear green as a reminder that leprechauns would sneak up and pinch green-abstainers. Not Irish? Not too worry. Everyone can be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.

The caller will teach a class for beginners at 7:30 PM and the dance will run from 7:30-10:30 PM with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00 PM. Come to dance or come to listen. No partner is necessary. It is customary at contra dances to change partners after each dance. As always, our dances are smoke, alcohol and fragrance free. Families, students and singles are welcome. All dances are taught by the caller. No previous dance experience is necessary.

For more information, contact David Wiley at 423-534-8879, or email to david@historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. Also visit the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on March 9, 2012

Press Release

“Fly By Night” plays for Jonesborough Contra!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 7:30pm at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Performing for the dance will be the “Fly By Night” from Asheville with caller Barbara Groh. A class for beginners will be held at 7:00pm. Every dancer is encouraged to attend the class to become familiar with dance steps, formations, and flow. Klondike Bars, the official frozen treat of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society, will be served at the 9:00pm waltz break. This event is open to all.

“Our dancers are really getting the hang of it, and the skill level is getting amazingly better,” states event organizer David Wiley. “Our dance is for all ages. We are getting high school and college dancers along with families and children coming to learn contra dance. Also, you don’t have to have a partner.” The best way to learn contra dance is by asking a more experienced partner to dance. It’s perfectly acceptable for ladies to ask gentlemen to dance. “We are starting our seventh year, have the finest dance floor anywhere in the region and are booking some of the best bands and callers in the business. Our program has been a huge success” adds Wiley.

Admission to the dance is $7 for (yet-to-be members), $5 for HJDS members. Full time students get in for $5. A Family Package has been instituted for members that allows parents and as many children in their core family to get in for only $15.

Fly By Night is led by Karen Gaughan on the piano. Karen is Asheville’s most in-demand contra dance key board player. Gaughan together with her by Fly Night Partners, Laura Lengnick on fiddle, Beth Magill on Flute and Julia Weatherford on Fiddle, provide a full sound, plenty of rhythm and a really good ride for the avid contra dancer or waltzer.

Their repertoire starts with upbeat traditional New England contra dance tunes chosen with care to fit the dance at danceable tempos kept rock solid with Gaughan’s thumping bass hand. The band weaves in lilting Celtic melodies and makes them fly with Beth Magill’s achingly beautiful flute woven through with fiddle harmony. The girls let their hair down with funky, rocking originals. They’ll pull out the percussion toys, and dig deep in to some of their own tunes as well as others to keep the dancers flying. The driving force of the southern fiddle tunes is Laura and Julia who create a small tornado in the room when sawing it down with their twin harmony.

Barbara Groh has spent most of her life in the traditional music and dance scene, starting with square dancing at age 13 and contra dancing at age 18. She also played old-time banjo since college. In 1989, Barbara became Caller Coordinator for the Triangle Country Dancers in Chapel Hill, NC. She learned to call while filling in when there was no one available to call a dance. She became very passionate about calling dances and sharing the joy of contra dancing in venues all over the East coast from Florida to New Hampshire. Her calling experience ranged from small community dances to large dance festivals. She now lives in Asheville, NC, home of one of the most thriving dance communitites in the known universe.

For more information, contact event organizer David Wiley at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org and Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on February 19, 2012

Press Release

“Morning Coffee” Plays for Contra in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society welcomes Asheville band “Morning Coffee” and caller Anne Marie Walter to the next contra
on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. There will be a class for beginners at 7:00pm followed by the dance from 7:30-10:30pm. There will be a short waltz break at 9:00pm at which time Klondike Bars will be offered to all comers. At 9:15pm, there will be an exhibition of English Country dance. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students.

The evening will begin with a family dance from 5:30-7:00pm led by callers Mary Hayes and Debbie Bailey. The family dance is truly a family event where parents or grandparents and children ages four and up learn traditional dances. The dance will consist of easy steps for participants of all ages. The goal is to teach the fundamentals of dancing with a focus on having fun and placing less of an emphasis on dance techniques. Types of dances include circles, long-ways sets, squares, and odd number sets. All dances will be taught and called with high-energy recorded tunes. Family dances promote community, inter-generational interaction, and bring traditional dance to a new generation, making the dance community stronger and enduring. This is the fourth event in the family dance series. Admission to the family dance is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Family package costs $15 for parents and all their children. Neighbors and friends cannot be part of the family package. If the participants wish to stay for the regular dance, their Family Dance admission can be applied to the regular admission costs.

As a special treat this week, we will have an English Country dance at the middle of the break. If you’ve seen the films of Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility you’ve seen a few of the elegant and graceful dances that are the roots of contemporary contra dancing. Some dances were first danced in the 18th Century; new dances are being written today. One of the things that differentiates English dance from their contra cousins is the music. English dances are each choreographed to be danced to a specific tune. We’ll be dancing ‘The Indian Queen.’ It was written by Cecil Sharp in 1922 to fit a lovely piece of music by Henry Purcell from his 1695 opera of the same name.

Morning Coffee is made up of Diane Baker on keyboard, Jeff Baker on fiddle, Steve Kemble on percussion and Scott Sheerin on flute.

For more information, contact David Wiley, event organizer at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on February 10, 2012

Next Dance

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra & family dance on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Streeet.

The evening will begin with a family dance at 5:30pm led by caller/teacher Noah Grunzweig. The music will be provided by student musicians from the ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time, Country Music program.

The will be a class for newcomer contra dancers from 7:00-7:30pm led by caller Anne Marie Walter from Asheville.

The contra dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm featuring music by Morning Coffee from Asheville. There will be a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm.

Admission is $7, HJDS Members $5 and full-time students $5. There is a family package where parents and children are all admitted for $15.

Posted by: David Wiley on February 6, 2012

Press Release

Doubleheader Contra Dance including the “FOOT BALL” on Super Bowl Sunday!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a doubleheader contra dance on Saturday and Sunday, February 4-5, 2012 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dances is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. All dances are smoke, alcohol and fragrance free. No partner is necessary. Families and children are welcome.

Performing for the Saturday event will be The Inexplicabilies from Greenville, South Carolina. The caller will be Terry Doyle. A class for beginners will be held at 7:00pm where the caller will invite everyone to the dance floor to review calls, steps, flow and other helpful ideas to get everyone started on the right foot. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm. The Inexplicabilies are David White on fiddle and banjo, Wes Maluk on tenor banjo, guitar, percussion and Joel McConnell on mandolin.

Super Bowl Sunday brings the second event of the doubleheader. It’s the 4th Annual “FOOT BALL”. While the fans of the sport of NFL Football are gearing up for the championship game of the season, contra dancers will gather at the Jonesborough Visitors Center to share potluck lunch starting at noon, waltzing from 2:00 to 2:30pm and contra dance from 2:30-5:30pm. “We did this event last year and surprisingly had over 130 dancers come for the afternoon dance” states event organizer David Wiley, President of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society. The waltz music will be provided by the featured band of the day “Land of Sky”. The caller will be Beth Molaro.
A special treat at this year’s FOOT BALL will be the Half Time viewing of Super Bowl best and worst TV commercials from the last decade. In addition, a group of local dancers will present their own commercial for contra dance.

The dance will conclude at 5:30pm in plenty of time for dancers to change back over to football fans as the Super Bowl Game kicks off at 6:25pm or attend a post-dance meal and social at the Vega’s Fiesta Restaurant at 1976 11-E Highway in Jonesborough.
Contra dancing is a traditional form of American folk dance that evolved from the long ways country dances popular in English society centuries ago. Contra dance communities now thrive all over the country. There are websites that can direct you to contra dances in most states. The modern contra dances provide dancers of all ages and experience levels with the opportunity to smile, move, connect, flirt and create an evening of dance nirvana with each other. No previous dance experience is necessary. No fancy footwork is required. If you can walk and count to eight, you can contra dance!

Contra dances are community events. At almost any contra you will find people of all ages and all dance skill levels, from young to old, beginner to expert. Contra dancers form a very open and welcoming group of people. You can come alone or with others since it is a tradition to dance with a variety of partners throughout the night. It is perfectly acceptable for either a man or a woman to ask someone to dance. It’s a great way to make friends with someone they haven’t met before. You will find contra dancing a great way to make new friends.

For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org an the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on January 27, 2012

Press Release

“Contra, Family Dance & Shoe Drive in Jonesborough”

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society continues the shoe drive for Soles4Souls with a contra and family dance on Saturday January 21, 2012. The event will be held at the Jonesborough Visitors Center at 7:00pm featuring the Asheville band “Boom Chuck” with Mark Langner calling the dance. Admission is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A class for newcomer contra dances will run from 7:00-7:30pm. The dance will go from 7:30-10:30pm with a Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm. Slides from a recent Soles4Soles trip to Africa will be shown during the break.

The evening will begin with a family dance from 5:30-7:00pm led by caller/teacher Noah Grunzweig. The family dance is truly a family event where parents or grandparents and children ages four and up learn traditional dances. The dance will consist of easy steps for participants of all ages. The goal is to teach the fundamentals of dancing with a focus on having fun and placing less of an emphasis on dance techniques. Types of dances include circles, long-ways sets, squares, and odd number sets. All dances will be taught and called with high-energy recorded tunes. Family dances promote community, inter-generational interaction, and bring traditional dance to a new generation, making the dance community stronger and enduring. This is the fourth event in the family dance series. Admission to the family dance is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Family package costs $15 for parents and all their children. Neighbors and friends cannot be part of the family package. If the participants wish to stay for the regular dance, their Family Dance admission can be applied to the regular admission costs.


Soles4Soles® is a Nashville-based charity that collects shoes from the warehouses of footwear companies and the closets of people from all over the country. The charity distributes these shoes to people in need, regardless of race, religion, class, or any other criteria all over the world. They will accept any shoe in any condition including adult and child shoes. “As dancers, we depend on our shoes to enjoy dancing and other activities” offers event organizer David Wiley. “We take so much for granted here in our country when many people throughout the world go without shoes”. “We are asking people in the community to clean out the closet and bring us shoes that you don’t wear or can no longer wear.” Soles4Soles will get them to people who need them. Our goal is to collect 2012 pairs of shoes during the month of January. We collected over 1000 pairs of shoes at our dance on January 7th. We are well on our way to goal. Calls are coming in from all over the community” adds Wiley.

“Contra dance is a way for all citizens of the area to rededicate themselves to New Year’s higher ideas and ideals for diet and exercise changes. We know from the experts that most people start the year with ambitious goals for weight loss, smoking cessation or other behavioral changes during the first ten days of the New Year”, states organizer David Wiley. “The problem is that many of these commitments fade away in the short term” adds Wiley. “Our contra dance program, even though it is held only twice per month can jump start anyone toward their goals. We had 30 dances again 2011. In and of itself, 30 dances won’t make or break anyone’s fitness program, but for many, it made a difference. We have built the foundation for our own dance community in addition to starting a monthly family dance series.

Boom Chuck unites three friends who have played for contra dances in the area for the last two years. The band consists Laurie Fisher on fiddle, Nic Coker on guitar and banjo and Ricky Cooper on bass.

Mark Langer, from Asheville, is a very popular caller in the area. Mark will delight you with his fun instructional style and smooth flowing dances. Be prepared to be challenged as the night goes on. His pleasant style and graceful teaching put dancers at ease and set the stage for a great evening.

For more information on Saturday’s dance or any upcoming events, please call David Wiley at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. or Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on January 13, 2012

Press Release

“7th Contra Dance Season Starts with Shoe Drive”

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will kick off the 2012 contra dance season on Saturday, January 7th with a dance and a shoe drive for Soles4Souls. The event will be held at the Jonesborough Visitors Center at 7:00pm featuring the Asheville band “Hot Sonata”. Calling the dance will be the ever popular Diane Silver. Admission is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A class for newcomer contra dances will run from 7:00-7:30pm. The dance will go from 7:30-10:30pm with a Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm. Slides from a recent Soles4Soles trip to Africa will be shown during the break.

Soles4Soles® is a Nashville-based charity that collects shoes from the warehouses of footwear companies and the closets of people from all over the country. The charity distributes these shoes to people in need, regardless of race, religion, class, or any other criteria all over the world. They will accept any shoe in any condition including adult and child shoes. “As dancers, we depend on our shoes to enjoy dancing and other activities” offers event organizer David Wiley. “We take so much for granted here in our country when many people throughout the world go without shoes”. “We are asking people in the community to clean out the closet and bring us shoes that you don’t wear or can no longer wear.” Soles4Soles will get them to people who need them. Our goal is to collect 2012 pairs of shoes during the month of January. Bring them to our dances on January 7th and 21st or call for pick up.”

“Contra dance is a way for all citizens of the area to rededicate themselves to New Year’s higher ideas and ideals for diet and exercise changes. We know from the experts that most people start the year with ambitious goals for weight loss, smoking cessation or other behavioral changes during the first ten days of the New Year”, states organizer David Wiley. “The problem is that many of these commitments fade away in the short term” adds Wiley. “Our contra dance program, even though it is held only twice per month can jump start anyone toward their goals. We had 30 dances again 2011. In and of itself, 30 dances won’t make or break anyone’s fitness program, but for many, it made a difference. We have built the foundation for our own dance community in addition to starting a monthly family dance series.

Hot Sonata unites three friends who have played for contra dances in the area for many years. The band consists Karen Gaughan on piano, Art Shuster on mandolin and Laura Lengnick on fiddle.

Caller Diane Silver has played a big part in the reintroduction of contra dance to this area. Diane participated in the very first workshops that were held in late 2005 before HJDS offered its first open dance on January 6, 2006. During the past 6 years HJDS has had the pleasure of having Diane call and teach many times to the delight of all who attended. Diane has called the Jonesborough Days “Day of Dance”, participated in Contrathons and some of our advanced dances. She has been a die-hard contra dancer, swing dancer, and kitchen-flat footer for over ten years. With a penchant for hot modern contras and a few active squares, she loves sharing high energy dancing that allows everyone to “play” with the band. Highly acclaimed for her clear, efficient teaching and calling, creative medleys, great positive energy, and spirit of community building, Diane provides a sizzling evening of dance in a friendly, welcoming tone. Diane’s motto: “I can’t believe this much fun is legal!”

“We have already scheduled another year of great contra dance bands and callers” adds Wiley. For more information on Saturday’s dance or any upcoming events, please call David Wiley at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. or Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on December 30, 2011

Shoe Drive!

Contra Dancing!
&
Shoe Drive
Benefit for: Soles4Soles®
Soles4Soles® is a Nashville-based charity that collects shoes from the warehouses of footwear companies and the closets of people like you. The charity distributes these shoes to people in need, regardless of race, religion, class, or any other criteria all over the world. They will accept any shoe in any condition Please bring shoes to Jonesborough Visitors Center on
collection dates listed below. Person who brings most shoes in during month
of January will contra dance FREE for all of 2012! Please visit www.soles4soles.org


Dance & Collection Schedule:

January 7, 2012
Band: Hot Sonata
Caller: Diane Silver

January 21, 2012
Band: Boom Chuck
Caller: Mark Langner

For more information contact David Wiley
Call for shoe pick up:423-534-8879
david@historicjonesboroughdance society.org

OUR GOAL: 2012 Pairs in January 2012!

Posted by: David on December 24, 2011

Press Release

Six Year Celebration of Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a potluck, family dance and contra dance on Saturday, December 17, 2011 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Performing for the contra dance will be “Contraversial” from Asheville. The dance will be called by HJDS Board member, Warren Doyle. There will be a class for beginners at 7:00pm following by contra dance from 7:30-10:30pm. A waltz and Klondike Bar break will take place at 9:00pm. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5 and full time students $4. The entire family can are admitted for only $15. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller.

David Wiley, event organizer states “We are finishing our sixth year of community contra dances in Jonesborough. Thousands of people have come to Jonesborough to check out the contra dance scene. We have had families and children, high school and college students and all ages participate. This has become a real community dance”.

The evening will start with a potluck dinner at 5:30pm followed by the family dance sponsored by EARTH FARE of Johnson City. Earth Fare’s community relations coordinator, Kate Van Huss, is excited to be a sponsor of our family dance and promises to bring yummy treats, hot chocolate and cider for the dancers. The Family Dance series which occurs once a month is for folks of all ages to enjoy the traditional dances and music geared to beginners and children. Everyone from the very young to grandparents is welcome to our series of community contra dances. Rumor has it that SANTA will appear to lead the family dance. Admission to the family dance is $5 for adults and $3 for children.

Performing for the evening dance is the duo Contraversial made up of Cailen Campbell on fiddle and David Brown on guitar and banjo.

Cailen Campbell has been thrilling contra dancers all over the southeast and around the country for over a decade. His innovative, highly improvisational, lyrical fiddling has been heard in numerous acclaimed regional dance bands, including The Atomic City Rhythm Rascals, The String Beings, The Rocket Boys, The Gypsy Hicks, in addition to a dynamic duo with renowned Asheville area guitarist and banjo virtuoso David Brown. Campbell recently played with the Greasy Beans on behalf of the North Carolina Dance Theater at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
Cailen Campbell and David Brown have a reputation for sparking the contra dances whenever they play. The temperature on the dance floor rises, the dancers' energy intensifies, and the listeners are swept away by their music craft, which infuses traditional Appalachian, Celtic and Roma melodies with exciting and original interpretation.

Cailen Campbell has been described as one of the most virtuosic and high-energy fiddlers in the Southeast. As both a dancer and musician he is known for his stunning ability to improvise, cross time signatures and musical genres with ease, and for his brilliant self-expression.

David Brown provides the pulse to the music. He is renowned and accolade as a 5-string banjo player, and plays professionally on a half dozen other instruments, including the baritone guitar. This unusual instrument is a hybrid between a regular guitar and a bass guitar, and in David's hands, it provides hypnotic rhythm and harmonic texture to the music...

These encantados met in 2005 while touring nationally with the Greasy Beans and NC Dance Theater. A rich musical relationship ensued as they explored their shared love of traditional acoustic music, as well as new grass and jazz. Their vast repertoire, as well as their tight 'mind meld,' creates a rich and expansive sound that captivates dancers and listeners. They defy expectations of how much sound, and how exciting of a sound, a dance duo can make. They're CONTRAVERSIAL!''

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or visit the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on December 8, 2011

Press Release

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance and silent auction and kick off its 2012 membership drive on Saturday, December 3, 2011 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center 117 Boone Street Jonesborough, TN.

Dancers and supporters of community contra d...ance in Jonesborough are encouraged to bring items to auction, snacks to share and cash to purchase those long sought after treasures. Suggested items include, quality crafts, dance clothing and shoes, baked goods, services, art, meals and regiftable leftovers.

Leading the dance will be local caller, Noah Grunzweig, who will teach a contra dance class for newcomers at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm.

Performing for the dance is traveling duo Kendall Rogers and Brad Battey.
Brad Battey has been participating in traditional music and dance around Detroit and Ann Arbor since he was seven. His parents started him on fiddle lessons in the summer of 1984, taking him to many, many places that had live music, but some of the best was found at the dances in the area. They also found The Paint Creek Folklore Society, where he got his first "formal" introduction to playing in a dance band and began sitting in with dance bands. He began fiddling with Bruce Sagan at age 12 and is one of Bruce’s favorite fiddling partners. He can be heard on Bruce's latest CD, "With Friends." He plays New England-style contras, swing, English country, and Scandinavian music.

Brad is a member of several bands, including Dr. Grangelove, The Sharon Hollow String Band, Aunt Lu and the Oakland County All Stars, and The Olde Michigan Ruffwater String Band. He can also be heard on Ruffwater's newest CD, "Michigan Fall." He has been on staff at MDH Fall Camp and Cumberland Dance Week, where he is co-music director. Brad is the President of the Ann Arbor Council for Traditional Music and Dance (AACTMAD) as well as a board member of Michigan Dance Heritage, Inc. (MDH).

Kendall plays several instruments, with varying degrees of success, in the Celtic folk genres. While his home instrument is the piano, he enjoys the luxury of the more portable accordion, guitar, bodhran and whistles. He plays for many types of events, such as Irish or Scottish festivals, contradances, Scottish, English and other country dances. While his music educational background includes a fair bit of classical and jazz music, he finds joy in the ability to interact with an appreciative audience, and dancers and Celtic music fans are nothing if not appreciative!

Memberships run for the calendar year. A single or family membership allows adult non-students to receive a $2.00 discount on local dances.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-534-8879

Posted by: David on November 20, 2011

Press Release

Jonesborough Contra, Family Dance & Foodraiser

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a Contra & Family Dance and collect non-perishable food supplies on Saturday, November 19, 2011.

The band for contras will be "Yes! M'am", a collection of local celtic musicians including fiddlers Marcianne O'Day and Chad Beauchaine, Joseph Sobol on cittern and Lindsay Amore on guitar.

Calling for the dance will be Knoxville's Donna Calhoun.

Family Dance 5:30-7:00
Class for beginners 7:00-7:30
Dance from 7:30-10:30
Waltz & Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm

Posted by: David Wiley on November 6, 2011

Press Release

“The Best Two-Person Contra Dance Band in the Nation!”

On Saturday, November 5, the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold its first
Community contra dance of the Fall Season. Guest caller, Laurie Fisher, from Asheville, NC, will lead the dancing while Asheville-based band, The Elftones, will provide a big band sound with just two musicians. The dance begins at 7:30 P.M. in the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street. At 7:00 P.M. prior to each dance, the caller conducts a class for beginners where basics of contra dance are taught to new and experienced dancers alike. Admission to the dance is only $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. No partner is necessary.

There will also be a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm.

The Elftones are a popular, highly energetic North Carolina based band composed of a fiddler, Mara Shea and a guitarist, Roger Gold. Their music is a blend of Irish, Scottish, Canadian, old-time, and original tunes. They play for contra dances, weddings, parties and just about anywhere people like to twirl and swing and have a great time.

Roger Gold and Mara Shea started playing contra dances in the mid-90s. They quickly acquired a following of enthusiastic dancers and listeners who wanted a CD. ELFTONES (1998) was their first album, now in its second printing. It was followed by two more: MIST-COVERED MOUNTAINS, an album of waltzes: and THE MOON AND THE SEVEN STARS, an album similar to ELFTONES but done 3 years later, as they settled more into their own sound.

Listeners frequently describe The Elftones’ music as “amazing, beautiful, and energizing” and I can’t believe two people are making that incredible music—it sounds like 5 people up there on stage!” Roger and Mara do much more than play all the notes well. Both guitar and fiddle play equal roles, and balance each other—this is not a typical fiddle-with-guitar-backup kind of recording! Fiddle and guitar are partnered and the music becomes all the richer for that partnership.

Roger lives in Swannanoa, NC, where he works as a luthier and guitar teacher. Mara lives in Raleigh, NC, where she teaches violin and fiddle. Spare moments find them traveling throughout the US to play for dances, workshops and concerts. Mara also plays for Scottish and English country dances across the US and Canada.

The Elftones are considered to be “the best two-person contra dance band in the nation.” How they make that full-band sound is incredible – do they have elves playing inside their instruments? First they put you in a dance trance and then the next thing you know there is a lot of whoopin and hollerin going on.

Laurie Fisher, a very popular contra dance caller and musician, lives in Asheville where
She teaches music and plays in a variety of bands. Most recently, her new band “Boom Chuck” has created a stir amongst the regional dance community.

Contra dance is a form of American folk dance in which the dancers form a set of two parallel lines that run the length of the hall. Each dance consists of a sequence of moves and steps that ends with the couples having progressed one position up or down the set.

Many of the basic moves resemble square dancing—swings, allemandes, do-si-dos—but contra dancing is more a sort of amusement park ride that the dancers make for themselves. A square dance set is compromised of only four couples, whereas the length of the hall only limits the number of couples in a contra dance set. To join a set, only a partner and soft-soled shoes are necessary. All that is left is to have fun dancing.

For more information about community contra dance, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. Or
Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David on October 31, 2011

Press Release

Halloween Contra Dances in Jonesborough with Shady Groove!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present two contra dances on Saturday, October 29, 2011 and Sunday October 30th at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The featured band will be Shady Groove from Charleston, SC. with Tom Colwell and Myra Hirschberg teaming up for the calling duties. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5, full time Students $5. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. A workshop for beginning contra dancers will be led by the caller at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm where, once again, Klondike Bars will be served to all who attend.

Its Halloween weekend which means that all comers are invited to tap in to
their costume creative talent. “Last year’s dance brought so many wonderful costume ideas that we had a hard time picking the winners” offers David Wiley, President of HJDS. At the break, costume contestants will promenade around the dance floor as the judges select the finalists. Then, by applause from the crowd, the winners will be selected. Winners will receive gift certificates from local Jonesborough merchants or free passes to future contra
dance events. Costumes are recommended but not required for the dance.

Tom Colwell and Myra Hirschberg, who live part time in Asheville and Ontario, Canada are experienced callers in both contras and English Country Dance.

Members of the Shady Groove band grew up in the Charleston Folk Dance
Community. Sisters Sytske and Michelle Hellenius play fiddle while Logan Wells handles mandolin and guitar. Rounding out the band lineup is Ian Kelmartin on guitar, didgeridoo and harmonica. Joey Dorwart adds percussion to the mix.

Shady Groove evolved as a bunch of friends who traveled the world separately and realized they missed playing music together. With a vision to add some variety to the traditional music heard at contra dances, Shady Groove is funky fresh and groovy too blending the diverse forces of Old Time, Appalachian, Funk, Celtic, Klezmer, Blues, and Bluegrass.


Contra dance is a form of American folk dance in which the dancers form a set of two parallel lines that run the length of the hall. Each dance consists of a sequence of moves and steps that ends with the couples having progressed one position up or down the set. All dances are taught by the caller. No partner is necessary and you are encouraged to dance with as many different people as possible.

Many of the basic moves resemble square dancing—swings, allemandes, do-si-dos—but contra dancing is more a sort of amusement park ride that the dancers make for themselves. A square dance set is compromised of only four couples, whereas the length of the hall only limits the number of couples in a contra dance set. To join a set, only a partner and soft-soled shoes are necessary. All that is left is to have fun dancing. You are encouraged to dress comfortably and stay hydrated with lots of water.

Sunday’s dance is billed as an Advanced Dance where beginners are discouraged from attending. Many of the dances that will be called by Diane Silver will have little or no instruction and have a higher level of complexity.
The dance will run from 2:30pm-5:30pm with Shady Groove performing again.
Admission to the advanced dance is $8 for all comers.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-534-8879, visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. and FACEBOOK on the web.

Posted by: David Wiley on October 23, 2011

Mountain Madness 2011

MOUNTAIN MADNESS DANCE WEEKEND-October 14-16, 2011

We are just three weeks away from Mountain Madness 2011. This year, we have the HOT POINT STRING BAND returning for the second year joined by the Avant Gardeners.

Nils Fredland and Hank Morris will share the calling duties. The warmup waltz music will be provided by the Fine Companions. Each band will perform both Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday day. Harriette Bugel will provide the delicious snacks that we love so much.

The price is the same as last year at $60 not including meals or lodging. There is plenty of space for full weekend admission at this point. If you have not registered and intend to come, please register so we can better estimate our supplies for the snack tables. As long as we do not reach capacity of 150 dancers in the room, you can purchase session admission for the following rates:

Friday Night $15
Saturday AM $10
Saturday PM $10
Saturday Night $20
Sunday $15

If you wish to secure a place for the evening dances, please send payment by check to HJDS, P.0. Box 651, Jonesborough, TN 37659. Your reservation will be secured. If you have already registered, you have been notified by email.

The Saturday night after-dance party will again be held at the Dragon Hatchery and hosted by Paula Postai, Cliff Wiegand and Stefka Postai-Wiegand. Maps, directions and carpool opportunities will be distributed at the admissions table. The party will start immediately after the dance on Saturday.

Schedule of Dances and Workshops

Friday 10/14 07:00pm-07:45 pm Waltz with Fine Companions
08:00pm-09:50 pm Avant Gardeners with Hank Morris
10:00pm-11:45 pm Hot Point String Band with Nils Fredland



Saturday 10/15 10:00am-12:00pm Avant Gardeners with Hank Morris

12:00pm-02:00pm Lunch Break

03:00pm-05:00pm Hot Point String Band with Hank Morris

05:00pm-06:30pm Dinner Break

06:30pm-07:30pm Waltz with Fine Companions

08:00pm-11:30pm Hot Point String Band with Nils Fredland

11:30 Till After Dance Party at Dragon Hatchery



Sunday 10/16 09:00am-11:00am Continental Breakfast
09:00am-10:15am Waltz with Fine Companions
10:30am-12:30pm Avant Gardeners with Hank Morris
12:45pm-03:00pm Hot Point String Band with Nils Fredland


SATURDAY WORKSHOP

Visitors Center Auditorium



09:00am-10:00am Beyond Beginner: Contra Frills & Flourishes

Warren & Terry Doyle

02:00pm-02:50pm Concert Avant Gardeners

International Storytelling Center Library

02:00pm-02:50pm Singing Workshop with Nils Fredland

Posted by: David Wiley on September 27, 2011

Press Release

Jonesborough Contra & Family Dance!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance on Saturday, September 17, 2011 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The featured band will be the Dry Ridge Runners from Asheville with Warren Doyle as caller. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5, Full time Students $5. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. A workshop for beginning contra dancers will be led by the caller at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm where, once again, Klondike Bars will be served to all who attend.

The evening will begin with a family dance from 5:30-7:00pm led by caller/teacher Warren Doyle. The family dance is truly a family event where parents or grandparents and children ages four and up learn traditional dances. The dance will consist of easy steps for participants of all ages. The goal is to teach the fundamentals of dancing with a focus on having fun and placing less of an emphasis on dance techniques. Types of dances include circles, long-ways sets, squares, and odd number sets. All dances will be taught and called with high-energy recorded tunes. Family dances promote community, inter-generational interaction, and bring traditional dance to a new generation, making the dance community stronger and enduring. This is the fourth event in the family dance series. Admission to the family dance is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Family package costs $15 for parents and all their children. Neighbors and friends cannot be part of the family package. If the participants wish to stay for the regular dance, their Family Dance admission can be applied to the regular admission costs.

“The Family Dance on August 20th drew a large group of families and children as young as three years of age. Everyone had a fantastic time and plan to come back”, offers event organizer, David Wiley.

The Dry Ridge Runners consists of Roy Andrade on fiddle, Adam Tanner on guitar, Parrish Ellis on banjo and Stephanie Wolf on bass.

Roy Andrade, faculty member in the ETSU Bluegrass, Country & Old Time music program, played banjo and performed vocals for the acclaimed string band, The Reel Time Travelers, from 1999-2007. In addition to teaching music, Andrade has many other responsibilities including coaching four student bands and directing the ETSU Contra & Ceilidhs Dance series at the Culp Center on campus once a month.

Adam Tanner can usually be found performing with Mark Jackson as The Twilite Broadcasters. Having come together to sing and play in Weaverville, North Carolina in 2009, the group continues the longstanding tradition of two part rural harmony vocals with simple acoustic string instrument accompaniment once common in the Southern part of the United States (starting in the 1930's). The fundamental components of lead and harmony vocal in tandem with guitar and mandolin are the seminal sounds that set the stage for a variety of American musical styles to come, including: Bluegrass, Folk, Country and Rock n' Roll. The Twilite Broadcasters bring new shadings and highlights to the old songs they present. You can enjoy their most recent CD release called “The Trail of Time”.

Parrish Ellis is a guitarist, banjoist, singer and songwriter specializing in the piedmont style of country blues, and other strains of traditional African-American music. He tours full-time with the acoustic trio, The Wiyos, playing "vaudevillian-ragtime-jug band-blues and hillbilly swing". In addition to finger-picking country blues, he's a proficient rhythm player in the swing and old-time Appalachian music idioms. He has recorded two solo albums and three CDs with The Wiyos.

Stephanie Wolf has been the musical mainstay in the Asheville area old time music scene for many years teaming with many noteworthy musicians to the delight of dancers and listeners.

Contra dance is a form of American folk dance in which the dancers form a set of two parallel lines that run the length of the hall. Each dance consists of a sequence of moves and steps that ends with the couples having progressed one position up or down the set. All dances are taught by the caller. No partner is necessary and you are encouraged to dance with as many different people as possible.

Many of the basic moves resemble square dancing—swings, allemandes, do-si-dos—but contra dancing are more a sort of amusement park ride that the dancers make for themselves. A square dance set is compromised of only four couples, whereas the length of the hall only limits the number of couples in a contra dance set. To join a set, only a partner and soft-soled shoes are necessary. All that is left is to have fun dancing. You are encouraged to dress comfortably and stay hydrated with lots of water.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-534-8879, visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. And The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on September 9, 2011

Press Release

Coffee Zombies Invade Jonesborough for local contra dance leading up to Sunday’s Contrathon X!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, September 3, 2011 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students. A family package allows parents to bring all of their own children for a total of $15. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. No partner is necessary. Families and children are welcome! A 30-minute class for beginners will be held at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm.

At the 9:00pm waltz break, again Klondike Ice Cream Bars, the official frozen treat of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society, will be offered to all dancers courtesy of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society.

Performing for this event will be the Coffee Zombies from Indianapolis. The caller will be Tim Klein from Knoxville. Many dancers will be coming in for the Saturday night dance which leads up to the Contrathon X which will be held on Sunday, Sept 5th at the Cranberry High School in Elk Park, NC. The Contrathon is a 12-hour event sponsored by HJDS which offers 9-1/2 hours of contra dance in one day. Contrathon X will feature in addition to the Coffee Zombies, the band Hot Sonata from Asheville. Calling for Contrathon X is the ever popular combination of Diane Silver and Maggie Jo Saylor.

Many returning students from area colleges such as Virginia Intermont, Milligan, King and ETSU and Immanuel have rejoined our dance community. In addition, “We are seeing more high school students and early teens come to learn how to contra dance”, states event organizer, David Wiley.
“We are so lucky to have the Coffee Zombies not just for the Saturday dance but also for our Contrathon” adds Wiley. The band is touring for five days in the area including Swannanoa, NC, Atlanta, GA and Knoxville.

The Coffee Zombies, Tom Cunningham-fiddle/guitar, Dianna Davis-piano/accordion/clarinet, and Bob Douglas-percussion, have rocked dancers from Pittsburgh to St. Louis, and Indianapolis to Nashville. The fusion of old-time, Celtic, French-Canadian, and original tunes with a hard-driving rhythmic base makes everyone want to dance. Their newly released CD captures the energy of the band, and is available at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/coffeezombies and on iTunes. You can hear more of their music at www.coffee-zombies.com/

Tom Cunningham has played fiddle with the Hot Club of Derbytown, Schrodinger's TomCats, band du jour and Les Enfants du Fromage for contra dances in seven states. His music has given him opportunities in theatre, in swing, country and bluegrass bands, and his one-man show, FiddleTales, incorporates story-telling and fiddling.

Diana Davis’ music instrument addiction has not only taken over her house but has landed her opportunities to play in 2 contra dance bands, the improv group Thin Air, and a traditional Irish ceili band. She corrals many singers and instrumentalists as Music Director at a Unitarian Church and accompanies a social justice women's chorus. She has edited a clarinet method book, judged competitions, and is the scheduler and vice president of Indy contra dance.www.DiannaDavis.com.

Bob Douglas enjoys bringing his drumming experience with an array of musical genres to The Coffee Zombies. He has played afro-pop, reggae, classical, punk, r & b, jazz, blues, prog-rock and country all around the eastern U.S. He is also an accomplished vocalist. He loves being back home playing and recording with so many friends and local artists.

Tim Klein will be coming to the Tri-Cities to call for the second time. Tim has been calling contra dances for community events, parties, and hard-core dance groups in East Tennessee for more than 15 years. He is known for selecting a mix of easy and challenging dances and presenting them with clear directions and enthusiasm.

For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-534-8879

Posted by: David Wiley on August 26, 2011

Press Release

Contra & Family Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, August 20, 2011, at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. No partner is necessary. Families and children are welcome!

The evening will begin with a family dance from 5:30-7:00pm. The family dance is truly a family event where parents or grandparents and children ages four and up learn traditional dances. The dance will consist of easy steps for participants of all ages. The goal is to teach the fundamentals of dancing with a focus on having fun and placing less of an emphasis on dance techniques. Types of dances include circles, long-ways sets, squares, and odd number sets. All dances will be taught and called with high-energy and live string band music. Family dances promote community, inter-generational interaction, and bring traditional dance to a new generation, making the dance community stronger and enduring. This is the second in a series of Summer Family Dances. Admission to the family dance is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Family package costs $15 for parents and all their children. Neighbors and friends cannot be part of the family package. If the participants wish to stay for the regular dance, their Family Dance admission can be applied to the regular admission costs.

“The Family Dance on July 16th drew a large group of families and children as young as three years of age. Everyone had a fantastic time and plan to come back”, offers event organizer, David Wiley.

Performing for the regular contra dance will be The Reel High Boys from Johnson City. The caller will be Jennie Wakefield from Clemson, SC. A class for beginners will be held at 7:00pm where newcomers and experienced dancers alike will learn the basic steps, formations and flow of contra dance.

The Reel High Hoppers band is made up Doug Dorschug, Ed Snodderly, Roy Andrade and Brandon Story.

Contra dancing is a traditional form of American folk dance that evolved from the long ways country dances popular in English society centuries ago. Contra dance communities now thrive all over the country. There are websites that can direct you to contra dances in most states. The modern contra dances provide dancers of all ages and experience levels with the opportunity to smile, move, connect, flirt and create an evening of dance nirvana with each other. No previous dance experience is necessary. No fancy footwork is required. If you can walk and count to eight, you can contra dance!

Contra dances are community events. At almost any contra you will find people of all ages and all dance skill levels, from young to old, beginner to expert. Contra dancers form a very open and welcoming group of people. You can come alone or with others since it is a tradition to dance with a variety of partners throughout the night. It is perfectly acceptable for either a man or a woman to ask someone to dance. It’s a great way to make friends with someone they haven’t met before. You will find contra dancing a great way to make new friends.

For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org and Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on August 13, 2011

Press Release

Summer Harvest Potluck & Contra Dance in Jonesborough

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present the Annual Summer Harvest Potluck Dinner & Contra Dance on Saturday August 6, 2011. The potluck dinner and contra dance will be held at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street beginning at 6:00 pm. Class for beginning contra dancers will follow at 7:00 pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30 pm with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm. Coming to Jonesborough to perform for the first time will be Boom Chuck from Asheville. Calling for the dance will be the ever popular Dean Snipes from Charlotte.
During the dinner hour, guests can also waltz to recorded music.

The Summer Harvest Potluck Dinner will begin at 6:00pm. Nothing brings people together like a potluck, and nothing gets them talking together like the subject of food. Just watch as the buffet table fills up with salads, casseroles, pastas and desserts and you’ll see for yourself. “We are building a community through traditional music and dance. We hope to get our dancers chatting happily, exchanging recipes and telling the story behind each recipe,” adds Wiley. Food talk at a potluck can teach us a lot about each other and the world around us. Prizes will be given to the most creative and mouthwatering dishes. If you are not a home gardener, support your local Farmer’s Market including the Jonesborough Farmer’s Market held every Saturday from 8 am until noon in the parking area next to the Court House on Main Street.

Come as you are; wear soft flexible shoes for dancing. Come to dance, join the potluck dinner or just to listen. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught. As always, our dances are smoke and alcohol free. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. Families with their own children are all admitted for only $15 as a package.

The Boom Chuck band is made up of Laurie Fisher on fiddle, Nic Coker on banjo and Ricky Cooper on bass.

For further information call event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on July 26, 2011

Press Release

Contra & Family Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, July 16, 2011, at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. No partner is necessary. Families and children are welcome!

The evening will begin with a family dance from 5:30-7:00pm. The family dance is truly a family event where parents or grandparents and children ages four and up learn traditional dances. The dance will consist of easy steps for participants of all ages. The goal is to teach the fundamentals of dancing with a focus on having fun and placing less of an emphasis on dance techniques. Types of dances include circles, long-ways sets, squares, and odd number sets. All dances will be taught and called with high-energy and live string band music. Family dances promote community, inter-generational interaction, and bring traditional dance to a new generation, making the dance community stronger and enduring. This is the second in a series of Summer Family Dances.

Admission to the family dance is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Family package costs $15 for parents and all their children. Neighbors and friends cannot be part of the family package. If the participants wish to stay for the regular dance, their Family Dance admission can be applied to the regular admission costs.

Performing for family dance and regular contra dance will be Curious George from Asheville, NC. The caller will be Warren Doyle from Boone, NC. For the regular contra dance, caller Terry Doyle will conduct a class for beginners at 7:00pm where newcomers and experienced dancers alike will learn the basic steps, formations and flow of contra dance.

Curious George is made up of fiddler Laura Lengnick and accordion and percussion player Paul Moore.

Warren and Terry Doyle are very active in the regional dance community as callers, dance organizers and dancers. They bring many years of folk dance experience to the Jonesborough community.

Contra dancing is a traditional form of American folk dance that evolved from the long ways country dances popular in English society centuries ago. Contra dance communities now thrive all over the country. There are websites that can direct you to contra dances in most states. The modern contra dances provide dancers of all ages and experience levels with the opportunity to smile, move, connect, flirt and create an evening of dance nirvana with each other. No previous dance experience is necessary. No fancy footwork is required. If you can walk and count to eight, you can contra dance!

Contra dances are community events. At almost any contra you will find people of all ages and all dance skill levels, from young to old, beginner to expert. Contra dancers form a very open and welcoming group of people. You can come alone or with others since it is a tradition to dance with a variety of partners throughout the night. It is perfectly acceptable for either a man or a woman to ask someone to dance. It’s a great way to make friends with someone they haven’t met before. You will find contra dancing a great way to make new friends.

For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org and Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on July 7, 2011

Press Release

Jonesborough Contra & Family Dance

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society & the Town of Jonesborough are teaming up to start a series of Family Dances starting July 16, 2011. Parents and children are invited to come to the Visitors Center for a family dance lead by caller Warren Doyle of Mountain City, TN.

Participants are asked to be admitted and on the floor to start the dance at 6:00pm. Circles, squares and contras for parents and children ages 4 years and up will be done to the live string band music of Curious George (Laura Lengnick & Paul Moore) from Asheville, NC. Admission to the family dance is $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for children with a $15 maximum charge for entire family. Neighbors and friends cannot be a part of the family admission fee. Family dance admission can be applied to the adult dance admission.

The regular schedule contra dance for all comers will go on as scheduled with a class for beginners at 7:00pm with the dance to follow from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm. The regular dance will be called by Terry Doyle

Posted by: David Wiley on July 4, 2011

Press Release

Jonesborough “Days of Dance” 2011

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present three days of dance during the annual Jonesborough Days Celebration on July 1st- 3rd at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance can be attained by purchasing a $5 wristband each day allowing dancers to come and go during the day and enjoy the many activities associated with the festival. There will be a variety of dances and workshops offered during the event which will include family dance, square, contra, waltz and swing dance.

The callers will be Diane Silver and Charley Harvey.

Event organizer, David Wiley states “Being a part of Jonesborough Days gives us a chance to showcase our dance program to everyone in the region. Our dancers come to enjoy the traditional music and dance, get some exercise and to be a part of a dance community that is intergenerational and family oriented.

The kickoff dance will be Friday night July 1nd at 7:30pm with the Mean Lids from Urbana, IL. The Mean Lids are Matt Turino on guitar, Ben Smith on fiddle and Miriam Larson. The Mean Lids will be introducing their new CD during Jonesborough Days. Following the Mean Lids at 10:00pm with be Hot Sonata.

Matt Turino has been playing music since before he was born. He started dancing a month before that. He can play higher, louder and slower than you. He never plays fewer than 2 instruments simultaneously and can sing in harmony with himself. He has performed so many shows with so many groups that MySpace refused to post them here due to bandwidth concerns. In addition to driving the heart of the Lids he also appears regularly with Big Grove Zydeco. Matt also plays fiddle and foot percussion.

Ben Smith has been playing dances and dancing dances since 1995. He can play lower and faster than you. He has played his black fiddle with many bands, across many genres, including bluegrass, swing, old-time, Irish, jug-band, Cajun, country, western, rock, and classical. Current projects include Tree Thump (http://myspace.com/treethump) and Big Grove Zydeco (http://myspace.com/biggrove). He is also a full time graduate student at the University of Illinois. Ben also plays banjo and mandolin.

Miriam Larson joined the lids in 2010. Fresh from the flute filled fields of Minnesota she brings smooth, sweet sounds and pulsing jaw-harp beats to the mix. Rapidly becoming the central member of the group, she does not need to play higher/slower/faster/lower than anyone. Her mastery extends to the flute, kazoo, jaw-harp, slide- and train whistles.

Hot Sonata unites four friends who have played for contra dances in the area for many years. The band consists of Mark Mueller on fiddle, Karen Gaughan on piano, Art Shuster on mandolin and for this special dance, Laura Lengnick also on fiddle.

Charley Harvey and Diane Silver are two of the most popular regional callers. They have performed for Jonesborough Dances on many occasions.

For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-534-8879 or on Facebook.

Here is the 2011 schedule:

Friday July 1
07:30pm-09:45pm Contras with Diane Silver and Hot Sonata
10:00pm-11:45pm Contras with Charley Harvey and Mean Lids

Saturday July 2
09:00am-10:00am Waltz Workshop w/Charley Harvey
10:00am-11:00am Open Waltz w/Hot Sonata
11:00am-12:45pm Beyond Beginners Contra w/Diane Silver &
Mean Lids
12:45pm-02:00pm Lunch Break
02:15pm-03:45pm Contra through the Ages with Charley Harvey
Hot Sonata
04:15pm-05:00pm Swing Dance Workshop with Charley Harvey
05:00pm-06:00pm Swing Dance w/Mean Lids
06:00pm-07:30pm Dinner Break
07:00pm-07:30pm Beginners Contra Dance Workshop
07:30pm-09:45pm Contra Dance w/Hot Sonata and Diane Silver
10:00pm-11:45pm Contra Dance w/Mean Lids and Charley
Harvey
Sunday July 3
10:00am-11:00am Open Waltz w/Hot Sonata
11:00pm-12:00pm Intro to Hambo and Schottische
12:00pm-02:00pm Barn Dance w/ Mean Lids and Charley Harvey
02:30pm-05:30pm Contra Dance with Hot Sonata
05:30pm-07:00pm Dinner Break
07:00pm-9:30pm Contra Dance Medley x 2 with Charley & Diane
Mean Lids & Hot Sonata
10:00pm Fireworks

Posted by: David Wiley on June 26, 2011

Press Release

Contra & Family Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, June 18, 2011, at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. No partner is necessary. Families and children are welcome!

The evening will begin with a family dance from 5:30-7:00pm. The family dance is truly a family event where parents or grandparents and children ages four and up learn traditional dances. The dance will consist of easy steps for participants of all ages. The goal is to teach the fundamentals of dancing with a focus on having fun and placing less of an emphasis on dance techniques. Types of dances include circles, long-ways sets, squares, and odd number sets. All dances will be taught and called with high-energy and live string band music. Family dances promote community, inter-generational interaction, and bring traditional dance to a new generation, making the dance community stronger and enduring. This is the first in a series of Summer Family Dances. Admission to the family dance is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Family package costs $15 for parents and all their children. Neighbors and friends cannot be part of the family package. If the participants wish to stay for the regular dance, their Family Dance admission can be applied to the regular admission costs.

Performing for family dance and regular contra dance will be the Inexplicabilies from Greenville, SC. The caller will be Connie Carringer from Boone, NC. For the regular contra dance, Connie will conduct a class for beginners at 7:00pm where newcomers and experienced dancers alike will learn the basic steps, formations and flow of contra dance.

So what is inexplicable about these 3 guys? They bring power and experience from their roots in old time, Celtic and the far off, hilly, Planet Billy to create driving and stimulating contra dance music. Sound and music Guru, Wes Maluk (guitar, tenor banjo, and percussion) and Mandolin/tenor banjo aficionado Joel McConnell f, both from the Celtic band Skeeziks have teamed up with powerful fiddler and banjobilly, David White, from the popular contra bands Steamshovel and Appalachian Storm. They work well together, balancing the powerful driving sounds w/ the smooth trancelike rhythms and flow, smiling and gyrating all the while. But who 'watches' contra dance bands anyway...just bring your ears and dancing feet and come 'see' for yourself.

Connie Carringer is relatively new to calling dances. In the last two years, she has received many invitations to call in the region and has gained valuable experience. This will be her third
Visit to Jonesborough. She has great calling style and a very warm personality.

Contra dancing is a traditional form of American folk dance that evolved from the long ways country dances popular in English society centuries ago. Contra dance communities now thrive all over the country. There are websites that can direct you to contra dances in most states. The modern contra dances provide dancers of all ages and experience levels with the opportunity to smile, move, connect, flirt and create an evening of dance nirvana with each other. No previous dance experience is necessary. No fancy footwork is required. If you can walk and count to eight, you can contra dance!

Contra dances are community events. At almost any contra you will find people of all ages and all dance skill levels, from young to old, beginner to expert. Contra dancers form a very open and welcoming group of people. You can come alone or with others since it is a tradition to dance with a variety of partners throughout the night. It is perfectly acceptable for either a man or a woman to ask someone to dance. It’s a great way to make friends with someone they haven’t met before. You will find contra dancing a great way to make new friends.

For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org and Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on June 14, 2011

Press Release

Contra Dance in Jonesborough Honors all Graduates!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present two contra dances this weekend. On Saturday, June 4, 2011 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street, the Contrarians from Charleston, WV will perform. Also on Sunday, June 5th, the Contrarians will play a morning waltz and contra from 10:30am-1:00pm called by Terry Doyle.

Calling for the Saturday event will be local caller, Noah Grunzweig. A class for beginners will be taught from 7:00-7:30pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz and Klondike bar break at 9:00pm. No partner is necessary and all dances are taught by the caller. Every contra dance is smoke and alcohol free and family oriented. Admission to the dances is $7, HJDS Members $5 and full time students $5.

“We are honoring all recent graduates from college, high school or technical College in our region” offers David Wiley, event organizer. Any graduating student can have free admission to the June 4th dance event. “Many students in the area have never tried contra dance. This will be a great opportunity to learn this traditional dance free of charge” adds Wiley.

A four-piece contra dance band, the Contrarians of West Virginia play contra dance and square dance music on fiddles, guitar, mandolin, piano, tenor banjo, upright bass, and a bluesy trumpet.

A Contrarians event delivers dazzling melody - including some great original tunes - along with a solid yet imaginative approach to rhythm. The band has consistently "wowed the crowd" at dances and dance weekends throughout Ohio-Kentucky-West Virginia and beyond. Their self-titled CD, released in late 2007, shows "why the band is in great demand at Contra dances from Washington DC to Cleveland...."
According to Paul Gartner of the Charleston Gazette.

The Contrarians evolved from the former Trusty House Band, local favorites of FOOTMAD's dance community in Charleston, WV. They were a hit at this year’s Appalachian Spring Dance Weekend in Cranberrry, NC, at the Whitewater Whirl in Fayetteville, WV, and at the Solefest II dance in Atlanta just last weekend. They've become an important part of the regional dance calendar and increasingly present at special dances and weekends, also performing in concert settings which showcase their wide ranging talents including singing and songwriting.

Hailing from West Virginia, the Contrarians are comfortable in a variety of styles and traditions: Celtic, New England, swing, and of course, old-time (Appalachian). They also write original material. With rhythmic variety, occasional glimpses of ethnic music, and unique improvisations, dancers let loose and never lose interest in the music.

"It’s rare for a band that is not on the road constantly to achieve this level of expertise," says Ron Buchanan, a renowned dance caller who travels nationwide from his home in Pittsburgh, "but I’ve known some of these guys for over twenty years since they were playing in string bands that traveled to festivals all over the country. Most of them make their living in other ways, but their first love is the music."

Noah Grunzweig is the first person in our dance community who has set his sights on becoming a dance caller/teacher. Advisor by day and folk dance caller by night-and-sometimes-day, Noah has been calling contra dances for more than two years. Sometimes referred to as Lord Noah by his students, he got his first taste of calling in the summer of 2009 when asked to bring contra dance to a summer camp for 80 high school students who had "never even heard of this contra dance". Noah has called weddings, contra dances, techno/electro flow dances, and many a late night at after dance parties at friend’s homes. When asked why he got into calling, Noah remarked " I think can do it for one, and secondly, it looks like a lot fun." "We can dance a dance I wrote just yesterday, or we can move around to the same configurations and tunes some goofy-eyed, spin-crazy, dancers did two hundred years ago, and we will all have the grandest of times” added Noah. “You can call it appreciation of history, wanting to be a part of the growth of this dance community or being the spokesperson of fun. However, the real reason why I call dances is the same as the reason why I dance, Connection!"

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org

Posted by: David Wiley on May 30, 2011

Press Release

Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

CONTRATHON ON SUNDAY MAY 29th in GLENDALE SPRINGS NC STILL OPEN FOR MORE DANCERS.
PLEASE PAY ON ARRIVAL!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, May 28, 2011 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A family package allows parents to bring all of their own children for a total of $15. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. No partner is necessary. Families and children are welcome! A half hour contra dance workshop will be offered at 7pm.

At the 9:00pm waltz break, Klondike Ice Cream Bars, the official frozen treat of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society, will be offered to all dancers courtesy of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society.

Performing for this event will be the band Contraversial consisting of Cailen Campbell and David Brown from Asheville. The caller is Beth Molaro from Asheville, NC. The dance on will run from 7:30-10:30pm.

Cailen Campbell has been thrilling contra dancers all over the southeast and around the country for over a decade. His innovative, highly improvisational, lyrical fiddling has been heard in numerous acclaimed regional dance bands, including The Atomic City Rhythm Rascals, The String Beings, The Rocket Boys, The Gypsy Hicks, in addition to a dynamic duo with renowned Asheville area guitarist and banjo virtuoso David Brown. Campbell recently played with the Greasy Beans on behalf of the North Carolina Dance Theater at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
Cailen Campbell and David Brown have a reputation for sparking the contra dances whenever they play. The temperature on the dance floor rises, the dancers' energy intensifies, and the listeners are swept away by their music craft, which infuses traditional Appalachian, Celtic and Roma melodies with exciting and original interpretation.

Cailen Campbell has been described as one of the most virtuosic and high-energy fiddlers in the Southeast. As both a dancer and musician he is known for his stunning ability to improvise, cross time signatures and musical genres with ease, and for his brilliant self-expression.

David Brown provides the pulse to the music. He is renowned and accolade as a 5-string banjo player, and plays professionally on a half dozen other instruments, including the baritone guitar. This unusual instrument is a hybrid between a regular guitar and a bass guitar, and in David's hands, it provides hypnotic rhythm and harmonic texture to the music...

These encantados met in 2005 while touring nationally with the Greasy Beans and NC Dance Theater. A rich musical relationship ensued as they explored their shared love of traditional acoustic music, as well as new grass and jazz. Their vast repertoire, as well as their tight 'mind meld,' creates a rich and expansive sound that captivates dancers and listeners. They defy expectations of how much sound, and how exciting of a sound, a dance duo can make. They're CONTRAVERSIAL!''

Dancers from coast-to-coast will tell you that Beth Molaro is GREAT and when she calls, the dance is always a party! Her enthusiasm is contagious and she makes any dance more energetic and exciting. “Beth has called here in Jonesborough numerous times and continues to wow us with her style, knowledge, personality and love of dance calling” offers David Wiley, event organizer.
Contra dancing is a traditional form of American folk dance that evolved from the long ways country dances popular in English society centuries ago. Contra dance communities now thrive all over the country. There are websites that can direct you to contra dances in most states. The modern contra dances provide dancers of all ages and experience levels with the opportunity to smile, move, connect, flirt and create an evening of dance nirvana with each other. No previous dance experience is necessary. No fancy footwork is required. If you can walk and count to eight, you can contra dance!

Contra dances are community events. At almost any contra you will find people of all ages and all dance skill levels, from young to old, beginner to expert. Contra dancers form a very open and welcoming group of people. You can come alone or with others since it is a tradition to dance with a variety of partners throughout the night. It is perfectly acceptable for either a man or a woman to ask someone to dance. It’s a great way to make friends with someone they haven’t met before. You will find contra dancing a great way to make new friends.

For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org and the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on May 24, 2011

Press Release

Community Open Band and Open Microphone at Jonesborough Contra Dance!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance on Saturday, May 21, 2011 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The event will feature a community band made up some amateur and professional musicians from the area. Volunteer callers lead by Noah Grunzweig will call the dances. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5, Students $5. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. A workshop for beginning contra dancers will be led by the caller at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm where, once again, Klondike Bars will be served to all who attend.

The community open band will be led by local musicians Jeff Benedict on banjo, Richard Blaustein on fiddle, Sam Jones on bass and Michael Jones on guitar. Amateurs and professionals alike are invited to join in the playing of American Old Time music, but who knows? The tunes could also turn to the traditional music styles of New England, French Canada or Ireland. We invite fiddles, banjos, mandolins, the bass, hammer dulcimer, flute or any kind of percussion instruments. “I’ve seen bagpipes, saxophones and trumpets at some community bands nights” states David Wiley, event organizer. The Visitors Center will be open at 6:00pm for musicians to gather, tune up and practice.

In addition to having the community open band, one of the traditions of contra dance is that, at a few dances, there is an open microphone for callers. At this event, Noah Grunzweig will be the designated caller who will organize the evening and work out the order for the volunteer callers and help them with their dance selection if they do not bring their favorite dances with them. “The dancers will have to pay close attention and be ready to overcome any mistakes by the amateur callers. It will be a fun night for all” adds Wiley.

Noah Grunzweig is the first person in our dance community who has set his sights on becoming a dance caller/teacher. Advisor by day and folk dance caller by night-and-sometimes-day, Noah has been calling contra dances for more than two years. Sometimes referred to as Lord Noah by his students, he got his first taste of calling in the summer of 2009 when asked to bring contra dance to a summer camp for 80 high school students who had "never even heard of this contra dance". Noah has called weddings, contra dances, techno/electro flow dances, and many a late night at after dance parties at friend’s homes. When asked why he got into calling, Noah remarked " I think can do it for one, and secondly, it looks like a lot fun." "We can dance a dance I wrote just yesterday, or we can move around to the same configurations and tunes some goofy-eyed, spin-crazy, dancers did two hundred years ago, and we will all have the grandest of times” added Noah. “You can call it appreciation of history, wanting to be a part of the growth of this dance community or being the spokesperson of fun. However, the real reason why I call dances is the same as the reason why I dance. Connection!" Event organizer, David Wiley, states “We are so excited to have Noah lead our open mic in Jonesborough and look forward to his next local calling gig on Saturday, June 4th.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or visit the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on May 12, 2011

Press Release

Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a community contra dance on Saturday May 7, 2011 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street. Class for beginning contra dancers will happen at 7:00 pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30 pm with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm. Coming to Jonesborough to perform for the dance will be the Dancing Bears from Asheville. Calling for the dance will be the ever popular Barbara Groh from Asheville.

In addition to the beginners class, Warren Doyle will offer a workshop for experienced dancers from 6-7:00pm to fine tune contra dance skills.

Now that contra dance has become so popular all over this country, there are many step-by-step guides on how to do contra dance on the internet. “Even though we teach a brief workshop prior to the dance, there are other resources including contra dance videos, essays and other instruction available all over the web” states event organizer David Wiley. “We also encourage newcomers to partner with experienced dancers for the first few dances to build their confidence and show them how easy and fun contra dancing is”. You can bring the whole family to dance.

The Dancing Bears consists of Lew Gelfond on fiddle, Mark Langner on guitar, John Culp mandolin and banjo. Lew Gelfond has been playing the fiddle since long before the cows came home. He is a solo performer of old time fiddle and banjo music and also plays swing, ragtime, Celtic, gypsy, country, Klezmer, tangos, and other traditional music. Lew performs at schools, concerts, workshops and festivals and has been a violin, viola and fiddle teacher for over 20 years. Mark Langner started playing keyboards and guitar in a garage rock band in high school. In college, he played coffeehouses as part of a duo which did an eclectic mix of music ranging from Merle Haggard to Grateful Dead to Frank Zappa. Mark’s current interest is in swing and jazz, which colors most things the Bears do. Mark is also a certified hypnotherapist and builds acoustic archtop quitars. John Culp got his first real guitar on his 16th birthday and has been picking’ strings ever since. Since meeting his bride and favorite caller, Barbara Groh, and becoming submerged in the contra dance community, he has concentrated on mandolin and tenor banjo.

Barbara Groh, a resident of Asheville, NC, has been calling contra dances all over the Southeast since 1989. She has called such festivals as the Charleston Bug Stomp, Gotta Dance, the Summer Soiree, the Black Mountain Music Festival, Moon Dance, and the Gypsy Meltdown. Her smooth style, clear teaching and collection of interesting dances will help you achieve Contra Nirvana.

Barbara has been immersed in the traditional music and dance scene for three decades. She became an avid square dancer at age thirteen. In college she fell in love with contra dancing and learned to play old-time banjo. As a caller, her patience and ability to give precise dance instructions stem in part from her 15 years as a classroom teacher and private tutor. She currently works with children of all ages who have dyslexia.

Come as you are; wear soft flexible shoes for dancing. Come to dance, join the potluck dinner or just to listen. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught. As always, our dances are smoke and alcohol free. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. Families with their own children are all admitted for only $15.

For further information call event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on April 29, 2011

NEWS!

Four Dances during the month of May plus a visit to Mountain City, TN to have house warming dance/party at Warren & Terry Doyle's Appalachian Folk School project. Here's the run down:

May 7 Contra Dance with the Dancing Bears & Barbara
Groh calling

May 21 Contra Dance featuring community band and open
microphone calling lead by Noah Grunzweig

May 27 House Warming Party/Dance at the Appalachian
Folk School, 3192 Hwy 91 N. Mountain City

May 28 Contrathon Warm-Up Dance with Contraversial
and Beth Molaro calling

May 29 Contrathon IX with Contraversial and Steam
Shovel with Hank Morris & Vicki Herndon
calling. Mountain Music Jamboree in Glendale
Springs, NC. 10AM-10PM. $20 for day, $12
half day. Early registration ends May 10th.

Posted by: David Wiley on April 24, 2011

Press Release

Benefit Waltz for Japan and Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance on Saturday, April 16, 2011 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. An all-star band will be the Reel High Boys from all over our region with Mark Langer as caller. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5, full time Students $5. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. A workshop for beginning contra dancers will be led by the caller at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm where, once again, Klondike Bars will be served to all who attend.

The Reel High Hoppers consist of Ed Snodderly on guitar, Brandon Story on Bass, Roy Andrade on fiddle and Doug Dorschug on banjo.

Roy Andrade, faculty member in the ETSU Bluegrass, Country & Old Time music program, played banjo and performed vocals for the acclaimed string band, The Reel Time Travelers, from 1999-2007. In addition to teaching music, Andrade has many other responsibilities including coaching four student bands.

Brandon Story is the bassist for this all-star band. For many years, Story accompanied Roy Andrade, Heidi Andrade and Martha Scanlon in the Reel Time Travelers band.

Ed Snodderly founded and continues to operate the Down Home in Johnson City. He is widely known in the music world as the “songwriter’s songwriter”
Snodderly has made what he has sometimes described as "new hillbilly music" virtually all his life. Raised in the rich musical environment of northeast Tennessee, he learned to play several stringed instruments by watching his fiddler grandfather, guitarist father, and a pedal-steel-playing uncle. While appreciating the folk, country, and bluegrass he heard within his family circle during the late 1960s and early 1970s, Snodderly was simultaneously absorbing many other musical influences he heard on the radio, including rock 'n' roll, soul, pop, and, perhaps most crucially, the singer-songwriter scene that followed in the wake of the urban folk revival. The 1980’s saw the emergence of the Brother Boys Band which drew national and international attention. Snodderly continues to travel and perform his style of Appalachian roots music.

Doug Dorschug has played the banjo for over forty years. He received a Grammy nomination in 1988 and is probably best known as a member of the Highwoods String band, a band that helped revive nationwide interest in old time music in the 1970’s. Since then he’s appeared frequently at the Barter Theatre, most recently in Fire On the Mountain, and as musical director for the original productions of Keep On the Sunnyside and Man of Constant Sorrow. In 2003, he represented this area at the Smithsonian Festival of American Folk life. Doug produces and records traditional music of this area and lives in Laurel Bloomery, TN.

Mark Langer, from Asheville, is a very popular caller in the area. Mark will delight you with his fun instructional style and smooth flowing dances. Be prepared to be challenged as the night goes on. His pleasant style and graceful teaching put dancers at ease and set the stage for a great evening.

On Sunday afternoon, April 17th, the attention will turn to raising awareness and funds for the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster Relief Fund established by the Henry Schein Cares division of Henry Schein, Inc., a worldwide distributor of medical, dental and animal health products. The Cheesecake Waltz Benefit for Japan will encourage participants to bake their favorite cheesecake recipe to be entered into competition for fabulous door prizes offered by area merchants. A waltz workshop will be offered by Warren & Terry Doyle at noon followed by three hours of waltz music presented by violinist Owen Cauley and pianist Lory McLimans. Donations will be accepted at the door.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-913-3246, visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. and FACEBOOK on the web.

Posted by: David Wiley on April 6, 2011

Press Release

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society presents three contra dances this week. Here is the schedule:

Tonight, Sunday March 27, 2011 Advanced Dance with Atlantic Crossing from Vermont called by Diane Silver.
Dance from 6:30PM-9:30PM

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 The Great Bear Duo, Noah & Andrew VanNorstrand called by Connie Carringer. Dance from 7:00PM-10:00PM.

Saturday, April 2, 2011 Flying the Tune, Lew Gelfond and June Advincula called by Hank Morrs. Dance from 7:30pm-10:30PM.

Hope to see you all there on the dance floor!

David Wiley

Posted by: David Wiley on March 27, 2011

Press Release

New England Band “Riptide” plays for Jonesborough Contra Dance!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will host the next Contra Dance of the season on Saturday March 19, 2011 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street at 7:30 PM. The featured band is Riptide from Maine. From Brattleboro, VT on tour with the band is the caller, Rebecca Lay. Admission is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A special family package for members is now offered for a total of $15. Parents and all of their own children under age 18 can gain admission for one price.

Contra Dancing is a form of American folk dance derived from English Country Dancing. It has no fancy footwork, so is easy (and fun) enough for beginners to enjoy almost immediately, especially with occasional help from our friendly experienced dancers.

Riptide brings A powerful current of high-energy contra dance music from Maine, with Alden Robinson on fiddle, Owen Marshall on guitar and Glen Loper on mandolin.

Fiddler Alden Robinson has traveled the throughout the US and Ireland to hear and study with some of the finest traditional musicians alive today. His innovative interpretations of tunes blend a fluent command of Irish ornamentation with the rhythms and harmonies of Canadian and Appalachian music. Owen Marshall is a highly sought-after accompanist in many genres, including Irish, French Canadian, Swedish, and New-England dance music. Glen Loper teaches mandolin at camps and workshops in New England, and has played for dances from Maine to California.

Rebecca Lay from Brattleboro, VT is an organic farmer by trade, but when she's not wrangling tomatoes, squishing potato bugs, or fixing her giant red roto-tiller, she calls and teaches contra dances, square dances, English country dances, and family/community dances. She
brings a clear and engaging teaching style, a melodious voice and a great repertoire of dances to share.

Come as you are; wear soft flexible shoes for dancing. The caller will teach a class for beginners at 7:30 PM and the dance will run from 7:30-10:30 PM with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00 PM. Come to dance or come to listen. No partner is necessary. It is customary at contra dances to change partners after each dance. As always, our dances are smoke, alcohol and fragrance free. Families, students and singles are welcome. All dances are taught by the caller. No previous dance experience is necessary.

For more information, contact David Wiley at 423-913-3246, or email to david@historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. Also visit the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on March 9, 2011

Press Release

“March “Contra” Madness in Jonesborough”

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. with a class for beginners starting at 7:00 p.m. The featured band will be “Appalachian Storm” consisting of David Hayes on guitar, Kris Wallace on fiddle, David White on banjo and fiddle and Terrell Jones on bass. Calling the dance will be the dance master, Fred Park. Admission is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students.

March “Contra” Madness will include four contra dances in Jonesborough during the month of March. In addition to Saturday, March 5th, dances will follow on March 19, Sunday night advanced dance on March 27 and a Wednesday night dance on March 30th.
“We’ve been able to snag a couple of great touring bands who are in the area during March which will provide a musical treat for our local dance community” offers event organizer, David Wiley.

Appalachian Storm specializes in Appalachian and Celtic traditional and contemporary dance tunes. Just recently, the band lineup changed when banjo/fiddle player, David White, joined the band as Hannah Seng moved on to other projects and school work.

David Hayes loves to play music. Beginning with piano at age six, switching to trumpet, flute, then on to guitar, harmonica, eventually dabbling in fiddle, banjo, mandolin and various percussives. A long time finger picker, he now focuses his musical energy on traditional and contemporary Celtic and old-time accompaniment. A lifelong fear of dancing was finally overcome after several years of cajoling by friends—and David discovered contra. So, whilst pursuing his newfound dance addiction he became steeped in this wonderful genre of music that comes with it. Now he's hooked on playing and dancing and is busy working out ways to do both at the same time. When not dancing or playing, he catches babies, ("still the most awesome thing I've ever done - each and every time"), loves growing anything he can get to grow, and is obsessed with propagating his beloved fig tree. He also enjoys sailing, canoeing, hiking, traveling way off the beaten path, tries to be active in Veterans for Peace, and is moving slowly toward a low impact, off the grid lifestyle and bankruptcy.

Terrell Jones is an Asheville native who played electric bass for the rock band Freefall in the Raleigh, NC area during the early 80’s before spending 2 ½ years overseas, mostly in Africa. Moving back to the mountains in the late 90’s rekindled his old time, bluegrass and Celtic musical roots. The transition led him to the contra dance scene where he joined Appalachian Storm as bass player. Terrell and wife Sara gave birth to their first child, Violet, on February 28, 2008. He works for the North Carolina Department of Environmental Engineering.

Kris Wallace inherited her love of music from her mother, Kathy. Kathy encouraged Kris to start violin and piano lessons at a very young age. As young children go, Kris opted for the fun of getting dirty in the creek beds rather than struggling over a squeaky violin. Looking back, Kris now wishes she had stuck with the discipline and the practice as she later watched with envy many Irish and old time fiddlers. After years in the business world doing computer programming, she changed gears to spend more time on the Appalachian Trail and playing music. Now an accomplished fiddler and mandolin player for Appalachian Storm, she also continues to work as a rural mail carrier.

Fred Park has been teaching and collecting dances for more than 35 years. The traditions one may experience or revisit under his direction include American circles, squares and contra dances, English country dance, French traditional dance from Chavignol (Sancerroise, Cher), Cajun French two-step and waltz, Scandinavian turning dances and play-party or singing games from Appalachia and the Sea Islands of Georgia on America's southern Atlantic coast.

Whether it be a community dance, a special event where dance may facilitate "community" amongst diverse peoples or an educational environment where interest in traditions may include dance, you'll find an energetic and eclectic approach to fun in his capable hands.

Mr. Park has been a teacher, dance instructor, humorist and Master of Ceremonies at every major dance festival in the USA and several overseas.

For more information on Saturday’s dance or any upcoming events, please call David Wiley at 423-913-3246 or visit Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on February 23, 2011

Press Release

New England Contra Dance Band comes to Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, February 19, 2011 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street. The dance begins at 7:30 PM with music by Connecticut based “Wry Bred”. The caller, Bill Fischer, will conduct a class for beginners at 7:00 PM. No partner is necessary. All dance steps are taught by the caller. All events are smoke and alcohol free. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students.

Bill Fischer has been calling dances for over twenty-five years, starting out in New Haven, Connecticut, with the contra dance series that has been a fixture of the folk music and dance scene there for nearly thirty years. In addition to contra dances in and around the northeast, he has called at various festivals and dance camps regionally and nationally. Bill also calls several maypole dances each year in May.

Somewhat accidentally, he has focused on groups which include a lot of beginners--of all ages--and has done events at schools, parties, special occasions, and nursing homes, including square dances for people in wheelchairs! Additionally, every year he does several local maypole dances in the New Haven area. Besides calling, he plays several folk instruments--primarily penny whistle--and has danced in and played music for performing dance groups at many events and festivals in and around the northeast.

Wry Bred, a New England style contra/family dance band has Bill’s wife Mickey on fiddle, Julie Sorcek on flute, Case Sanderlin on guitar and Dan Hocott on bass.

http://www.billthedancecaller.com/
http://www.biteyourownelbow.com/wrybred.htm

For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on February 11, 2011

Press Release

Doubleheader Contra Dance including the “FOOT BALL” on Super Bowl Sunday!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a doubleheader contra dance on Saturday and Sunday, February 5-6, 2011 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dances is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. All dances are smoke, alcohol and fragrance free. No partner is necessary. Families and children are welcome.

Performing for the Saturday event will be The Spring Roosters from Asheville. The caller will be Anne Marie Walter. A class for beginners will be held at 7:00pm where the caller will invite everyone to the dance floor to review calls, steps, flow and other helpful ideas to get everyone started on the right foot. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm. The Spring Roosters are Rob Mangum on fiddle, Ben Harvey on banjo and Art Shuster on mandolin.

Super Bowl Sunday brings the second event of the doubleheader. It’s the 3rd Annual “FOOT BALL”. While the fans of the sport of NFL Football are gearing up for the championship game of the season, contra dancers will gather at the Jonesborough Visitors Center to share potluck lunch starting at noon, waltzing from 12:45 to 2:00pm and contra dance from 2:30-5:30pm. “We did this event last year and surprisingly had over 130 dancers come for the afternoon dance” states event organizer David Wiley, President of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society. The waltz music will be provided by the featured band of the day “Eye of The Monkey String Band”. The caller will be Charley Harvey who will lead a class for beginners at 2:00pm.

The band will have familiar faces as they have appeared in Jonesborough at Music on the Square as Jubal’s Kin. Roger, Gailanne and Scarlett Amundsen of Jubal’s Kin have added Joe Overton’s banjo and fiddle sound and Julia Sewell on banjo ukulele to become the “Eye of the Monkey String Band”. They will be performing at the historic Station Inn in Nashville on Saturday on the way to the FOOT BALL in Jonesborough on Sunday. “The music at the FOOT BALL” will be terrific” adds Wiley.

A special treat at this year’s FOOT BALL will be the Half Time TECHNO CONTRA dance at 4:00pm. Techno is a fun and wacky way to do contra dances. It does use a D.J. and the lights are dimmed adding black light in the back ground. It’s hip, cool and happening all over the country. The music will be up tempo and exciting. “I can’t tell the whole story of techno contra here” offers Wiley. “You’ll just have to come for the show and DANCE!” Noah Grunzweig from the HJDS dance community will call this techno dance.
The dance will conclude at 5:30pm in plenty of time for dancers to change back over to football fans as the Super Bowl Game kicks off at 6:25pm or attend a post-dance meal and social at the Vega’s Fiesta Restaurant at 1976 11-E Highway in Jonesborough.

Contra dancing is a traditional form of American folk dance that evolved from the long ways country dances popular in English society centuries ago. Contra dance communities now thrive all over the country. There are websites that can direct you to contra dances in most states. The modern contra dances provide dancers of all ages and experience levels with the opportunity to smile, move, connect, flirt and create an evening of dance nirvana with each other. No previous dance experience is necessary. No fancy footwork is required. If you can walk and count to eight, you can contra dance!

Contra dances are community events. At almost any contra you will find people of all ages and all dance skill levels, from young to old, beginner to expert. Contra dancers form a very open and welcoming group of people. You can come alone or with others since it is a tradition to dance with a variety of partners throughout the night. It is perfectly acceptable for either a man or a woman to ask someone to dance. It’s a great way to make friends with someone they haven’t met before. You will find contra dancing a great way to make new friends.

For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org an the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on January 28, 2011

Press Release

“Wild Cat” plays for Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance on Saturday, January 15, 2011 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The band will be the Wild Cat from Asheville with Dean Snipes as caller. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5, Students $5 for full time students. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. A workshop for beginning contra dancers will be led by the caller at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm where, once again, Klondike Bars will be served to all who attend.

Wildcat is a high energy fiddle-driven Contra Dance trio, based out of the Asheville, North Carolina area. Laurie Fisher (fiddle) and Karen Gaughan (piano) have been playing at Contra Dances and dance weekends for over 20 years in various bands including: The String Beings, Fiddlewitch, Evil Twins, Hot Flash, and Fly By Night. Wildcat's repertoire includes a large selection of fiddle tunes ranging from Irish, New England, French-Canadian, Old-time/Southern Appalachian, Swing, and beyond. Nic Coker rounds out the trio with driving rhythm guitar and flurries of 5-string banjo.

Dean Snipes, from Charlotte, is a very popular caller in the area. Dean will delight you with his clear walk throughs and smooth flowing dances. Be prepared to be challenged as the night goes on. His fun and pleasant style and graceful teaching put dancers at ease and set the stage for a great evening. Dean is a prolific contra dance writer and his collection includes a dance that was written especially for the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society called “The Jonesborough Way” which he describes as a tribute to all the people who have come together in Jonesborough to celebrate and enjoy traditional music and dance.

Contra dance is a form of American folk dance in which the dancers form a set of two parallel lines that run the length of the hall. Each dance consists of a sequence of moves and steps that ends with the couples having progressed one position up or down the set. All dances are taught by the caller. No partner is necessary and you are encouraged to dance with as many different people as possible.

Many of the basic moves resemble square dancing—swings, allemandes, do-si-dos—but contra dancing are more a sort of amusement park ride that the dancers make for themselves. A square dance set is compromised of only four couples, whereas the length of the hall only limits the number of couples in a contra dance set. To join a set, only a partner and soft-soled shoes are necessary. All that is left is to have fun dancing. You are encouraged to dress comfortably and stay hydrated with lots of water.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-913-3246, visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. and FACEBOOK on the web.

Posted by: David Wiley on January 7, 2011

Press Release

Contra Dance Returns for 6th Year in Jonesborough”

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will kick off the 2011 contra dance season on Sunday, January 2nd... The dance will be held at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. with a class for beginners starting at 2:00 p.m. The featured band will be the “Carolina Dingos” consisting of fiddler Jamie Laval and guitarist Roger Gold. Calling the dance will be the ever popular Diane Silver. Admission is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for Students.

“Contra dance is a way for all citizens of the area to rededicate themselves to New Year’s higher ideas and ideals for diet and exercise changes. We know from the experts that most people start the year with ambitious goals for weight loss, smoking cessation or other behavioral changes during the first ten days of the New Year”, states organizer David Wiley. “The problem is that many of these commitments fade away in the short term” adds Wiley. “Our contra dance program, even though it is held only twice per month can jump start anyone toward their goals. We had 30 dances again 2010. In and of itself, 30 dances won’t make or break anyone’s fitness program, but for many, it made a difference. We have built the foundation for our own dance community”.

Winner of the 2002 U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Championship, Jamie
Was recently herald in Scotland as “A new star for the Old World”. The Olympian newspaper reported, “A fantastic fiddler…Laval captures the essence of Celtic sentiment and yearning.” And Virginia concert promoter Deborah Greer raved, “I’ve been producing shows here for 10 years and I have never seen a standing ovation after the first tune. Unbelievable! I have never seen a better band on this stage.”

Jamie’s music making is born out of his Scottish and Irish heritage. After his student years at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, he traveled extensively, immersing himself in a wide variety of musical styles including classical, jazz, and folk. Jamie now resides in Asheville and performs throughout the U.S. and regionally with the very talented guitarist, Roger Gold.

Caller Diane Silver has played a big part in the reintroduction of contra dance to this area. Diane participated in the very first workshops that were held in late 2005 before HJDS offered its first open dance on January 6, 2006. During the past two years HJDS has had the pleasure of having Diane call and teach many times to the delight of all who attended. Diane called the Jonesborough Days “Day of Dance” and participated in our first Contrathon 12-hour dance. She has been a die-hard contra dancer, swing dancer, and kitchen-flat footer for over ten years. With a penchant for hot modern contras and a few active squares, she loves sharing high energy dancing that allows everyone to “play” with the band. Highly acclaimed for her clear, efficient teaching and calling, creative medleys, great positive energy, and spirit of community building, Diane provides a sizzling evening of dance in a friendly, welcoming tone. Diane’s motto: “I can’t believe this much fun is legal!”

“We have already scheduled another year of great contra dance bands and callers” adds Wiley. For more information on Saturday’s dance or any upcoming events, please call David Wiley at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. or Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

NOTICE: Full Time Student Admission price is now $5

Posted by: David Wiley on December 27, 2010

Press Release 12/10/2010

Five Year Celebration of Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a potluck and contra dance on Saturday, December 18, 2010 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Performing for the contra dance will be “Hot Sonata” from Asheville joined by Laura Lengnick. The dance will be called by Asheville’s Hank Morris. There will be a class for beginners at 7:00pm following by contra dance from 7:30-10:30pm. A waltz and Klondike Bar break will take place at 9:00pm. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5 and students $4. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. No partner is necessary.
All dances are taught by the caller.

David Wiley, event organizer states “We are finishing our fifth year of community contra dances in Jonesborough. Thousands of people have come to Jonesborough to check out the contra dance scene. We have had families and children, high school and college students and all ages participate. This has become a real community dance”.

The evening will be begin with a potluck dinner from 6-7pm. Couples can also waltz to recorded music during the dinner hour. During the evening, there will be a slide show of pictures from all five years of dance.

Hot Sonata unites four friends who have played for contra dances in the area for many years. The band consists of Mark Mueller on fiddle, Karen Gaughan on piano, Art Shuster on mandolin and for this special dance, Laura Lengnick also on fiddle.

Hank Morris has been an active part of the very thriving Asheville and Charlotte dance communities for twenty three years. He grew up in Alabama and graduated from Auburn University. He is a dancing and outdoor enthusiast as well. In an effort to give back to the dance community, fifteen years ago, he started calling dance and festivals in the Southeast. Hank Morris makes the dances fun for both the beginner and the experienced dancers.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or visit the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on December 10, 2010

Press Release

Local Band/Caller Debut at Jonesborough Contra

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance on Saturday, December 4, 2010 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The featured band will be My New Favorites from Tri-Cities area with Noah Grunzweig debuting as caller. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5, Students $4. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. A workshop for beginning contra dancers will be led by the caller at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm where, once again, Klondike Bars will be served to all who attend.

Now that contra dance has become so popular all over this country, there are many step-by-step guides on how to do contra dance on the internet. “Even though we teach a brief workshop prior to the dance, there are other resources including contra dance videos, essays and other instruction available all over the web” states event organizer David Wiley. “We also encourage newcomers to partner with experienced dancers for the first few dances to build their confidence and show them how easy and fun contra dancing is”. You can bring the whole family to dance.

Noah Grunzweig is the first person in our dance community who has set his sights on becoming a dance caller/teacher. Advisor by day and folk dance caller by night-and-sometimes-day, Noah has been calling contra dances for more than a year. Sometimes referred to as Lord Noah by his students, he got his first taste of calling in the summer of 2009 when asked to bring contra dance to a summer camp for 80 high school students who had "never even heard of this contra dance". Noah has called weddings, contra dances, techno/electro flow dances, and many a late night at after dance parties at friend’s homes. When asked why he got into calling, Noah remarked " I think can do it for one, and secondly, it looks like a lot fun." "We can dance a dance I wrote just yesterday, or we can move around to the same configurations and tunes some goofy-eyed, spin-crazy, dancers did two hundred years ago, and we will all have the grandest of times” added Noah. “You can call it appreciation of history, wanting to be a part of the growth of this dance community or being the spokesperson of fun. However, the real reason why I call dances is the same as the reason why I dance. Connection!" Event organizer, David Wiley, states “We are so excited to have Noah debut on the big stage in Jonesborough and hopes he becomes a regular caller on our schedule for many years to come”.

My New Favorites is a band that has fun with having multiple personalities. With four musicians from diverse backgrounds, their music is raucous, heartfelt, smart, bluesy, rhythmic and haunting. It’s music that is hard to categorize and impossible to forget. Don’t be surprised if you hear them one night belting out soulful originals and catch them the next night playing jigs and reels at the local contra dance.

My New Favorites’ dance music, anchored by Linda Waltner on the fiddle, is both driving and lyrical. The band draws it dance repertoire from Scottish, Irish and Appalachian traditions. Carol McCauley’s jazzy piano chops give the traditional tunes a different flavor, while Jeff Benedict’s guitar and Amy Benedict’s bass keep the beat going strong.

The group consists of musicians, singers and songwriters who willingly push and pull one another down a variety of different musical paths.

Linda Waltner is a classically trained violinist and violist, but she does a fine job of not letting that get in the way of being a first-rate fiddler. Her long-standing interest in folk, old-time and Celtic music found its first expression with Wire Kwire and more recently with the Celtic Appalachian band, Fire in the Kitchen. FITK is still going strong and was recently featured at the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion. You may also hear her playing viola in the Johnson City Symphony, teaching violin, viola, and fiddle privately, or greeting you at Fiddler’s Glen Bed and Breakfast in Jonesborough, Tennessee.
Carol Macaulay’s keyboard style ranges from lilting jazz riffs to pedal-to-the-metal blues and breakdowns. Carol grew up the scion of her moonlighting jazz pianist father. After two music degrees and a couple of years studying in Paris, France, she enjoyed a three-decade music career in New York and Seattle. She now lives in Jonesborough, Tennessee.

Jeff Benedict is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist living in Johnson City, Tennessee. He writes most of the band’s song repertoire. Jeff spent the past 20 years playing banjo and mandolin in a variety of old time string bands, but has recently circled back to singing, songwriting and guitar playing. We’re glad he did! “Our new band draws on so many influences that our music could have gone in just about any direction, but with Linda’s fiddling, Carol’s love of dance and Amy’s background in the driving rhythm of old time music, playing for dances was just something we all knew we were going to do.”
In addition, “It’s so great to interact with the dancers when we play”.“We love to perform all kinds of music in different settings. When you feel like your music is being translated into the movements of a room full of dancers, the feeling is electric”.

Amy Benedict is “the little girl with the great big bass.” A veteran performer on the old time scene, most recently with The Boozy Creek String Band, she holds the band together by thumping, plucking and bowing her way through the low notes. A lifelong singer and dancer, she brings strong melodies and harmonies to the band’s vocal mix. Amy also performs with Cyder Hill.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or visit the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on November 25, 2010

Press Release

Contra Dance and Food Raiser in Jonesborough

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, November 20, 2010 at 7:30pm at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Performing for the dance will be the “Fly By Night” from Asheville with caller Vicki Herndon. A class for beginners will be held at 7:00pm. Every dancer is encouraged to attend the class to become familiar with dance steps, formations, and flow. Klondike Bars, the official frozen treat of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society, will be served at the 9:00pm waltz break. This event is open to all.

The Food Raiser is being organized to supply non-perishable food stuffs for the Jonesborough Area Ministerial Association Food Bank. Nationwide food bank donations continue to decline. Donor fatigue may be setting in as the economy puts more and more families at risk and unable to feed themselves. “We are asking all dancers and members of the local community to bring non-perishable food stuffs to give to those in need” adds even organizer, David Wiley.

“Our dancers are really getting the hang of it, and the skill level is getting amazingly better,” states event organizer David Wiley. “Our dance is for all ages. We are getting high school and college dancers along with families and children coming to learn contra dance. Also, you don’t have to have a partner.” The best way to learn contra dance is by asking a more experienced partner to dance. It’s perfectly acceptable for ladies to ask gentlemen to dance. “We are approaching the end of our fifth year in operation, have the finest dance floor anywhere in the region and are booking some of the best bands and callers in the business. Our program has been a huge success” adds Wiley.

Admission to the dance is $7 for (yet-to-be members), $5 for HJDS members. Students get in for $4. A Family Package has been instituted for members that allows parents and as many children in their core family to get in for only $15.

Fly By Night is led by Karen Gaughan on the piano. Karen is Asheville’s most in-demand contra dance key board player. Gaughan together with her by Fly Night Partners, Laura Lengnick on fiddle, Beth Magill on Flute and Julia Weatherford on Fiddle, provide a full sound, plenty of rhythm and a really good ride for the avid contra dancer or waltzer.

Their repertoire starts with upbeat traditional New England contra dance tunes chosen with care to fit the dance at danceable tempos kept rock solid with Gaughan’s thumping bass hand. The band weaves in lilting Celtic melodies and makes them fly with Beth Magill’s achingly beautiful flute woven through with fiddle harmony. The girls let their hair down with funky, rocking originals. They’ll pull out the percussion toys, and dig deep in to some of their own tunes as well as others to keep the dancers flying. The driving force of the southern fiddle tunes is Laura and Julia who create a small tornado in the room when sawing it down with their twin harmony.

Vicki Herndon has been a dancer since 1997, when she accidentally came across contra dancing, and has been a dance lover since. She began calling in 2000, and have called all around the southeast. Wedding dances in open fields, and dances with kids are all part of the diversity she represents, and loves.

Vicki is very active part of the Chattanooga dance community. “Keeping my home group growing and strong has become very important to me over the years. Welcoming newcomers, and giving them confidence is my specialty. Dancers must have this to return to your dance and thrive” offers Ms. Herndon.

Being a dance gypsy has led Vicki to be a familiar face at many dance weekends where her enthusiasm as a caller is just as evident as when she is dancing. “There's not much more than I love to do . . . dance and call”, she adds.

For more information, contact event organizer David Wiley at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org and Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on November 11, 2010

Press Release-Coming Event

“Blue Eyed Girl” to perform for Jonesborough Contra Dance

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, November 6, 2010, at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Performing for the dance will be the Blue Eyed Girl from the Asheville. The caller will be Charlotte Crittenden from Brasstown, NC. There will be a class for beginners at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS Members and $4 for students. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. The event is smoke and alcohol free and family oriented. Klondike Bars are served at the break.

Contra dance is one of the best ways to interest and initiate people into folk dance. Interest in dance in general is widespread in the Tri-Cities region because of programs aired on public television and the very popular TV hit, “Dancing with the Stars.” For most everyone who tries, contra dance is simple and easy to learn. If you have a good caller, they’ll start the evening with dances with simple but fundamental formations that emphasize a few basic rules which include listening to the music and following the steps that are taught. After a couple of walk throughs, you just dive into the dance. “We have been drawing many beginners lately of all ages,” states event organizer, David Wiley, “It’s a real challenge for the caller, but they manage to make the dance happen very quickly. This further illustrates how contra dance converts just about anyone to a folk dancer in short order.”

Blue Eyed Girl of Asheville, NC is the exciting coalescence of three young women whose roots sink deep into traditional music and dance. Their high-energy dance numbers, sweet Appalachian vocal arrangements, and old-time rhythmic flair draw from the music passed down to them from their families.

Pearl Shirley grew up in Black Mountain, NC, soaking up traditional Appalachian music and dance almost without noticing. She picked up a tiny violin at age 5, and since then has fiddled her way through hundreds of foot-stomping contra dances and folk concerts. Pearl is a percussive step dancer and tours the U.S. and beyond with contra dance band Mock Turtle Soup. When she is not on the road, Pearl works with migrant farm worker families in the county school system.

Ellie Grace was strapping on her first tiny clogging shoes around the same time Pearl picked up that little fiddle. From her early start in percussive dance, Ellie went on to spend her childhood performing professionally as a singer, multi-instrumentalist, and dancer with her family band. She now carries on her family's musical tradition, touring and teaching nationally and internationally (often as a duo with her sister, Leela Grace). The last several years have witnessed many exciting music and dance accomplishments including releasing a groundbreaking new CD with Leela, performing as a member of The Dirk Powell Band, being on faculty as a percussive dance instructor at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, and joining the dynamic trio known as Blue Eyed Girl.

Annie Fain Laden was reared in Cherokee County, NC, within walking distance of the John C. Campbell Folk School, a world-renowned center for traditional Appalachian music, dance, crafts, and trades. She was that curly-headed toddler skipping around the dance hall as her parents played for folk dances and taught handcraft workshops. A banjo somehow must have slipped into her hands one day and some little dance shoes jumped on her feet. Now Annie Fain teaches banjo and book arts workshops from her studio in Asheville and is a pillar of Asheville’s thriving arts and dance community.

Charlotte Crittenden, from Brasstown, NC, is a very popular caller in the area. Charlotte will delight you with her clear walk throughs and smooth flowing dances. Be prepared to be challenged as the night goes on. Her pleasant style and graceful teaching put dancers at ease and set the stage for a great evening.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or HJDS on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on October 31, 2010

NEXT DANCE

Next Dance is Saturday, October 30, 2010.

Halloween Contra with Dennis Spring & the Sons of the Full Moon with Jesse Edgerton calling.

Class for beginngers at 7:00pm. Dance from 7:30-10:30pm.

Costume contest at the 9:00pm break.

$7, $5 for HJDS Membes and $4 for Students

Posted by: David Wiley on October 12, 2010

Mountain Madness Update 9/21

Mountain Madness Dance Weekend plans are complete. Here is the updated info:

MOUNTAIN MADNESS INFO

When: October 8-10, 2010

Where: Jonesborough Visitors Center
117 Boone Street, Jonesborough, TN 37659,
Phone: 423-753-1010

Cost: $60 full weekend

Session Prices:
$15 Friday Evening
$10 Saturday Morning
$10 Saturday Afternoon
$20 Saturday Evening
$15 Sunday


Bands:
• Hot Point String Band (Mark Burhans, Hilary Burhans, Marlene Shostak, Mark Hellenburg, Nick Weiland)
• Fine Companions (Karen Gaughan, Suszanne Hosch, Cathy Arps, Robert Jamison)
• Appalachian Storm (David Hayes, Kris Wallace, Terrell Jones, David White)


Food & Meals & Lodging
All arrangements for food is on your own except snacks and the pancake breakfast. More info about camping and lodging can be found at: www.historicjonesborough.com. There is a special rate at AmericInn, call 423-753-3100.

SCHEDULE

Friday:

6:30-7:30 pm Waltz with Fine Companions
8:00-9:50 pm Appalachian Storm w/Hank Morris
10:00-Midnight Hot Point String Band with Nils Fredland

Saturday:

9:00-3:00pm Workshops (see schedule)

3:00-5:00pm Appalachian Storm w/Hank Morris
5:00-6:30pm Dinner Break
6:30-7:30pm Waltz with Fine Companions
8:00-9:45pm Appalachian Storm w/Nils Fredland
10:00-Midnight Hot Point String Band w/Nils Fredland

Sunday:

7:30-9:00 Continental Breakfast & Morning Sing
9:00-10:15 Waltz with Fine Companions
10:30-12:30 Appalachian Storm with Hank Morris
12:45-3:00pm Hot Point with Nils Fredland

WORKSHOP SCHEDULE:

9:00-10:15 Beyond Beginner: Contra Frills & Flouishes w/Warren/Terry
10:30-11:45 Intermediate/Advanced Waltz w/Warren/Terry
11;45-1:30 Open Waltz
1:30-2:45 Beginning waltz w/Hank Morris

Visitors Center Community Room:

1:30-2:45 33,000 Miles of Trail Stories w/Warren Doyle

International Storytelling Center (Library Upstairs)

1:30-2:45 Singing Workshop w/Nils Fredland

Contact: David Wiley david@historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org, phone: 423-534-8879

Posted by: David Wiley on September 21, 2010

Press Release

Contra Dance Double Header

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance double header the weekend of September 17th and 18th at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The Friday event is an advanced dance.

Are you ready for an advanced dance? Are you comfortable with contra corners, heys for fours, and can you keep the dance going after the caller has stopped calling? Advanced dances are held periodically and feature faster, more complex dances with minimal walkthroughs and no beginner instruction. Beginners can be admitted free of charge but only as observers.

The contras will be challenging and are recommended for experienced dancers only. An advanced dancer is adept enough to be able to do the dance with little or no walk through of intermediate or advanced moves.

An advanced contra dancer:
• Knows how to do a roll away, mad robin, California twirl, pass
through to a wave, cross trail through, and contra corners with minimal
or no instruction;
• Knows where to be at the start of each dance phrase and how to
recover from a lapse;
• Is able to assist his or her partner and neighbor to the next
move;
• Executes flourishes safely and without disturbing others;
• Knows when not to use flourishes in order to make sure that
both dancers in the couple remain in time, on phrase, and able to glide
into the next move as smoothly as possible.

Music will be by the Dead Sea Squirrels from Boston, MA. The Dead Sea Squirrels is a string band with a twist. Their tunes come mainly from the Southern US, but because they play for contra dances, their repertoire is made up of danceable tunes arranged in medleys designed to closely match and enhance the movements of the particular contra dance being taught/called. They tend to push the boundaries of the southern style with spontaneous fiddle and fiddle/guitar harmonies.

The band consists of Cathy Mason/Craig Edwards on fiddles/banjo and Henry Yoshimura on guitar. The caller is Beth Molaro. The dance starts at 7:30pm and runs till 10:30pm.

The Saturday event is a regular contra dance open to all comers. The popular string band, Jupiter Road, brings their music to Jonesborough for a contra dance starting at 7:30pm. The caller will be Jack Mitchell from the Raleigh-Durham area. Jack will have a class for beginners at 7:00pm.

Posted by: David Wiley on September 9, 2010

Next Dance

The Labor Day Weekend will bring two HJDS events to the forefront. First of all, on Saturday September 4th, the Contrathon Warm Up dance will take place at the Jonesborough Visitors Center at 7:30pm. The music will be provided by the Avant Gardeners from Virginia. The caller will be Atlanta's Robbin Marcus. Robin will have a class for beginners at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm and as usual, the waltz & Klondike Bar break will be at 9:00pm.

On Sunday, Sept 5th is Contrathon VIII held at the Mountain Music Jamboree in Glendale Springs, NC. The bands are the Contrarians from Huntington, WV and the Avant Gardeners. The callers are Dean Snipes and Louie Cromartie. Cost for the day of dance is $30 for all day, $15 for either half day. Students can still pay $20 and $12 respectively.

Here is the schedule:

10:00-12:30pm Contrarians with Louie Cromartie
12:30-01:00pm Break
01:00-03:30pm Avant Gardeners with Dean Snipes
03:30-04:00pm Break
04:00-06:00pm Contrarians with Louie Cromartie
06:00-07:30pm Dinner Break & Couples Dancing
07:30-10:00pm Avant Gardeners with Dean Snipes
10:00 Clean Up & Goodbyes

The website and directions for the Mountain Music Jamboree is:

http://www.mountainmusicjamboree.com/contact-us/

Any questions about either event, contact event organizer, David Wiley at david@historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or 423-534-8879.

Posted by: David Wiley on August 22, 2010

Press Release

Summer Harvest Potluck & Contra Dance in Jonesborough

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present the Annual Summer Harvest Potluck Dinner & Contra Dance on Saturday August 21, 2010. The potluck dinner and contra dance will be held at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street beginning at 6:00 pm. Class for beginning contra dancers will follow at 7:00 pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30 pm with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm. Coming to Jonesborough to perform for the first time will be the Dancing Bears from Asheville. Calling for the dance will be the ever popular Barbara Groh from Asheville.
During the dinner hour, guests can also waltz to recorded music.

The Summer Harvest Potluck Dinner will begin at 6:00pm. Nothing brings people together like a potluck, and nothing gets them talking together like the subject of food. Just watch as the buffet table fills up with salads, casseroles, pastas and desserts and you’ll see for yourself. “We are building a community through traditional music and dance. We hope to get our dancers chatting happily, exchanging recipes and telling the story behind each recipe,” adds Wiley. Food talk at a potluck can teach us a lot about each other and the world around us. Prizes will be given to the most creative and mouthwatering dishes. If you are not a home gardener, support your local Farmer’s Market including the Jonesborough Farmer’s Market held every Saturday from 8 am until noon in the parking area next to the Court House on Main Street.

The Dancing Bears consists of Lew Gelfond on fiddle, Mark Langner on guitar, John Culp mandolin and banjo, and Skip Metheny on bass. Lew Gelfond has been playing the fiddle since long before the cows came home. He is a solo performer of old time fiddle and banjo music and also plays swing, ragtime, Celtic, gypsy, country, Klezmer, tangos, and other traditional music. Lew performs at schools, concerts, workshops and festivals and has been a violin, viola and fiddle teacher for over 20 years. Mark Langner started playing keyboards and guitar in a garage rock band in high school. In college, he played coffeehouses as part of a duo which did an eclectic mix of music ranging from Merle Haggard to Grateful Dead to Frank Zappa. Mark’s current interest is in swing and jazz, which colors most things the Bears do. Mark is also a certified hypnotherapist and builds acoustic archtop quitars in an effort to add to the total amount of beauty in the
World. John Culp got his first real guitar on his 16th birthday and has been picking’ strings ever since. Since meeting his bride and favorite caller, Barbara Groh, and becoming submerged in the contra dance community, he has concentrated on mandolin and tenor banjo. If he’s not playing for a dance, you might spot John running the soundboard or even dancing. Skip Metheny began playing drums in his early teens with various R&R bands. He was a founding member of the show band “The Doomsday Refreshment Committee” which toured Vietnam entertaining US and allied military folks during the psychedelic era and later became the house band in a Bangkok nightclub. After moving to Asheville, Skip became an avid contra dancer. He has been playing bass and percussion for contra and swing music at various festivals, dance weekends and other events around the Southeast since 1997.

Barbara Groh, a resident of Asheville, NC, has been calling contra dances all over the Southeast since 1989. She has called such festivals as the Charleston Bug Stomp, Gotta Dance, the Summer Soiree, the Black Mountain Music Festival, Moon Dance, and the Gypsy Meltdown. Her smooth style, clear teaching and collection of interesting dances will help you achieve Contra Nirvana.

Barbara has been immersed in the traditional music and dance scene for three decades. She became an avid square dancer at age thirteen. In college she fell in love with contra dancing and learned to play old-time banjo. As a caller, her patience and ability to give precise dance instructions stem in part from her 15 years as a classroom teacher and private tutor. She currently works with children of all ages who have dyslexia.

Come as you are; wear soft flexible shoes for dancing. Come to dance, join the potluck dinner or just to listen. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught. As always, our dances are smoke and alcohol free. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students. Families with their own children are all admitted for only $15.

For further information call event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on August 11, 2010

Press Release

Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, July 17, 2010 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students. A family package allows parents to bring all of their own children for a total of $15. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. No partner is necessary. Families and children are welcome! A half hour contra dance workshop will be offered at 7pm.

At the 8:30pm waltz break, again Klondike Ice Cream Bars, the official frozen treat of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society, will be offered to all dancers courtesy of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society.

Performing for this event will be the band Contraversial consisting of Cailen Campbell and David Brown from Asheville. The caller is Connie Carringer from Boone, NC. The dance time for the dance on Saturday July 17th will be from 7:30-10:30pm.

Cailen Campbell has been thrilling contra dancers all over the southeast and around the country for over a decade. His innovative, highly improvisational, lyrical fiddling has been heard in numerous acclaimed regional dance bands, including The Atomic City Rhythm Rascals, The String Beings, The Rocket Boys, The Gypsy Hicks, in addition to a dynamic duo with renowned Asheville area guitarist and banjo virtuoso David Brown. Campbell recently played with the Greasy Beans on behalf of the North Carolina Dance Theater at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

Connie Carringer, a recent master’s degree graduate at Appalachian State University in the Community Counseling/Expressive Arts Therapy program, is relatively new to contra dance calling but has shown great progress in her second career. Part of her training was the “Callers Week” at the John C. Campbell Folk School last summer. She also plays old time banjo, sings and writes songs.

Contra dancing is a traditional form of American folk dance that evolved from the long ways country dances popular in English society centuries ago. Contra dance communities now thrive all over the country. There are websites that can direct you to contra dances in most states. The modern contra dances provide dancers of all ages and experience levels with the opportunity to smile, move, connect, flirt and create an evening of dance nirvana with each other. No previous dance experience is necessary. No fancy footwork is required. If you can walk and count to eight, you can contra dance!

Contra dances are community events. At almost any contra you will find people of all ages and all dance skill levels, from young to old, beginner to expert. Contra dancers form a very open and welcoming group of people. You can come alone or with others since it is a tradition to dance with a variety of partners throughout the night. It is perfectly acceptable for either a man or a woman to ask someone to dance. It’s a great way to make friends with someone they haven’t met before. You will find contra dancing a great way to make new friends.

For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org and the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK

Posted by: David Wiley on July 8, 2010

Press Release

Jonesborough “Days of Dance”

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present three days of dance during the annual Jonesborough Days Celebration on July 2ndt- 4th at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. This year’s event will be sponsored by Mountain States Health Alliance. Admission to the dance can be attained by purchasing a $5 wristband each day allowing dancers to come and go during the day and enjoy the many activities associated with the festival. There will be a variety of dances and workshops offered during the event which will include family dance, square, contra, waltz and swing dance.

The callers will be Beth Molaro, Charley Harvey and Laurie Fisher.

Event organizer, David Wiley states “Being a part of Jonesborough Days gives us a chance to showcase our dance program to everyone in the region. Our dancers come to enjoy the traditional music and dance, get some exercise and to be a part of a dance community that is intergenerational and family oriented. We are very fortunate this year to be sponsored by Mountain States Health Alliance.” Ed Herbert, vice-president of marketing for MSHA states “Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA) offers comprehensive wellness programs to many businesses which help them lower their healthcare costs while improving the quality of lives for their employees. The Town of Jonesborough employees are one of the success stories in the MSHA wellness program. We also offer a wellness program to our own 9,000 Team Members. Why are we so committed to this wellness initiative? Our region is too obese, suffering from type 2 diabetes and many times the answer is simple; we need to get more active and eat healthier! Through contra dancing, the Dance Society offers an alcohol free, tobacco free and family-friendly event which inspires people to be active through the dance. Come experience contra dancing. MSHA invites the region, but especially our Team Members, to come out and enjoy (name of event). Get moving, get health and have a lot fun in the process.”

The kickoff dance will be Friday night July 2nd at 7:30pm with Toss the Possum playing contra dance and waltz tunes called by Asheville’s Beth Molaro. Toss the Possum is mostly a family band from Radford, VA. The band has written and published, under the direction of Mother Possum, Laura Zisette, a book of 42 original waltzes, jigs and reels. Their book called Possum Tunes will be available at the dance.

The remainder of the Possum band is made up of oldest son Chas on bass. Chas will attend Radford University in January. Rob graduated from Radford High School, plays fiddle and will attend Virginia Tech in fall to major in physics. Sam Athanas is the Possum percussionists. Joining Toss the Possum for the first time will be National Flat-picking Champion guitarist Scott Fore also from Radford, Virginia. Of course, Laura Zisette, band director, is the featured on keyboards.

Cat Fight members are very well known in this area. The band is made up of fiddler/caller Laurie Fisher, Karen Gaughan on Keyboard, Nic Coker on rhythm guitar and Jono Altizer on mandolin.

Rounding out the music lineup will be the Artnoc String Band from Florida. They are actually the same band called Jubal’s Kin who will be performing at the Jonesborough Days main stage at 4pm on Sunday. This manifestation includes 2009 Tennessee Fiddle champion, Gailanne Amundsen, brother Roger Amundsen on guitar, Ninian Bell on banjo and Scarlett Amundsen on bass. Their contra dance set will be on Sunday from 12:00-2:00pm.


Here is the schedule:

Friday July 2
07:30pm-10:30pm Contras & Squares w/Beth Molaro & Toss the Possum

Saturday July 3
09:00am-10:00am Waltz Workshop w/Charley Harvey
10:00am-11:00am Open Waltz w/Toss the Possum
11:15am-12:45pm Advanced Contra w/Charley Harvey & TTPoss
12:45pm-02:15pm Lunch Break
01:00pm-02:00pm Family Dance at Children’s Stage
02:15pm-03:45pm Contra Dance w/Charley Harvey & Cat Fight
04:00pm-04:45pm Swing Dance Workshop
04:45pm-06:00pm Swing Dance w/Screechowl Serenade
06:00pm-07:00pm Dinner Break
07:00pm-07:30pm Beginners Contra Dance Workshop
07:30pm-10:30pm Contra Dance w/Charley Harvey & Cat Fight

Sunday July 4
10:00am-11:30am Open Waltz w/Toss the Possum
12:00pm-2:00pm Contra Dance w/Laurie Fisher & Artnoc String
02:30pm-5:30pm Contra Dance w/Charley Harvey & Cat Fight
05:30pm-07:00pm Dinner Break
07:00pm-9:30pm Contra Dance w/Toss the Cat (both) & Charley
10:00pm Fireworks

Posted by: David Wiley on July 1, 2010

Press Release

Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, June 19, 2010,at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students. A family package allows parents to bring all of their own children for a total of $15. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. No partner is necessary. Families and children are welcome! Open waltzing to recorded music will again be offered from 6-7pm.

At the 9:00pm waltz break, we will have the first “Berry Cookoff”. We are asking all comers to bring their favorite fresh berry recipe using seasonal berries such as blueberry and strawberry. Prizes will be awarded to the best dishes.
Performing for this event will be the Hungry Monks from Charleston, SC. The caller will be Tim Klein from Knoxville. Tim will conduct a class for beginners at 7:00pm where beginners and experienced dancers alike will learn the basic steps, formations and flow of contra dance.

The Hungry Monks are an acoustic group whose instrumentation includes voice, guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, bass, and percussion. Based around thr creative talents of Hazel Ketchum and John Holenko, The Hungry Monks have played concerts, clubs, festivals, and private events. The Monks play a variety of traditional musics as well as their own original songs (Hazel's) and instrumentals (John's). As a band and as individuals, we have played rock, folk, Celtic, bluegrass, jazz, Renaissance and Medieval music. Somehow, all of that makes its way into our sets. We have been working with John Kennedy on bass for many years now and he shares our love for everything from Machaut to Jerry Garcia. The Monks wear out fiddle players pretty quickly. The latest in our long line of fiddlers is Bob Culver, who also plays guitar and mandolin and sings (mostly, highly inappropriate material). The Hungry Monks have recorded 2 CD's. Our first CD is called "Organic Tangerines" and features traditional Irish and original music. We also have a Celtic Christmas CD called "All Through The Night". The Hungry Monks fearlessly perform at any venue that will have them, including Charleston's Music Farm, The Piccolo Spoleto Festival, Charleston First Night, The St. Joseph International Guitar Festival, The Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center, and Tommy Condon's Irish Pub. Our recordings have been heard on radio stations throughout the US and we have appeared on TV at morning times when no self-respecting musician would be found awake (unless they had not yet actually gone to bed).

Tim Klein will be coming to the Tri-Cities to call for the first time. Tim has been calling contra dances for community events, parties, and hard-core dance groups in East Tennessee for more than 15 years. He is known for selecting a mix of easy and challenging dances and presenting them with clear directions and enthusiasm.

Contra dancing is a traditional form of American folk dance that evolved from the long ways country dances popular in English society centuries ago. Contra dance communities now thrive all over the country. There are websites that can direct you to contra dances in most states. The modern contra dances provide dancers of all ages and experience levels with the opportunity to smile, move, connect, flirt and create an evening of dance nirvana with each other. No previous dance experience is necessary. No fancy footwork is required. If you can walk and count to eight, you can contra dance!
Contra dances are community events. At almost any contra you will find people of all ages and all dance skill levels, from young to old, beginner to expert. Contra dancers form a very open and welcoming group of people. You can come alone or with others since it is a tradition to dance with a variety of partners throughout the night. It is perfectly acceptable for either a man or a woman to ask someone to dance. It’s a great way to make friends with someone they haven’t met before. You will find contra dancing a great way to make new friends.
For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org and Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on June 11, 2010

Press Release

“The Best Two-Person Contra Dance Band in the Nation!”

On Saturday, June 5, 2010, the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold its first
Community contra dance of the Summer season. Guest caller, Jeff Petrovich, joins two friends from Maine who call themselves Perpetual e-Motion, . The dance begins at 7:30 P.M. in the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street. At 7:00 P.M. prior to each dance, the caller conducts a class for beginners where basics of contra dance are taught to new and experienced dancers alike. Admission to the dance is only $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. No partner is necessary.

Perpetual e-Motion brings the surreal sounds of electric fiddle, swirling didgeridoo, driving guitar and foot percussion. This power duo, perched at the convergence of electronic and traditional dance music, is solely the bi-product of two musicians who love to groove and inspire movement.

Perpetual e-Motion begins with the simple statement of traditional, often recognizable dance tunes from Europe and Americas, and proceed to notch it up into a thrilling composition of complex poly-rhythms, melody and counter melody scaffolding exotic and lush chord structures into an amazingly satisfying musical performance drawing from Celtic, bluegrass, jazz and electronic influences. The duo is highly regarded throughout New England for their ability to provide hours of driving, pulsating music for contra dances, which rely on traditional dance tunes as a backdrop.

Born into a musical family, Ed Howe started playing fiddle at the age of 4, learning Suzuki method. His musical interests cover a wide spectrum from Bluegrass to Celtic and beyond and he has been a regular instructor for Maine Fiddle Camp since 2003. Howe has an extensive electronics background, and took an interest in the electric violin. He plays a 5-string NS Designs electronic violin and is a featured artist on the NS designs artist page. Ed makes extensive use of the BOSS RC-50 loop station to layer and orchestrate a variety of sounds from his instrument and watching him play bare footed and operating complex electronic equipment with his feet is a sight to behold.

John Coté is a well-known accompanist for many Maine and New England fiddlers and is very active as a private teacher and at Maine Fiddle Camp. Coté attended the Berklee College of music both for a five week music program in high school and for two years after high school to study film scoring. He later transferred to the University of Maine at Augusta's jazz program and earned a bachelor’s degree in jazz performance. At 22 he took an interest in traditional dance music teaching himself the mandolin and fiddle and helped found the Celtic/world band Wake the Neighbors that has endured to this day. In this duo, Coté plays a Godin acoustic electric guitar connected into synthesizer module adding a wide palette of sounds to the music. Aside from his duties on guitar, Coté simultaneously plays the didgeridoo (an Australian aboriginal instrument) and foot percussion. The result is a very lush and complex orchestration of music that defies what one would expect from just two people.

Perpetual e-Motion toured the Southern Appalachian region back in March and took
the contra dance scene by surprise. Event organizer, David Wiley, states “I really could not believe what I was hearing on stage. These two guys are so incredibly talented. Our dancers will be in for an unforgettable treat”.

Contra dance is a form of American folk dance in which the dancers form a set of two parallel lines that run the length of the hall. Each dance consists of a sequence of moves and steps that ends with the couples having progressed one position up or down the set.

Many of the basic moves resemble square dancing—swings, allemandes, do-si-dos—but contra dancing is more a sort of amusement park ride that the dancers make for themselves. A square dance set is compromised of only four couples, whereas the length of the hall only limits the number of couples in a contra dance set. To join a set, only a partner and soft-soled shoes are necessary. All that is left is to have fun dancing.

For more information about community contra dance, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org and Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on May 31, 2010

Contrathon VII Update

Contrathon VII is ready to commence on Sunday at 10AM. There are still openings for more dancers. Please arrive early if you have not pre-registerede.

The dance is held at the Mountain Music Jamboree in Glendale Springs, NC about 20 miles East of Boone, NC adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Any questions: 423-534-8879

See you all there!

Posted by: David Wiley on May 29, 2010

Press Release

Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, May 29, 2010 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students. A family package allows parents to bring all of their own children for a total of $15. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. No partner is necessary. Families and children are welcome! A half hour contra dance workshop will be offered at 7pm.
At the 8:30pm waltz break, again Klondike Ice Cream Bars, the official frozen treat of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society, will be offered to all dancers courtesy of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society.
Performing for this event will be Cailen Campbell and David Brown from Asheville. The callers will be a group of volunteers from all over the region who will be attending in conjunction with Contrathon VII which will be held on Sunday, May 30th at the Mountain Music Jamboree in Glendale Springs, NC. The Contrathon is a 12-hour event sponsored by HJDS. The dance time for the dance on Saturday May 29th will be from 7:30-10:30pm.
Cailen Campbell has been thrilling contra dancers all over the southeast and around the country for over a decade. His innovative, highly improvisational, lyrical fiddling has been heard in numerous acclaimed regional dance bands, including The Atomic City Rhythm Rascals, The String Beings, The Rocket Boys, The Gypsy Hicks, in addition to a dynamic duo with renowned Asheville area guitarist and banjo virtuoso David Brown.

Contra dancing is a traditional form of American folk dance that evolved from the long ways country dances popular in English society centuries ago. Contra dance communities now thrive all over the country. There are websites that can direct you to contra dances in most states. The modern contra dances provide dancers of all ages and experience levels with the opportunity to smile, move, connect, flirt and create an evening of dance nirvana with each other. No previous dance experience is necessary. No fancy footwork is required. If you can walk and count to eight, you can contra dance!
Contra dances are community events. At almost any contra you will find people of all ages and all dance skill levels, from young to old, beginner to expert. Contra dancers form a very open and welcoming group of people. You can come alone or with others since it is a tradition to dance with a variety of partners throughout the night. It is perfectly acceptable for either a man or a woman to ask someone to dance. It’s a great way to make friends with someone they haven’t met before. You will find contra dancing a great way to make new friends.

Preceding the weekend contra events will be the final midweek dance of the season again featuring the ETSU Faculty Contra Dance Band led by fiddler Roy Andrade. Calling for the Wednesday evening dance at the Jonesborough Visitors Center will be Fred Park. Admission is $6 and the dance starts at 7:30pm.
For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org and the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on May 21, 2010

Press Release

May is full of Contra Dances in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance on Saturday, May 15, 2010 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The featured band will be the Dry Ridge Runners from Asheville with Rob Harper as caller. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5, Students $4. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. A workshop for beginning contra dancers will be led by the caller at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm where, once again, Klondike Bars will be served to all who attend.

Caller Rob Harper hails from Atlanta. He has been calling for the Chattahoochee Country dancers for many years.

The Dry Ridge Runners consists of Roy Andrade on fiddle, Adam Tanner on guitar, Parrish Ellis on banjo and Stephanie Wolf on bass.

Roy Andrade, faculty member in the ETSU Bluegrass, Country & Old Time music program, played banjo and performed vocals for the acclaimed string band, The Reel Time Travelers, from 1999-2007. In addition to teaching music, Andrade has many other responsibilities including coaching four student bands.

Adam Tanner can usually be found performing with Mark Jackson as The Twilite Broadcasters. Having come together to sing and play in Weaverville, North Carolina in 2009, the group continues the longstanding tradition of two part rural harmony vocals with simple acoustic string instrument accompaniment once common in the Southern part of the United States (starting in the 1930's). The fundamental components of lead and harmony vocal in tandem with guitar and mandolin are the seminal sounds that set the stage for a variety of American musical styles to come, including: Bluegrass, Folk, Country and Rock n' Roll. The Twilite Broadcasters bring new shadings and highlights to the old songs they present.

Parrish Ellis is a guitarist, banjoist, singer and songwriter specializing in the piedmont style of country blues, and other strains of traditional African-American music. He tours full-time with the acoustic trio, The Wiyos, playing "vaudevillian-ragtime-jug band-blues and hillbilly swing". In addition to finger-picking country blues, he's a proficient rhythm player in the swing and old-time Appalachian music idioms. He has recorded two solo albums and three CDs with The Wiyos.

Stephanie Wolf has been the musical mainstay in the Asheville area old time music scene for many years teaming with many noteworthy musicians to the delight of dancers and listeners.

Contra dance is a form of American folk dance in which the dancers form a set of two parallel lines that run the length of the hall. Each dance consists of a sequence of moves and steps that ends with the couples having progressed one position up or down the set. All dances are taught by the caller. No partner is necessary and you are encouraged to dance with as many different people as possible.

Many of the basic moves resemble square dancing—swings, allemandes, do-si-dos—but contra dancing are more a sort of amusement park ride that the dancers make for themselves. A square dance set is compromised of only four couples, whereas the length of the hall only limits the number of couples in a contra dance set. To join a set, only a partner and soft-soled shoes are necessary. All that is left is to have fun dancing. You are encouraged to dress comfortably and stay hydrated with lots of water.

HJDS will hold three other dances during the month of May. Wednesday, May12 will have Cailen Campbell and David Brown with caller Terry Doyle. On May 26, the ETSU Faculty Contra Dance band will play with Fred Park calling the dance. Finally, on May 29, Cailen Campbell and David Brown will return to play. Guest callers will be sharing the calling duties.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-913-3246, visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. And FACEBOOK on the web.

Posted by: David Wiley on May 6, 2010

Press Release

Contra Dancing In Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance on Saturday, April 17, 2010 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Performing for the dance will be Dennis Spring and the “Sons of the Full Moon” from Charlotte called by Dean Snipes. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a country waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm. No partner is necessary and all dances are taught by the caller. Every contra dance is smoke and alcohol free and family oriented. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5 and students $4.

Dennis Spring and the Sons of the Full Moon are made up of Dennis Spring, Buddy McManus and Tim Mace. The band plays a broad range of traditional and Irish music and has performed in popular contra dance locations such as Charlotte, River Falls, SC, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Boone and Columbia, SC. Buddy McManus plays guitar and mandolin, and has written much of the music that the band plays in their contra dance sets. Tim Mace plays mandola, banjo, guitar and fiddle. In addition to being an accomplished musician, he makes beautiful mandolins. Dennis plays guitar as well as fiddle, sings, and has written waltzes and jigs.

Dennis was exposed to Irish music, dance and poetry at an early age.
His Irish grandmother lived with the family when he was young.
He has taught Irish fiddling to students for over 20 years, won first place in the fiddle category, and 2nd place in the vocal category at the Atlanta Feis, regional qualifying competition for the world final in Ireland.

Dennis was a first violinist with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and the leader of the Symphony String Quartet for over 15 years. He was also the Concertmaster of the Charlotte Pops Orchestra, before it was absorbed the CSO.

As a recording studio musician, he has put together string groups for background tracks on Gospel, Rhythm & Blues, Jazz, Beach, Country, and Folk albums, and radio Jingles and movies. He has performed with nationally-known artists, such as Harry Connick, Jr., Benny Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Smokey Robinson, Dionne Warwick, Doc Severinson, Chet Atkins, The Moody Blues, Beverly Sills and Luciano Pavarotti.

Dean Snipes has been a regular caller in Jonesborough. His enthusiasm and clear calling have made for some very exciting dances. So impressed with our spirit and sense of community, Dean wrote a special dance called “The Jonesborough Way” which he describes as tribute to all the people who have come together to celebrate and enjoy traditional music and dance.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org and Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on April 9, 2010

Special Event

Contra Dance Update:

Even though our next regular HJDS sponsored contra dance is not until Wednesday, April 14th, you will have an opportunity this coming Friday, April 9th to contra dance to Sigean, one of the finest Celtic bands in the region as part of the 4th annual USA Raft Tartan Day Festival. The dance, to be called by Asheville's Anne Marie Walter, will start around 7:30pm and go until 10:00pm. The band will play a few celtic songs to build the energy up in the Visitors Center. The cost of the music and dance is $8 per person. Come for the music. Come for the contra. There will also be door prizes.

The Tartan Day Festival is a free event in downtown Jonesborough, with Saturday festivities beginning at 10 a.m. with a parade to the Presbyterian Church for a Kirk’N of the Tartans, or blessing. For more information:

http://www.gotricities.com/article.php?id=7067

Other dance opportunities in the area this week:

The Johnson City Seniors Center will be hosting a Contra dance this Thursday at 6pm! The beginners lesson will start at 6 and then dance from 6:30 till 8:30. PLEASE COME AND SUPPORT THE BEGINNER'S WORKSHOP! J This early evening dance will cost a pleasing $4.00! Our band will be Kris Wallace and David Hayes from Appalachian Storm playing as mind flowing and foot stomping Temperature Rising! Calling alongside this hot duo will be Noah Grunzweig, a new, up-and-coming caller to our area and part of our wonderful Jonesborough family.

Otherwise, we hope to see you all at the "Gypsy to Jonesborough-Midweek Contra" on Wednesday, April 12th with the ETSU Faculty Contra Dance Band led by Roy Andrade with the dance called by Warren Doyle.

Hope to see you all on the dance floor!

Thanks,

David Wiley
www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org
Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK

Posted by: David Wiley on April 6, 2010

Press Release

Cosmic Otters play contra dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present another in a series of contra dances on Saturday March 20, 2010 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. This dance will feature the music of the Cosmic Otters with caller Rachel Shapiro providing the choreographic direction. A class for beginners will be held from 7:00-7:30pm. Then the dance will take up the rest of the evening concluding at 10:30pm. As always, a country waltz and Klondike Bar break will occur at 9:00pm.

No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. Admission to the dance is $7, $ for HJDS members and $4 for students. We welcome families with children in hopes of teaching the fine art of folk dance for generations to come.

Contra dance is a group-based social activity that has a long tradition. It is similar to square dancing and the Virginia Reel, usually done in circles or long lines in which partners dance with many other couples in turn throughout a dance set. There are a few basic dance figures, all of which are taught during the beginner’s class, that are combined in a various ways, prompted by the caller. These figures are repeated with all of the dancers in a set. The result is a lot of fun, great exercise, lots of smiling and laughing as the group moves to the music, each person contributing to the shared experience. It is community building at its best!

The rebirth of contra dance in our region began four years ago with a handful of folks who had some experience and lots of beginners. Now it is common to see 125-150 in attendance at the center of contra dance, Jonesborough, Tennessee. If you have yet to experience one of these evenings of “community joy in motion”, the March dances offer wonderful opportunities with terrific bands and great callers. If dancing is not for you, just come and enjoy the music and laughter.

The Cosmic Otters love playing for contra dances. Based in Chicago, they
are equally inspired by scratchy archive fiddle recordings, old fashioned dance music from the Midwest and the Celtic fringe and the great New
England dance bands of recent decades. The Otters have a reputation for dance music that is lush, driving, responsive to the dancers and grounded in a solid choice of tunes.

Jonathan Whitall’s driving fiddle sound, honed after years spent playing pubs in the Chicago Irish band Donnybrook, sitting in adulation at the feet of master Cape Breton musicians and dancing to Chicago’s finest old-time bands, gets even the most lethargic dancers jumping. Jonathan not only adds French-Canadian style foot percussion, but wears spectacular pants.

A member of the Otters since 2008, mathematics graduate student, Edward Wallace brings a second fiddle, juicy harmonies and a rich repertoire of Irish music learned around the globe. He has opened the bands ears to the possibilities of Morris dance tunes, yet refuses to wear loud shirts or bells.

Meg Dedolph anchors the Cosmic Otters with her solid rhythm, tast chords and steadfast refusal to bicker with the fiddlers over tune choices.
She discovered contra dancing while working as a newspaper reporter on the Wisconsin tundra and has never looked back. Meg’s drumming, a legacy of her shady past as a percussion major in college, is a big hit with dancers.

Since finding herself in a contra dance line at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival , Rachel Shapiro has dedicated herself to the contra dancing good life in Boston and now in Chicago. She calls fun dances that flow well with short walk-throughs that dancers love.

For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. and on the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society page on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on March 12, 2010

Press Release

Spring Chickens Play Contra in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society welcomes Asheville band “Spring Chickens” and caller Connie Carringer to the next contra
On Saturday, March 6, 2010 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. There will be a class for beginners at 7:00pm followed by the dance from 7:30-10:30pm. There will be a waltz break at 9:00pm at which time Klondike Bars will be offered to all comers. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students.

The beginner’s workshop gives the experienced dancers and first timers
a chance to warm up together. The caller explains many of the calls
such as balance and swing, star left and star right, ladies chain across,
Do-si-do, courtesy turn, allemande and hey for four. Many of these
calls would be familiar to anyone who has square danced. The contra
dance employs a longwise set and allows couples to progress up
and down the line to dance with all other couples. It’s a group dance where everyone in the longwise set interacts with everyone else during the song which lasts anywhere from seven to ten minutes.

The Spring Chickens known mostly for their hard driving rhythmic old time repertoire will crossover to add contra dance tunes for our dance. The Spring Chickens are lead by regional potters Rob and Beth Mangum from Weaverville, NC. on fiddle and guitar. The remaining members of their group are McLean Bissell on bass, Art Schuster on mandolin and Ben Harvey on banjo.

Connie Carringer, a graduate student at Appalachian State University in the Community Counseling/Expressive Arts Therapy program, is relatively new to contra dance calling but has shown great progress in her second career. Part of her training was the “Callers Week” at the John C. Campbell Folk School last summer. She also plays old time banjo, sings and writes songs.

Event organizer, David Wiley, believes that our dance community, which is open to all comers, is growing both in size but more importantly in dance skill. “Our last dance had over 150 dancers, but the dancing was excellent.” adds Wiley. “We are getting dancers from all over the region because of our dance floor and because we are a very friendly and welcoming group”.

“We combine traditional live music and dances that anyone can
do” adds Wiley. The dances are held two times per month in the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center. All the dances are taught by
the caller. You don’t have to bring a partner. The dances are smoke and alcohol free.

For more information, contact David Wiley, event organizer at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on February 26, 2010

Press Release

All-Women Band plays Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, February 20, 2010 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street. The dance begins at 7:30 PM with music by Asheville based “Fly By Night”. The caller, Barbara Groh, will conduct a class for beginners at 7:00 PM. No partner is necessary. All dance steps are taught by the caller. All events are smoke and alcohol free. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students.

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society (HJDS) is an all-volunteer non-profit organization that was created to continue the tradition of America folk dance and music.
Anyone can become a member by paying a nominal annual fee which gives members a discount on each admission. “Admission fees,” says Wiley, “help us attract the best bands and callers and help promote our dance all over the region. Anyone wishing to join can print a membership form from our website and can mail it or bring to the next dance.” You do not have to be a member to participate in the dances which are open to all comers including children.

At the contra dance, you will be part of a living tradition passed on by the experienced dancers helping the newcomers. The dancers, the musicians, and caller aim for an evening of low-pressure, often energetic, camaraderie. Come alone or with others. We suggest changing partners every dance, although dates who attend together and significant others might dance with each other more than once. Sometimes you choose a partner and sometimes you get chosen. It's acceptable for women to ask men to dance.

Contra dancing is an evening of fun, featuring dancing in "sets" of about a dozen couples. You interact with your partner and everyone else in the set too as you dance with easy walking steps to energetic music. A caller, working with a group of live musicians, guides new and experienced dancers through a variety of dances.

The caller teaches each dance before it is actually done to the music. This walk through gives everyone an idea of what to expect so the movements can be easily executed. The caller calls the dances as they are being performed to the music, so dancers are able to execute each movement to the music. Once the dancers appear to have mastered a dance, the caller may stop calling, leaving the dancers to enjoy the movement with music alone.

“Our dancers are really getting the hang of it, and the skill level is getting amazingly better,” states event organizer David Wiley. “Our dance is for all ages. We are getting high school and college dancers along with families and children coming to learn contra dance. Also, you don’t have to have a partner.” The best way to learn contra dance is by asking a more experienced partner to dance. It’s perfectly acceptable for ladies to ask gentlemen to dance. “We just started our fifth year in existence, have the finest dance floor anywhere in the region and are booking some of the best bands and callers in the business. Our program has been a huge success” adds Wiley.

Fly By Night is led by Karen Gaughan on the piano. Karen is Asheville’s most in-demand contra dance key board player. Gaughan together with her by Fly Night Partners, Laura Lengnick on fiddle, Beth Magill on Flute and Julia Weatherford on Fiddle, provide a full sound, plenty of rhythm and a really good ride for the avid contra dancer or waltzer.

Their repertoire starts with upbeat traditional New England contra dance tunes chosen with care to fit the dance at danceable tempos kept rock solid with Gaughan’s thumping bass hand. The band weaves in lilting Celtic melodies and makes them fly with Beth Magill’s achingly beautiful flute woven through with fiddle harmony. The girls let their hair down with funky, rockin originals. They’ll pull out the percussion toys, and dig deep in to some of their own tunes as well as others to keep the dancers flying. The driving force of the southern fiddle tunes is Laura and Julia who create a small tornado in the room when sawing it down with their twin harmony.

Barbara Groh has spent most of her life in the traditional music and dance scene, starting with square dancing at age 13 and contra dancing at age 18. She also played old-time banjo since college. In 1989, Barbara became Caller Coordinator for the Triangle Country Dancers in Chapel Hill, NC. She learned to call while filling in when there was no one available to call a dance. She became very passionate about calling dances and sharing the joy of contra dancing in venues all over the East coast from Florida to New Hampshire. Her calling experience ranged from small community dances to large dance festivals. She now lives in Asheville, NC, home of one of the most thriving dance communities in the known universe.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or HJDS on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on February 12, 2010

Press Release

All-Woman Band plays Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, February 20, 2010 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street. The dance begins at 7:30 PM with music by Asheville based “Fly By Night”. The caller, Barbara Groh, will conduct a class for beginners at 7:00 PM. No partner is necessary. All dance steps are taught by the caller. All events are smoke and alcohol free. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students.

Fly By Night is led by Karen Gaughan on the piano. Karen is Asheville’s most in-demand contra dance key board player. Gaughan together with her by Fly Night Partners, Laura Lengnick on fiddle, Beth Magill on Flute and Julia Weatherford on Fiddle, provide a full sound, plenty of rhythm and a really good ride for the avid contra dancer or waltzer.

Their repertoire starts with upbeat traditional New England contra dance tunes chosen with care to fit the dance at danceable tempos kept rock solid with Gaughan’s thumping bass hand. The band weaves in lilting Celtic melodies and makes them fly with Beth Magill’s achingly beautiful flute woven through with fiddle harmony. The girls let their hair down with funky, rockin originals. They’ll pull out the percussion toys, and dig deep in to some of their own tunes as well as others to keep the dancers flying. The driving force of the southern fiddle tunes is Laura and Julia who create a small tornado in the room when sawing it down with their twin harmony.

Barbara Groh spent most of her life in the traditional music and dance scene, starting with square dancing at age 13 and contra dancing at age 18. She also played old-time banjo since college. In 1989, Barbara became Caller Coordinator for the Triangle Country Dancers in Chapel Hill, NC. She learned to call while filling in when there was no one available to call a dance. She became very passionate about calling dances and sharing the joy of contra dancing in venues all over the East coast from Florida to New Hampshire. Her calling experience ranged from small community dances to large dance festivals. She now lives in Asheville, NC, home of one of the most thriving dance communitites in the known universe.

For more information contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on February 10, 2010

Press Release

Doubleheader Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a doubleheader contra dance on Saturday and Sunday, February 6-7, 2010 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dances is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. No partner is necessary. Families and children are welcome.
Performing for the Saturday event will be Cailen Campbell and David Brown from Asheville. The callers will HJDS members Warren & Terry Doyle from Mountain City, TN. They will also teach a full hour waltz workshop from 6-7pm.
Cailen Campbell has been thrilling contra dancers all over the southeast and around the country for over a decade. His innovative, highly improvisational, lyrical fiddling has been heard in numerous acclaimed regional dance bands, including The Atomic City Rhythm Rascals, The String Beings, The Rocket Boys, The Gypsy Hicks, in addition to a dynamic duo with renowned Asheville area guitarist and banjo virtuoso David Brown. Calien and David will be bringing their unique blend of contra grooves to Jonesborough.
Super Bowl Sunday brings the second event of the doubleheader. It’s the Second Annual Foot Ball. While the fans of the sport of NFL Football are gearing up for the championship game of the season, contra dancers will gather at the Jonesborough Visitors Center to share potluck lunch starting at noon, waltzing from 12:45 to 2:00pm and contra dance from 2:30-5:30pm. “We did this event last year and surprisingly had over 130 dancers come for the afternoon dance” states event organizer David Wiley, President of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society. The waltz music will be provided by local duo “Feverish” made up of 16 year old pianist Courtnie Magamoll joined by Flutist Cricket Hull.
The afternoon contra dance will feature the band Hot Sonata with Karen Gaughan on keyboard, Mark Mueller on fiddle and Art Shuster on mandolin. Ever popular caller, Beth Molaro from Asheville, will do the dance calling. There will be no beginner workshop for this dance. The dance will conclude at 5:30pm in plenty of time for dancers to change back over to football fans as the Super Bowl Game kicks off at 6:25pm.
Contra dancing is a traditional form of American folk dance that evolved from the long ways country dances popular in English society centuries ago. Contra dance communities now thrive all over the country. There are websites that can direct you to contra dances in most states. The modern contra dances provide dancers of all ages and experience levels with the opportunity to smile, move, connect, flirt and create an evening of dance nirvana with each other. No previous dance experience is necessary. No fancy footwork is required. If you can walk and count to eight, you can contra dance!
Contra dances are community events. At almost any contra you will find people of all ages and all dance skill levels, from young to old, beginner to expert. Contra dancers form a very open and welcoming group of people. You can come alone or with others since it is a tradition to dance with a variety of partners throughout the night. It is perfectly acceptable for either a man or a woman to ask someone to dance. It’s a great way to make friends with someone they haven’t met before. You will find contra dancing a great way to make new friends.
For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org an the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on January 31, 2010

Dance Update

Our dance for Friday night January 29th has been CANCELLED due to inclement weather in the forecast.

Thanks!

Posted by: David Wiley on January 29, 2010

Press Release

All-Star Old Time Band plays Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance on Saturday, January 16, 2009 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The all-star band will be the Reel HighHoppers from all over our region with Anne Marie Walter as caller. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5, Students $4. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. A workshop for beginning contra dancers will be led by the caller at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm where, once again, Klondike Bars will be served to all who attend.

The Reel High Hoppers, consist of Ed Snodderly on guitar, Cary Fridley on Bass, Roy Andrade on fiddle and Doug Dorschug on banjo.

Roy Andrade, faculty member in the ETSU Bluegrass, Country & Old Time music program, played banjo and performed vocals for the acclaimed string band, The Reel Time Travelers, from 1999-2007. In addition to teaching music, Andrade has many other responsibilities including coaching four student bands.

Cary Fridley is the lead singer and bassist for her own band called Down South. Although she is widely known for her powerful vocals, Cary will play bass in the all-star lineup. For many years, Fridley played with old time band, Freight Hoppers.

Ed Snodderly founded and continues to operate the Down Home in Johnson City. He is widely known in the music world as the “songwriter’s songwriter”
Snodderly has made what he has sometimes described as "new hillbilly music" virtually all his life Raised in the rich musical environment of northeast Tennessee, he learned to play several stringed instruments by watching his fiddler grandfather, guitarist father, and a pedal-steel-playing uncle. While appreciating the folk, country, and bluegrass he heard within his family circle during the late 1960s and early 1970s, Snodderly was simultaneously absorbing many other musical influences he heard on the radio, including rock 'n' roll, soul, pop, and, perhaps most crucially, the singer-songwriter scene that followed in the wake of the urban folk revival. The 1980’s saw the emergence of the Brother Boys Band which drew national and international attention. Snodderly continues to travel and perform his style of Appalachain roots music.

Doug Dorschug has played the banjo for over forty years. He received a Grammy nomination in 1988 and is probably best known as a member of the Highwoods Stringband, a band that helped revive nationwide interest in old time music in the 1970’s. Since then he’s appeared frequently at the Barter Theatre, most recently in Fire On the Mountain, and as musical director for the original productions of Keep On the Sunnyside and Man of Constant Sorrow. In 2003, he represented this area at the Smithsonian Festival of American Folklife. Doug produces and records traditional music of this area and lives in Laurel Bloomery, TN.

Anne Marie Walter, from Asheville, is a very popular caller in the area. Anne Marie will delight you with her clear walk throughs and smooth flowing dances. Be prepared to be challenged as the night goes on. Her pleasant style and graceful teaching put dancers at ease and set the stage for a great evening.

Contra dance is a form of American folk dance in which the dancers form a set of two parallel lines that run the length of the hall. Each dance consists of a sequence of moves and steps that ends with the couples having progressed one position up or down the set. All dances are taught by the caller. No partner is necessary and you are encouraged to dance with as many different people as possible.

Many of the basic moves resemble square dancing—swings, allemandes, do-si-dos—but contra dancing is more a sort of amusement park ride that the dancers make for themselves. A square dance set is compromised of only four couples, whereas the length of the hall only limits the number of couples in a contra dance set. To join a set, only a partner and soft-soled shoes are necessary. All that is left is to have fun dancing. You are encouraged to dress comfortably and stay hydrated with lots of water.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-913-3246, visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. and FACEBOOK on the web.

Posted by: David Wiley on January 14, 2010

Press Release

“Contra Dance Returns for 5th Year in Jonesborough”

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will kick off the 2010 contra dance season on Saturday, January 2nd... The dance will be held at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. with a class for beginners starting at 7:00 p.m. The featured band will be “Appalachian Storm” consisting of David Hayes on guitar, Kris Wallace on fiddle, David White on banjo and fiddle and Terrell Jones on bass. Calling the dance will be the ever popular Hank Morris. Admission is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for Students.

“Contra dance is a way for all citizens of the area to rededicate themselves to New Year’s higher ideas and ideals for diet and exercise changes. We know from the experts that most people start the year with ambitious goals for weight loss, smoking cessation or other behavioral changes during the first ten days of the New Year”, states organizer David Wiley. “The problem is that many of these commitments fade away in the short term” adds Wiley. “Our contra dance program, even though it is held only twice per month can jump start anyone toward their goals. We had 30 dances again 2009. In and of itself, 30 dances won’t make or break anyone’s fitness program, but for many, it made a difference. We have built the foundation for our own dance community”.

Appalachian Storm specializes in Appalachian and Celtic traditional and contemporary dance tunes. Just recently, the band lineup changed when banjo/fiddle player, David White, joined the band as Hannah Seng moved on to other projects and school work.

David Hayes loves to play music. Beginning with piano at age six, switching to trumpet, flute, then on to guitar, harmonica, eventually dabbling in fiddle, banjo, mandolin and various percussives. A long time finger picker, he now focuses his musical energy on traditional and contemporary Celtic and old-time accompaniment. A lifelong fear of dancing was finally overcome after several years of cajoling by friends—and David discovered contra. So, whilst pursuing his newfound dance addiction he became steeped in this wonderful genre of music that comes with it. Now he's hooked on playing and dancing and is busy working out ways to do both at the same time. When not dancing or playing, he catches babies, ("still the most awesome thing I've ever done - each and every time"), loves growing anything he can get to grow, and is obsessed with propagating his beloved fig tree. He also enjoys sailing, canoeing, hiking, traveling way off the beaten path, tries to be active in Veterans for Peace, and is moving slowly toward a low impact, off the grid lifestyle and bankruptcy.

Terrell Jones is an Asheville native who played electric bass for the rock band Freefall in the Raleigh, NC area during the early 80’s before spending 2 ½ years overseas, mostly in Africa. Moving back to the mountains in the late 90’s rekindled his old time, bluegrass and Celtic musical roots. The transition led him to the contra dance scene where he joined Appalachian Storm as bass player. Terrell and wife Sara gave birth to their first child, Violet, on February 28, 2008. He works for the North Carolina Department of Environmental Engineering.

Kris Wallace inherited her love of music from her mother, Kathy. Kathy encouraged Kris to start violin and piano lessons at a very young age. As young children go, Kris opted for the fun of getting dirty in the creek beds rather than struggling over a squeaky violin. Looking back, Kris now wishes she had stuck with the discipline and the practice as she later watched with envy many Irish and old time fiddlers. After years in the business world doing computer programming, she changed gears to spend more time on the Appalachian Trail and playing music. Now an accomplished fiddler and mandolin player for Appalachian Storm, she also continues to work as a rural mail carrier.

Hank Morris has been an active part of the very thriving Asheville and Charlotte dance communities for twenty three years. He grew up in Alabama and graduated from Auburn University. He is a dancing and outdoor enthusiast as well. In an effort to give back to the dance community, fifteen years ago, he started calling dance and festivals in the Southeast. Hank Morris makes the dances fun for both the beginner and the experienced dancers.

“We have already scheduled another year of great contra dance bands and callers” adds Wiley. For more information on Saturday’s dance or any upcoming events, please call David Wiley at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. or Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on December 23, 2009

Press Release

Holiday Waltz & Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a waltz and contra dance on Saturday, December 19, 2009 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Performing for the waltz and contra dance will be “Toss the Possum” from Radford, Virginia. The waltz will run from 6:00pm-7:00pm. The
Contra dance will run from 7:00-10:00pm. There will be no beginner’s class at this event. Chattanooga’s Vicki Herndon will be the caller for the contra dance. Admission to the event is $7, HJDS Members $5 and Students $4.

David Wiley, event organizer states “We are finishing our fourth year of community contra dances in Jonesborough. Thousands of people have come to Jonesborough to check out the contra dance scene. We have had families and children, high school and college students and all ages participate. This has become a real community dance”.

The evening will be begin with a one-hour waltz from 6-7pm. Couples dancing is very popular right now due to the attention to recent dance competition on network television. “Few places in our region offer waltz to live music” offers event organizer, David Wiley. Toss the Possum has written and published, under the direction of Mother Possum, Laura Zisette, a book of 42 original waltzes, jigs and reels. Their book called Possum Tunes will be available at the dance.

The remainder of the Possum band is made up of oldest son Chas on bass. Chas will attend Radford University in January. Seventeen-year-old Rob attends Radford High School, plays fiddle and will attend Virginia Tech next fall to major in physics. Sam Athanas is the Possum percussionists. Joining Toss the Possum for the first time will be National Flatpicking Champion guitarist Scott Fore also from Radford, Virginia. Of course, Laura Zisette, band director, is the featured on keyboards.

The contra dance will conclude at 10:00pm whereby all dancers are invited to a party and music jam to be held at the Chester Inn at the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough. Guests are invited to bring potluck treats to this event.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or visit the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on December 11, 2009

Press Release

Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance on Saturday, December 5, 2009 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The featured band will be Big Cranky from Asheville with Beth Molaro as caller. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5, Students $4. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. A workshop for beginning contra dancers will be led by the caller at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm where, once again, Klondike Bars will be served to all who attend. The six o’clock hour will be time for open waltz to recorded music. There is no extra charge for the waltz time.

Now that contra dance has become so popular all over this country, there are many step-by-step guides on how to do contra dance on the internet. “Even though we teach a brief workshop prior to the dance, there are other resources including contra dance videos, essays and other instruction available all over the web” states event organizer David Wiley. “We also encourage newcomers to partner with experienced dancers for the first few dances to build their confidence and show them how easy and fun contra dancing is”. You can bring the whole family to dance.

“The combination of Beth Molaro calling and Big Cranky playing will make for a fantastic and entertaining dance event” proclaims dance organizer, David Wiley. “We are very fortunate to have a caller/teacher of Beth’s caliber in our area.” adds Wiley. With the energy that comes off the stage from Beth Molaro, there is no way you can’t give that energy right back.

As for the dance, everyone across the country will tell you that our caller, Beth Molaro, is GREAT! When she calls, the dance is always a party! Her enthusiasm is contagious and she makes any dance more energetic and exciting. She is truly a dance caller dedicated to the art of traditional American dancing and good fun. Beth recently was a feature caller at the Lake Eden Arts Festival in Black Mountain.

Beth lives in Asheville surrounded by the mountains of western North Carolina with her daughter, Rebecca Grace, where they are an active part of the thriving dance community. Often on the road calling dances all over the place, her clear calling and skilled dance selection have made her one of the country’s most popular and widely traveled callers. Rebecca, at a very young age, has already become a competitive Appalachian flat-foot dancer.

Since 1994, Beth has called hundreds of dances from coast to coast as well as in Denmark and Canada. Beth is in demand as a caller and teacher for weddings, family reunions, community dances, dance weeks, weekends and folk festivals all over the country.

Beth’s vocal style is unique in the dance world. Her ability to sing the calls makes for an exciting blend of music and calls which she accomplishes with both clarity and musical integrity. You will hear elements of blues and jazz in her voice as she sings you from one figure to the next, weaving together various elements of the dance, music, and dancers into a positively charged room of inspired enthusiasm.

Beth calls high energy, turbocharged Appalachian squares and smooth flowing contras. She is known for her quick, no-nonsense walk throughs and effective teaching for both the beginner and the most seasoned dancers. Beth’s dances are always a guaranteed whoop and a holler good time. Dancers are sure to leave with a feel-good dancing high.

Big Cranky is a popular, contra-conscious old-time band hailing from
Western North Carolina. You can't help but pick up your feet and swing
once the band gets crankin', playing an array of highly danceable
Appalachian tunes from across the Southern mountain states. The band
features the forceful fiddling of David Lynch, rock-solid guitar
playing by Vollie McKenzie, the boisterous banjo picking of Neil
Carroll, all cemented together by McLean Bissell's lively bass line. Bring
your dance shoes for a movement-filled evening.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on November 27, 2009

Press Release

Contra Dance and Food Raiser in Jonesborough

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, November 21, 2009 at 7:30pm at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Performing for the dance will be the “Chicken Tractor” from Asheville with caller Barbara Groh. A class for beginners will be held at 7:00pm. Every dancer is encouraged to attend the class to become familiar with dance steps, formations, and flow. Klondike Bars, the official frozen treat of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society, will be served at the 9:00pm waltz break.

The Food Raiser is being organized to supply non-perishable food stuffs for the Jonesborough Area Ministerial Association Food Bank. Nationwide food bank donations continue to decline. Donor fatigue may be setting in as the economy puts more and more families at risk and unable to feed themselves. “We are asking all dancers and members of the local community to bring non-perishable food stuffs to give to those in need” adds even organizer, David Wiley.

“Our dancers are really getting the hang of it, and the skill level is getting amazingly better,” states event organizer David Wiley. “Our dance is for all ages. We are getting high school and college dancers along with families and children coming to learn contra dance. Also, you don’t have to have a partner.” The best way to learn contra dance is by asking a more experienced partner to dance. It’s perfectly acceptable for ladies to ask gentlemen to dance. “We are approaching the end of our fourth year in existence, have the finest dance floor anywhere in the region and are booking some of the best bands and callers in the business. Our program has been a huge success” adds Wiley.

Admission to the dance is $7 for (yet-to-be members), $5 for HJDS members. Students get in for $4. A Family Package has been instituted for members that allows parents and as many children in their core family to get in for only $15.

The band consists of Laurie Fisher on fiddle, Jono Altizer on mandolin, Karen Gaughan on keyboard and Nic Coker on banjo and guitar Chicken Tractor was formed in the middle of 2008. When asked just how this group came together, band leader Laurie Fisher states that they all met at the Monday night jam at Adam Masters’ real estate office in West Asheville. “There are anywhere from 6-20 musicians that start coming together about 8:00 p.m. and essentially play all night” offers Fisher. “Adam, Jono and Nic all have bluegrass backgrounds. I told them how much fun it would be to play for contra dances. They decided to give it a try” adds Fisher. Laurie has performed many times in Jonesborough with various groups as fiddler and keyboard player. She is also an outstanding contra dance caller and teacher.

Barbara Groh has spent most of her life in the traditional music and dance scene, starting with square dance at age 13 and contra dance at age 18. She has also played old-time banjo since college. In 1989, while living in Chapel Hill, NC, Barbara got roped into being the Caller’s Coordinator for the Triangle Country Dancers. Thus, she learned to call contra dances so that she could fill in when there was nobody available to call a dance. From that accidental beginning, came a passion for sharing the joy of contra dancing in venues all over the East coast, from Florida to New Hampshire where she called dances at everything from small community events to large dance festivals. She now lives in Asheville, NC, home to one of the most thriving dance communities in the known universe.

For more information, contact event organizer David Wiley at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org and Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on November 13, 2009

Press Release

Halloween Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance on Saturday, October 31, 2009 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The featured band will be the Dry Ridge Runners from Asheville with Jesse Edgerton as caller. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5, Students $4. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. A workshop for beginning contra dancers will be led by the caller at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm where, once again, Klondike Bars will be served to all who attend. The six o’clock hour will also offer a contra dance workshop for the non-beginner taught by Warren and Terry Doyle. There is no extra charge for this workshop.

It’s Halloween weekend which means that all comers are invited to tap in to
their costume creative talent. Last year’s dance brought the Ostrich Cowboys, Hawaiian Revelers, clowns and cowgirls and many more. “We even had Elvis in the house” offers David Wiley, President of HJDS. At the break, costume contestants will promenade around the dance floor as the judges select the finalists. Then, by applause from the crowd, the winners will be selected. Winners will receive gift certificates from local Jonesborough merchants. Costumes are recommended but not required for the dance.

The Dry Ridge Runners consists of Roy Andrade on fiddle, Adam Tanner on guitar, Parrish Ellis on banjo and Stephanie Wolf on bass.

Roy Andrade, faculty member in the ETSU Bluegrass, Country & Old Time music program, played banjo and performed vocals for the acclaimed string band, The Reel Time Travelers, from 1999-2007. In addition to teaching music, Andrade has many other responsibilities including coaching four student bands.

Adam Tanner can usually be found performing with Mark Jackson as The Twilite Broadcasters. Having come together to sing and play in Weaverville, North Carolina in 2009, the group continues the longstanding tradition of two part rural harmony vocals with simple acoustic string instrument accompaniment once common in the Southern part of the United States (starting in the 1930's). The fundamental components of lead and harmony vocal in tandem with guitar and mandolin are the seminal sounds that set the stage for a variety of American musical styles to come, including: Bluegrass, Folk, Country and Rock n' Roll. The Twilite Broadcasters bring new shadings and highlights to the old songs they present.

Parrish Ellis is a guitarist, banjoist, singer and songwriter specializing in the piedmont style of country blues, and other strains of traditional African-American music. He tours full-time with the acoustic trio, The Wiyos, playing "vaudevillian-ragtime-jug band-blues and hillbilly swing". In addition to finger-picking country blues, he's a proficient rhythm player in the swing and old-time Appalachian music idioms. He has recorded two solo albums and three CDs with The Wiyos.

Stephanie Wolf has been the musical mainstay in the Asheville area old time music scene for many years teaming with many noteworthy musicians to the delight of dancers and listeners.

Contra dance is a form of American folk dance in which the dancers form a set of two parallel lines that run the length of the hall. Each dance consists of a sequence of moves and steps that ends with the couples having progressed one position up or down the set. All dances are taught by the caller. No partner is necessary and you are encouraged to dance with as many different people as possible.

Many of the basic moves resemble square dancing—swings, allemandes, do-si-dos—but contra dancing is more a sort of amusement park ride that the dancers make for themselves. A square dance set is compromised of only four couples, whereas the length of the hall only limits the number of couples in a contra dance set. To join a set, only a partner and soft-soled shoes are necessary. All that is left is to have fun dancing. You are encouraged to dress comfortably and stay hydrated with lots of water.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-913-3246, visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. and FACEBOOK on the web.

Posted by: David Wiley on October 21, 2009

press release

Next dance October 31, 2009.
Halloween Contra Dance
Costumes recommend-prizes for costume contest
Caller: Jesse Edgerton
Band: Dry Ridge Runners (Roy Andrade, Parrish Ellis, Adam Tanner, Stephanie Wolf)
Contra Dance Frills & Flourishes Workshop from 6-7pm taught by Warren & Terry Doyle

Posted by: David Wiley on October 11, 2009

Mountain Madness Update

Here is the latest information concerning the Mountain Madness Weekend. Questions: David Wiley 423-534-8879.



Mountain Madness Dance Weekend

When: October 9-11, 2009

Where: Jonesborough Visitors Center
117 Boone Street
Jonesborough, TN 37659

Bands: Crowfoot, Contrarians, Fine Companions

Callers: Beth Molaro, Bob Issacs

Tickets: Pre-registration recommended

Full Weekend: $50 in advance or at the door.

A-La-Carte: Friday Night $10
Saturday Morning $10
Saturday Afternoon $ 10
Saturday Night $10
Sunday $10




MOUNTAIN MADNESS SCHEDULE

Friday 10/9/2009 VISITORS CENTER STORYTELLING CENTER

5:00pm Registration

6:30-7:30pm Waltz with Fine Companions

8:00-9:50pm Contra with Contrarians w/Bob Isaacs

10:10-Midnight Contra with Crowfoot w/Beth Molaro


Saturday 10/10/2009

9:00-10:15 Workshop-Put Some Zing in Your Swing Workshop-For Callers New & Wannabe
Bob Isaacs Beth Molaro

10:30-12:30 Contra with Crowfoot w/Beth Molaro

12:30-2:00pm Lunch

2:30-3:15pm Workshop-Flatfooting Workshop-10 Steps to Writing a Dance
Beth Molaro Bob Isaacs

3:30-5:00pm Contra with Contrarians w/Bob Isaacs Concert-Crowfoot

5:00-6:30pm Dinner

6:30-7:30pm Waltz with Fine Companions

8:00-9:50pm Contra with Contrarians w/Beth Molaro

10:00-Midnight Contra with Crowfoot w/Bob Isaacs


Sunday 10/11/2009

9:00-10:15 Waltz with Fine Companions

10:30-12:00pm Contra with Contrarians w/Bob Isaacs

12:00-12:45 Lunch

12:45-3:00pm Contra with Crowfoot w/Beth Molaro

Posted by: David Wiley on September 20, 2009

Press Release

Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold another contra dance on September 19, 2009 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The Visitors Center now had a professional grade dance floor for almost a year. Event organizer, David Wiley, confirms that dancers from all over the region are now trekking to Jonesborough to dance in the Visitors Center. “The sound of dancers stomping, clapping and hollering resonates throughout the room. It’s just a great place for contra dancing now” adds Wiley.

Performing for the dance will be the band Steam Shovel from Asheville, North Carolina. The band is made up of Roger Gold on Guitar and David White on Fiddle and Banjo. Roger and David have performed together for several years on the regional contra dance circuit. The dance will be called by Tom Calwell and Myra Hirschberg from Canada.

Roger Gold grew up surrounded by music. His parents and older sister all sing and play various instruments. He knew at the age of six that he wanted to play guitar and persisted until his parents found a teacher. His interests took his guitar playing from the ever present folk, through electric teen-age-rock, to traditional, Celtic, and more. He likes to "play" with the music; turning waltzes to klezmer, Bach into swing, and doing even stranger things to the tunes he writes. Roger's guitar styles range from classical to hard driving, rhythmic, contra dance music. He enjoys contra dancing, and enjoys playing music for contra dances, and has yet to figure out how to do both at the same time. Roger partners with Mara Shea on fiddle to become the Elftones who just recently performed at the HJDS sponsored Contrathon VI in Glendale Springs, NC on Septembe 6th.

Currently living in Pickens, SC, David White has been playing stringed instruments for almost 30 years. Only in the past 14 years he became rather consumed by contra dancing and the music that drives it. David fell in love with traditional Appalachian old time music – especially that played by bands and musicians that create driving rhythms. That passionate driving style is evident when David plays guitar, claw hammer banjo or fiddle. The fact that David has always loved contra dancing has helped him become a master of creating great dance energy from old time tunes and melodies. He loves to sing as well. David has played in several bands in the past (Reedy River Rhythm Rockers, Corn Bread Heads, Cloudlanders) and more recently the Carolina Tunecroppers, Steamshovel (w/ Roger Gold) and the Shifty Tweeds. His habit of ‘gyrating’ while playing the fiddle while wearing his Dad’s old tweed hat earned him the nickname ‘the Shifty Tweed.’

Tom and Myra from Peterborough, Ontario, have called dances separately
And together throughout the United States and Canada. They are known for their easy-going, low-key teaching style, their out-of-the ordinary dance programs and their quirky original dance compositions. They are currently renovating a house in Asheville and look forward to calling many more dances in the area.

There will be a class for beginners at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS members $5 and students $4.

For more information, please visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246.

Posted by: David Wiley on September 16, 2009

Press Release

August 28, 2009

Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, September 5, 2009 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students. A family package allows parents to bring all of their own children for a total of $15. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. No partner is necessary. Families and children are welcome! A full hour contra dance workshop will be offered from 6-7pm.
At the 8:30pm waltz break, again Klondike Ice Cream Bars, the official frozen treat of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society, will be offered to all dancers courtesy of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society.
Performing for this event will be Cailen Campbell and his band Pictish from Asheville. The callers will be a group of volunteers from all over the region who will be attending in conjunction with the Contrathon which will be held on Sunday, Sept 6th at the Mountain Music Jamboree in Glendale Springs, NC. The Contrathon is a 12-hour event sponsored by HJDS. The dance time for the dance on Saturday Sept 5th will be from 7:00-10:00pm for this event only.
It is back to school time, so in order to accommodate the many returning students from area colleges such as Virginia Intermont, Milligan, King and ETSU, there will be a full hour contra dance workshop for beginners conducted by Warren & Terry Doyle from 6-7pm.
Cailen Campbell has been thrilling contra dancers all over the southeast and around the country for over a decade. His innovative, highly improvisational, lyrical fiddling has been heard in numerous acclaimed regional dance bands, including The Atomic City Rhythm Rascals, The String Beings, The Rocket Boys, The Gypsy Hicks, in addition to a dynamic duo with renowned Asheville area guitarist and banjo virtuoso David Brown. Most recently, Cailen and David have been joined by Daniel Chambo on flutes and whistles, and Forest Kelley on percussion to form an exciting new quartet called Pictish. Pictish specializes in a high energy fusion of traditional and modern Celtic dance tunes supported by African and hip hop influenced rhythms and spiced by some jazzy improvisation. Pictish will be bringing their unique blend of contra grooves to Jonesborough.

Contra dancing is a traditional form of American folk dance that evolved from the long ways country dances popular in English society centuries ago. Contra dance communities now thrive all over the country. There are websites that can direct you to contra dances in most states. The modern contra dances provide dancers of all ages and experience levels with the opportunity to smile, move, connect, flirt and create an evening of dance nirvana with each other. No previous dance experience is necessary. No fancy footwork is required. If you can walk and count to eight, you can contra dance!
Contra dances are community events. At almost any contra you will find people of all ages and all dance skill levels, from young to old, beginner to expert. Contra dancers form a very open and welcoming group of people. You can come alone or with others since it is a tradition to dance with a variety of partners throughout the night. It is perfectly acceptable for either a man or a woman to ask someone to dance. It’s a great way to make friends with someone they haven’t met before. You will find contra dancing a great way to make new friends.

CONTRATHON UPDATE:

As of Friday, August 28, 2009, there space still available for Contrathon VI. Please send your registration in or register on site if there is space available on arrival.

Music starts at 10AM with Curious George and Rob Harper calling.

For more information, contact David Wiley 423-534-8879

Posted by: David Wiley on August 28, 2009

Press Releases

Contra Dance from Top to Bottom!!

Sporting Pitchforks perform for Jonesborough Contra Dance!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society welcomes Asheville band, “Sporting Pitchforks” and caller Fred Park to the next contra dance
on Saturday, August 15, 2009 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students. A workshop for beginners will begin at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm.

The beginner’s workshop gives the experienced dancers and first timers
a chance to warm up together. The caller explains many of the calls
such as balance and swing, star left and star right, ladies chain across,
Do-si-do, courtesy turn, allemande and hey for four. Many of these
calls would be familiar to anyone who square danced. The contra
dance employs a longwise set and allows couples to progress up
and down the line to dance with all other couples.

Sporting Pitchforks unit three friends who grew up together in the music world. All from North Carolina, the band consists of Hannah Seng on fiddle and banjo, Duncan Wickel on guitar, fiddle and octave fiddle, Jack Devereux on fiddle. Hannah Seng has primarily been playing with the popular contra dance band, “Appalachian Storm” who were headliners during Jonesborough Days “Days of Dance”. She is also an aspiring singer and song writer. Jack and Duncan, both students at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, love to play old time, Appalachian and Irish music. “They only play together a few times each year” states David Wiley, president of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society. “So it will be a real treat to have this talented group of young musicians playing for the dance in Jonesborough”.

Fred Park was once the "bad boy" of the American Country Dance and Song Society for trying such shenanigans as mixing blues and gospel
Music with traditional melodies from Scotland and New England.
He later rose above the roar of the old guard to become a recognized teacher of the highest order.

Many callers and dance leaders have taken to heart his gentle
and patient humor when working with novice or advanced dancers.
His country dance choreography is lean and exquisite in the form of
circles, contras, squares, small set dances and waltzes. "If it’s not a
dance that I personally enjoy dancing I don't teach it!" Fred has been
on staff at most every dance festival in America and several in Canada, Scotland and France.

Fred's involvement in traditional dance predates the recent wave of
interest in contra dance while he is a noted organizer of traditional
arts events including festivals, community dances and teaching or
performing traditional arts in school programs, nursing homes and
prisons nation wide and abroad. For this event, Fred Park, dance master, will call contra dances from top to bottom during the evening. Dancers in this area prefer contra over all other traditional dance forms.

Event organizer, David Wiley, believes that our community building
efforts are paying off. “Our attendance is continually on the rise. We have a core group of regulars, but see many new dancers at every
event”. “We combine traditional live music and dances that anyone can
do” adds Wiley. The dances are held two times per month in the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center. All the dances are taught by
the caller. You don’t have to bring a partner. Everyone dances with everyone.

For more information, contact David Wiley, event organizer at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on August 7, 2009

Press Release

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will return to Jonesborough for the Annual Summer Harvest Potluck Dinner & Contra Dance on Saturday August 1, 2009. The potluck dinner and contra dance will be held at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street beginning at 6:00 pm. Class for beginning contra dancers will follow at 7:00 pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30 pm with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm. Coming to Jonesborough to perform for the first time will be Irish Fiddle band “Red Wellies” from Asheville. Calling for the dance will be the ever popular Anne Marie Walter from Asheville.

The Summer Harvest Potluck Dinner will begin at 6:00pm. Nothing brings people together like a potluck, and nothing gets them talking together like the subject of food. Just watch as the buffet table fills up with salads, casseroles, pastas and desserts and you’ll see for yourself. “We are building a community through traditional music and dance. We hope to get our dancers chatting happily, exchanging recipes and telling the story behind each recipe,” adds Wiley. Food talk at a potluck can teach us a lot about each other and the world around us. Prizes will be given to the most creative and mouthwatering dishes. If you are not a home gardener, support your local Farmer’s Market including the Jonesborough Farmer’s Market held every Saturday from 8 am until noon in the parking lot by the Jonesborough Public Library.

The Red Wellies specialize in Irish traditional music. Fiddlers Beanie O’Dell, Duncan Wickel with Vincent Fogarty on the bouzouki have made a wonderful debut CD that will be enjoyed by any fan of Irish music. This recording combines superb musicianship, great feeling and a rock solid sense of rhythm and style. Beanie and Duncan have been playing together for some thirteen years the result of which is a near-unison playing, with a few harmonic departures here and there which is very reminiscent of the Kane sisters but with its own original sound. Their tune list includes quite of few well known melodies.

Anne Marie is a very popular caller in the Asheville area and just recently called the Old Farmers Ball New Year’s Eve dance which was attended by over three hundred dancers.
Anne Marie will delight you with her clear walk throughs and smooth flowing dances. Be prepared to be challenged as the night goes on. Her pleasant style and graceful teaching put dancers at ease and set the stage for a great evening.

Come as you are; wear soft flexible shoes for dancing. Come to dance, join the potluck dinner or just to listen. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught. As always, our dances are smoke and alcohol free. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students. Families with their own children are all admitted for only $15.

For further information call event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on July 28, 2009

Press Release 7/9/2009

SUMMERTIME CONTRA!

Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a Contra Dance on Saturday July 18, 2009 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Performing for the dance will old time string band, Jupiter Road, from Asheville. The caller/teacher for the event will be Nick Boulet from Knoxville. A class for beginners will be held at 7:00pm. The contra dance will run from 7:30pm-10:30pm with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm. No partner is necessary. All the dances are taught and walked through before the music begins. All HJDS events are smoke and alcohol free and family oriented. Admission to the dance is $7.00, $5 for HJDS Members and $4 for students.

Musicians and string band music fans will love the sounds of Jupiter Road which consists of Jacques Lewin on fiddle, Bill West on banjo, Hilary Dirlam on guitar and Hunt Mallett on bass. Jupiter Road has recently performed at the Old Farmers Ball at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, the Grey Eagle in Asheville and at the River Falls Lodge in Marietta, SC. This trip will be their second to Jonesborough. Jupiter Road plays mainly acoustic old-time music. String bands were popular in the United States prior to the 1930’s when trends in music switched to country music and bluegrass. There was a revival of interest in this type of music during the late 60’s that coincided with the same folk movement that made artists like Bob Dylan famous. And now this type of music is played at square dances and contemporary contra dances all over the country.

Caller Nick Boulet is an accomplished dance caller. He is a musician and song writer but also loves to teach the social dance called contra. For less than what it costs to go to a movie theater, you can come and learn traditional dances such as contra and waltz. Contra dance can be vigorous but can involve graceful walking as well as aerobic conditioning. The caller is there to walk you through each dance before the music starts. People of all ages and lifestyles are welcome including children. First time dancers will likely find experienced dancers very friendly and helpful.

Dancers who attend will find a beautiful new dance floor which was constructed in late May of 2009 by volunteers. The floor is suspended by thousands of round rubber cushions that diminish the effect of impacting the floor while dancing. In addition to being an air-conditioned facility, HJDS provides large fans to help cool the dancers who are enjoying all the ambiance of the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center. Beginners are welcomed by the experienced dancers and the caller. Contra dances are held on the first and third Saturday of each month.

The waltz break gives dancers a chance to cool down a little and enjoy complimentary Klondike Bars while visiting with fellow dancers.

Visitors to Jonesborough can take in the storyteller-in-residence at the International Storytelling Center. The Saturday afternoon performance is at 2pm. For more information visit www.storytellingcenter.com.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on July 9, 2009

Press Release

Jonesborough Days “Days of Dance”

Four the fourth year, the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present their “Days of Dance” during the annual Jonesborough Days Celebration. This year’s featured bands are Appalachian Storm and Dot-Dot-Dash. The caller/teachers will be Diane Silver and Charley Harvey.

The “Days of Dance” program is open to all comers. Dancers can purchase a wristband for $5 per day which allows them to pick and chose any or all of the dance workshops and dances which start with a “Kick off Contra Dance” at noon on Friday, July 3rd.

Following the opening contra dance, Diane Silver will lead our Family Dance from 2:30pm-3:30pm. Family Dance is aimed at beginning dancers and families with children. No experience is necessary and all ages are welcome to participate. Diane will teach circles, mixers, contras and squares.

There will be many more dances during Friday, but those who wish to learn to contra dance can participate in an hour long introduction to contra from 6:00-7:00pm.

Saturday will have a waltz workshop and an open waltz followed by a very popular flat footing and clogging workshop taught by Diane Silver.

The balance of Saturday will be contras and squares with a short program on the Salty Dog Rag at 2:00pm taught by Charley Harvey.

Originally based in the Radford and Blacksburg areas of Southwest Virginia, Dot Dot Dash began performing in the fall of 2002. In the months following, the band was soon playing events and festivals throughout the area, as well as coffee houses, radio and local contra dances. Originally a trio of fiddle, guitar and mandolin, the group welcomed Joel Keebler on double bass in early 2004. In the time since, the group has become spread out geographically, with members living in Boone, NC, as well as Roanoke, Abingdon and Pembroke, VA. The guys recorded an album's worth of tunes in December 2004 and January 2005, and released their first CD in early April 2005. Their follow-up disc, 'Dot Dot Dash 2,' was released on March 1, 2009.

Dot Dot Dash primarily plays contra dances in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee, although they can be seen performing at other musical events from time to time.

Appalachian Storm specializes in Appalachian, Irish traditional and contemporary dance tunes. The band consists of David Hayes on guitar, Kris Wallace on mandolin and fiddle, and Terrell Jones on the stand-up acoustic bass and singer and song writer Hannah Seng from Asheville.

David Hayes loves to play music. Beginning with piano at age six, switching to trumpet, flute, then on to guitar, harmonica, eventually dabbling in fiddle, banjo, mandolin and various percussives. A long time finger picker, he now focuses his musical energy on traditional and contemporary Celtic and old-time accompaniment. A lifelong fear of dancing was finally overcome after several years of cajoling by friends—and David discovered contra. So, whilst pursuing his newfound dance addiction he became steeped in this wonderful genre of music that comes with it. Now he's hooked on playing and dancing and is busy working out ways to do both at the same time. When not dancing or playing, he catches babies, ("still the most awesome thing I've ever done - each and every time"), loves growing anything he can get to grow, and is obsessed with propagating his beloved fig tree. He also enjoys sailing, canoeing, hiking, traveling way off the beaten path, tries to be active in Veterans for Peace, and is moving slowly toward a low impact, off the grid lifestyle and bankruptcy.

Terrell Jones is an Asheville native who played electric bass for the rock band Freefall in the Raleigh, NC area during the early 80’s before spending 2 ½ years overseas, mostly in Africa. Moving back to the mountains in the late 90’s rekindled his old time, bluegrass and Celtic musical roots. The transition led him to the contra dance scene where he joined Appalachian Storm as bass player. Terrell and wife Sara gave birth to their first child, Violet, on February 28, 2008. He works for the North Carolina Department of Environmental Engineering.

Kris Wallace inherited her love of music from her mother, Kathy. Kathy encouraged Kris to start violin and piano lessons at a very young age. As young children go, Kris opted for the fun of getting dirty in the creek beds rather than struggling over a squeaky violin. Looking back, Kris now wishes she had stuck with the discipline and the practice as she later watched with envy many Irish and old time fiddlers. After years in the business world doing computer programming, she changed gears to spend more time on the Appalachian Trail and playing music. Now an accomplished fiddler and mandolin player for Appalachian Storm, she also continues to work as a rural mail carrier.

Overall, the “Days of Dance” program is a way to introduce many of the festival goers to traditional American music and dance which is why the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society was formed in the fall of 2005. Event organizer, David Wiley, and the members of the board, hope everyone will come and give it a try. The complete schedule can be found at www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on Facebook or right here on this page:

FRIDAY JULY 3rd
12:00 Noon- 2:30 pm Kick-off Contra (Dot-Dot-Dash)
2:30 pm- 3:30 pm Family Dance (Dot-Dot-Dash)
3:45 pm – 5:00 pm Squares/ Big Set / Circle Dances (App Storm)
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Dinner Break
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Introduction to Contra Dance
7:00 pm – 9:30 pm Contra Dance (App Storm)
10:00 pm Fireworks

SATURDAY JULY 4th
9:00 am – 10:00 am Waltz Workshop
10:00 am – 11:00 am Open Waltz ( Dot-Dot-Dash)
11:00 am- 12:30 pm Flatfooting / Clogging Workshop
12:30 pm – 4:00pm Contra Dance (Dot-Dot-Dash & App Storm)
Salty Dog Rag 2-2:30pm
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm Squares (Dot-Dot-Dash)
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm Dinner Break
6:30 pm – 10:00 pm Contra Dance (App Storm)
10:00pm - ------------ After Dance Party & Jam

Posted by: David Wiley on June 21, 2009

Press Release

Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold another contra dance on Saturday, June 20, 2009 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Performing for the dance will be a four-piece band from the Tri-Cities area called the Cider Hill String Band. The contra dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5 and students $4.

At the contra dance, you will be part of a living tradition passed on by the experienced dancers helping the newcomers. The dancers, the musicians, and caller aim for an evening of low-pressure, often energetic, camaraderie. Come alone or with others. We suggest changing partners every dance, although dates who attend together and significant others might dance with each other more than once. Sometimes you choose a partner and sometimes you get chosen. It's acceptable for women to ask men to dance.

Contra dancing is an evening of fun, featuring dancing in "sets" of about a dozen couples. You interact with your partner and everyone else in the set too as you dance with easy walking steps to energetic music. A caller, working with a group of live musicians, guides new and experienced dancers through a variety of dances.

The caller teaches each dance before it is actually done to the music. This walk through gives everyone an idea of what to expect so the movements can be easily executed. The caller calls the dances as they are being performed to the music, so dancers are able to execute each movement to the music. Once the dancers appear to have mastered a dance, the caller may stop calling, leaving the dancers to enjoy the movement with music alone.

The Cider Hill String Band is a Washington County TN-based string band with family ties to the area that goes back several generations. Jeff Benedict and Jeff Winegar play as if they have grown up together, attended the same schools and shared the same circle of friends. Amy, on guitar, has played old-time music for half her life, and Steve Cook started playing bass in high school to perform at assembly programs with friends. The group has the energy and power that would be expected from a much younger bunch. For 30 years they have played their music with the enthusiasm that tends to give the impression they have just recently fallen in love with the music. The band now consists of Jeff and Amy Benedict, Steve Cook and Jeff Winegar.

Hank Morris is one of the most popular dance callers in the area and hails from Black Mountain, NC.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David on June 15, 2009

Press Release

Contra Dancing In Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance on Saturday, June 6, 2009 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Performing for the dance will be Dennis Spring and the Sons of the Full Moon from Charlotte.
Calling for this event will be Dean Snipes. A class for beginners will be taught by Snipes from 7:00-7:30pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a country waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm. No partner is necessary and all dances are taught by the caller. Every contra dance is smoke and alcohol free and family oriented. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5 and students $4.

HJDS unveiled a new dance floor exactly one year ago in the Visitors Center. The dance society raised over $12,000 and with the help of a steady flow of volunteers under the supervision of hardwood flooring contractor, Marvin Ashburn of Asheville, the sprung floor was installed
in record time. Has the new dance floor made a difference for the dance society and the town of Jonesborough? Event organizer, David Wiley, president of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society says “The new hi-tech dance floor has been easy on the feet, sounds great, and adds color and warmth to the room. In addition, dancers have come from all over the region to join our contra dance movement”.

Dennis Spring and the Sons of the Full Moon are made up of Dennis Spring, Buddy McManus and Tim Mace. The band plays a broad range of traditional and Irish music and has performed in popular contra dance locations such as Charlotte, River Falls, SC, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Boone and Columbia, SC. Buddy McManus plays guitar and mandolin, and has written music that the band has incorporated into their contra medleys. Tim Mace plays mandolin, mandola, banjo, guitar and fiddle. In addition to being an accomplished musician, he makes beautiful mandolins. Dennis plays guitar as well as fiddle, sings, and has written waltzes and jigs.

Dennis was exposed to Irish music, dance and poetry at an early age.
His Irish grandmother lived with the family when he was young.
He has taught Irish fiddling to students for over 20 years, won first place in the fiddle category, and 2nd place in the vocal category at the Atlanta Feis, regional qualifying competition for the world final in Ireland.

Dennis was a first violinist with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and the leader of the Symphony String Quartet for over 15 years. He was also the Concertmaster of the Charlotte Pops Orchestra, before it was absorbed the CSO.

As a recording studio musician, he has put together string groups for background tracks on Gospel, Rhythm & Blues, Jazz, Beach, Country, and Folk albums, and radio Jingles and movies. He has performed with nationally-known artists, such as Harry Connick, Jr., Benny Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Smokey Robinson, Dionne Warwick, Doc Severinson, Chet Atkins, The Moody Blues, Beverly Sills and Luciano Pavarotti.

Dean Snipes has been a regular caller in Jonesborough. His enthusiasm and clear calling have made for some very exciting dances. So impressed with our spirit and sense of community, Dean wrote a special dance called “The Jonesborough Way” which he describes as tribute to all the people who have come together to celebrate and enjoy traditional music and dance.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on May 30, 2009

Press Release

Hot Sonata performs for Jonesborough Contra Dance!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society welcomes Asheville band “Hot Sonata” and caller Fred Park to the next contra dance
On Saturday, May 16, 2009 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students. A workshop for beginners will begin at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm.

The beginner’s workshop gives the experienced dancers and first timers
a chance to warm up together. The caller explains many of the calls
such as balance and swing, star left and star right, ladies chain across,
Do-si-do, courtesy turn, allemande and hey for four. Many of these
calls would be familiar to anyone who square danced. The contra
dance employs a longwise set and allows couples to progress up
and down the line to dance with all other couples.

Hot Sonata unites four old friends in the music world. The band consists of Mark Mueller on fiddle, Art Shuster on mandolin and Karen
Gaughan on keyboard.

Fred Park was once the "bad boy" of the American Country Dance and Song Society for trying such shenanigans as mixing blues and gospel
Music with traditional melodies from Scotland and New England.
He later rose above the roar of the old guard to become a recognized teacher of the highest order.

Many callers and dance leaders have taken to heart his gentle
and patient humor when working with novice or advanced dancers.
His country dance choreography is lean and exquisite in the form of
circles, contras, squares, small set dances and waltzes. "If it’s not a
dance that I personally enjoy dancing I don't teach it!" Fred has been
on staff at most every dance festival in America and several in Canada, Scotland and France.

Fred's involvement in traditional dance predates the recent wave of
interest in contra dance while he is a noted organizer of traditional
arts events including festivals, community dances and teaching or
performing traditional arts in school programs, nursing homes and
prisons nation wide and abroad. For this event, Fred Park, dance master, will write some special dances that will include longwise sets, squares, circles and three couple dances.

Event organizer, David Wiley, believes that our community building
efforts are paying off. “Our attendance is continually on the rise. We have a core group of regulars, but see many new dancers at every
event”. “We combine traditional live music and dances that anyone can
do” adds Wiley. The dances are held two times per month in the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center. All the dances are taught by
the caller. You don’t have to bring a partner. Everyone dances with everyone.

For more information, contact David Wiley, event organizer at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on May 8, 2009

Press Release

Spring Time Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold another spring contra dance on May 2, 2009 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The Visitors Center now had a professional grade dance floor for almost a year. Event organizer, David Wiley, confirms that dancers from all over the region are now trekking to Jonesborough to dance in the Visitors Center. “The sound of dancers stomping, clapping and hollering resonates throughout the room. It’s just a great place for contra dancing now” adds Wiley.

Performing for the dance will be the band Steam Shovel from Asheville, North Carolina. The band is made up of Roger Gold on Guitar and David White on Fiddle and Banjo. Roger and David have performed together for several years on the regional contra dance circuit. The dance will be called by Jennie Wakefield from Greenville, SC.

Roger Gold grew up surrounded by music. His parents and older sister all sing and play various instruments. He knew at the age of six that he wanted to play guitar and persisted until his parents found a teacher. His interests took his guitar playing from the ever present folk, through electric teen-age-rock, to traditional, Celtic, and more. He likes to "play" with the music; turning waltzes to klezmer, Bach into swing, and doing even stranger things to the tunes he writes. Roger's guitar styles range from classical to hard driving, rhythmic, contra dance music. He enjoys contra dancing, and enjoys playing music for contra dances, and has yet to figure out how to do both at the same time. Roger partners with Mara Shea on fiddle to become the Elftones who will be performing at the HJDS sponsored Contrathon IV in Glendale Springs, NC on August 31st

Currently living in Pickens, SC, David White has been playing stringed instruments for almost 30 years. Only in the past 14 years he became rather consumed by contra dancing and the music that drives it. David fell in love with traditional Appalachian old time music – especially that played by bands and musicians that create driving rhythms. That passionate driving style is evident when David plays guitar, claw hammer banjo or fiddle. The fact that David has always loved contra dancing has helped him become a master of creating great dance energy from old time tunes and melodies. He loves to sing as well. David has played in several bands in the past (Reedy River Rhythm Rockers, Corn Bread Heads, Cloudlanders) and more recently the Carolina Tunecroppers, Steamshovel (w/ Roger Gold) and the Shifty Tweeds. His habit of ‘gyrating’ while playing the fiddle while wearing his Dad’s old tweed hat earned him the nickname ‘the Shifty Tweed.’

There will be a class for beginners at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS members $5 and students $4.

For more information, please visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246.

Posted by: David Wiley on April 30, 2009

Press Release "Toss the Possum" comes to Jonesborough

Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a Contra Dance on Saturday April 18, 2009 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street. Class for beginning contra dancers start at 7:00 pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30 pm with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm. Fresh from performing at the region’s newest contra dance weekend will be “Toss the Possum” from Blacksburg, Virginia. Calling for the dance will be the ever popular Charley Harvey from Charlotte, NC..

The energetic twirling and swaying that occurs on the first and third Saturday nights at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, is currently known as “contra dancing”. Contra dancing is a very old form of traditional dance done by unschooled dancers of all ages and abilities joining to share community spirit and joy. The music has roots as old or older than the dance form itself and is often of Celtic or Appalachian origins. The tunes are most often jigs and reels.

Contra dancing has evolved from the French and English Country Dancing of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, according to dance historian Bob Dalsemer, director of dance at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC. Contra dancing uses figures common not only to those two genres but also to Irish Country Set Dancing and American Square Dancing. The Irish sets developed from the dances of Brittany. The term “contra” is descended from a French corruption of the English term “Country” Dance.

Originally tunes and dances were paired together, but often the music's matching steps were lost. New dances have been written to dance tunes possibly dating as far back as a genre known as “Early Music,” the first uniquely western music. Throughout a long evolution both the music and the dance figures have adapted to the culture and values of the time and locale in which they were performed. A similar dance form is found in Martinique, home to descendants of Irish immigrants, where a typical Caribbean style of movement has been added to a grouping of facing couples. In the United States a band of young musicians incorporates jazz elements with traditional tunes.

Today, contra dancers in groups of two pairs begin the dance in two long lines of facing partners. Each group of two couples steps through the dance one time before progressing either up or down the line to dance with a new couple. The eight to ten figures in a dance are then repeated. Participants dance with everyone in the line. New dance figures have been developed by choreographers, yet some of the oldest dances are still popular. Dancers practice the dance in a “walk through” instructed by a caller who will continue to cue the dance once the music starts until it is well learned. Dancers today add their own flourishes and especially enjoy the opportunity for flirting that the dance provides. Children often pick up dancing more readily than adults. Newcomers often dance an entire evening when they discover how easy it is to learn the figures and how much help is available from others. Lately more and more teen-agers and young adults are filling the ranks along with the baby boomers and grandparents.

The name Toss the Possum was inspired by a possum who found itself trapped under a spare dresser drawer in the garage. Chas, upon seeing the upside down drawer moving mysteriously of its own volition around the garage floor, yelled for everyone to come and see. Thus, the first possum the Zisette family ever saw was a very unhappy one!

Rob Zisette, age 17, is the fiddler for Toss the Possum. After playing violin for a year and a half, he entered the fiddle contest sponsored by the Festival of the American West at age 10. He won first prize and has been fiddling ever since. Rob also likes to compose and is a percussionist in the Radford High School Band. Occasionally he’ll pick up the drumsticks at a dance.

Chas, age 19, taught himself to play bass as soon as he realized the family band was forming without him. Sometimes he plays his sax with the band. Chas’ claim to fame is that he can play ‘Ode to Joy’ on 16 different instruments.

Jane, age 21, began playing flute when she was 12. Soon after, she heard Joannie Madsen play her whistles with Cherish the Ladies and decided to add the Irish whistle to her repertoire. Jane plays on Patrick Riordan whistles. Jane also sings with the band. She has been accepted as a flute performance major at BYU Idaho.

Laura (mom) taught Piano at Utah State University until she moved to Virginia. In Utah she played with Barnstorm and Leaping Lulu. Now she’s hanging on for the ride with Toss the Possum.

Charlie, (dad) of course, is the most important member of the band. Not only has he picked up sound engineering and springs for food after the gigs, but the kids have dubbed him the ‘instrument Sherpa".

Toss the Possum has played for all kinds of events, festivals, and dances for the past five years – that is, as many as their busy school schedules have allowed. They especially enjoy playing for contra dances because they know how much fun the dancers are having. The Zisettes have been contra dancing since Rob was four years old, drawn by the terrific live music and the wonderful spirit of the dance community. Many of their fine waltz tunes are original compositions.

This band puts their unique twist on southern tunes, old time, Celtic, jazz and folk. They are known for their energetic, driving renditions of traditional tunes. These teens like to occasionally slip in ‘cameos’ of non-traditional tunes. They also love the excitement of creating color and rhythm on the fly!

Calling the contra dance will be Charley Harvey. Charley began dancing in Berea, Kentucky over twenty years ago. He has called dances far and wide, teaching American folk dance in Denmark and leading local dances throughout the eastern U.S. A founding member of Berea’s monthly contra dance, Charley enjoys a reputation as an exciting and enthusiastic dance caller while being good with beginners. No matter how much or how little experience you have as a dancer, Charley will lead an evening of dance that will leave you smiling!

Come as you are; wear soft flexible shoes for dancing. Come to dance or just to listen. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught. As always, our dances are smoke and alcohol free. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students.

For further information call event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on April 10, 2009

Press Release

“Contra Cowboys” return to Jonesborough

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, April 4 , 2009, at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Performing for the dance will be the Contra Cowboys from the Tri-Cities area. The caller will be Asheville’s John Combs. There will be a class for beginners at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS Members and $4 for students. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. The event is smoke and alcohol free and family oriented. Klondike Bars are served at the break.

Contra dance is one of the best ways to interest and initiate people into folk dance. Interest in dance in general is widespread in the Tri-Cities region because of programs aired on public television and the very popular TV hit, “Dancing with the Stars.” For most everyone who tries, contra dance is simple and easy to learn. If you have a good caller, they’ll start the evening with dances with simple but fundamental formations that emphasize a few basic rules which include listening to the music and following the steps that are taught. After a couple of walk throughs, you just dive into the dance. “We have been drawing many beginners lately of all ages,” states event organizer, David Wiley, “It’s a real challenge for the caller, but they manage to make the dance happen very quickly. This further illustrates how contra dance converts just about anyone to a folk dancer in short order.”


The Contra Cowbowys are a brand new band on the contra dance circuit. Each member of this group has years of experience playing for dancers and listeners alike in a wide variety of musical styles and venues.

Joel Keebler is featured on upright bass and melodica, and will be familiar to many as the bassist for the popular contra dance ensemble, Dot Dot Dash. He has been an enthusiastic member of the dance community for a number of years now. He spent earlier days in Knoxville, where he performed with Robinella, in the group, The Stringbeans. He currently resides in Mendota, Virginia, where he helps count hawks during their migration, from the nearby fire tower, and thoroughly enjoys the country life. Virginia Highlands Community College in Abingdon, is where he plies his profession, teaching horticulture.

Mike Knowles, of Johnson City, is featured on guitar, mandolin, and the occasional vocal. You may recognize him from his participation in the local Jonesborough dance scene, for the past two years. In days past, he has spent much time pursuing different musical interests and paths, including a summer attending every old time festival and competition in the area. Currently performing with the New Orleans rhythm and blues outfit, the Mudbugs, on piano and vocal, Mike also has been employed as member of a 10 piece band on a cruise ship. Several other bands have included his guitar and vocals, including Matrix, the Groovemasters, and the Normaltones.

Sid Jackson, rounds out the trio, with his excellent banjo picking. Sid makes his home in Piney Flats, and makes dance hall appearances with the Ransom McCoy Band. He also has many years and genres of musical experience, including Rock and Roll in the fifties, folk music in the sixties and bluegrass in the seventies and eighties. He and Mike first got together to pick fiddle tunes, nearly thirty years ago. Sid also performed with the Rainbow Valley Boys, the Cherokee Mountain boys, and Snake and the Grass. Along the way, he found some time to play Dixieland, hot jazz, and teach mathematics.

John Combs from Asheville is a very popular caller in the area. He is one of the founding members of the Old Farmers Ball dance community in Asheville.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org

Posted by: David Wiley on April 3, 2009

Press Release

Vermont Band to Visit Jonesborough for Special Sunday Contra Dance
And Benefit Concert for WETS-FM

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold an afternoon contra
Dance on Sunday, March 29, 2009, at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS Members and $4 for students. There will be no workshop for beginners at this event.

New England roots music ensemble Atlantic Crossing will be appearing from
1:30-5:30 p.m. Based in the Champlain Valley of Vermont, Atlantic
Crossing has performed songs and instrumental music of New England,
Canada, and the British Isles, as well as original material inspired by
these musical traditions, for over a dozen years. Viveka Fox, Rick
Klein, Peter Macfarlane and Brian Perkins between them play fiddle,
guitar, mandolin, bouzouki, tenor banjo, low whistle, cornet, bodhran,
djembe, and Quebec-style foot percussion. Featuring rich harmonies and
driving rhythms, Atlantic Crossing’s arrangements show a deep love for
the tradition along with a high level of creativity, emotional expression and just plain fun.

Atlantic Crossing is among a small group of Vermont musicians who are
bringing to life the music of the Helen Hartness Flanders Collection of
traditional songs. Flanders was Vermont's most important folklorist,
recording hundreds of traditional songs from an older generation of
singers in the 1930s and '40s. The members of Atlantic Crossing gather
material from the archives of field recordings at Middlebury College and
then arrange the songs for the contemporary listener. They also
research, write and perform material related to Vermont history. Their
ability to tell the stories of ordinary men and women living in
extraordinary times has led to collaborations with the Mount
Independence state historical site, the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum,
and the Lake Champlain Quadricentennial Commission. In 2007, Atlantic
Crossing was recognized by the Vermont Arts Council with an American
Masterpieces designation for their program exploring the cultural
heritage of the Champlain Valley through music.

The three Americans and one transplanted Englishman all cut their teeth
as dance musicians, and have appeared at many of the major contra dance
series in the U.S. Contra dancing, which has its roots in the English
and Scottish social dancing of colonial New England, came into its own
in the 19th Century. Traditional Yankee fiddlers swapped tunes with
newly arrived Irish and French-Canadian immigrants, while furloughed
army band musicians brought their fifes, flutes and brass instruments to
village dances. Now-classic dances, like Hull's Victory and
Sackett's Harbor, were written to commemorate American victories in the
War of 1812. Later in the century, new rhythms, popularized by
African-American minstrel shows, ragtime and early jazz, began to
infiltrate dance halls. By the end of the 19th century, contra dancing
was popular with both rural and urban New Englanders. But with the
advent of radio and television, this homemade form of entertainment
began to fade away. It remained underground until the back-to-the-land
movement of the 1970s, when young New Englanders began to seek out and
value contra dancing for its community spirit. Since 1980, contra
dancing has exploded onto the national scene, gaining popularity across
the United States in an updated, high-energy form.

Due to other commitments, Atlantic Crossing performs mainly in New
England and northern New York, but makes the time to do an extended tour
each March. This will be their 5th trip to the mid-South. They were
drawn by the region's reputation for having a lively contra dance scene
(not to mention much better weather than Vermont in late March!) and
have not been disappointed. There is a great atmosphere of fun at
southern dances, and they are a little rowdier (in a good way) than most
of those in the frozen North. Nearly all the dances done in the south
are modern contras (written since 1970), so there is not quite the sense
of history or tradition that callers and dancers in New England have.
But one thing which Atlantic Crossing has found to be universal is the
joyful connection between dancers and musicians which makes contra
dancing so appealing.

On March 29, Atlantic Crossing will play for an hour of waltz and swing
dancing beginning at 1:30, followed by a contra dance led by renowned
Asheville caller Beth Molaro. Beth has a national reputation for her
skill in getting a roomful of people up and dancing together, and her
infectious enthusiasm which makes every dance a party. With Beth,
Atlantic Crossing will be exploring the range of moods contra dance
music can take, from frenetic to cheerfully bouncy, majestic to playful,
driving to downright funky. Their repertoire of authentic traditional
New England, Canadian and Celtic pieces sprinkled liberally with their
own compositions is sure to get you moving, so dust off your dancing
shoes and welcome spring with one of New England's best contra dance
bands and one of the South's best callers!

In addition, on Tuesday, March 31st, Atlantic Crossing will perform a concert for the benefit of radio station WETS-FM at the Visitors Center in Jonesborough at 7:30pm. The concert is sponsored by the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society, the Town of Jonesborough and WETS-FM. Admission is free to the public. Donations to WETS will be accepted at the door.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on March 22, 2009

Press Release

“Skirts and Shirts” Fashion Contra in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society welcomes Asheville band “Spring Chickens” and caller Rodney Sutton to the next contra
On Saturday, March 21, 2009 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. There will be a class for beginners at 7:00pm followed by the dance from 7:30-10:30pm. There will be a break at 9:00pm where dancers will parade down the runway showing off their colorful skirts and Hawaiian-style or tie-dyed shirts. Klondike Bars will be offered to all comers. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students.

The beginner’s workshop gives the experienced dancers and first timers
a chance to warm up together. The caller explains many of the calls
such as balance and swing, star left and star right, ladies chain across,
Do-si-do, courtesy turn, allemande and hey for four. Many of these
calls would be familiar to anyone who has square danced. The contra
dance employs a longwise set and allows couples to progress up
and down the line to dance with all other couples. It’s a group dance where everyone in the longwise set interacts with everyone else during the song which lasts anywhere from seven to ten minutes.

The Spring Chickens known mostly for their hard driving rhythmic old time repertoire will crossover to add contra dance tunes for our dance. The Spring Chickens are lead by regional potters Rob and Beth Mangum from Weaverville, NC., on fiddle and guitar. The remaining members of their group are McLean Bissell on bass, Art Schuster on mandolin and Ben Harvey on banjo.

Rodney Sutton, a former Junior High teacher, is a traditional dancer, caller, musician, and storyteller. He was both a member and director of the Green Grass Cloggers in their early years, and co-founder of and principle dancer with the Fiddle Puppets (now known as Footworks). In demand nationally as both a caller and teacher of traditional dance styles, he has been on staff at numerous music and dance weeks including Pinewoods, Augusta, Ashokan, and the Swannanoa Gathering. He served as president of the Madison County Arts Council for five years, and he currently produces MCAC’s Bluff Mountain Music Festival, held each June in Hot Springs, N.C. Rodney's friendly style of sharing his love of clogging and flat footing, along with his welcoming "put you at ease" calling, has made him a favorite at festivals, conventions, and retreats for over 30 years.

The “Skirts and Shirts” fashion idea came from the fact that many women shop for the prairie or stagecoach skirts at thrift stores, yard sales and other second-hard shops. While twirling, the skirts splay out into a beautiful display of color and style. For the men, you will see many wear flowered or multicolored tie-dyed shirts. What fun it will be to see all the colors twirling down our center floor runway. Some door prizes will be awarded for the most creative and colorful. Of course, anyone can come dressed in the most casual and comfortable attire for dancing.

Event organizer, David Wiley, believes that our dance community, which is open to all comers, is growing both in size but more importantly in dance skill. “Our last dance had a group of 110 dancers or so but the dancing was excellent.” adds Wiley. “We are getting dancers from all over the region because of our new dance floor and because we are a very friendly and welcoming group”.

“We combine traditional live music and dances that anyone can
do” adds Wiley. The dances are held two times per month in the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center. All the dances are taught by
the caller. You don’t have to bring a partner. The dances are smoke and alcohol free.

For more information, contact David Wiley, event organizer at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on March 13, 2009

Press Release

EVENT DATE: March 7, 2009
CONTACT: Event Coordinator, David Wiley 423-913-3246 or 423-534-8879
****************************************************
Asheville band, Chicken Tractor, in Jonesborough for Contra!

JONESBOROUGH, TN - The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society welcomes Asheville band “Chicken Tractor” and caller Jesse Edgerton to the next contra dance, Saturday, March 7th at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center located at 117 Boone Street. Admission is $7 per person, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students.

The evening will begin with a “Contra Frills and Flourishes” workshop led by Warren and Terry Doyle. This workshop is for the non-beginner and will focus on techniques that will allow the experienced dancer to all a little pizzazz to their dance moves. Two topics that will be covered are what to do when you are out at the end of a longwise set and a gypsy hey. In addition, they will cover how to dance to the dynamics of the music such as loud versus soft or fast versus slow. Warren and Terry have frequently offered their time at no charge to the dance community to help those who want to develop their dance skills for both contra and waltz.

At 7:00 p.m, caller Jesse Edgerton will conduct a class for beginners where both experienced and new dancers will go over the basic steps and formations. This workshop will lead into the beginning of the dance at 7:30 p.m. There will be a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:30 p.m. The dance concludes at 10:30 p.m.

The band consists of Laurie Fisher on bass, Jono Althizer on mandolin, Adam Masters on fiddle and Lawrence Dillingham on guitar. Chicken Tractor was formed in the middle of 2008. When asked just how this group came together, band leader Laurie Fisher states that they all met at the Monday night jam at Adam’s real estate office in West Asheville. “There are anywhere from 6-20 musicians that start coming together about 8:00 p.m. and essentially play all night” offers Fisher. “Adam, Jono and Lawrence have bluegrass backgrounds. I told them how much fun it would be to play for contra dances. They decided to give it a try” adds Fisher. Laurie has performed many times in Jonesborough with various groups as fiddler and keyboard player. She is also an outstanding contra dance caller and teacher.

Consummate fiddler, Adam Masters, is a protégé of the legendary Bobby Hicks. Masters played guitar in rock and roll bands in high school. Later he became an accomplished mandolin player before picking up the fiddle. He works in real estate and property management along with running a small farm in Madison County where he raises chickens, goats, pigs and horses. Adam has decided to get in the business of manufacturing chicken tractors which are small, portable holding pens for laying chickens. Small scale urban poultry farming is on the rise in the Asheville area. “You will see one of my prototype units at your dance on March 7th just in case anyone wants to purchase” adds Masters. The cost is about $150.

Jono Althizer plays bass guitar and mandolin in both bluegrass and Celtic traditions. He has black belt in several martial arts fields and teaches as well.

Lawrence Dillingham is a true native of Madison County. He started playing bluegrass guitar as a teenager. He and his family live in Weaverville where he works for the county highway department.

Contra dance is a form of American folk dance in which the dancers form a set of two parallel lines that run the length of the hall. Each dance consists of a sequence of moves and steps that ends with the couples having progressed one position up or down the set.
All dances are taught by the caller. No partner is necessary and you are encouraged to dance with as many different people as possible

Many of the basic moves resemble square dancing—swings, allemandes, do-si-dos—but contra dancing is more a sort of amusement park ride that the dancers make for themselves. A square dance set is compromised of only four couples, whereas the length of the hall only limits the number of couples in a contra dance set. To join a set, only a partner and soft-soled shoes are necessary. All that is left is to have fun dancing. You are encouraged to dress comfortably and stay hydrated with lots of water.


For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on February 28, 2009

PRess Release

Contra Dance Storm Brewing in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society (HJDS) will hold contra dance on Saturday, February 21, 2009 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The brewing storm will feature concentrated showers of songs that will pour out of the up and coming band, Appalachian Storm, from Asheville, NC. The music meteorologists predict a steady flow of old-time and Irish jigs and reels with scattered Cajun and original tunes. . Dean Snipes will lead the contra dance, beginning with a 30 minute class for beginners and experienced dancers alike at 7:00pm. The contra dance will follow from 7:30-10:30pm with a country waltz break at 9:00pm.

No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. Every contra dance sponsored by HJDS is smoke and alcohol free. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS members $5 and students are $4.

Contra dance is one of the best ways to interest and initiate people into folk dance. Interest in dance in general is widespread in the Tri-Cities region because of programs aired on public television and the very popular TV hit, “Dancing with the Stars.” For most everyone who tries, contra dance is simple and easy to learn. If you have a good caller, they’ll start the evening with dances with simple but fundamental formations that emphasize a few basic rules which include listening to the music and following the steps that are taught. After a couple of walk throughs, you just dive into the dance. “We have been drawing many beginners lately of all ages,” states event organizer, David Wiley, “It’s a real challenge for the caller, but they manage to make the dance happen very quickly. This further illustrates how contra dance converts just about anyone to a folk dancer in short order.”

Appalachian Storm specializes in Appalachian, Irish traditional and contemporary dance tunes. The band consists of David Hayes on guitar, Kris Wallace on mandolin and fiddle, and Terrell Jones on the stand-up acoustic bass and special guest, singer and song writer Hannah Seng from Asheville.

David Hayes loves to play music. Beginning with piano at age six, switching to trumpet, flute, then on to guitar, harmonica, eventually dabbling in fiddle, banjo, mandolin and various percussives. A long time finger picker, he now focuses his musical energy on traditional and contemporary Celtic and old-time accompaniment. A lifelong fear of dancing was finally overcome after several years of cajoling by friends—and David discovered contra. So, whilst pursuing his newfound dance addiction he became steeped in this wonderful genre of music that comes with it. Now he's hooked on playing and dancing and is busy working out ways to do both at the same time. When not dancing or playing, he catches babies, ("still the most awesome thing I've ever done - each and every time"), loves growing anything he can get to grow, and is obsessed with propagating his beloved fig tree. He also enjoys sailing, canoeing, hiking, traveling way off the beaten path, tries to be active in Veterans for Peace, and is moving slowly toward a low impact, off the grid lifestyle and bankruptcy.

Terrell Jones is an Asheville native who played electric bass for the rock band Freefall in the Raleigh, NC area during the early 80’s before spending 2 ½ years overseas, mostly in Africa. Moving back to the mountains in the late 90’s rekindled his old time, bluegrass and Celtic musical roots. The transition led him to the contra dance scene where he joined Appalachian Storm as bass player. Terrell and wife Sara gave birth to their first child, Violet, on February 28, 2008. He works for the North Carolina Department of Environmental Engineering.

Kris Wallace inherited her love of music from her mother, Kathy. Kathy encouraged Kris to start violin and piano lessons at a very young age. As young children go, Kris opted for the fun of getting dirty in the creek beds rather than struggling over a squeaky violin. Looking back, Kris now wishes she had stuck with the discipline and the practice as she later watched with envy many Irish and old time fiddlers. After years in the business world doing computer programming, she changed gears to spend more time on the Appalachian Trail and playing music. Now an accomplished fiddler and mandolin player for Appalachian Storm, she also continues to work as a rural mail carrier.

Dean Snipes is a favorite caller of the Jonesborough dance community. He is known for his great choice of dances, easy teaching and brings a sense of generosity and great enthusiasm to the dances.

For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org

Posted by: David Wiley on February 10, 2009

Press Release

Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold another contra dance on Saturday, February 7, 2009 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Performing for the dance will be an emerging three-piece band from Boone, North Carolina called Hay for Three. The contra dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5 and students $4. A contra dance class for newcomers will be held from 7-7:30pm.
The dance will be called by Asheville’s Anne Marie Walter.

Coming off the largest attendance in over two years, event organizer, David Wiley, claims that contra dance is “attracting all ages from all over the region including the Tri-Cities area, Knoxville, Boone, NC, Asheville and Southwest, Virginia. We are welcoming college student, families with children and avid dancers from everywhere. Of course, our new high-tech floor in the Visitors Center makes Jonesborough the ideal place to come contra dance and our core group of experienced dancers help make all the newcomers feel right at home”.

At the contra dance, you will be part of a living tradition passed on by the experienced dancers helping the newcomers. The dancers, the musicians, and caller aim for an evening of low-pressure, often energetic, camaraderie. Come alone or with others. We suggest changing partners every dance, although dates who attend together and significant others might dance with each other more than once. Sometimes you choose a partner and sometimes you get chosen. It's acceptable for women to ask men to dance.

Contra dancing is an evening of fun, featuring dancing in "sets" of about a dozen couples. You interact with your partner and everyone else in the set too as you dance with easy walking steps to energetic music. A caller, working with a group of live musicians, guides new and experienced dancers through a variety of dances.

The caller teaches each dance before it is actually done to the music. This walk through gives everyone an idea of what to expect so the movements can be easily executed. The caller calls the dances as they are being performed to the music, so dancers are able to execute each movement to the music. Once the dancers appear to have mastered a dance, the caller may stop calling, leaving the dancers to enjoy the movement with music alone.


Hay for Three, an old-time dance band from Boone, NC, features the parlor-style string band sound of piano, banjo and fiddle.

Georgie Donovan plays driving piano suited equally for traditional southern dance styles and the newly imported New England contra dances. On banjo is Patrick Heavner, a 22 year old native of Morganton, NC, who expands the traditional southern claw hammer repertoire to include jigs and newly composed dance tunes. And M Mueller, a fiddle player for dances in the southern highlands for the past twenty years, rounds out the band’s sound with expressive playing that takes the old favorite tunes to new levels.

This combination of instruments, popular where railroads and good flat-top roads provided access for piano deliveries to churches and rare homes in the southern highlands, was never recorded by the mobile studios of the 1920’s and 30’s, but is documented nonetheless. Also called the “ice cream social” sound because it was used on those rare cases where secular music could be played on the church piano for social gatherings, the music drives hard from the piano, with banjo taking frequent claw hammer-style leads, and the fiddle singing out like sister.

Anne Marie is a very popular caller in the Asheville area and just recently called the Old Farmers Ball New Year’s Eve dance which was attended by over three hundred dancers.
Anne Marie will delight you with her clear walk throughs and smooth flowing dances. Be prepared to be challenged as the night goes on. Her pleasant style and graceful teaching put dancers at ease and set the stage for a great evening.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on January 20, 2009

Press Release

Contra Dance & Music Jam in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance on Saturday, January 17, 2009 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Performing for the dance will be Jamie Laval and Roger Gold from Asheville. Calling the dance will be Laurie Fisher.

A class for beginners will be held from 7:00-7:30pm. The
dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a country waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm. No partner is necessary and all dances are taught by the caller. Every contra dance is smoke and alcohol free and family oriented. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5 and students $4.

Jamie and Roger return to Jonesborough after helping to dedicate the
recently installed dance floor back in June of 2008. Since the dedication, dancers from all over the region have flocked to Jonesborough to check it out.

Winner of the 2002 U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Championship, Jamie
Was recently herald in Scotland as “A new star for the Old World”. The Olympian newspaper reported, “A fantastic fiddler…Laval captures the essence of Celtic sentiment and yearning.” And Virginia concert promoter Deborah Greer raved, “I’ve been producing shows here for 10 years and I have never seen a standing ovation after the first tune. Unbelievable! I have never seen a better band on this stage.”

Jamie’s music making is born out of his Scottish and Irish heritage. After his student years at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, he traveled extensively, immersing himself in a wide variety of musical styles including classical, jazz, and folk. Jamie now resides in Asheville and performs throughout the U.S. with mandolinist Ashley Broder and regionally with the very talented guitarist, Roger Gold.

Multi-talented Laurie Fisher comes to this event as dance caller and teacher. Laurie is a popular fiddler and keyboard player but also is an excellent caller.

The contra dance is for all ages and does not require a partner. The caller forms the dancers in the longwise sets and demonstrates each dance. It is social dancing, lots of fun and vigorous exercise. The steps to each dance are repetitive, so if you make a mistake, it’s easy to catch up. If you are a good dancer, you can add flourishes to make it fun. This dance form is unique in that it allows you to dance with lots of people.

After the dance, everyone is invited to come to the Cranberry Thistle, 105 Main Street and enjoy a music jam and social. Finger food snack will be available courtesy of the members of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society. Musicians are encouraged to bring their own instruments and join in the music making.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on January 8, 2009

Press Release

“Contra Dance Returns for 4th Year””

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will kick off the 2009 contra dance season on Saturday, January 3rd. The dance will be held at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. with a class for beginners starting at 7:00 p.m. The featured band will be “Hot Flash” consisting of Karen Gaughan on keyboards and Laurie Fisher on fiddle. Calling the dance will be the ever popular Hank Morris. Admission is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for Students.

“Contra dance is a way for all citizens of the area to rededicate themselves to New Year’s higher ideas and ideals for diet and exercise changes. “We know from the experts that most people start the year with ambitious goals for weight loss, smoking cessation or other behavioral changes during the first ten days of the New Year”, states organizer David Wiley. “The problem is that many of these commitments fade away in the short term” adds Wiley. “Our contra dance program, even though it is held only twice per month can jump start anyone toward their goals...” We had twenty-four dances again 2008. In and of itself, twenty-four dances won’t make or break anyone’s fitness program, but for many, it made a difference. We have built the foundation for our own dance community.

Hot Flash and Hank Morris performed at the inaugural contra dance on January 6, 2006
and kicked off our program for 2007 as well. Karen, Laurie and Hank will return to Jonesborough to start off our fourth year. Laurie Fisher and Karen Gaughan will deliver the kind of Hot Flash no one minds experiencing. Multi-talented Fisher is a passionate lover of dance and music and its ensuing magic. She is an original member of Asheville’s Old Farmers Ball. She also founded and produced the Asheville Contradance and the Summer Soiree for 13 years. She began dancing in 1981 at the John C. Campbell Folk School where she learned contra and English Country Dance.
She plays many different instruments including the fiddle, keyboards and bass. Considered an excellent teacher and caller by all, we hope to see her calling for our dances in the near future.

Karen Gaughan is Asheville's most in-demand contra dance side-girl. Fisher and Gaughan together will provide a full sound, plenty of rhythm and a really good ride for the avid contra dancer or waltzer. After hearing the duet, an often-heard comment from the dance floor is an amazed, "I can't believe there's only two of you!" Gaughan has also been playing for dances for the last 15 years. Having retired as an elementary school teacher, she know pursues musical performance and teaching full time.

Hank Morris has been an active part of the very thriving Asheville and Charlotte dance communities for twenty three years. He grew up in Alabama and graduated from Auburn University. He is a dancing and outdoor enthusiast as well. In an effort to give back to the dance community, fifteen years ago, he started calling dance and festivals in the Southeast. Hank Morris makes the dances fun for both the beginner and the experienced dancers.

“We have already scheduled another year of great contra dance bands and callers” adds Wiley. For more information on Friday’s dance or any upcoming events, please call David Wiley at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on December 26, 2008

Press Release

Contra Dance & Waltz in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold an afternoon waltz and contra dance on Sunday, December 21, 2008 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Performing for the waltz will be Mark Mueller on fiddle and Laurie Fisher on keyboards. The waltz will run from 1:30pm-2:30pm. Performing for the contra dance will be the band Fiddlewitch. In addition to Mark and Laurie the band includes Skip Metheny on percussion and Art Shuster on mandolin. The contra dance will run from
2:30pm-5:30pm. There will be no beginner’s class at this event. Warren Doyle will be the caller for the contra dance. Admission to the event is $7, HJDS Members $5 and Students $4.

Posted by: David Wiley on December 10, 2008

Press Release

Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold another contra dance on Saturday December 6, 2008 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. HJDS welcomes back husband and wife duo, Hands Four from Boone, North Carolina with special guest fiddler, Pearl Mueller. The contra dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5 and students $4. A contra dance class for newcomers will be held from 7-7:30pm. The caller for the event will be Charlotte’s Dean Snipes.

At the contra dance, you will be part of a living tradition passed on by the experienced dancers helping the newcomers. The dancers, the musicians, and caller aim for an evening of low-pressure, often energetic, camaraderie. Come alone or with others. We suggest changing partners every dance, although dates who attend together and significant others might dance with each other more than once. Sometimes you choose a partner and sometimes you get chosen. It's acceptable for women to ask men to dance.

Contra dancing is an evening of fun, featuring dancing in "sets" of about a dozen couples. You interact with your partner and everyone else in the set too as you dance with easy walking steps to energetic music. A caller, working with a group of live musicians, guides new and experienced dancers through a variety of dances.

The caller teaches each dance before it is actually done to the music. This walk through gives everyone an idea of what to expect so the movements can be easily executed. The caller calls the dances as they are being performed to the music, so dancers are able to execute each movement to the music. Once the dancers appear to have mastered a dance, the caller may stop calling, leaving the dancers to enjoy the movement with music alone.

Georgie Donovan plays driving piano suited equally for traditional southern dance styles and the newly imported New England contra dances. M Mueller, a fiddle player for dances in the southern highlands for the past twenty years, rounds out the band’s sound with expressive playing that takes the old favorite tunes to new levels. Joining the band for this dance on fiddle is M’s daughter Pearl Mueller.

Pearl carries on a family tradition in music and dance, playing currently with Blue Eyed Girl and with her mother, Julia Weatherford, in Firefly, with another mother-daughter couple Barbara Davis and Laurel Willoughby.

“This is living tradition,” M says. “Pearl has gone beyond the style of her parents and has created a new voice for her generation, keeping a ground in the old time ways while acknowledging the present generation’s enormous musical universe.”

As M. says, “It took my daughter to teach me the musical difference between playing with musical virtuosos and with people bound together by love-one may be exciting in a technical way, but the other adds the warmth of love to the music, and that is definitely shared with the dancers.”

Dean Snipes is a favorite caller of the Jonesborough dance community. He is known for his great choice of dances, easy teaching and brings a sense of generosity and great enthusiasm to the dances.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on November 27, 2008

Press Release

Contra Dance and Food Raiser in Jonesborough

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, November 15, 2008 at 7:30pm at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Performing for the dance will be the “Dancing Bears” from Asheville with caller Barbara Groh. A class for beginners will be held at 7:00pm. Every dancer is encouraged to attend the class to become familiar with dance steps, formations, and flow. Klondike Bars, the official frozen treat of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society, will be served at the 9:00pm waltz break.

The Food Raiser is being organized to supply non-perishable food stuffs for the Jonesborough Area Ministerial Association Food Bank. Nationwide food bank donations continue to decline. Donor fatigue may be setting in as the economy puts more and more families at risk and unable to feed themselves. “We are asking all dancers and members of the local community to bring non-perishable food stuffs to give to those in need” adds even organizer, David Wiley.

“Our dancers are really getting the hang of it, and the skill level is getting amazingly better,” states event organizer David Wiley. “Our dance is for all ages. We are getting high school and college dancers along with families and children coming to learn contra dance. Also, you don’t have to have a partner.” The best way to learn contra dance is by asking a more experienced partner to dance. It’s perfectly acceptable for ladies to ask gentlemen to dance. “We are approaching the end of our third year in existence, have the finest dance floor anywhere in the region and are booking some of the best bands and callers in the business. Our program has been a huge success” adds Wiley.

Admission to the dance is $7 for (yet-to-be members), $5 for HJDS members. Students get in for $4. A Family Package has been instituted for members that allows parents and as many children in their core family to get in for only $15.

The Dancing Bears consists of Lew Gelfond on fiddle, Mark Langner on guitar, John Culp mandolin and banjo, and Skip Metheny on bass. Lew Gelfond has been playing the fiddle since long before the cows came home. He is a solo performer of old time fiddle and banjo music and also plays swing, ragtime, Celtic, gypsy, country, Klezmer, tangos, and other traditional music. Lew performs at schools, concerts, workshops and festivals and has been a violin, viola and fiddle teacher for over 20 years. Mark Langner started playing keyboards and guitar in a garage rock band in high school. In college, he played coffeehouses as part of a duo which did an eclectic mix of music ranging from Merle Haggard to Grateful Dead to Frank Zappa. Mark’s current interest is in swing and jazz, which colors most things the Bears do. Mark is also a certified hypnotherapist and builds acoustic archtop quitars in an effort to add to the total amount of beauty in the
World. John Culp got his first real guitar on his 16th birthday and has been picking’ strings ever since. Since meeting his bride and favorite caller, Barbara Groh, and becoming submerged in the contra dance community, he has concentrated on mandolin and tenor banjo. If he’s not playing for a dance, you might spot John running the soundboard or even dancing. Skip Metheny began playing drums in his early teens with various R&R bands. He was a founding member of the show band “The Doomsday Refreshment Committee” which toured Vietnam entertaining US and allied military folks during the psychedelic era and later became the house band in a Bangkok nightclub. After moving to Asheville, Skip became an avid contra dancer. He has been playing bass and percussion for contra and swing music at various festivals, dance weekends and other events around the Southeast since 1997.

Barbara Groh, a resident of Asheville, NC, has been calling contra dances all over the Southeast since 1989. She has called such festivals as the Charleston Bug Stomp, Gotta Dance, the Summer Soiree, the Black Mountain Music Festival, Moon Dance, and the Gypsy Meltdown. Her smooth style, clear teaching and collection of interesting dances will help you achieve Contra Nirvana.

Barbara has been immersed in the traditional music and dance scene for three decades. She became an avid square dancer at age thirteen. In college she fell in love with contra dancing and learned to play old-time banjo. As a caller, her patience and ability to give precise dance instructions stem in part from her 15 years as a classroom teacher and private tutor. She currently works with children of all ages who have dyslexia.

For more information, contact event organizer David Wiley at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on November 7, 2008

Press Release

CALLING ALL GHOULS AND GOBLINS!

Halloween Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance on Saturday, November 1, 2008 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The featured band will be Feral Broccoli from Asheville with Beth Molaro as caller. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5, Students $4. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. A workshop for beginning contra dancers will be led by the caller at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm where, once again, Klondike Bars will be served to all who attend. The six o’clock hour will be time for open waltz to recorded music. There is no extra charge for the waltz time.

It’s Halloween weekend which means that all comers are invited to tap in to
their costume creative talent. Last year’s dance brought the Ostrich Cowboys, Hawaiian Revelers, clowns and cowgirls and many more. “We even had Elvis in the house” offers David Wiley, President of HJDS. At the break, costume contestants will promenade around the dance floor as the judges select the finalists. Then, by applause from the crowd, the winners will be selected. Winners will receive gift certificates from local Jonesborough merchants. Costumes are recommended but not required for the dance.

“The combination of Beth Molaro calling and Feral Broccoli playing will make for a fantastic and entertaining dance event” proclaims dance organizer, David Wiley. “We are very fortunate to have a caller/teacher of Beth’s caliber in our area.” adds Wiley. With the energy that comes off the stage from Beth Molaro, there is no way you can’t give that energy right back.

As for the dance, everyone across the country will tell you that our caller, Beth Molaro, is GREAT! When she calls, the dance is always a party! Her enthusiasm is contagious and she makes any dance more energetic and exciting. She is truly a dance caller dedicated to the art of traditional American dancing and good fun. Beth recently was a feature caller at the Lake Eden Arts Festival in Black Mountain.

Beth lives in Asheville surrounded by the mountains of western North Carolina with her daughter, Rebecca Grace, where they are an active part of the thriving dance community. Often on the road calling dances all over the place, her clear calling and skilled dance selection have made her one of the country’s most popular and widely traveled callers. Rebecca, at a very young age, has already become a competitive Appalachian flat-foot dancer.

Since 1994, Beth has called hundreds of dances from coast to coast as well as in Denmark and Canada. Beth is in demand as a caller and teacher for weddings, family reunions, community dances, dance weeks, weekends and folk festivals all over the country.

Beth’s vocal style is unique in the dance world. Her ability to sing the calls makes for an exciting blend of music and calls which she accomplishes with both clarity and musical integrity. You will hear elements of blues and jazz in her voice as she sings you from one figure to the next, weaving together various elements of the dance, music, and dancers into a positively charged room of inspired enthusiasm.

Beth calls high energy, turbocharged Appalachian squares and smooth flowing contras. She is known for her quick, no-nonsense walk throughs and effective teaching for both the beginner and the most seasoned dancers. Beth’s dances are always a guaranteed whoop and a holler good time. Dancers are sure to leave with a feel-good dancing high.

The Feral Broccoli band is a popular, dancer-friendly old-time string band hailing from Western North Carolina. You cannot help but pick up your feet and swing once Feral Broccoli kicks into high gear playing an array of highly danceable traditional tunes from North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia. The band features the driving fiddling of David Lynch, rock-solid guitar playing by Vollie McKenzie, the boisterous banjo picking of John Hermann and a rollicking bass line offered by Amy Hobbs. Bring you dancing shoes and prepare to have a big time!

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org

Posted by: David Wiley on October 23, 2008

Press Release

“Contra Cowboys” debut in Jonesborough

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, October 18, 2008, at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Performing for the dance will be the Contra Cowboys from the Tri-Cities area. The caller will be Asheville’s Anne Marie Walter. There will be a class for beginners at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS Members and $4 for students. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. The event is smoke and alcohol free and family oriented.

The Contra Cowbowys are a brand new band on the contra dance circuit. Each member of this group has years of experience playing for dancers and listeners alike in a wide variety of musical styles and venues.

Joel Keebler is featured on upright bass and melodica, and will be familiar to many as the bassist for the popular contra dance ensemble, Dot Dot Dash. He has been an enthusiastic member of the dance community for a number of years now. He spent earlier days in Knoxville, where he performed with Robinella, in the group, The Stringbeans. He currently resides in Mendota, Virginia, where he helps count hawks during their migration, from the nearby fire tower, and thoroughly enjoys the country life. Virginia Highlands Community College in Abingdon, is where he plies his profession, teaching horticulture.

Mike Knowles, of Johnson City, is featured on guitar, mandolin, and the occasional vocal. You may recognize him from his participation in the local Jonesborough dance scene, for the past two years. In days past, he has spent much time pursuing different musical interests and paths, including a summer attending every old time festival and competition in the area. Currently performing with the New Orleans rhythm and blues outfit, the Mudbugs, on piano and vocal, Mike also has been employed as member of a 10 piece band on a cruise ship. Several other bands have included his guitar and vocals, including Matrix, the Groovemasters, and the Normaltones.

Sid Jackson, rounds out the trio, with his excellent banjo picking. Sid makes his home in Piney Flats, and makes dance hall appearances with the Ransom McCoy Band. He also has many years and genres of musical experience, including Rock and Roll in the fifties, folk music in the sixties and bluegrass in the seventies and eighties. He and Mike first got together to pick fiddle tunes, nearly thirty years ago. Sid also performed with the Rainbow Valley Boys, the Cherokee Mountain boys, and Snake and the Grass. Along the way, he found some time to play Dixieland, hot jazz, and teach mathematics.

Anne Marie Walter from Asheville has become a popular caller in the area. She is very excited about teaming up with the Contra Cowboys on their debut dance.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org

Posted by: David Wiley on October 11, 2008

Dance Announcement & Location Change

Contra Dance at Carver Center

Jonesborough becomes the Mecca for storytelling during the weekend of October 3-5th with the National Storytelling Festival. Our dance hall at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center will become the place of registration for all attendees. Therefore the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold their bi-monthly contra dance on Saturday, October 4th in Johnson City at the Carver Recreation Center at 322 W. Watauga Avenue near the Down Home.

Performing for the dance will be the Anam Cara band from Charlotte, North Carolina called by Knoxville’s Nick Boulet. Nick will hold a beginner’s class at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm.

Admission to the event is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students. The dance location is a gymnasium wood floor. Soft shoes are required. For further information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on September 21, 2008

Press Release

Contra Dance Storm Brewing in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society (HJDS) will hold contra dance on Saturday, September 20, 2008 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The brewing storm will feature concentrated showers of songs that will pour out of the up and coming band, Appalachian Storm, from Asheville, NC. The music meteorologists predict a steady flow of old-time and Irish jigs and reels with scattered Cajun and original tunes. . John Combs will lead the contra dance, beginning with a 30 minute class for beginners and experienced dancers alike at 7:00pm. The contra dance will follow from 7:30-10:30pm with a country waltz break at 9:00pm.

No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. Every contra dance sponsored by HJDS is smoke and alcohol free. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS members $5 and students are $4.

Contra dance is one of the best ways to interest and initiate people into folk dance. Interest in dance in general is widespread in the Tri-Cities region because of programs aired on public television and the very popular TV hit, “Dancing with the Stars.” For most everyone who tries, contra dance is simple and easy to learn. If you have a good caller, they’ll start the evening with dances with simple but fundamental formations that emphasize a few basic rules which include listening to the music and following the steps that are taught. After a couple of walk throughs, you just dive into the dance. “We have been drawing many beginners lately of all ages,” states event organizer, David Wiley, “It’s a real challenge for the caller, but they manage to make the dance happen very quickly. This further illustrates how contra dance converts just about anyone to a folk dancer in short order.”

Appalachian Storm specializes in Appalachian, Irish traditional and contemporary dance tunes. The band consists of David Hayes on guitar, Kris Wallace on mandolin and fiddle, and Terrell Jones on the stand-up acoustic bass and special guest, singer and song writer Hannah Seng from Asheville.

David Hayes loves to play music. Beginning with piano at age six, switching to trumpet, flute, then on to guitar, harmonica, eventually dabbling in fiddle, banjo, mandolin and various percussives. A long time finger picker, he now focuses his musical energy on traditional and contemporary Celtic and old-time accompaniment. A lifelong fear of dancing was finally overcome after several years of cajoling by friends—and David discovered contra. So, whilst pursuing his newfound dance addiction he became steeped in this wonderful genre of music that comes with it. Now he's hooked on playing and dancing and is busy working out ways to do both at the same time. When not dancing or playing, he catches babies, ("still the most awesome thing I've ever done - each and every time"), loves growing anything he can get to grow, and is obsessed with propagating his beloved fig tree. He also enjoys sailing, canoeing, hiking, traveling way off the beaten path, tries to be active in Veterans for Peace, and is moving slowly toward a low impact, off the grid lifestyle and bankruptcy.

Terrell Jones is an Asheville native who played electric bass for the rock band Freefall in the Raleigh, NC area during the early 80’s before spending 2 ½ years overseas, mostly in Africa. Moving back to the mountains in the late 90’s rekindled his old time, bluegrass and Celtic musical roots. The transition led him to the contra dance scene where he joined Appalachian Storm as bass player. Terrell and wife Sara gave birth to their first child, Violet, on February 28, 2008. He works for the North Carolina Department of Environmental Engineering.

Kris Wallace inherited her love of music from her mother, Kathy. Kathy encouraged Kris to start violin and piano lessons at a very young age. As young children go, Kris opted for the fun of getting dirty in the creek beds rather than struggling over a squeaky violin. Looking back, Kris now wishes she had stuck with the discipline and the practice as she later watched with envy many Irish and old time fiddlers. After years in the business world doing computer programming, she changed gears to spend more time on the Appalachian Trail and playing music. Now an accomplished fiddler and mandolin player for Appalachian Storm, she also continues to work as a rural mail carrier.

Caller John Combs has played a big part in the development of the contra dance scene
in the region. One of the founders of the Old Farmers Ball that is held every Thursday evening at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, NC, John has danced and called
for many years.

For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org

Posted by: David Wiley on September 12, 2008

Press Release

August 29, 2008

Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, September 6, 2008 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students. A family package allows parents to bring all of their own children for a total of $15. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. No partner is necessary. Families and children are welcome! Open waltzing to recorded music will again be offered from 6-7pm.
At the 9:00pm waltz break, again Klondike Ice Cream Bars, the official frozen treat of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society, will be offered to all dancers courtesy of one of our most generous dancers.
Performing for this event will be Danny Gammon and the Love Muffins from Knoxville. The caller will be Nick Boulet also from Knoxville. Nick will conduct a class for beginners at 7:00pm where beginners and experienced dancers alike will learn the basic steps, formations and flow of contra dance.
These broadly talented musicians originally formed to play traditional string-band music, and are in demand for contra-dances, but they are not ashamed to mix it up with the popular music of their era. They have adapted a variety of musical styles to the string-band format producing a seamless mix of material that spans such genres as Hillbilly, British Invasion, and contemporary Americana. They sometimes play non-contra venues under the alias "Five Miles From Town.” In a fun-filled demonstration of their versatility, they once appeared at a Bob Dylan tribute as “Plumb Bob,” playing an exclusively Dylan repertoire.

The instrumentation in this band may include, but is not limited to fiddle, guitar, bass, mandolin, dobro, banjo, accordion and drums. Members are Danny Gammon, Jay Manneschmidt, Kathleen McGregor-Williams, Brian Sward, and Helene Vachon.

Jay Manneschmidt can play any musical instrument and play it well. In this band he confines himself to guitar. Along with his good nature and musical skills he is considered to be a Love Muffin by the grace of God.

If you ever wonder why they are called Love Muffins, you can blame it on Kathleen McGregor-Williams. Kathleen plays bass, but in another life she’s a banjo player. In yet another life, she’s a Hominy Mama, a Mumbillie, and married to an accordion playing lawyer. Kathleen’s been playing for contra dances for many years.

Brian Sward can also play anything. And not only that, he knows every song. And he has his very own Jazz Band. Brian plays mandolin with the Love Muffins by the grace of Brian.

Helene Vachon is a traveling book-peddler, a drummer with the Love Muffins, and an accordion player. Oh and she speaks French, and is kin to all the northern contra-dance musicians. She also plays in a Jazz Band.

Dan Gammon really has been fiddling for contra-dances since the dawn of time. He says, “I don’t know when they switched it from square dancing to contra-dancing. I wasn’t really paying attention to what they were doing out there on the dance floor, but I think it happened sometime in the early ‘seventies.”

Nick Boulet has become one the favorite callers for the Tri-Cities contra dancers. “With our new dance floor, contra dancers
Are traveling over 100 miles to join our dance community” offers event organizer, David Wiley. Nick calls regularly for the Monday night contra dance in Knoxville and does a great job of teaching and calling.

Contra dancing is a traditional form of American folk dance that evolved from the long ways country dances popular in English society centuries ago. Contra dance communities now thrive all over the country. There are websites that can direct you to contra dances in most states. The modern contra dances provide dancers of all ages and experience levels with the opportunity to smile, move, connect, flirt and create an evening of dance nirvana with each other. No previous dance experience is necessary. No fancy footwork is required. If you can walk and count to eight, you can contra dance!
Contra dances are community events. At almost any contra you will find people of all ages and all dance skill levels, from young to old, beginner to expert. Contra dancers form a very open and welcoming group of people. You can come alone or with others since it is a tradition to dance with a variety of partners throughout the night. It is perfectly acceptable for either a man or a woman to ask someone to dance. It’s a great way to make friends with someone they haven’t met before. You will find contra dancing a great way to make new friends.
For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on September 1, 2008

Event Announcement

Contrathon Time!!!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present Contrathon IV, a day of contra dance in the Blue Ridge Mountains, on Sunday August 31, 2008. The event will take place at the Mountain Music Jamboree in Glendale Springs, North Carolina. Directions can be found at www.mountainmusicjamboree.com.

The event is open to the public. Tickets can be purchased at the door. The dancing starts at 10:00am and finishes at 10:00pm with a one-and-one half hour break for dinner at 6:00pm. Here is the schedule:

10:00-12:30pm Contrarians with Darlene Underwood calling

1:00-3:30pm Elftones with Darlene Underwood calling

4:00-6:00pm Elftones with Shawn Brenneman calling

7:30-10:00pm Contrarians with Shawn Brenneman calling.

Plenty of space left for dancers. A full or half day ticket is offered.

See you on the dance floor!

Posted by: David Wiley on August 27, 2008

Press Release

Contra Dance and Waltz in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a Contra Dance and Waltz on Saturday August 16, 2008 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Performing for the dance will old time string band, Jupiter Road, from Asheville. The caller/teacher for the event will be Mark Langner from Burnsville, NC. A class for beginners will be held at 7:00pm. The contra dance will run from 7:30pm-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm. No partner is necessary. All the dances are taught and walked through before the music begins. All HJDS events are smoke and alcohol free and family oriented. Admission to the dance is $7.00, $5 for HJDS Members and $4 for students.

Musicians and string band music fans will love the sounds of Jupiter Road which consists of Jacques Lewin on fiddle, Bill West on banjo, Hilary Dirlam on guitar and Hunt Mallett on bass. Jupiter Road has recently performed at the Old Farmers Ball at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, the Grey Eagle in Asheville and at the River Falls Lodge in Marietta, SC. This trip will be the first into Jonesborough. Jupiter Road plays mainly acoustic old-time music. String bands were popular in the United States prior to the 1930’s when trends in music switched to country music and bluegrass. There was a revival of interest in this type of music during the late 60’s that coincided with the same folk movement that made artists like Bob Dylan famous. And now this type of music is played at square dances and contemporary contra dances.

Caller Mark Langner plays guitar for the Dancing Bears band but is also an accomplished dance caller. Mark is a certified Hypnotherapist, counselor and guitar builder and lives in Burnsville. He and his wife Karen do education and counseling using horses as facilitators.

Dancers who attend will find a beautiful new dance floor which was constructed in late May of this year by volunteers. The floor is suspended by thousands of round rubber cushions that diminish the effect of impacting the floor while dancing. In addition to being an air-conditioned facility, HJDS provides large fans to help cool the dancers who are enjoying all the ambiance of the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center. Beginners are welcomed by the experienced dancers and the caller. Contra dances are held on the first and third Saturday of each month.

Even though there is a waltz/rest period at 9:00pm, dancers have asked for more waltz time. So, there will again be an open waltz period from 6-7pm to recorded music. Waltzing is a great way to warm up for the more vigorous contra dance and is lots of fun.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on August 6, 2008

Press Release

Contra Dance and Summer Harvest Potluck!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold another Summertime Contra Dance on Saturday August 2, 2008 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. To salute all the merchants and growers at the local Farmers’ Markets, HJDS will invite all comers to a Summer Harvest Potluck Dinner at 6pm before the dance. Buying local has many benefits. First of all, it supports the local grower. Buying local can shorten the distance a food item travels between the farm and your home thus saving many energy dollars. Besides, buying local means you can talk directly to the farmer growing your food and find out what they do and how they do it. Nothing beats the freshness and quality of food grown in your home area. The Jonesborough Famers Market which is held on Saturday mornings in the Library parking lot is just one of many tailgate or farmers markets offered in the region. “Business has been excellent this year” states Curtis Buchanan, one of the organizers of the program in its first year. “We have everything from organic chocolates, fresh breads and pastries and, of course, fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables” add Buchanan.

During the potluck dinner, another open waltz will be available to the dancers free with admission to the dance. Performing for the dance will be Karen Gaughan on keyboards and Mark Mueller on fiddle. Calling the dance will be the ever popular Laurie Fisher from Asheville. “The recent addition of a new sprung dance floor to the Visitors Center has attracted dancers for waltz and contra dance from far and wide” states event organizer, David Wiley. “As the hot summer days wear on you, it’s nice to come to an air-conditioned facility and dance in style” adds Wiley.

A class for beginners will be taught by Laurie Fisher at 7:00pm. New dancers are encouraged to arrive early, get checked in and be on the dance floor on schedule. To assist the newcomers, HJDS now offers a series of Videos For New Dancers. The link can be found on the home page at www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students.

Posted by: David Wiley on July 20, 2008

Press Release

Summer Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold another summertime contra dance on July 19, 2008 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The Visitors Center now has a brand new profession style dance floor built by volunteers and funded by many contributors. With the air conditioning system and the new dance floor, the Visitors Center is now the ideal dance facility in the region. Event organizer, David Wiley, confirms that dancers from all over the region are now trekking to Jonesborough to dance in the Visitors Center. “The sound of dancers stomping, clapping and hollering resonates throughout the room. It’s just a great place for contra dancing now” adds Wiley.

Performing for the dance will be the band Steam Shovel from Asheville, North Carolina. The band is made up of Roger Gold on Guitar and David White on Fiddle and Banjo. Roger and David have performed together for several years on the regional contra dance circuit. The dance will be called by Knoxville’s Nick Boulet. There will be one hour of open waltzing to
Recorded music before the dance. “Our waltz workshop during Jonesborough Days was so well attended that we need to create more opportunities for dancers to practice and enjoy what they have learned” adds Wiley.

Roger Gold grew up surrounded by music. His parents and older sister all sing and play various instruments. He knew at the age of six that he wanted to play guitar and persisted until his parents found a teacher. His interests took his guitar playing from the ever present folk, through electric teen-age-rock, to traditional, Celtic, and more. He likes to "play" with the music; turning waltzes to klezmer, Bach into swing, and doing even stranger things to the tunes he writes. Roger's guitar styles range from classical to hard driving, rhythmic, contra dance music. He enjoys contra dancing, and enjoys playing music for contra dances, and has yet to figure out how to do both at the same time. Roger partners with Mara Shea on fiddle to become the Elftones who will be performing at the HJDS sponsored Contrathon IV in Glendale Springs, NC on August 31st


Currently living in Pickens, SC, David White has been playing stringed instruments for almost 30 years. Only in the past 14 years he became rather consumed by contra dancing and the music that drives it. David fell in love with traditional Appalachian old time music – especially that played by bands and musicians that create driving rhythms. That passionate driving style is evident when David plays guitar, claw hammer banjo or fiddle. The fact that David has always loved contra dancing has helped him become a master of creating great dance energy from old time tunes and melodies. He loves to sing as well. David has played in several bands in the past (Reedy River Rhythm Rockers, Corn Bread Heads, Cloudlanders) and more recently the Carolina Tunecroppers, Steamshovel (w/ Roger Gold) and the Shifty Tweeds. His habit of ‘gyrating’ while playing the fiddle while wearing his Dad’s old tweed hat earned him the nickname ‘the Shifty Tweed.’


There will be a class for beginners at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS members $5 and students $4.

For more information, please visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246.

Posted by: David Wiley on July 14, 2008

Press Release

Summer Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold another summertime contra dance on July 19, 2008 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The Visitors Center now has a brand new profession style dance floor built by volunteers and funded by many contributors. With the air conditioning system and the new dance floor, the Visitors Center is now the ideal dance facility in the region.

Performing for the dance will be the band Steam Shovel from Asheville, North Carolina. The band is made up of Roger Gold on Guitar and David White on Fiddle and Banjo. Roger and David have performed together for several years on the regional contra dance circuit. The dance will be called by Knoxville’s Nick Boulet.

There will be a class for beginners at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm.

For more information, please visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246.

Posted by: David Wiley on July 6, 2008

Press Release

Jonesborough “Days of Dance”

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present two days of dance during the annual Jonesborough Days Celebration on July 4th and 5th at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance can be attained by purchasing a $5 wristband each day allowing dancers to come and go during the day and enjoy the many activities associated with the festival as well. There will be a variety of dances and workshops offered during the event which will include, family dance, square, contra, waltz and swing dance.

The callers will be Diane Silver from Asheville and Janet Shepherd from Atlanta.

Here is the schedule:

July 4th
12:00 Noon-2pm Family Dance with Diane Silver (for parents
And children) Children under age 12 FREE.
Music by: Temperature Rising
2:00pm-3:00pm Flatfooting Workshop with Travis Anderegg
3:00pm-5:00pm Appalachian Square Dance with Diane Silver
& Janet Shepherd. Music by Community Old
Time Band led by Roy Andrade.
5:00pm-6:00pm Dinner Break
6:00pm-7:00pm Introduction to Contra Dance
7:00pm-10:00pm Contra Dance with Janet Shepherd. Music by
Roger Gold and Laura Lengnick.
10:00pm-Till Late night open music jam at the Bistro 105
Main Street on the Patio.

July 5th
9:00am-10:00am Swing Dance workshop with Diane Silver
10:00am-12:00pm Swing Dance to recorded music.
12:00pm-1:30pm Beginning Waltz workshop with Warren & Terry
Doyle
1:30pm-2:30pm Open Waltz with Toss the Possum
2:30pm-5:00pm Contra Dance with Janet Shepherd. Music by
Toss the Possum.
5:00pm-6:00pm Dinner Break
6:00pm-9:00pm Contra Dance with Diane Silver. Music by
Celticladda.
9:30pm Fireworks

Posted by: David Wiley on June 25, 2008

Press Release

Contra Dance Makes for Summer Fun!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance on Saturday, June 21, 2008 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. There will be a class for beginners at 7:00pm taught by caller Charley Harvey from Charlotte. The dance will go from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm. Admission to the dance will be $7 for the general public, $5 for HJDS Members and $4 for all students. The band will be Far Horizons from Asheville.

HJDS continues their fund raising efforts related to the installation of their new sprung dance floor. “The dance floor is completed and we had a fantastic dedication dance on June 7th, “states event organizer, David Wiley. “We thanked the Town of Jonesborough, the staff of the Visitors Center and the many people who contributed both time and money for this project. We now have the finest dance facility in three states” adds Wiley.
The work is not done, however. “The ramping into each of the rooms still has to be done. We are going to have to raise $2,000 more dollars to reach our goal.” Donations made to the Town of Jonesborough on behalf of HJDS are tax deductible.

Far Horizons is a string band with a southern feel featuring Barbara Davis on guitar and vocals; Art Shuster on mandolin and mandola and Julia Weatherford on fiddle, cello and vocals. They’ve played continuously in the Asheville area for 20 years.

Art Shuster has been playing for contra dances in Western North Carolina and all over the US since he first hooked up with fiddler and dance caller, Laurie Fisher, in the stairwells of Warren Wilson College in 1982. First as a guitar flatpicker, and most recently as a mandolinist. He has added his fiddle-tune-based style to a plethora of bands including the String Beings and Far Horizons. Art has bound his niche in the contra dance scene, and is most happy trying the make his mandolin blend with the fiddles while making the dancers bounce. Art’s wife, Barbara Davis, is the guitar specialist for the Far
Horizons band.

Julia Weatherford is a graduate of Berea College, where she majored in studio art and worked in the weaving and needle craft student industries as well as a traveling summer puppet theater. Julia’s textile work has been featured at Southern Highland Handicraft Guild shops, shows and fairs since 1997 in addition to many other galleries and shops in Asheville, Black Mountain and Berea. Music is also a big part of Julia’s life. She played cello with the Asheville symphony for 13 years, and currently plays fiddle and cello with Fly By Night and Far Horizons which recently performed as one of the featured contra dance bands at the spring Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF). Julia is currently working as assistant director of the Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College.

Their repertoire includes traditional southern, New England, Cape Breton, bluegrass, Celtic reels and jigs - all stunningly arranged for the contra dance.

Calling the contra dance will be Charley Harvey. Charley began dancing in Berea, Kentucky over twenty years ago. He has called dances far and wide, teaching American folk dance in Denmark and leading local dances throughout the eastern U.S. A founding member of Berea’s monthly contra dance, Charley enjoys a reputation as an exciting and enthusiastic dance caller while being good with beginners. No matter how much or how little experience you have as a dancer, Charley will lead an evening of dance that will leave you smiling!

Some events Far Horizons has played include LEAF in Black Mountain, NC; Old Farmer's Ball in Swannanoa; the Charleston Bug Stomp and dance halls in Birmingham, Atlanta, Greensboro, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Wilmington, Greenville and more. This visit marks the second time Far Horizons has played in the area.

For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on June 12, 2008

Press Release

Contra Dancing on a new Dance Floor!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance on Saturday, June 7, 2008 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Performing for the dance will be Jamie Laval, Ashley Broder and special guest Roger Gold all from Asheville.
Calling for this event will be Asheville’s Barbara Groh. A class for beginners will be taught by Groh from 7:00-7:30pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a country waltz break at 9:00pm. No partner is necessary and all dances are taught by the caller. Every contra dance is smoke and alcohol free and family oriented. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5 and students $4.

HJDS will unveil a new dance floor in the Visitors Center. The dance society raised over $12,000 and with the help of a steady flow of volunteers under the supervision of hardwood flooring contractor, Marvin Ashburn of Asheville, the sprung floor was installed in record time. In addition to the 40’x60’ auditorium, the new flooring was also installed in the community room and behind the hostess counter. “Close to 3300 square feet of pre-finished hardwood flooring was used for this project some of which was donated by local hardwood flooring manufacturer, Mullican Flooring of Johnson City”, reports HJDS President, David Wiley. The new floor will be more suitable for a variety of activities such as Yoga, Tai Chi and many other movement programs including other dance forms besides contra dance. There will be a brief dedication ceremony prior to the dance to recognize all contributors and volunteers.

Jamie Laval and Ashley Broder return to Jonesborough having been a part of the Tartan Days event earlier in the year. Having moved to the Asheville area from the west coast last year made it very easy to take short trips to the Tri-Cities area to perform. “I saw them perform at a contra dance in early December of 2007 and invited them to come and play for us” says Wiley. With Roger Gold accompanying them on guitar, Jamie and Ashley produced a dazzling array of fiddle and mandolin tunes that amazed the contra dance crowd. “They both enthusiastically accepted our invitation to come and play here”.

Winner of the 2002 U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Championship, Jamie
Was recently herald in Scotland as “A new star for the Old World”. The Olympian newspaper reported, “A fantastic fiddler…Laval captures the essence of Celtic sentiment and yearning.” And Virginia concert promoter Deborah Greer raved, “I’ve been producing shows here for 10 years and I have never seen a standing ovation after the first tune. Unbelievable! I have never seen a better band on this stage.”

Jamie’s music making is born out of his Scottish and Irish heritage. After his student years at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, he traveled extensively, immersing himself in a wide variety of musical styles including classical, jazz, and folk. Jamie now resides in Asheville and performs throughout the U.S. with mandolinist Ashley Broder.

Jamie and Ashley meet in 2005 and this combo produced a frenzy of creative inspiration resulting in a colorful, exciting, and completely unique approach to roots-based progressive acoustic string music.

The partnership began in a jam session in the wee-hours of the morning at the National Old Time Fiddle contest in Weiser, Idaho. Jamie and Ashley connected instantly on both musical and personal levels and have fueled each other’s creativity ever since.

Today, violinist Jamie Laval and mandolinist Ashley Broder form a stunning instrumental duo rendering traditional Irish, Scottish, Bretagne, Cape Breton and Quebecois tunes with hints of classical refinement and ethnic music from around the world. They tour full time throughout the U.S. and Scotland, performing at esteemed venues. Their mix of intense passion and tenderness together with coy, playful interaction has become their trademark. Their recent CD release “Zephyr in the Confetti Factory” has received the highest praise. One fan stated “This is a rich and inviting album! The music is original and unusual, the chemistry between the two is captivating and the performances are virtuoso”. This work has allowed them to reach the finals of the Independent Music Awards.

Barbara Groh, a resident of Asheville, NC, has been calling contra dances all over the Southeast since 1989. She has called such festivals as the Charleston Bug Stomp, Gotta Dance, the Summer Soiree, the Black Mountain Music Festival, Moon Dance, and the Gypsy Meltdown. Her smooth style, clear teaching and collection of interesting dances will help you achieve Contra Nirvana.

Barbara has been immersed in the traditional music and dance scene for three decades. She became an avid square dancer at age thirteen. In college she fell in love with contra dancing and learned to play old-time banjo. As a caller, her patience and ability to give precise dance instructions stem in part from her 15 years as a classroom teacher and private tutor. She currently works with children of all ages who have dyslexia.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on May 30, 2008

Press Release

Time for Contrathon III

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present the third
Edition of the Carolina Contrathon, a 12-hour special event dance on Sunday May 25th at the Mountain Music Jamboree in Glendale Springs, North Carolina.

There will be two bands and two dance callers alternating throughout the day beginning at 10:00 A.M. Starting off will be Steam Shovel, a two person band from the Asheville area consisting of Roger Gold on Guitar and David White on Fiddle and Banjo. The opening caller will be Hank Morris from Black Mountain, North Carolina.

At 1:00 P.M., following a short lunch break, Fiddlewitch will play their first of two sets called by Diane Silver of Asheville.
Fiddlewitch is composed of Laurie Fisher on fiddle, Karen Gaughan on keyboards, Skip Metheny on percussion and Art Shuster on mandolin.

At 4:00 P.M. following a short snack break, Steam Shovel returns with Diane Silver calling.

The dinner break will run from 6:00 P.M. to 7:30 P.M.

The final performance of the evening will be Fiddlewitch with Hank Morris calling. The dance concludes at 10:00 P.M.

Admission to the day of dance is $20 in advance $30 at the door. A half-day dance is $12 in advance and $15 at the door.

For futher information, contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on May 18, 2008

Press Release

Contra Dance Benefit and Silent Auction!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society welcomes Asheville band “Spring Chickens” and caller Fred Park to the next contra
On Saturday, May 17, 2008 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. This event will combine a contra dance and a silent auction in order to continue to raise funds for the new dance floor to be installed at the Visitors Center starting May 25th.

This special afternoon dance will begin at 1:30 p.m. with a workshop for beginners to be held at 1:00pm. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students. Since this is a benefit dance, attendees and patrons of the silent auction can make cash contribution of any size beyond regular admission in support of the drive to raise funds for the new dance floor. Event organizer, David Wiley, states that the fund raising goal is within reach. “We have over $11,000 in commitments with only $4,000 to go. Our organization is all volunteer and non-profit. We are providing this gift to the community and need everyone’s support”. If someone wishes to donate to the silent auction, please contact Wiley at 423-534-8879. Donations for the floor can be made to the Town of Jonesborough and thus are tax deductible.

The beginner’s workshop gives the experienced dancers and first timers
a chance to warm up together. The caller explains many of the calls
such as balance and swing, star left and star right, ladies chain across,
Do-si-do, courtesy turn, allemande and hey for four. Many of these
calls would be familiar to anyone who square danced. The contra
dance employs a longwise set and allows couples to progress up
and down the line to dance with all other couples.

The Spring Chickens known mostly for their hard driving rhythmic old time repertoire will crossover to add contra dance tunes for our dance. The Spring Chickens are lead by regional potters Rob and Beth Mangum from Weaverville, NC., on fiddle and guitar. The remaining members of their group are McLean Bissell on bass, Art Schuster on mandolin and special guest, Roy Andrade on banjo.

Fred Park was once the "bad boy" of the American Country Dance and Song Society for trying such shenanigans as mixing blues and gospel
Music with traditional melodies from Scotland and New England.
He later rose above the roar of the old guard to become a recognized teacher of the highest order.

Many callers and dance leaders have taken to heart his gentle
and patient humor when working with novice or advanced dancers.
His country dance choreography is lean and exquisite in the form of
circles, contras, squares, small set dances and waltzes. "If it’s not a
dance that I personally enjoy dancing I don't teach it!" Fred has been
on staff at most every dance festival in America and several in Canada, Scotland and France.

Fred's involvement in traditional dance predates the recent wave of
interest in contra dance while he is a noted organizer of traditional
arts events including festivals, community dances and teaching or
performing traditional arts in school programs, nursing homes and
prisons nation wide and abroad.

Event organizer, David Wiley, believes that our community building
efforts are paying off. “Our attendance is continually on the rise. We have a core group of regulars, but see many new dancers at every
event”. “We combine traditional live music and dances that anyone can
do” adds Wiley. The dances are held two times per month in the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center. All the dances are taught by
the caller. You don’t have to bring a partner.

For more information, contact David Wiley, event organizer at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on May 9, 2008

Press Release

Contra Dance and Waltz Workshop!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold another contra dance and waltz workshop on Saturday, May 3, 2008 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30 pm. The waltz workshop will be offered from 6:00-7:00pm. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5 and Students $4. The waltz workshop is $3.

A class for beginner contra dancers will be held from 7:00-7:30 pm. Beginners and experienced dancers alike are encouraged to join together in the class. “The class for beginners is just a way to get out of the contra dance starting blocks” offers David Wiley, event organizer. “To enjoy a dance, one must get out on the floor and dance. Those of us who have danced for a while remember how awkward it felt at first”, adds Wiley. It can be a struggle to coordinate hands and feet to the music and manage a few seconds to respond to a patient partner; not to mention the parade of neighbors in your set. Then there are dozens of uncomfortable moments along the line where one zigs while the rest of the world zags. But, by cooperating with each dancer that comes our way, giving or taking guidance as we go, we all eventually enjoy that surrender to the music and motion that captivates our souls and brings us back again and again.

In the class and the dance, it’s the responsibility of good dancers to make better dancers of the people they dance with. And not just their partners. Our good dancers help the people they come in contact with to move on to the next figure with ease and grace. Gentle pressure clearly tells the person where they are going next. If they didn’t know where to go, it will help them figure out the dance. If they did know, they will recognize it as good dancing. The good dancers also appropriately teach the dancers he encounters who are lost. “We all get lost on the dance floor and have this look of desperation” adds Wiley. “So we try to gently and firmly shove the dancers in the right direction with encouraging words. It’s all about teamwork”.

Performing for the dance will be the Reel Magnolias from Asheville. The band includes June Advincula on keyboards, Jane Weaver on fiddle and Suzanne Hosch on Flute. The caller and teacher for the evening will be Hank Morris from Black Mountain, NC.

The waltz workshop will be led by special guest instructors Mary Jellicourse and John Rucker from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. They will be teaching the familiar rotating country waltz.

Hank Morris has been an active part of the very thriving Asheville and Charlotte dance communities for twenty three years. He grew up in Alabama and graduated from Auburn University. He is a dancing and outdoor enthusiast as well. In an effort to give back to the dance community, fifteen years ago, he started calling dance and festivals in the Southeast. Hank Morris makes the dances fun for both the beginner and the experienced dancers.

Our Dance Floor Fund Raising Project is moving along on schedule with donations now exceeding $10,000. “We are two-thirds of the way to our goal and plan to begin installation on May 26th with a large group of volunteers supervised by contractor Marvin Ashburn and Don Connor of Mullican Flooring”, states David Wiley, event organizer. Tax deductible donations can be made by making a check payable to the Town of Jonesborough Dance Floor Fund and mailed to P.O. Box 651, Jonesborough, TN 37659.

Tentative plans for a benefit dance and silent auction are being made for Saturday, May 17, 2008. The details will be released soon.


For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org

Posted by: David Wiley on April 23, 2008

Press Release

Contra Dance and CD Release Party in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present another contra dance on Saturday April 19, 2008 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Performing for the event will be the Contrarians from Charleston, West Virginia. Calling for the dance will be the ever popular Beth Molaro from Asheville. The contra dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a country waltz break at 9:00pm. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5 and students $4. A full hour contra dance workshop will be held from 6:30-7:30pm led by Warren & Terry Doyle.

HJDS is in the middle of fund raising for the planned installation of a sprung dance floor in the Visitors Center. Event organizer and HJDS President, David Wiley, reports that everything is on schedule to start on Monday May 26th. “We are now over half way towards our financial goal of $15,000”. The funds will purchase all of the sub floor materials and other supplies. A tax deductible donation from anyone in the community will help us present this enhancement to the Town of Jonesborough. The Mullican Flooring Company and Ashburn Hardwood Flooring are the major contributors so far.

Beth Molaro will teach each dance before it is actually done to music. The walk through before the dance gives everyone an idea of what to expect so all the movements can be easily executed. Once the dancers appear to have mastered the dance, Beth may stop calling and let the dancers enjoy the movement with music alone. Beth will likely mix in some Appalachian square dances with the contra dances. All in all, there will be lots of fun to be had on the dance floor.

A four-piece band, the Contrarians play contra dance and square dance music on fiddles, guitar, mandolin, piano, upright bass and a bluesy trumpet. The band is made up of Paul Epstein on fiddle, Will Carter on stand-up bass, Gary Reynolds on guitar, trumpet, piano, and John Longwell on mandolin, tenor banjo and fiddle.

Paul Epstein has been playing, writing and performing for over 30 years. His songs cover many styles and topics. He has written and recorded three solo CD’s. “Strawberry Lass” is all original fiddle tunes in Celtic and Appalachian stylings. “Lesson Life Taught Me” are all original songs in folk/blues/country/swing formats with backing by members of WV Public Radio’s Mountain Stage Band.

Having refined their sound for the last eight years, the Contrarians have produced their first self-titled CD, The Contrarians. No expense was spared in producing this CD as it was recorded and mixed by Bob Webb in Charleston, WV. After spending a few minutes listening to this CD, you can hear why the Contrarians are in demand for contra dances from Washington, D.C, to Cleveland, Lexington, KY, and now Jonesborough.

To celebrate their excellent work, all dancers and members of the public are invited to the post-dance CD release party at the Cranberry Thistle, 107 Main Street in Jonesborough. All musicians are encouraged to come and jam with the band that will surely go on past the midnight hour.

As for the dance, everyone across the country will tell you that our caller, Beth Molaro, is GREAT! When she calls, the dance is always a party! Her enthusiasm is contagious and she makes any dance more energetic and exciting. She is truly a dance caller dedicated to the art of traditional American dancing and good fun.

Beth lives in Asheville surrounded by the mountains of western North Carolina with her daughter, Rebecca Grace, where they are an active part of the thriving dance community. Often on the road calling dances all over the place, her clear calling and skilled dance selection have made her one of the country’s most popular and widely traveled callers.

Since 1994, Beth has called hundreds of dances from coast to coast as well as in Denmark and Canada. Beth is in demand as a caller and teacher for weddings, family reunions, community dances, dance weeks, weekends and folk festivals all over the country.

Beth’s vocal style is unique in the dance world. Her ability to sing the calls makes for an exciting blend of music and calls which she accomplishes with both clarity and musical integrity. You will hear elements of blues and jazz in her voice as she sings you from one figure to the next, weaving together various elements of the dance, music, and dancers into a positively charged room of inspired enthusiasm.

Beth calls high energy, turbocharged Appalachian squares and smooth flowing contras. She is known for her quick, no-nonsense walk throughs and effective teaching for both the beginner and the most seasoned dancers. Beth’s dances are always a guaranteed whoop and a holler good time. Dancers are sure to leave with a feel-good dancing high.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. Contributions to the dance floor fund can be mailed to P.O. Box 651, Jonesborough, TN, 37659. Checks should be made out to the Town of Jonesborough (dance floor).

Posted by: David Wiley on April 12, 2008

Press Release

March 21, 2008

Contra Dance and Waltz Workshop in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold another contra dance and waltz workshop on Saturday April 5, 2008 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The waltz workshop led by teacher/caller Gaye Fifer from Charlottesville, Virginia, will be offered from 6-7pm and cost $3. Performing for the dance will be an emerging three-piece band from Boone, North Carolina called Hay for Three. The contra dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5 and students $4. A family with all their children gains admission for one price of $15. A contra dance class for newcomers will be held from 7-7:30pm.

At the contra dance, you will be part of a living tradition passed on by the experienced dancers helping the newcomers. The dancers, the musicians, and caller aim for an evening of low-pressure, often energetic, camaraderie. Come alone or with others. We suggest changing partners every dance, although dates who attend together and significant others might dance with each other more than once. Sometimes you choose a partner and sometimes you get chosen. It's acceptable for women to ask men to dance.

Contra dancing is an evening of fun, featuring dancing in "sets" of about a dozen couples. You interact with your partner and everyone else in the set too as you dance with easy walking steps to energetic music. A caller, working with a group of live musicians, guides new and experienced dancers through a variety of dances.

The caller teaches each dance before it is actually done to the music. This walk through gives everyone an idea of what to expect so the movements can be easily executed. The caller calls the dances as they are being performed to the music, so dancers are able to execute each movement to the music. Once the dancers appear to have mastered a dance, the caller may stop calling, leaving the dancers to enjoy the movement with music alone.

On the heels of having a proposal to install a professional quality dance floor in the Visitors Center approved by the Jonesborough Mayor and Board of Aldermen, the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society now embarks on a major capital fund raising project to pay for some of the flooring and all of the sub floor materials and miscellaneous supplies to complete the work. Installation is planned for a two week period beginning May 26, 2008. “We are all very excited about having a suitable surface to dance on” offers HJDS President, David Wiley. “The new floor will beautify the auditorium and make the room a more versatile space for dance, exercise, receptions, meetings and concerts. With the support of Mullican Flooring of Johnson City and Ashburn Hardwood Flooring Contractors, our combined gift to the community will have a lasting positive impact” adds Wiley. HJDS will accept cash donations from anyone in the community who supports the community contra dance program now in its third year of existence. A tax deductible contribution letter will be mailed to all donors.

Hay for Three, an old-time dance band from Boone, NC, features the parlor-style string band sound of piano, banjo and fiddle.

Georgie Donovan plays driving piano suited equally for traditional southern dance styles and the newly imported New England contra dances. On banjo is Patrick Heavner, a 21 year old native of Morganton, NC, who expands the traditional southern claw hammer repertoire to include jigs and newly composed dance tunes. And M Mueller, a fiddle player for dances in the southern highlands for the past twenty years, rounds out the band’s sound with expressive playing that takes the old favorite tunes to new levels. Joining the band for their April tour on guitar is Leon Bumanglag, a longtime musical friend and band mate from Santa Cruz, CA.

This combination of instruments, popular where railroads and good flat-top roads provided access for piano deliveries to churches and rare homes in the southern highlands, was never recorded by the mobile studios of the 1920’s and 30’s, but is documented nonetheless. Also called the “ice cream social” sound because it was used on those rare cases where secular music could be played on the church piano for social gatherings, the music drives hard from the piano, with banjo taking frequent claw hammer-style leads, and the fiddle singing out like sister.

Gaye Fifer comes to the area from Charlottesville, Virginia to call our dance, but also gets to visit her mother in Knoxville. Not only an excellent contra dance caller, but Gaye Fifer is also an acclaimed waltz instructor popular at many dance weekends in the Eastern U.S. In the waltz program, Gaye teaches moves with an emphasis on leading and following—connecting with your partner and the music. Many of the workshops that HJDS has conducted have been on the beginner level. On this occasion, however, an intermediate level waltz lesson will be offered. In the contra dance program, Gaye will delight you with her clear walk throughs and smooth flowing dances. Be prepared to be challenged as the night goes on. Her pleasant style and graceful teaching put dancers at ease and set the stage for a great evening.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. Contributions to the dance floor fund can be mailed to P.O. Box 651, Jonesborough, TN, 37659. Checks should be made out to the Town of Jonesborough (dance floor).

Posted by: David Wiley on March 21, 2008

Press Release

Contra Dance Storm Brewing in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society (HJDS) will hold a special Irish style contra dance on Saturday, March 15, 2008 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The brewing storm will feature concentrated showers of songs that will pour out of the up and coming band, Appalachian Storm, from Asheville, NC. The music meteorologists predict a steady flow of old-time and Irish jigs and reels with scattered Cajun and original tunes. An added attraction to the evening will be an Irish Set Dance Workshop starting at 6:00pm, led by Dave Polechko, one of the Storm musicians. The ever popular caller Diane Silver will lead the contra dance, beginning with a 30 minute class for beginners and experienced dancers alike at 7:00pm. The contra dance will follow from 7:30-10:30pm with a country waltz break at 9:00pm.

For the Irish culinary experts of the world, we are also hosting an Irish Green Potluck Dinner at 6:00pm. All are encouraged to not only wear green themselves, but to contribute green to the potluck—let your imagine run wild—green salad with green goddess dressing, green pea salad, green tea, parsleyed potato salad, green olive tapenade, green deviled eggs, guacamole, pickle and green olive mix, green rice……. (all natural colors, please).

No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. Every contra dance sponsored by HJDS is smoke and alcohol free. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS members $5 and students are $4. The Irish Set Dance Workshop is free.

Contra dance is one of the best ways to interest and initiate people into folk dance. Interest in dance in general is widespread in the Tri-Cities region because of programs aired on public television and the very popular TV hit, “Dancing with the Stars.” For most everyone who tries, contra dance is simple and easy to learn. If you have a good caller, they’ll start the evening with dances with simple but fundamental formations that emphasize a few basic rules which include listening to the music and following the steps that are taught. After a couple of walk throughs, you just dive into the dance. “We have been drawing many beginners lately of all ages,” states event organizer, David Wiley, “It’s a real challenge for the caller, but they manage to make the dance happen very quickly. This further illustrates how contra dance converts just about anyone to a folk dancer in short order.”

Appalachian Storm specializes in Appalachian, Irish traditional and contemporary dance tunes. The band consists of David Hayes on guitar, Dave Polechko on banjo and fiddle, Kris Wallace on mandolin and fiddle, and Terrell Jones on the stand-up acoustic bass.

David Hayes loves to play music. Beginning with piano at age six, switching to trumpet, flute, then on to guitar, harmonica, eventually dabbling in fiddle, banjo, mandolin and various percussives. A long time finger picker, he now focuses his musical energy on traditional and contemporary Celtic and old-time accompaniment. A lifelong fear of dancing was finally overcome after several years of cajoling by friends—and David discovered contra. So, whilst pursuing his newfound dance addiction he became steeped in this wonderful genre of music that comes with it. Now he's hooked on playing and dancing and is busy working out ways to do both at the same time. When not dancing or playing, he catches babies, ("still the most awesome thing I've ever done - each and every time"), loves growing anything he can get to grow, and is obsessed with propagating his beloved fig tree. He also enjoys sailing, canoeing, hiking, traveling way off the beaten path, tries to be active in Veterans for Peace, and is moving slowly toward a low impact, off the grid lifestyle and bankruptcy.

Terrell Jones is an Asheville native who played electric bass for the rock band Freefall in the Raleigh, NC area during the early 80’s before spending 2 ½ years overseas, mostly in Africa. Moving back to the mountains in the late 90’s rekindled his old time, bluegrass and Celtic musical roots. The transition led him to the contra dance scene where he joined Appalachian Storm as bass player. Terrell and wife Sara gave birth to their first child, Violet, on February 28, 2008. He works for the North Carolina Department of Environmental Engineering.

Kris Wallace inherited her love of music from her mother, Kathy. Kathy encouraged Kris to start violin and piano lessons at a very young age. As young children go, Kris opted for the fun of getting dirty in the creek beds rather than struggling over a squeaky violin. Looking back, Kris now wishes she had stuck with the discipline and the practice as she later watched with envy many Irish and old time fiddlers. After years in the business world doing computer programming, she changed gears to spend more time on the Appalachian Trail and playing music. Now an accomplished fiddler and mandolin player for Appalachian Storm, she also continues to work as a rural mail carrier.

Dave Polechko is the veteran contra dance musician in the group. He toured throughout the United States when playing with the band High Society. Enjoying dancing as much as playing, he also ran a dance camp called Angel’s Crossing while living in West Virginia. Born in Pittsburg, PA, he has called Asheville home for the past two years where he works as a handyman. His musical roots go back to Irish and French Canadian styles. In recent years, his interests have turned to old-time and Cajun.

Caller Diane Silver has played a big part in the reintroduction of contra dance to this area. Diane participated in the very first workshops that were held in late 2005 before HJDS offered its first open dance on January 6, 2006. During the past two years HJDS has had the pleasure of having Diane call and teach many times to the delight of all who attended. Diane called the Jonesborough Days “Day of Dance” and participated in our first Contrathon 12-hour dance. She has been a die-hard contra dancer, swing dancer, and kitchen-flat footer for over ten years. With a penchant for hot modern contras and a few active squares, she loves sharing high energy dancing that allows everyone to “play” with the band. Highly acclaimed for her clear, efficient teaching and calling, creative medleys, great positive energy, and spirit of community building, Diane provides a sizzling evening of dance in a friendly, welcoming tone. Diane’s motto: “I can’t believe this much fun is legal!” She leads a monthly family dance at Calvary Episcopal Church in nearby Fletcher, NC.

For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org

Posted by: David Wiley on March 9, 2008

Press Release

Old Time Music and Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present another in a series of contra dances on Saturday March 1, 2008 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. This dance will feature the old time sounds of the Blue Ridge Rounders with caller Dean Snipes providing the choreographic direction. A class for beginners will be held from 7:00-7:30pm. Then the dance will take up the rest of the evening concluding at 10:30pm. As always, a country waltz break will occur at 9:00pm.

No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. Admission to the dance is $7, $ for HJDS members and $4 for students. We welcome families with children in hopes of teaching the fine art of folk dance for generations to come.

Contra dance is a group-based social activity that has a long tradition. It is similar to square dancing and the Virginia Reel, usually done in circles or long lines in which partners dance with many other couples in turn throughout a dance set. There are a few basic dance figures, all of which are taught during the beginner’s class, that are combined in a various ways, prompted by the caller. These figures are repeated with all of the dancers in a set. The result is a lot of fun, great exercise, lots of smiling and laughing as the group moves to the music, each person contributing to the shared experience. It is community building at its best!

The rebirth of contra dance in our region began two years ago with a handful of folks who had some experience and lots of beginners. Now it is common to see 125-150 in attendance at the center of contra dance, Jonesborough, Tennessee. If you have yet to experience one of these evenings of “community joy in motion”, the March dances offer wonderful opportunities with terrific bands and great callers. If dancing is not for you, just come and enjoy the music and laughter.

The Blue Ridge Rounders, who hail from what they call “the Dark Corner of South Carolina,” have traversed the region, winning band and individual music contests throughout the Carolinas. They are the 2006 and 2007 Mountain Music Champions, as well as winners of the 2006 North Carolina State Fair Old Time Band contest.

The Blue Ridge Rounders are a hard driving, fun loving old time string band whose music rides the cusp of the old mountain way to the traditional bluegrass sound. The Rounders reach back for the old songs and tunes, and gather up the traditional songs that were carried forward into the newer style of the 1940s. The subtlety of their relaxed presence defies what happens when the Rounders rip through a blazing fiddle tune or mourn a blues-influenced mountain song resulting in a rich program with many songs that are well known by audiences far and wide. The band consists of Bob Buckingham on fiddle, mandolin and guitar, Amy Buckingham on guitar and fiddle, Joshua Johnson on banjo and guitar and Dan Wood on bass, banjo and guitar.

Dan Wood reaches back to his family roots in Madison County, North Carolina, for songs and hymns as well as banjo tunes of that area. It is the same tradition as depicted in the movie Songcatcher. Dan is a masterful bass player, having honed his skill with bluegrass bands in the past. His command of old time banjo playing culminates in an eloquent simplicity with just the right touch of swing.

Joshua Johnson was a classical guitarist who has seen the light and taken up old time banjo. Josh’s approach to banjo is un paralleled in his unique understanding of its potential. He is an impressive guitarist as well.

Amy Buckingham has been singing and playing guitar for many years. She possesses strength and prowess on fiddle, banjo and mandolin. She is modest about her abilities, but they speak well for themselves. Let’s just say that her fiddling will set your feet to tapping and your heart to singing.

Bob Buckingham teaches are writes about music, plays the fiddle, mandolin, sometimes banjo and sings with the Rounders. He has actively played old time and bluegrass music since finding like-minded musicians while serving in the military many years ago. Since then, he has performed with numerous and various musical groups around the country. He is a respected teacher and writer, knowledgeable about the music, its history and nuances.

Dean Snipes brings eight years of contra dance calling from his home in Charlotte, North Carolina where he works as a handyman. He began calling after all his dance friends prompted him to call because he would never keep his mouth closed during the dance instruction. They said he was better off up on stage leading the dance. Dean loves to teach people how to contra dance. With his unique Southern accent, Dean wastes little time getting the beginners and experienced dancers learning the figures and flow of contra dance. During his brief calling career, Dean has taken the time to write about twenty dances some of which he will be calling on Saturday. To write a contra dance, Dean would take a favorite dance step and build the choreography around it.

For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on February 18, 2008

Press Release

After Valentine’s Day Contra Dance!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will feature the awesome sounds of the New Southern Ramblers on Saturday, February 16, 2008 offering an evening of old-time music and dancing at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30 pm with a class for beginners at 7:00 pm. No partner is necessary. Phil Jamison, the leader of the band, is not only an accomplished musician and caller, but has been teaching square dance and contra dance since 1975. You can expect an evening of fun with lots of fast moving squares as well as contras. Admission to the event is $7, HJDS Members $5 and Students $4.

The “After Valentine’s” theme will allow us to carry on the feeling of love and romance for two additional days since Valentine’s Day officially occurs on Thursday. “We encourage every one to give their sweetheart the gift of contra dance for Valentine’s Day” offers event organizer, David Wiley. HJDS volunteers will provide a mix of chocolate delicacies at the 9:00pm waltz break. In addition, every lady who attends the dance will receive a long-stem red rose as a gift from one of our supporters. One lucky dancer will win a dozen roses in a drawing during the last waltz of the evening.

The New Southern Ramblers is an old-time string band that plays driving Southern Appalachian dance music. Formed in 1982, the band toured with fiddler Ralph Blizzard of Blountville, TN until his death in 2004. With four recordings to their credit, they have won numerous contests throughout the Southeast and have been featured at concerts, festivals, and workshops throughout the country from Florida to Alaska. The New Southern Ramblers includes Phil Jamison (guitar), Gordy Hinners (banjo), John Herrmann (fiddle), and Meredith McIntosh (bass).

Phil Jamison is a nationally-known dance caller, old-time musician, and flatfoot dancer. Phil calls a mix of fun, fast-paced old-time squares, modern contras and Southern Appalachian big-ring dances. He has called at dances and music festivals throughout the country and overseas. Adept at calling for beginners as well as experienced dancers, he can help first-time dancers take to the floor with confidence. A long time member of the Green Grass Cloggers, his flatfoot dancing was featured in the film, Songcatcher, for which he also served as the traditional dance consultant. In addition to playing guitar with the New Southern Ramblers, Phil plays fiddle and banjo, and he teaches mathematics and Appalachian music at Warren Wilson College, where he also serves as assistant director of the Swannanoa Gathering. He recently completed a Masters degree in Appalachian Studies at East Tennessee State University.

Jamison is an advocate of the traditional dances of southern Appalachia, which at one time were common throughout the region, but are now rare.
Jamison adds “These dances are faster, looser and more improvisational than modern contra dances, which evolved from the New England dance tradition in the early 1980’s and have since spread across the country. I enjoy both dance forms and typically include a mix in my dance programs.”

Gordy Hinners is a veteran of the old-time music and dance scene, known for his distinctive claw hammer style on the fretless banjo and his masterful rhythmic footwork as a buck dancer. He plays banjo with the New Southern Ramblers and for many years was a mainstay of the Green Grass Loggers. Gordy has taught workshops throughout the country. He lives in Weaverville, NC and teaches Spanish at Mars Hill College.

John Hermann has been traveling the world playing old-time music for over thirty years. He plays fiddle with the New Southern Ramblers, but he has performed with many bands including the Henrie Brothers, Critton Hollow, the Wandering Ramblers, and the Rockinghams. Equally adept on banjo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar and bass, he is known as the “Father of Old-Time Music” in Japan. John has been on staff at numerous music events from coast-to-coast and has completed several European tours with dancer Ira Bernstein. He lives in Marshall, NC.

Meredith McIntosh is known for her rock-solid bass playing. She has a degree in music education and loves old-time music. She also plays fiddle, guitar, flute and piano. Over the years, she has performed with numerous groups including the Wildcats, the Heartbeats, and Balfa Toujours. She lives in Asheville, NC where she is a certified massage therapist and teacher of the Alexander Technique.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org

Posted by: David Wiley on February 6, 2008

Press Release

Groundhog Day Contra Dance Ball in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present its first Groundhog Day Contra Dance Ball on Saturday February 2, 2008, at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Music for the ball will be provided by the band Dot-Dot-Dash (aka Groundhog Day Orchestra) from the New River Valley of southern Virginia. The caller will be Ken Cooper from Hendersonville, North Carolina. Ken guarantees that you will not see your shadow on the dance floor.

The first event of the evening will be a waltz workshop led by the ever popular duo of Warren and Terry Doyle. The waltz workshop is $3 per person. A contra dance class for beginners will run from 7:00-7:30pm where the caller will teach all the basic contra dance formations and steps. The Groundhog Contra Dance Ball will start at 7:30pm and last until 10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:30pm. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students. The dance is smoke and alcohol free and family oriented. No partner is necessary.

German settlers came to Pennsylvania to carry on the Groundhog Day tradition whereby if the groundhog saw his shadow, six more weeks of winter would follow. “After enduring such a cold spell recently, I am sure our dancers would be happy to celebrate the end of winter and the coming of spring” adds event organizer, David Wiley. Rumor has it that we will have a visit from the real Punxatawney Phil who will sit for pictures and autographs and take in a few dances. The most famous Groundhog in the world is also known as Punxatawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator and Weather Prophet Extraordinaire.

A continuous showing of the 1993 Movie “Groundhog Day” will be shown in the community room for those who want a few extra Bill Murray laughs. “There will be plenty of laughing going on the dance floor which is part of the fun of contra dancing” offers Wiley.

Dot-Dot-Dash is a lively quartet inspired by Celtic, Appalachian and Gypsy Jazz traditions. Band members are Joel Keebler on bass, Bill Anderson, fiddle, John Hildreth, guitar, and Matt Livingston on mandolin. The group formed in the fall of 2002 and regularly performs at Virginia and North Carolina contra dances and just recently released a self-titled debut CD album.
The band will be performing old contra dance tunes such as “Devil Eat the Groundhog”, “Up Jumped the Groundhog” and “I Am a Prowling Groundhog”. They will finish out the evening with “Hip Hip Hooray for Groundhog Day”.

Having recently moved to Hendersonville, North Carolina from Tucson, Arizona, Ken Cooper will be calling our dance for the first time. An avid contra and square dancer since 1982, Ken started calling for dances in 2002. In Arizona, he was a board member of the Tucson Friends of Traditional Music. For two years, Ken was also camp director for the “Dance in the Desert”.

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that was created in the fall of 2005 to promote a better understanding of American folk dance, its music, its history and related folklore. The program has grown since its inception where the dances are now attended by large numbers of avid contra dancers of all ages. The coming Groundhog Contra Dance Ball will be a great way to warm up the evening!

Posted by: David Wiley on January 23, 2008

Press Release

Contra Dance and Open Music Jam!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance and jam on Saturday, January 19, 2008 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Performing for the dance will be Boston area band Notorious. The caller will
be Shawn Brenneman from Radford, Virginia. Class for beginners at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm. The attendees and the public are invited to our
monthly post-dance open jam and social at the Cranberry Thistle, 107 Main Street.
Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5 and students $4. All dances are taught
by the caller and no partner is necessary.

Notorious musicians Eden-McAdam-Somer and Larry Unger bring together traditional
And contemporary acoustic music from around the world, creating a dynamic, swinging sound that is sure to get you on your feet and dancing. With Eden on fiddle and vocals and Larry on guitar and banjo, their music is full of rhythmic drive and melodic candor. Their performance is always new and exciting presenting everything from traditional American and Celtic fiddle tunes to jazz, blues and the group’s original compositions.

At home in the worlds of both classical and popular music, Eden MacAdam-Somer is one of the most exciting and versatile young violinists performing today. She has been a featured soloist with symphony and chamber orchestras, jazz and swing bands, bluegrass, DAWG and American folk groups. Eden is also well versed in the music of other cultures, including Irish music, Gypsy music, Sephardic music, and European music from the Medieval and Renaissance periods. She has been a guest artist at the Aspen and Beijing International Music festivals, soloist at the Texas and Wimberley jazz festivals, performer at the Texas and St. Louis Renaissance fairs, and has appeared on numerous recordings in folk, rock, jazz and classical genres.

Larry Unger has been a full time musician since 1984, and has presented a diverse range of musical performances at contra dances, Scottish dances, waltzes, dance weekends, dance camps, festivals, and concerts all across the United States and in Canada, France, Scotland, Denmark, and Sweden. He's one of the busiest musicians around, playing for more than 150 dances every year.

He has played guitar, banjo, and bass with many top bands for contra dances including Reckless Abandon, Uncle Gizmo, Big Table, and the Reckless Ramblers. He has also accompanied such fiddlers as Elke Baker, Rodney Miller, Alisdair Fraser, Matt Glaser, Ralph Blizzard, and Lissa Schneckenburger to name a few. The bands Larry has been a part of might vary in style from Old-time to New England to Celtic, but they are all lively groups with exciting rhythms and an emphasis on fun. They might also play some of Larry's many original fiddle tunes.

Larry has written more than 600 fiddle tunes and waltzes, many of which have been recorded by one of his bands or by other bands. His tunes are widely played at contra dances everywhere. He has published 2 books of original tunes, as well as one CD of original waltzes (with Ginny Snowe), another CD with the contra dance band Uncle Gizmo, and a brand new CD with the Reckless Ramblers.

Besides playing for contra, waltz, swing, or Scottish dances, Larry also gives solo concerts which include a wide variety of music including finger style blues and slide guitar, rags, old-time banjo tunes, original waltzes and fiddle tunes, as well as melodies played on a handful of unusual instruments like banjo guitar, fretless banjo, and piano harp. He has a great breadth of understanding of traditional music to complement his considerable technical proficiency on stringed instruments, and enjoys telling the stories about the origins of his music and the people who taught him.

Larry has spent countless hours playing blues with Etta Baker, John Jackson, Turner Foddrell, Ted Bogan, and other masters of the style as well as playing at numerous sessions at old time fiddle conventions in the south. He has even played for Bill and Hillary Clinton!

Unger teaches guitar and old-time banjo at the Music Emporium in Lexington, Massachusetts. (He has also been known to teach bass or ukulele lessons.) He also gives workshops at camps and weekend festivals on a variety of topics from guitar and banjo, to dance band workshops and tune writing workshops.

Calling for the dance will be Shawn Brenneman. Shawn left her full time job at Radford University a year and a half ago to pursue her passions – contra dancing, calling for contra dances, and playing for dances with her contra dance band, House Red. Now that she’s living her dream, Shawn not only calls regularly for dances in her home state of Virginia, but in NC, SC, GA, PA, IN, ME, MA, CA, WA, and CO. as well. She enjoys introducing contra dancing to newcomers, as well as choosing varied, interesting, and challenging material that provides an evening of fun for everyone. Shawn, Eden, and Larry look forward to every chance they can find to work together.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.




















Larry and Eden maintain a very busy schedule that takes them to Florida, California, North and South Carolina and back home to the Boston area.

Posted by: David Wiley on January 8, 2008

Press Release

“Contra Dance for a Change”

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will kick off the 2008 contra dance season on Saturday, January 5th promoting the theme of “Contra Dance for a Change”. The dance will be held at the Carver Recreation Center at 322 W. Watauga, Johnson City, from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. with a class for beginners starting at 7:30 p.m. The featured band will be “Hot Flash” consisting of Karen Gaughan on keyboards and Laurie Fisher on fiddle. Calling the dance will be the ever popular Hank Morris. Admission is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for Students.

“Contra Dance for a Change” is a call to all citizens of the area who rededicate themselves to New Year’s higher ideas and ideals for diet and exercise changes. “We know from the experts that most people start the year with ambitious goals for weight loss, smoking cessation or other behavioral changes during the first ten days of the New Year”, states organizer David Wiley. “The problem is that many of these commitments fade away in the short term” adds Wiley. “Our contra dance program, even though it is held only twice per month can jump start anyone toward their goals...” We had twenty-four dances again 2007. In and of itself, twenty-four dances won’t make or break anyone’s fitness program, but for many, it made a difference. We have built the foundation for our own dance community.

Hot Flash and Hank Morris performed at the inaugural contra dance on January 6, 2006
and kicked off our program for 2007 as well. Karen, Laurie and Hank will return to the Carver Center to start off our third year. Laurie Fisher and Karen Gaughan will deliver the kind of Hot Flash no one minds experiencing. Multi-talented Fisher is a passionate lover of dance and music and its ensuing magic. She is an original member of Asheville’s Old Farmers Ball. She also founded and produced the Asheville Contradance and the Summer Soiree for 13 years. She began dancing in 1981 at the John C. Campbell Folk School where she learned contra and English Country Dance.
She plays many different instruments including the fiddle, keyboards and bass. Considered an excellent teacher and caller by all, we hope to see her calling for our dances in the near future.

Karen Gaughan is Asheville's most in-demand contra dance side-girl. Fisher and Gaughan together will provide a full sound, plenty of rhythm and a really good ride for the avid contra dancer or waltzer. After hearing the duet, an often-heard comment from the dance floor is an amazed, "I can't believe there's only two of you!" Gaughan has also been playing for dances for the last 15 years. Having retired as an elementary school teacher, she know pursues musical performance and teaching full time.

Hank Morris has been an active part of the very thriving Asheville and Charlotte dance communities for twenty three years. He grew up in Alabama and graduated from Auburn University. He is a dancing and outdoor enthusiast as well. In an effort to give back to the dance community, fifteen years ago, he started calling dance and festivals in the Southeast. Hank Morris makes the dances fun for both the beginner and the experienced dancers.

“We have already scheduled another year of great contra dance bands and callers” adds Wiley. For more information on Friday’s dance or any upcoming events, please call David Wiley at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on December 29, 2007

Press Release

Contra Dance and Music Jam and Holiday Party in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present the final contra dance of the year on Saturday, December 15, 2007 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Performing for the dance will be the Plum Creek String Band from Oberlin, Ohio. The caller and teacher for the beginner’s class at 7:00pm will be Asheville’s Diane Silver. The dance will run from 7:30-10:00pm at which time, everyone will be invited to move over to the Cranberry Thistle, 103 Main Street, for an open music jam and holiday party. There may even be some impromptu caroling on the way over. Musicians will be encouraged to become part of our first after-dance music jam led by the Plum Creek String Band.
No partner is necessary. All dances are taught. The atmosphere is friendly, family oriented, smoke and alcohol free. Dress for an energetic activity; no special attire-unless it’s a Santa hat. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students.
The annual membership drive has begun for 2008. Existing members prospective members are encouraged to join HJDS for next year. Members receive a $2.00 discount at each dance and lend needed financial support to this non-profit organization.

Contra dance is a form of American folk dance in which the dancers form a set of two parallel lines that run the length of the hall. Each dance consists of a sequence of moves and steps that ends with the couples having progressed one position up or down the set.

Many of the basic moves resemble square dancing—swings, allemandes, do-si-dos—but contra dancing is more a sort of amusement park ride that the dancers make for themselves. A square dance set is compromised of only four couples, whereas the length of the hall only limits the number of couples in a contra dance set. To join a set, only a partner and soft-soled shoes are necessary. All that is left is to have fun dancing.

The post-dance party at “Jonesborough’s favorite gathering place” is for socializing as well as sharing food and music. Cranberry Thistle owners, Nancy Colburn, Sister Jo Storie and Nancy’s husband Joseph will prepare an assortment of finger food snacks and treats courtesy of an early Christmas gift to the dance society from Santa Claus. After the dance, we may gather a group to go caroling through town to the Cranberry Thistle.

The open jam, an informal, unrehearsed collective of people making music together, has been called one of the highest forms of social interaction. This will be our first music jam.
Webster defines jam as, " in jazz, to improvise." And to improvise is, "to compose, perform, or sing on the spur of the moment and without preparation." Generally, a "jam" is what musicians (whatever their musical inclination, be it folk, jazz, classical, or bluegrass) call an informal playing situation or "jam session." The music is played by ear and no written music is used. "Open" simply means that anyone is welcome to pick up an instrument and play or sing along. The group is not closed or controlled by any one person or group and musicians are encouraged to try out new tunes and new musical ideas. Who knows? A performance level band might emerge from our jam session, adds
event organizer, David Wiley. Bring your instrument to the jam after the dance.

Plum Creek String Band's sound is described as Appalachian Jamaican groove music; West Virginia meets West Jamaica and goes out dancing. The music of Plum Creek String Band ranges from fiery fiddle tunes to reggae's roots to ballads. With roots in American old-time music from Appalachia, and Mento, a predecessor to Jamaican reggae and ska music, the band's sound combines acoustic rhythm with tight vocal harmonies. Other influences on the band's sound include blues, jazz, classical, and Celtic music. The quartet of musicians known as Plum Creek String Band came together in 2004. All four musicians have a connection to Oberlin College. Banjo player Bruce Comings, guitarist Jamie Davis and bass player Marion Parker were students, and Eric Stewart, who plays fiddle, served on Oberlin's faculty. The band has been featured for years at Northeast Ohio's dance festival Dandelion Romp. Based in Ohio, the Plum Creek String Band features music centered in the Southern old-time tradition with influences from the British Isles and the Caribbean. The combination and reinterpretation of these traditions is the fuel and the inspiration that the band uses to create powerful and irresistible dance grooves.

Caller Diane Silver has played a big part in the reintroduction of contra dance to this area. Diane participated in the very first workshops that were held in December of 2005 before the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society offered its first open dance on January 6, 2006.
Now finishing up its second year, HJDS has had the pleasure of having Diane call and teach on numerous occasions to the pleasure of all who attended. Diane single handedly ran the Jonesborough Days “Day of Dance” and participated in our first Contrathon 12-hour dance. Diane Silver has been a die-hard contra dancer, swing dancer, and kitchen-flat footer for over ten years. With a penchant for hot modern contras and a few active squares, she loves sharing high energy dancing that allows everyone to “play” with the band. Highly acclaimed for her clear, efficient teaching and calling, creative medleys, great positive energy, and spirit of community building, Diane provides and sizzling evening of dance in a friendly, welcoming tone. Diane’s motto: “I can’t believe this much fun is legal!”

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on December 4, 2007

Press Release

Contra Dance to Warm Up By!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, December 1, 2007 at 8pm at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone St. performing for the dance will be the “Dancing Bears” from Asheville with caller Barbara Groh. A class for beginners will be held at 7:30pm. Every dancer is encouraged to attend the class to become familiar with dance steps, formations, and flow. The “Bears” were one of the headliner bands at the recent Lake Eden Arts Festival in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

Cold weather is now upon us. Here’s a chance to get a head start on burning off some of the holiday calories. The dance runs from 8:00pm until 11:00pm with a waltz break at 9:30pm.

“Our dancers are really getting the hang of it, and the skill level is really getting better,” states event organizer David Wiley. “Our dance is for all ages. For some reason, I hear folks saying that they think our contra dance is geared to the older crowd. We have dancers of all ages from seven to seventy. Plus, you don’t have to have a partner.” The best way to learn contra dance is by asking a more experienced partner to dance. It’s perfectly acceptable for ladies to ask gentlemen to dance. “We are approaching the end of our second year in existence. The program has been a huge success” adds Wiley.

Admission to the dance is $7 for (yet-to-be members), $5 for HJDS members. Students get in for $4. A Family Package has been instituted for members that allows parents and as many children in their core family to get in for only $15. “We’re seeing more children at our dances, and they catch on to the dance real fast,” adds Wiley.


The Dancing Bears consists of Lew Gelfond on fiddle, Mark Langner on guitar, John Culp mandolin and banjo, and Skip Metheny on bass. Lew Gelfond has been playing the fiddle since long before the cows came home. He is a solo performer of old time fiddle and banjo music and also plays swing, ragtime, Celtic, gypsy, country, Klezmer, tangos, and other traditional music. Lew performs at schools, concerts, workshops and festivals and has been a violin, viola and fiddle teacher for over 20 years. Mark Langner started playing keyboards and guitar in a garage rock band in high school. In college, he played coffeehouses as part of a duo which did an eclectic mix of music ranging from Merle Haggard to Grateful Dead to Frank Zappa. Mark’s current interest is in swing and jazz, which colors most things the Bears do. Mark is also a certified hypnotherapist and builds acoustic archtop quitars in an effort to add to the total amount of beauty in the
World. John Culp got his first real guitar on his 16th birthday and has been picking’ strings ever since. Since meeting his bride and favorite caller, Barbara Groh, and becoming submerged in the contra dance community, he has concentrated on mandolin and tenor banjo. If he’s not playing for a dance, you might spot John running the soundboard or even dancing. In addition to playing for festivals and other dances, John is also a general partner of the Asheville Contradance, which produces the Asheville Summer Soiree dance weekend and the Asheville Contra Dance monthly dance. Skip Metheny began playing drums in his early teens with various R&R bands. He was a founding member of the show band “The Doomsday Refreshment Committee” which toured Vietnam entertaining US and allied military folks during the psychedelic era and later became the house band in a Bangkok nightclub. After moving to Asheville, Skip became an avid contra dancer. He has been playing bass and percussion for contra and swing music at various festivals, dance weekends and other events around the Southeast since 1997.

Barbara Groh, a resident of Asheville, NC, has been calling contra dances all over the Southeast since 1989. She has called such festivals as the Charleston Bug Stomp, Gotta Dance, the Summer Soiree, the Black Mountain Music Festival, Moon Dance, and the Gypsy Meltdown. Her smooth style, clear teaching and collection of interesting dances will help you achieve Contra Nirvana.

Barbara has been immersed in the traditional music and dance scene for three decades. She became an avid square dancer at age thirteen. In college she fell in love with contra dancing and learned to play old-time banjo. As a caller, her patience and ability to give precise dance instructions stem in part from her 15 years as a classroom teacher and private tutor. She currently works with children of all ages who have dyslexia.

For more information, contact event organizer David Wiley at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on November 23, 2007

Press release

CONTRA DANCE and “Food Raiser” for Jonesborough Area Food Bank

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society invites all contra dancers to a pre-Thanksgiving contra dance and Food Raiser on Saturday, November 17, 2007 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The featured band will be Feral Broccoli from Asheville with Beth Molaro as caller. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5, Students $4. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. From 6:00-7:00pm, back by popular demand, Warren & Terry Doyle will lead another waltz workshop costing an additional $3.

Sponsors for this event are Jonesborough general dentists, J. Alan Burleson, D.D.S and his new associate, Travis Wiles, D.D.S. Their office is located at 222 Headtown Road. “Supporting community contra dance and the collection of food for the Food Bank in Jonesborough is a great fit for us” states Dr. Burleson. “We see this event as wholesome, family oriented and gladly lend our support”.

The food-raiser will benefit the Jonesborough Area Ministerial Association
FOOD BANK located on the grounds of the Wetlands Park, just to the left and up the hill, as you enter the park. Food is disbursed on Thursday mornings supervised by director, Elmer Gillespie. The JAMA churches and ministers are Bob Roberson, Central Christian Church; Brad Scott, Jonesborough United Methodist Church; Beth Yarborough, Jonesborough Presbyterian Church; Joel Cook, First Baptist Church of Jonesborough; and Chuck Griffin, Fairview Methodist Church.

The JAMA Food Bank serves the entire region and needs food items all year long, not just during the holidays. If everyone brings in a can or two or a bag full of canned goods, we can make a big difference for the families in need. If you are not coming to dance, bring your donations anyway or drop them by Dr. Burleson and Wiles office at 222 Headtown Road in Jonesborough. Their office is open Monday through Thursday. Food banks struggle to meet the needs of our community and are facing significant increases in the number of people accessing their services.

“The person who brings in the most number of canned goods will receive an IPOD Shuffle donated by one of our members” states event organizer, David Wiley.

As for the dance, everyone across the country will tell you that our caller, Beth Molaro, is GREAT! When she calls, the dance is always a party! Her enthusiasm is contagious and she makes any dance more energetic and exciting. She is truly a dance caller dedicated to the art of traditional American dancing and good fun.

Beth lives in Asheville surrounded by the mountains of western North Carolina with her daughter, Rebecca Grace, where they are an active part of the thriving dance community. Often on the road calling dances all over the place, her clear calling and skilled dance selection have made her one of the country’s most popular and widely traveled callers.

Since 1994, Beth has called hundreds of dances from coast to coast as well as in Denmark and Canada. Beth is in demand as a caller and teacher for weddings, family reunions, community dances, dance weeks, weekends and folk festivals all over the country.

Beth’s vocal style is unique in the dance world. Her ability to sing the calls makes for an exciting blend of music and calls which she accomplishes with both clarity and musical integrity. You will hear elements of blues and jazz in her voice as she sings you from one figure to the next, weaving together various elements of the dance, music, and dancers into a positively charged room of inspired enthusiasm.

Beth calls high energy, turbocharged Appalachian squares and smooth flowing contras. She is known for her quick, no-nonsense walk throughs and effective teaching for both the beginner and the most seasoned dancers. Beth’s dances are always a guaranteed whoop and a holler good time. Dancers are sure to leave with a feel-good dancing high.

The Feral Broccoli band is a popular, dancer-friendly old-time string band hailing from Western North Carolina. You cannot help but pick up your feet and swing once Feral Broccoli kicks into high gear playing an array of highly danceable traditional tunes from North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia. The band features the driving fiddling of David Lynch, rock-solid guitar playing by Vollie McKenzie, the boisterous banjo picking of John Hermann and a rollicking bass line offered by Amy Hobbs. Bring you dancing shoes and prepare to have a big time!

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org

Posted by: David Wiley on November 7, 2007

Press Release-Contra Dance in Jonesborough

Fall Contra Dances Continue in Jonesborough


The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society welcomes all dancers to the next in
A series of fall contra dances on Saturday, November 3, 2007. The dance will be held at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Performing for the dance will be the Brasstown Bonobos. The caller will be Knoxville’s Nick Boulet. A class for beginners will be held at 7:30pm with the dance following from 8:00-11:00pm. No partner is necessary. The dance is smoke and alcohol free. Families with children are welcome. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students.

The Brasstown Bonobos are made up of Linda Allen on fiddle, her son Abel Allen on guitar and mandolin and J.D. Robinson on bass and guitar. Linda has been playing fiddle for contra and old-time dances for the last eighteen years. During that time, Linda also became a proficient dance teacher and caller. Her son Abel was brought up in the dance community and often slept comfortably under the piano while Mom played or called. Able started playing guitar nine years ago and has played in several area bands. He is now a freshman at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, North Carolina where he focuses on music study and sings in the Warren Wilson Chorale. His biggest musical influences have come from New England and Southern Old Time styles. Abel is also on the board of the Old Farmers Ball, one of the longest running contra dances held in the Bryson Gym on the Warren Wilson campus every Thursday. J.D. Robinson is a fixture in the John C. Campbell Folk School community. J.D. first toured professionally at the age of 18, playing banjo with Grand Ole Opry legend Clyde Moody. J.D. sings and plays guitar, bass, pedal steel guitar and drums in a wide variety of ensembles including the “Reach of Song” and Georgia Mountain Fair house bands. J.D. believes that positive encouragement and a friendly atmosphere are important factors in learning to play music. J.D. is also on the faculty at the John C. Campbell Winter Dance Week, the Folk School’s popular year-end folk dance and music celebration.

“Our contra dances continue to draw people from far and wide” adds event organizer, David Wiley. “We may be the only family oriented community dance in the area. Just recently we had a couple come to our dance that had just moved here from Vermont. The combination of great live music, excellent dance instruction and a welcoming dance community have kept our program growing. We are about to finish our second year. Things are going great” says Wiley.
“We have a ten person board of directors and many volunteers who help with publicity and day-of-dance responsibilities. The teamwork is really great!”

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org

Posted by: David Wiley on October 29, 2007

Press Release

October 17, 2007

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present their annual Halloween Contra Dance and Costume Ball on Saturday, October 27, 2007 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students. A family package for HJDS members allows parents to bring all of their own children for a total of $15.

Halloween dances bring out the greatest amount of creativity in the dance community. Prizes will be awarded for originality and creativity and most unusual costumes.

Prior to the dance at 6pm, Warren & Terry Doyle will conduct a waltz workshop until 7:00pm. Cost is $3. Then, at 7:30pm, a contra dance class for beginners will be led by caller, Hank Morris, from Asheville. No partner is necessary,
All dances are taught. This event is smoke and alcohol free.

Headlining the event will be Anam Cara, a celtic band from Charlotte, NC. Anam Cara means “soul friend” in Gaelic. The band unites four players with many collective years of performance experience. Instruments played include the bodhran, guitar, trumpet, mandolin, concertina, doumbek and fiddle.

Dr. John Harding plays the trumpet and the bodhran. John is a professional trumpet player and enjoys playing the bodhran which is a handheld Irish frame drum usually made with goatskin and played with a stick. He has taught at UNC Charlotte, UNC Chapel Hill, University of Miami, New Mexico State University and the American College in Cairo, Egypt. John has peformed as principal trumpet with several symphony orchestras and as lead trumpet for a number of big bands.

Troy Conn is a versatile guitarist and musician with a variety of styles under his belt. He received his Bachelors of Music Performance at UNC Charlotte where he studied classical guitar and performed with the Guitar Ensemble, Big Band, Jazz Combo and orchestra. Troy has played in local and regional rock bands and jazz orchestras and is currently enjoying his role in Anam Cara. He is also guitar instructor at the L.A. Guitar Factory in Charlotte.

Taylor Caton is Anam Cara's doumbek player. The doumbek is a goblet shaped drum. One hundred years ago Taylor would have jumped freight trains or stowed away on tramp steamers. He would have written novels in the manner of Jack London, painted portraits of exotic womanhood as did Paul Gauguin, and he would have been a guide through steaming jungles in the furthest outposts of civilization. In these days of the jet plane, Taylor uses the doumbek to express his deepest desires. Taylor has enough energy to power a small fleet of motor vehicles. It's a fuel that burns full-throttle, ignited by the heat of his soulful rhythms and the power and passion of his performance.

Kelly Harding plays the fiddle and mandolin and sings vocals. She took up the viola many years ago in California when there were no flutes left to give out and the viola was the one remaining instrument left in the instrument room. After moving to Atlanta, her mother dragged her to a yard sale and found a violin glued to a picture frame with the asking price of two dollars. Her mother bought it, had fun cleaning it up, and presented it to her daughter, and Kelly has been playing it ever since.

For more information, visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or call event organizer, David Wiley at 423-913-3246.

Posted by: David Wiley on October 14, 2007

Press Release

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance on Saturday October 13, 2007 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The dance will feature the band “Curious George” consisting of fiddler Laura Lengnick and Paul Moore on keyboards and accordion. The dance will be called by Asheville’s John Combs. There will be a class for beginners at 7:30pm. The dance will follow from 8-11:00pm. All dances are taught. No partner is necessary. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS members $5 and students $4.

For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on October 7, 2007

Press Release

Contra Dance comes to Washington College Academy!

On Saturday, September 29, 2007, as part of the annual celebration of Washington College Academy’s founding in 1780, the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present the first ever contra dance on their campus. The dance will commence at 7:30 p.m. with a class for beginners followed by the contra dance from 8:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m.
Performing at this dance will be the Burning Desire String Band with calling by Fred Park.

The Burning Desire String Band is Frederick Park, M Mueller, Don Pedi
and Rob Hinson. These seasoned musicians have a combined history of
more than a century of participation in dance music. M has been engaged
as both a fiddler and guitarist with dance bands in the Asheville area
as a player, instructor and music organizer since the 80's. He is a
founding member of the notoriously high-energy "String Beings". Don
Pedi, long lauded for his radio program of traditional music, "Close To
Home", airing on WCQS out of Asheville since 1985, is a one-of-a-kind
lap dulcimer player. In a virtuoso class all his own, Don has a deep
reserve of traditional tunes and the folk traditions of string band
music. Rod Hinson has a jazzman's ear and technique while focusing on
musical genres ranging far into various ethnic traditions. He has been
a teacher of some of the best guitar and mandolin players around while
continuing to keep his hand in live engagements nationally. Frederick
Park, your dance caller, is part of the rhythm section of this quartet.
He is primarily a teacher and student of the dance traditions of the
Southern Mountains though America, England, Scotland and France all
hold sway in his diverse repertoire. These guys are a serous dance
party waiting to happen!

For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. Washington College Academy is approximately 8 miles West of Jonesborough on State Hwy 354 in the Limestone Community.

Posted by: David Wiley on September 25, 2007

Press Release

Contra Dance Visits Milligan College!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society has been invited to bring a contra dance to the campus of Milligan College on Saturday, September 22, 2007. The Social Affairs committee, part of the Student Government Association at Milligan College, is co-sponsoring this dance which will be held in field house on campus. There will be a class for beginners at 7:30pm taught by caller Anne Marie Walter from Asheville. The dance will go from 8-11pm with a waltz break at 9:30pm. Admission to the dance will be $1.00 for Milligan students, $7 for the general public, $5 for HJDS Members and $4 for all other students. The band, Appalachian Storm from Asheville is made up of David Hayes on guitar, Kris Wallace on mandolin, Dave Polechko on fiddle and banjo and Terrell Jones on bass.

David Hayes

David Hayes loves to play music. Unfortunately he never stuck with any one instrument long enough to get good at it. Beginning with piano at age six, switching to trumpet, flute, then on to guitar, harmonica, eventually dabbling in fiddle, banjo, mandolin and various percussives, he now sheepishly admits to having mastered.…. nothing! (Although he's rumored to have a great voice – but that comes in real handy at a contra dance – right?!) Still, he just can't help himself. A lifelong fear of dancing was finally overcome after several years of cajoling by friends and David discovered contra. So, whilst pursuing his newfound dance addiction he became steeped in this wonderful genre of music that comes with it. Now he's hooked and trying to brush off old, forgotten skills and pick up a few new acoustical tricks before anyone catches on.

When not dancing or playing, he catches ("moms deliver them – obstetricians just catch") babies, ("still the most awesome thing I've ever done - each and every time"), grows anything he can get to grow, and is obsessed with propagating his beloved fig tree. He also enjoys sailing, canoeing, hiking, traveling way off the beaten path, tries to be active in Veterans for Peace, and is moving slowly toward a low impact, off the grid lifestyle.

Kris Wallace

Kris Wallace inherited her love of music from her mother, Kathy. Kathy was on to a good thing when she got Kris playing violin and piano at a very young age. Yet the young Kris didn't grasp what this good thing was and opted for the fun of getting dirty in creek beds rather than struggling over a squeaky violin. Later in life, the fun in playing music looked very appealing to Kris. The "if only I had stuck with it" regret often weighed on her mind while envying Irish and old-time fiddlers. After years of unfulfilling jobs, Kris realized how fun it would be to actually do something you're passionate about? She quit her job as a computer programmer and fulfilled a life-long dream of getting dirty on the Appalachian Trail. It felt so good to fulfill a dream that she went after her biggest one after returning to society -- her dream to play music. She picked a mandolin first which helped her not to fret over her fiddle playing. Now, after 30 years, she finds time for both playing music and getting dirty in nature.

David Polechko

David Polechko is the most seasoned contra dance musician of the group. He
did a US tour when playing with the band High Society. Enjoying
dancing almost as much as playing, he also ran a dance camp in West Virginia
called Ange's Crossing. He hails from Pittsburg and has made Asheville
his home for the past two years. Crazed at the opportunity to play music in
this mountain city, he lives with two of his band mates. His fiddle and banjo
Playing seems to keep everyone sane. His early roots in music are traced to
Irish and French Canadian while later on, he latched on to old-time and Cajun styles.. When he's not playing or dancing, he may be found floating around the base of a waterfall in a pink inner tube.

Terrell Jones

Bass player, Terrell Jones, 54, is an Asheville native who played electric bass for a rock band called Freefall in the Raleigh area during the early 80s before spending two and a half years overseas, mostly in Africa. Moving back to the mountains in the late 90s rekindled his old time, bluegrass and Celtic roots which then led him to contra dance and playing the stand-up acoustic bass for the Appalachian Storm contra dance band. He and his wife Sarah are expecting their first child in February.

Dr. Charlene Kiser, humanities professor at Milligan College, is a member of the Historic dance to the Milligan students” says event organizer, David Wiley. Dancing is social, athletic, non-competitive and participatory—not many other activities offer this combination. People who think they can’t dance or aren’t athletic at all turn into dancers. “As an organization whose goal is to build community through traditional music and dance, we are excited about the opportunity to teach an enthusiastic, high-energy, mostly able bodied group of students many of whom have already attended some of our dances at the Visitors Center in Jonesborough”, adds Wiley. The upcoming dance at Milligan is the second contra dance to happen there after an introductory event back during the spring semester. The dance is, of course, open to the public.

This dance’s caller, Anne Marie Walter, lives and dances in Asheville, NC where she teaches, goes to school, gardens and plays with fiber. “She has been calling contra dances throughout the southeast for nearly a dozen years,” says Wiley. “She is known for her efficient walk-throughs and her sense of fun.”

“My job is to select the right dances for the crowd,” says Walter. “That way I can get out of the way and let the dancers groove to the tunes.”
Contra dances are community events. At almost any contra you will find people of all ages and all dance skill levels, from young to old, beginner to expert. Contra dancers form a very open and welcoming group of people. You can come alone or with others since it is a tradition to dance with a variety of partners throughout the night. It is perfectly acceptable for either a man or a woman to ask someone they haven’t met before to dance. You will find contra dancing a great way to make new friends.

For more information and directions to Milligan College, contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. Directions to Milligan College: I-26 to Exit 24 to Elizabethton (hwy 67 East), exit right on Milligan Highway, go approximately 3 miles, campus entrance is on the right. Look for the “CONTRA DANCE” signs posted around the campus. Please visit www.milligan.edu to view a map of the campus.

Posted by: David Wiley on September 17, 2007

Press Release

Folk School Legend Leads Jonesborough Contra Dance

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society welcomes the contra dance band, Big Mike and the Omnidirectionals, to the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, Saturday, September 15, 2007 for a dance starting at 8:00 p.m. The center is located at 117 Boone Street. A class for beginners will be held at 7:30 p.m. where visiting caller Bob Dalsemer will teach the basics of contra dance. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students. The dance is smoke and alcohol free and family oriented.

Back by popular demand, Warren and Terry Doyle will hold another waltz workshop from 6:00-7:00pm with an open waltz to follow until 7:30pm. “Many of our dance students who attend the waltz classes are craving the ability to do social dance.” states event organizer, David Wiley. “They want to learn waltz steps, how to lead or follow your partner and so on. Warren and Terry do a great job of teaching the basics and helping the experienced dancer learn new steps.” Cost of the waltz workshop is only $3.

Bob Dalsemer hails from Hayesville, North Carolina in the extreme southwestern corner of the state. Born and raised in Baltimore, Bob co-founded the Baltimore Folk Music Society and started the dance program for the Folklore Society of Greater Washington. He served as President of the Country Dance and Song Society from 1990-1996. In the early 1980’s, Bob became a regular dance instructor at the John C. Campbell Folk School and moved to southwestern North Carolina in 1991 to become Coordinator of Music and Dance Programs at The Folk School. Now with more than 35 years of calling experiences and exceptional teaching skills, Bob Dalsemer has called in 35 states, Canada, England, Denmark, Belgium, Russia and the Czech Republic. His repertoire includes a wide range of American contras, squares and circle dances. Many of his original dance compositions are called at dances throughout the country. At the Folk School, Bob teaches an annual caller’s workshop, organizes more than 50 music and dance classes per year and runs a weekly concert series, a twice monthly community contra dance and a monthly English country dance.

Big Mike and the Omnidirectionals make their first visit to Jonesborough. The band includes Mike Robinson on fiddle, Gretchen Wurth on piano and Bill Porter on wooden flute.

“Big Mike” is fiddler Mike Robinson who lives in Warne, North Carolina. Mike became a fiddle addict a number of years ago and since has spent all his free time practicing, jamming, dancing and playing for dances in a variety of bands including Crosstown Traffic. Mike travels frequently throughout the southeast to play for dances.

Gretchen Worth came back to the piano three years ago with a strong desire to play for dances. Since that time, she has become the rhythmic center of most jam sessions and a number of informal bands around Brasstown, NC. When not playing music, Gretchen is a practicing fiber artist and member of the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild.

Bill Porter is a master of the wooden flute. He has played in many bands in the Atlanta area over the years including Crosstown Traffic with Mike Robinson.

“We have a very talented and well respected group coming to perform in Jonesborough, “adds Wiley. “Summer is over. We are starting to get some college students at our dances including several international students from France and several students from Milligan College”. Our next dance on September 22nd will be back at Milligan after a very successful first-ever contra dance during the spring semester. “The contra dance community is building quickly and we are having lots of fun doing it.”

For more information, please visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or call Wiley at 423-913-3246.

Posted by: David Wiley on September 5, 2007

Press Release

August 22, 2007

Contra Dance Weekend!

The region will enjoy its first contra dance weekend of sorts starting Friday night August 31, 2007, as the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society holds a contra dance at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street at 8:00pm. The band Holy Coyote made up of musicians from Asheville and Atlanta will perform with Shawn Brenneman, of Blacksburg, Virginia, calling and teaching the beginner’s class at 7:30pm. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught.
The event is family oriented, smoke and alcohol free.

Shawn Brenneman has been calling dances since 1999. She regularly calls dances in Virginia and North Carolina but has performed in 18 other states. When calling, her goal is to help create an atmosphere where dancers can best enjoy the music, each other and the dance. “I do this by choosing good dances, teaching them simply, clearly and quickly, calling in a clear and timely manner, and dropping out when possible to let the music carry the dancer’s forward.” adds Brenneman. “I like to choose a varied and interesting program of well choreographed dances to make the evening fun”. Shawn is also keyboard player for the popular contra dance band House Red. Shawn will perform with House Red
in Greensboro on Saturday night and then catch back up with the weekend series at the Carolina Contrathon on Sunday.

Holy Coyote is four musicians who have played together and apart for contras and couples dancing since the early eighties in various combinations and bands from The String Beings to Red Plum Jam to the Atlanta Swamp Opera. Split between Asheville and Atlanta, the Coyotes bring together New England, French Canadian, and Southern tunes with energy and grace.

Laurie Fisher has been entertaining dancers and inspiring musicians for the past 24 years. Fiddler, piano player, caller, she is best known as the fiddler for The String Beings, an Asheville band known for their relentless edgy rhythm and the good ride that it provides. She also plays with Fiddlewitch, Ants in the Pantry, and The Evil Twins. Her driving fiddle powers Holy Coyote's excitement and thrill. For Laurie's complete schedule,

Dave Marcus, who plays concertina and button accordion, has been contra dancing and playing since 1981. Starting with the Unknown String Band (an inadvertently appropriate name) and continuing for 12 years with Red Plum Jam, whose CD Jump at the Sun was labeled A Pinewoods Favorite by CDSS; he spent the last decade exclusively playing Irish music, and the last year trying to figure out how on earth he stopped playing contra dance music.

Karen Gaughan, who plays piano, has been playing dances from Alabama to New Jersey for nearly 14 years and calling dances longer than that. She has played numerous dance weekends and couple dance events around the Southeast and is one of the busiest dance musicians in the area. She just retired after teaching elementary school music near Asheville for many years and plays regularly in Wild Goose Chase and Fly By Night, as well as the waltz band Fine Companions.

Larry Enloe, who plays percussion and mandolin, is best known as part of the slightly whacky, tireless and talented Atlanta Swamp Opera, a 5-piece band playing high-energy traditional Cajun & Zydeco music with a modern flavor. He brings feet to Holy Coyote's French-Canadian roots as well as mandolin and percussion from around the world, and infuses Louisianan high spirits into everything from jigs to waltzes.

The weekend continues as Holy Coyote moves Saturday to the Apple Barn in Valle Crucis, North Carolina, for a contra dance sponsored by the Boone Country Dancers. The dance runs from 8:00-11:00pm.

The Labor Day Weekend would not be complete without a 12-hour dance. The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will sponsor the Carolina Contrathon at the Mountain Music Jamboree, 9331 Highway 16, Glendale Springs, North Carolina (right off the Blue Ridge Parkway). Admission to the dance is $20 for the entire day or $12 for 6-hour segment, 10am-4pm or 4pm-10pm. Open to all dancers, the event will consist primarily of contra dance, Appalachian square dance and country waltz.

“This event is one of our fund raisers that we plan to do twice a year for a long time to come” offers David Wiley, HJDS President. “Our Memorial Day Weekend dance was an artistic and financial success with over 120 dancers from four states participating”, adds Wiley. “We chose the Mountain Music Jamboree because it is located in one of the most beautiful areas of Western North Carolina. There are lots of camping, hiking and other recreational attractions that helped to draw some of our participants from all over the region. The Mountain Music Jamboree, built by area resident, Arvill Scott, is a wonderful dance venue with a wood floor and is perfect for our needs.”

The performing bands will be “Toss the Possum”, a great family band from Radford, Virginia and the “Contrarians” from Charleston, West Virginia. Callers will be Gaye Fifer from Charlottesville, Virginia and Shawn Brenneman from Blacksburg, Virginia. The bands and callers will alternate two-and-one-half hour sets during the 12-hour period with an hour-and-a-half break for dinner.

The name Toss the Possum was inspired by a possum who found itself trapped under a spare dresser drawer in the garage. Chas, upon seeing the upside down drawer moving mysteriously of its own volition around the garage floor, yelled for everyone to come and see. Thus, the first possum the Zisette family ever saw was a very unhappy one!

Rob Zisette, age 15, is the fiddler for Toss the Possum. After playing violin for a year and a half, he entered the fiddle contest sponsored by the Festival of the American West at age 10. He won first prize and has been fiddling ever since. Rob also likes to compose and is a percussionist in the Radford High School Band. Occasionally he’ll pick up the drumsticks at a dance.

Chas, age 17, taught himself to play bass as soon as he realized the family band was forming without him. Sometimes he plays his sax with the band. Chas’ claim to fame is that he can play ‘Ode to Joy’ on 16 different instruments.

Jane, age 19, began playing flute when she was 12. Soon after, she heard Joannie Madsen play her whistles with Cherish the Ladies and decided to add the Irish whistle to her repertoire. Jane plays on Patrick Riordan whistles. Jane also sings with the band. She has been accepted as a flute performance major at BYU Idaho.

Laura (mom) taught Piano at Utah State University until she moved to Virginia. In Utah she played with Barnstorm and Leaping Lulu. Now she’s hanging on for the ride with Toss the Possum.

Charlie, (dad) of course, is the most important member of the band. Not only has he picked up sound engineering and springs for food after the gigs, but the kids have dubbed him the ‘instrument Sherpa".

Toss the Possum has played for all kinds of events, festivals, and dances for the past three years – that is, as many as their busy school schedules have allowed. They especially enjoy playing for contra dances because they know how much fun the dancers are having. The Zisettes have been contra dancing since Rob was four years old, drawn by the terrific live music and the wonderful spirit of the dance community.

This band puts their unique twist on southern tunes, old time, Celtic, jazz and folk. They are known for their energetic, driving renditions of traditional tunes. These teens like to occasionally slip in ‘cameos’ of non-traditional tunes. They also love the excitement of creating color and rhythm on the fly!

A four-piece band, the Contrarians play contra dance and square dance music on fiddles, guitar, mandolin, piano, upright base and a bluesy trumpet. The band is made up of Paul Epstein on fiddle, Will Carter on stand-up bass, Gary Reynolds on guitar, trumpet, piano, and John Longwell on mandolin, tenor banjo and fiddle.

Paul Epstein has been playing, writing and performing for over 30 years. His songs cover many styles and topics. He has written and recorded three CD’s. “Strawberry Lass” is all original fiddle tunes in Celtic and Appalachian stylings. “Lessons Life Taught Me” are all original songs in folk/blues/country/swing formats with backing by members of WV Public Radio’s Mountain Stage Band. “School Bus Comin” is mostly original children’s songs in various folk styles with guitar and fiddle.

A Contrarians event delivers dazzling melody-including some great original tunes – along with a solid yet imaginative approach to rhythm. The band has consistently “wowed the crowd” at dances and dance weekends throughout Ohio-Kentucky-West Virginia and beyond.

They were a big hit at the 2001 and 2006 Pigtown Fling in Cincinnati, the Dandelion Romp in Oberlin, Ohio in 2002; the 2005-2007 Whitewater Whirl as well as other dance weekends. Trips to Glen Echo Park, Maryland for the Friday night dance and the FSGW (Folk Song Society of Greater Washington) dance have brought rave reviews and word keeps spreading.

Hailing from West Virginia, the Contrarians are comfortable in a variety of styles and traditions including Celtic, New England, swing, and of course, old time (Appalachian). They also have written original material. With rhythmic variety, occasional glimpses of ethnic music, and unique improvisations, dancers let loose and never lose interest in the music.

“It’s rare for a band that is not on the road constantly to achieve this level of expertise” says Ron Buchanan, a renowned dance caller who travels nationwide from his home in Pittsburg. “I have known some of these guys for over twenty years since they were playing in string bands that traveled to festivals all over the country. Most of them make their living doing other things, but their first love is music” added Buchanan.

Gaye Fifer has been a caller and teacher at nearly every dance weekend in the Eastern U.S. In her engaging and entertaining manner, she teaches moves with an emphasis on leading and following—connecting with your partner and the music. As a caller, Gaye will delight you with clear walk throughs and smooth flowing contras. Be prepared to be challenged with some tasty dances too! Her pleasant style and graceful teaching put dancers at ease and set the stage for a great evening.

Even though other types of dance, such as square dance and country line dancing abound in the area, contra dance does not come from the Appalachian region at all. Contra dance originated in New England. The name style of dance comes from English country dance. During a contra dance two people partner up and generally remain that way throughout the dance. With the help of the caller, each dancer will do-si-do, balance or allemande with just about everyone in the longwise sets.

The beauty of contra dance comes when the other three members of your set-of-four help you out if you forget the direction of turn or one of the steps of the dance. Most contra dancers point out how easy beginners will find contra dancing.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on August 22, 2007

Press release

Back to School Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

JONESBOROUGH, TN - The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society welcomes the “Washington County Ramblers” string band for the next in a series of summer contra dances. They will perform in the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street on August 18, 2007; beginning at 8 p.m. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for Students. A workshop for beginners led by caller Dean Snipes will begin at 7:30 P.M. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. All contra dance events are smoke and alcohol free and family oriented.

The Washington County Ramblers are an old-time string band made up of some of the finest musicians that upper East Tennessee has to offer. The fertile breeding ground for traditional music has been a wealth of fun and inspiration for these four talented musicians. Anchored by the nephew/uncle team Sam Gobble and Bill Ward on fiddle and banjo, the Ramblers ride on the steady rockin’ rhythm section of Tim Pharis on bass and Roy Andrade on guitar.

Sam Gobble, from Mountain City, TN, has been active in the Old Time music scene in east Tennessee, western North Carolina and southwestern Virginia for many years. He began “fiddlin” around in the early 1980’s. Two decades later, he’s accomplished as a fiddler, banjo and guitar player. Along with banjo player, Doug Dorschug, Sam is currently teaching fiddle in the Old-Time Music Program at Virginia Highlands Community College.

Born in Mountain City, TN, Billy Ward was first exposed to old time music by his Uncle Sam Gobble. However, it was not until college that he really developed an interest in playing and studying the history of old time. ETSU’s sociology professor and director of the ETSU Old Time String Band, Dr. Richard Blaustein helped launch Billy’s career. Billy’s love for the banjo and old-time music has continued to grow and evolve through chance meetings at fiddler's conventions, playing with old friends and strangers, and digging through old forgotten recordings. As one of the founding members of the “Half-Runners”, Billy has played as a street musician on corners from Johnson City to Nashville, at Uncle Dave Macon Days, the Down Home in Johnson City and many places in between.

Tim Pharis is in his third year of school in the ETSU Bluegrass, Old-Time and Country Music Program where he is pursuing a degree in History and Appalachian Studies. Originally from South Georgia, this 22-year old has been playing bass for years and has studied classically at Schwob School of Music in Columbus, Georgia. He also plays old-time fiddle and guitar.
Roy Andrade was raised in Asheville, NC. He started playing music at age 5 and studied an assortment of instruments including accordion, piano, trumpet and tuba before discovering stringed instruments in his teens. Roy is a founding member of the popular old-time string band Reeltime Travelers who recorded 2 highly acclaimed records and played over 600 concerts together.

The Ramblers are sure to keep folks shakin’ a leg and grinning from ear to ear with their infectious grooves.

Dean Snipes brings seven years of contra dance calling from his home in Charlotte, North Carolina where heworks as a handyman. He began calling after all his dance friends prompted him to call because he would never keep his mouth closed during the dance instruction. They said he was better off up on stage leading the dance. Dean loves to teach people how to contra dance. With his unique Southern accent, Dean wastes little time getting the beginners and experienced dancers learning the figures and flow of contra dance. During his brief calling career, Dean has taken the time to write about twenty dances some of which he will be calling on Saturday. To write a contra dance, Dean would take a favorite dance step and build the choreography around it.

For more information, please visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or call dance coordinator, David Wiley at 423-913-3246. Come and join the fun. You don’t have to be a skilled dancer. Remember the phrase “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. Get in the game of life” Learn to dance and be a part of our community.

Posted by: David Wiley on August 9, 2007

Press Release

July 24, 2007

Contra Dance & Summer Harvest Potluck Dinner!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will return to Jonesborough for the Annual Yard Sale, Summer Harvest Potluck Dinner & Contra Dance on Saturday August 4, 2007. The potluck dinner and contra dance will be held at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street beginning at 6:00 pm. Class for beginning contra dancers will follow at 7:30 pm. The dance will run from 8:00-11:00 pm with a waltz break at 9:30pm. Returning to Jonesborough after performing at the 2006 Christmas Contra Dance will be “Toss the Possum” from Blacksburg, Virginia. Calling for the dance will be the ever popular Laurie Fisher from Asheville.

This special fund raising day will kickoff with a yard sale at the home of Gary and Alexis Burkett at 233 E. Main Street in Jonesborough. “Last year’s yard sale raised over $1000
For HJDS, states event organizer, David Wiley. We hope to surpass that mark with greater participation from a fast growing membership group and all our volunteers. We will be ready for sales no later than 8:00 am, but know that early birds will swoop by long before that.” Donations will be accepted by HJDS and picked up by volunteers by calling 423-913-3246.

After a hard days work at the yard sale, all members, volunteers and dancers are invited to celebrate the achievement by attending the Summer Harvest Potluck Dinner at 6:00pm. Nothing brings people together like a potluck, and nothing gets them talking together like the subject of food. Just watch as the buffet table fills up with salads, casseroles, pastas and desserts and you’ll see for yourself. “We are building a community through traditional music and dance. We hope to get our dancers chatting happily, exchanging recipes and telling the story behind each recipe,” adds Wiley. Food talk at a potluck can teach us a lot about each other and the world around us. Prizes will be given to the most creative and mouthwatering dishes as judged by Dogwood Lane Chef and co-owner, David Phillips. “The Dogwood Lane Restaurant has been a huge supporter of our community contra dance. We are delighted that David will take time out of his busy day to come and judge our potluck entries” adds Wiley.

The name Toss the Possum was inspired by a possum who found itself trapped under a spare dresser drawer in the garage. Chas, upon seeing the upside down drawer moving mysteriously of its own volition around the garage floor, yelled for everyone to come and see. Thus, the first possum the Zisette family ever saw was a very unhappy one!

Rob Zisette, age 15, is the fiddler for Toss the Possum. After playing violin for a year and a half, he entered the fiddle contest sponsored by the Festival of the American West at age 10. He won first prize and has been fiddling ever since. Rob also likes to compose and is a percussionist in the Radford High School Band. Occasionally he’ll pick up the drumsticks at a dance.

Chas, age 17, taught himself to play bass as soon as he realized the family band was forming without him. Sometimes he plays his sax with the band. Chas’ claim to fame is that he can play ‘Ode to Joy’ on 16 different instruments.

Jane, age 19, began playing flute when she was 12. Soon after, she heard Joannie Madsen play her whistles with Cherish the Ladies and decided to add the Irish whistle to her repertoire. Jane plays on Patrick Riordan whistles. Jane also sings with the band. She has been accepted as a flute performance major at BYU Idaho.

Laura (mom) taught Piano at Utah State University until she moved to Virginia. In Utah she played with Barnstorm and Leaping Lulu. Now she’s hanging on for the ride with Toss the Possum.

Charlie, (dad) of course, is the most important member of the band. Not only has he picked up sound engineering and springs for food after the gigs, but the kids have dubbed him the ‘instrument Sherpa".

Toss the Possum has played for all kinds of events, festivals, and dances for the past three years – that is, as many as their busy school schedules have allowed. They especially enjoy playing for contra dances because they know how much fun the dancers are having. The Zisettes have been contra dancing since Rob was four years old, drawn by the terrific live music and the wonderful spirit of the dance community.

This band puts their unique twist on southern tunes, old time, Celtic, jazz and folk. They are known for their energetic, driving renditions of traditional tunes. These teens like to occasionally slip in ‘cameos’ of non-traditional tunes. They also love the excitement of creating color and rhythm on the fly!

Laurie Fisher has been a big part of the resurgence of community contra dance in the Tri-Cities area. She has called several dances and performed as fiddler with “Hot Flash”, “String Beings” and “Ants in the Pantry”. In addition, Laurie has taught two non-credit classes at ETSU. One dancer recently commented, “Laurie Fisher is a great teacher – patient, clear, methodical with marvelous rapport with the dancers”.

Laurie Fisher is just returning from a summer tour of the Midwest with her band “Hot Flash” Fresh from performing in Lexington, Indianapolis, Columbus and Cincinnati,
Laurie will bring her enthusiasm for music and dance calling that will stimulate and challenge all the dancers.

Come as you are; wear soft flexible shoes for dancing. Come to dance, join the potluck dinner or just to listen. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught. As always, our dances are smoke and alcohol free. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students. Families with their own children are all admitted for only $15.

For further information call event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on July 24, 2007

Press Release

July 10, 2007

Summer Contra Dance in Johnson City

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will return to Johnson City, Tennessee on Saturday, July 21, 2007 to stage another contra dance at the new Carver Recreation Center at 322 W. Watauga near the Down Home. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students. A family package allows parents to bring all of their own children for a total of $15. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. No partner is necessary. Families and children are welcome!

Performing for this event will be Danny Gammon and the Love Muffins from Knoxville. The caller will be Kate Power from Columbus, Ohio. Kate will conduct a class for beginners at 7:30pm where beginners and experienced dancers alike will learn the basic steps, formations and flow of contra dance.

These broadly talented musicians originally formed to play traditional
string-band music, and are in demand for contra dances, but they are not
ashamed to mix it up with the popular music of their era. They have
adapted a variety of musical styles to their string-band format
producing a seamless mix of material that spans such genres as
Hillbilly, British Invasion, and contemporary Americana. They sometimes
play non-contra venues under the alias "Five Miles From Town. In a
fun-filled demonstration of their versatility, they once appeared at a
Bob Dylan tribute as “Plumb Bob,” playing an exclusively Dylan repertoire.

The instrumentation in this band may include, but is not limited to
fiddle, guitar, bass, mandolin, dobro, banjo, accordion and drums.
Members are Danny Gammon, Jay Manneschmidt, Kathleen McGregor-Williams,
Brian Sward, and Helene Vachon.

“I met Kate at the Christmas Country Dance School in Berea, KY in December of 2006” says event organizer, David Wiley. “I found that Kate and I shared a passion for promoting folk dance and community building”. Kate has been a contra dance caller in Columbus, Ohio since 2003. She is known for her clear, simple walk-throughs and imaginative dance choices. Her goal is to bring together people of all ages and skill levels creating a fun-filled, music driven experience.

Contra dancing is a traditional form of American folk dance that evolved from the longways country dances popular in English society centuries ago. Contra dance communities now thrive all over the country. There are websites that can direct you to contra dances in most states. The modern contra dances provide dancers of all ages and experience levels with the opportunity to smile, move, connect, flirt and create an evening of dance nirvana with each other. No previous dance experience is necessary. No fancy footwork is required. If you can walk and count to eight, you can contra dance!

Contra dances are community events. At almost any contra you will find people of all ages and all dance skill levels, from young to old, beginner to expert. Contra dancers form a very open and welcoming group of people. You can come alone or with others since it is a tradition to dance with a variety of partners throughout the night. It is perfectly acceptable for either a man or a woman to ask someone to dance. It’s a great way to make friends with someone they haven’t met before. You will find contra dancing a great way to make new friends.

For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on July 10, 2007

Press Release

Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society invites all comers to participate in the next community contra dance on Saturday July 7, 2007 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street. The featured band for this event is the “Shifty Tweeds” from the Carolinas. The caller will be Asheville’s Adina Gordon. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5 and Students 4$. A special family package allows parents and their children admission for only $15. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. There will be a class for beginners at 7:30pm. The dance runs from 8:00-11:00pm with a waltz break at 9:30pm.

Adina Gordon comes to Jonesborough moving quickly down the path of success in the contra dance calling world. Described as a contra dancer and caller—or caller and contra dancer, Adina began her journey at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival when she fell under the spell of the band Wild Asparagus. She went from zero to contra dance addict in less than a minute. Catching the contra dance bug led Adina to the stage to learn to call dances. “I have seen Adina at area dances immersed in her dance manual studying formations, connections and flow of contra dances”, adds event organizer David Wiley. “She is highly motivated professional now”. Adina spends about 50% her time on the road. She considers living in her dark gray 1993 Honda Civic part of the job of the roving dance caller.

Adina believes that teaching the dances clearly and quickly maximizes dance time. As the conduit between the music and the dance, she believes that it is very important you get you dancing and then get out of the way with efficient walk throughs and minimal calling. Even for beginners, Adina thinks that anyone can dance if they want to. “As long as you are smiling and having fun, you’re doing it right” she adds. Now having called dances in 25 different states, Adina considers herself the inveterate dance gypsy. When not calling or dancing, she plays the French horn and enjoys spending time outdoors.

The Shifty Tweeds are Kathy Sheppard on banjo uke, Ken Stott on fiddle, and David White on fiddle, banjo and guitar. Steeped in old time traditional music and dance, The Shifty Tweeds can best be described as a rocking old time band with a locomotive-like drive that is guaranteed to move the dancers. Kathy Sheppard’s banjo uke provides the chug-a-chug chug of this bands drive, blended with Ken Stott’s skillful melodic fiddling and David White’s driving style on fiddle, guitar and banjo. This band rocks!

Kathy Sheppard lives in Spindale, NC, with her daughter Laura. She played piano growing up but is a relative newcomer to traditional music and dance, and was first exposed to old time music when she met Ken Stott in 1999. She is a self-taught musician who learned while sitting on the edges of jams, gradually working her way into the center. Now she is considered one of the premier banjo uke players in our region. Her driving rhythm style lends itself well to contra dance music. She currently plays with Kathy & The Leftovers and The Shifty Tweeds.

Living and growing up in the northern mountains of Rutherford County, NC, exposed Ken Stott to the tradition of being surrounded by mountain music. He got his first guitar in elementary school and his dad showed him the cords. As time went on they started playing together around home and for community events and parties along with the neighbors.

Ken took up the fiddle in the early nineties after being influenced by the older fiddler's who played weekly at Old Fort Mountain Music. That sound of the mountain fiddle soon took hold and started Ken on a journey back to the early settlers and that fiddle style of North Carolina. Most of Ken's tunes come from studying the Southern Appalachian repertoire from other fiddlers and the hard driving down bow that comes with it. Ken has played with old time bands such as Stranded Sally. He currently plays with Kathy & The Leftovers and The Shifty Tweeds. Ken’s fiddling music will put your feet to moving and your body to swaying.

Currently living in Pickens, SC, David White has been playing stringed instruments for almost 30 years. Only in the past 14 years he became rather consumed by contra dancing and the music that drives it. David fell in love with traditional Appalachian old time music – especially that played by bands and musicians that create driving rhythms. That passionate driving style is evident when David plays guitar, claw hammer banjo or fiddle. The fact that David has always loved contra dancing has helped him become a master of creating great dance energy from old time tunes and melodies. He loves to sing as well. David has played in several bands in the past (Reedy River Rhythm Rockers, Corn Bread Heads, Cloudlanders) and more recently the Carolina Tunecroppers, Steamshovel (w/ Roger Gold) and the Shifty Tweeds. His habit of ‘gyrating’ while playing the fiddle while wearing his Dad’s old tweed hat earned him the nickname ‘the Shifty Tweed.’

For more information contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on July 1, 2007

Press Release

Jonesborough Days “Day of Dance”

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present the second annual “Day of Dance” in conjunction with the Jonesborough Days Celebration in Jonesborough, Tennessee, on Saturday June 30, 2007. At the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street, starting at noon and going on until 9:00pm will be workshops, contra dances and a waltz. The musical lineup will include two Asheville area bands, the Land of Sky and the Elftones. Callers for the dances will be Hank Morris and Diane Silver, both from Asheville. Admission to any or all events is only $5.00. A wristband will be applied to those participants who want to dance and also enjoy the many Jonesborough Days activities. The schedule is as follows:

12:00 Noon-1:15pm Flatfooting Workshop-Travis Aderegg instructor

1:30-2:45pm Waltz Workshop-Warren & Terry Doyle instructors

3:00pm-3:45pm Learn to Contra Dance Workshop-Hank Morris instructor

4:00pm-6:00pm Contra Dance with Land of Sky-Hank Morris caller

6:00pm-7:00pm Waltz with all musicians

7:00pm-9:00pm Contra Dance with the Elftones

9:00pm Fireworks outdoors

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on June 18, 2007

Press Release

June 6, 2007

Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will return to the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street on Friday, June 15, 2007 to present the gift of community contra dance to all comers. From Asheville, the Goosebone Prophets will bring their musical expertise and high energy to Jonesborough along with the very talented Beth Molaro as caller. Come to the dance or come to listen to the music. No partner is necessary; all dances are taught by the caller. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. A class for beginners always precedes the dance at 7:30pm. New and experienced dancers will mix and mingle for thirty minutes of “how to contra dance”. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS members $5 and students $4. Families with children are welcome. A special family package price of $15 admits parents with children.
The dance will run from 8-11pm with a waltz break at 9:30pm.

The Goosebone Prophets consist of Roger Gold on guitar and percussion, Laura Lengnick on fiddle and Jeff Hersk on upright bass.

Laura Lengnick is a star on the regional contra dance fiddling scene. Known for a spontaneous and wildly fun fiddling style, Laura delights dancers with her jazz-inspired improvisations on dance tunes from the Northern, Southern and Celtic fiddling traditions. In addition to being a full professor of sustainable agriculture at Warren Wilson College, you will find Laura busy with several bands including Fly By Night, Laura and the Lava Lamps and Land of Sky who will be performing at the Jonesborough Days “Day of Dance” on June 30th.

Jeff Hersk is an upright bassist who resides in Asheville. After several other career changes, Jeff has spent the last 8 years focusing on playing the bass. He played guitar in rock bands in Canada and California in the 70’s, but finally found his passion as a bassist. He studied bass and jazz in general with the Nashville Jazz Workshop from 1999-2002. After moving to Asheville, Jeff became the bass player for banjoist, storyteller and 4-time Grammy winner David Holt. Another big part of Jeff’s life is participation in the annual Swannanoa Gathering, a music camp that takes place every summer on the campus of Warren Wilson College where some of the greatest musicians get together to share musical ideas, jam and perform for hours on end.

Roger Gold grew up surrounded by music. His parents and older sister all sing and play various instruments. He knew at the age of six that he wanted to play guitar and persisted until his parents found a teacher. His interests took his guitar playing from the ever present folk, through electric teen-age-rock, to traditional, Celtic, and more. He likes to "play" with the music; turning waltzes to klezmer, Bach into swing, and doing even stranger things to the tunes he writes. Roger's guitar styles range from classical to hard driving, rhythmic, contra dance music. He enjoys contra dancing, and enjoys playing music for contra dances, and has yet to figure out how to do both at the same time. Roger partners with Mara Shea on fiddle to become the Elftones who will be a big part of the Jonesborough Days “Day of Dance on June 30th.

Dancers from coast-to-coast will tell you that Beth Molaro is GREAT! When she calls, the dance is always a party! Her enthusiasm is contagious and she makes any dance more energetic and exciting. She is truly a dance caller dedicated to the art of traditional American dancing and good fun.

Beth lives in Asheville surrounded by the mountains of western North Carolina with her daughter, Rebecca Grace, where they are an active part of the thriving dance community. Often on the road calling dances all over the place, her clear calling and skilled dance selection have made her one of the country’s most popular and widely traveled callers.

Since 1994, Beth has called hundreds of dances from coast to coast as well as in Denmark and Canada. Beth is in demand as a caller and teacher for weddings, family reunions, community dances, dance weeks, weekends and folk festivals including the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Dance Flurry, Florida Snowball, Charleston Palmetto Bug Stomp, Moondance (Greenville, SC), Winter Warm-Up (Columbus, OH), Butterball, Brattleboro Dawn Dances, Gypsy Meltdown, Spring Dance Romance, Feet Retreat, Spring Thaw, CDSS English & American Dance Week at Buffalo Gap and Timber Ridge, Contra Dancer’s Holiday Delight Week, Dance Rhapsody Dance Weekend and many more.

Beth’s vocal style is unique in the dance world. Her ability to sing the calls makes for an exciting blend of music and calls which she accomplishes with both clarity and musical integrity. You will hear elements of blues and jazz in her voice as she sings you from one figure to the next, weaving together various elements of the dance, music, and dancers into a positively charged room of inspired enthusiasm.

Beth calls high energy, turbocharged Appalachian squares and smooth flowing contras. She is known for her quick, no-nonsense walk throughs and effective teaching for both the beginner and the most seasoned dancers. Beth’s dances are always a guaranteed whoop and a holler good time. Dancers are sure to leave with a feel-good dancing high.

In addition to calling, Beth is a skilled and exuberant foot percussionist in the Appalachian flat-foot style.

Contra dance is a form of American folk dance in which the dancers form a set of two parallel lines that run the length of the hall. Each dance consists of a sequence of moves and steps that ends with the couples having progressed one position up or down the set.

Many of the basic moves resemble square dancing—swings, allemandes, do-si-dos—but contra dancing is more a sort of amusement park ride that the dancers make for themselves. A square dance set is compromised of only four couples, whereas the length of the hall only limits the number of couples in a contra dance set. To join a set, only a partner and soft-soled shoes are necessary. All that is left is to have fun dancing. You are encouraged to dress comfortably and wear
Soft soled shoes.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org

Posted by: David Wiley on June 5, 2007

Press Release

May 28, 2007

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will travel to Kingsport, Tennessee on Saturday June 2, 2007, to present the gift of contra dance to our neighbors to the North. The dance will be held in the gymnasium at the Kingsport Renaissance Center at 1200 E. Center Street at 8:00 PM. Performing for the event with be the Contrarians from West Virginia. The caller is Knoxville’s Nick Boulet. A class for beginners will be held at 7:30 PM. All dances are taught. No partner is necessary. Every contra dance event is smoke and alcohol free. Families are welcome. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS members $5 and students are $4.

A four-piece band, the Contrarians play contra dance and square dance music on fiddles, guitar, mandolin, piano, upright base and a bluesy trumpet. The band is made up of Paul Epstein on fiddle, Will Carter on stand-up bass, Gary Reynolds on guitar, trumpet, piano,
and John Longwell on mandolin, tenor banjo and fiddle.

Paul Epstein has been playing, writing and performing for over 30 years. His songs cover many styles and topics. He has written and recorded three CD’s. “Strawberry Lass” is all original fiddle tunes in Celtic and Appalachian stylings. “Lessons Life Taught Me” are all original songs in folk/blues/country/swing formats with backing by members of WV Public Radio’s Mountain Stage Band. “School Bus Comin” is mostly original children’s songs in various folk styles with guitar and fiddle.

A Contrarians event delivers dazzling melody-including some great original tunes – along with a solid yet imaginative approach to rhythm. The band has consistently “wowed the crowd” at dances and dance weekends throughout Ohio-Kentucky-West Virginia and beyond.

They were a big hit at the 2001 and 2006 Pigtown Fling in Cincinnati, the Dandelion Romp in Oberlin, Ohio in 2002, the 2005-2007 Whitewater Whirl as well as other dance weekends. Trips to Glen Echo Park, Maryland for the Friday night dance and the FSGW (Folk Song Society of Greater Washington) dance have brought rave reviews and word keeps spreading.

Hailing from West Virginia, the Contrarians are comfortable in a variety of styles and traditions including Celtic, New England, swing, and of course, old time (Appalachian). They also have written original material. With rhythmic variety, occasional glimpses of ethnic music, and unique improvisations, dancers let loose and never lose interest in the music.

“It’s rare for a band that is not on the road constantly to achieve this level of expertise” says Ron Buchanan, a renowned dance caller who travels nationwide from his home in Pittsburg. “I have known some of these guys for over twenty years since they were playing in string bands that traveled to festivals all over the country. Most of them make their living doing other things, but their first love is music” added Buchanan.

“This will be our first visit to Kingsport” adds event organizer David Wiley. “We have been staging contra dances all over the region so that everyone can have a chance to come and give contra dance a try”. Even though other types of dance, such as square dance and country line dancing abound in the area, contra dance does not come from the Appalachian region at all. Contra dance originated in New England. The name style of dance comes from English country dance. During a contra dance two people partner up and generally remain that way throughout the dance. With the help of the caller, each dancer will do-si-do, balance or allemande with just about everyone in the longwise sets.
The beauty of contra dance comes when the other three members of your set-of-four help you out if you forget the direction of turn or one of the steps of the dance. Most contra dancers point out how easy beginners will find contra dancing.

Event organizer, David Wiley, says “this will be the Contrarians only visit to the area this year.” “I saw them at the Pigtown Fling last year in Cincinnati, met Paul Epstein and invited the band to come to the Tri-Cities”. The Pigtown Fling is a contra dance weekend sponsored by the Cincinnati Contra Dancers. Fiddlers and old-time music fans will love the sound of the Contrarians.



For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on May 28, 2007

Special Event Notice

May 21, 2007

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present the Carolina Contrathon on Sunday, May 27, 2007 at the Mountain Jamboree near Glendale Springs, NC just off the Blue Ridge Parkway at exit 261.

The dance will run from 10:00 AM until 10:00 PM with short waltz break between the sets which will run about two and one half hours each. Here is the schedule:

10:00 AM- 12:30 PM Laura and the Lava Lamps with Diane Silver calling

1:00 PM- 3:30 PM Footloose Members (David, Pete and Jubal) with Beth
Molaro calling

4:00 PM- 6:30 PM Laura and the Lava Lamps with Beth Molaro calling

7:00 PM- 10:00 PM Footloose Members (David, Pet and Jubal) with Diane Silver
Calling.

Admission to the event is as follows:

All Day Dance 10AM-10PM $20
10AM-4PM $12
4PM-10PM $12
Children under 12 are half price.

Primitive tent camping will be allowed on the site. Leave no trace policy in effect.
Restrooms will be open in the dance hall.

Any questions, contact David Wiley at 423-534-8879 or 423-913-3246.

Posted by: David Wiley on May 21, 2007

Press Release

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society and the Andrew Johnson Bank of Greeneville will bring contra dance to Greeneville, Tennessee on Saturday, May 19, 2007 as a part of the annual Iris Festival. The dance will be held at the Trinity United Methodist Church at 524 Tusculum Boulevard. Starting at 6:00pm, teacher/caller, Diane Silver, from Asheville will conduct a class for beginners.
The class will cover the basic skills, calls and formations that make up a contra dance.
No partner is necessary. All dances are taught with a walk thorough before the music starts. The caller also leads the dance while they are done to music. It’s easier to catch on to the dance if you try to find someone in the group who has some experience at contra dancing. The dance will run from 6:30-9:30pm with a waltz break at 8:00pm.

Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for Students. A special family package allows parents and all their children admission for only $15.

Contra dance is a form of American folk dance in which the dancers form a set of two parallel lines that run the length of the hall. Each dance consists of a sequence of moves and steps that ends with the couples having progressed one position up or down the set.

Many of the basic moves resemble square dancing—swings, allemandes, do-si-dos—but contra dancing is more a sort of amusement park ride that the dancers make for themselves. A square dance set is compromised of only four couples, whereas the length of the hall only limits the number of couples in a contra dance set. To join a set, only a partner and soft-soled shoes are necessary. All that is left is to have fun dancing.

Modern contra dancing evolved from 19th-century English and Scottish country dance. Contra dance has spread all over the world but it remains the most popular in New England, its birthplace. Many contra dance elements will be familiar to square dancers, but it could be argued the differences are nearly as numerous as the similarities. Contra dancing has essentially zero kinship to the country line dancing found in the local Country-Western hangouts.
Each dance lasts ten to twenty minutes, during which time you and your partner work your way down the line. As you move down the line you and your partner dance with a new opposing couple every 30 or 40 seconds. By the end of each dance you will have spun briefly with every other man or woman in your line. Dancers can (and frequently do) change partners every dance. Women ask men to dance almost as frequently as men ask the women. Dancers run the age range from grade school to post-retirement, so you can usually find a partner in your age bracket. Dances range from moderately aerobic to extremely high-octane depending on the band, the caller, and the location. The dance almost always has a live band. Performing at the Greeneville dance will be the “String Beings” from Asheville. Music ranges from Celtic, New England traditional jigs and reels to some old time Appalachian tunes. The musicians will fiddle and strum, squeeze and pound their instruments churning out traditional music in phrases perfectly mated to the dance floor moves.
There are no judges at a contra dance. The emphasis is on enjoying yourself, getting some exercise and making new friends. Contra dances tend to be whimsical, friendly and playful affairs. Furthermore, you can always county on a smoke-free, perfume-free and alcohol-free environment. People of all ages and lifestyles, including children, are welcome. Children as young as seven can participate in adult contra dances.
Contra dancers make eye contact whenever possible. This adds to the connectedness of the dance, and helps reduce dizziness, especially during the swing. It is also uncomfortable for some. Don't let anyone tell you that you must make eye contact, but give it a try even if it's a little uncomfortable. Expand your comfort zone. You might get used to it and even like it. Remember: they're gazing into your eyes not because they love you but because they want to make the connection, and they don't want to throw up on you.
The String Beings band is made up of Laurie Fisher and Mark Mueller on fiddle, Art Schuster on mandolin and Tom Troszak on guitar.
Multi-talented Laurie Fisher has been entertaining dancers and inspiring musicians full-time for the past 17 years. She can fiddle, play piano, call dances, teach and enthuse with the best of them. The very thriving Asheville contra dance scene has been passionately influenced by her bands and music over the past 22+ years. Laurie just recently taught a seven-week non-credit contra dance class at ETSU during the spring semester.
Tom Troszak is a high energy guitar player who plays with the String Beings and the Rocket Boys, one of the hottest bands in the Asheville area.
Art Shuster plays mandolin and mandola. He is staff counselor and mountain bike coach at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, NC.
Mark Mueller has been playing for dances for thirty years. As a member of the String Beings and The Waits, he toured extensively throughout the United States, and with the Bayou Seco Trio, he toured Mexico, Great Britain, Germany, and France including the Bal d’Europe in Gennetines. Mueller has spent much of his life studying folk violin styles from various traditions. Beginning with the traditions of Appalachia and New England, he branched out to the styles of the southwestern U.S., Italy, Mexico, and Scandinavia. Living for a year in Italy and three years in Mexico, Mueller claims “the folk soul of a people speaks through its folk violin.”
The String Beings are known for their edgy rhythm and the good ride that it provides, punctuated by the exciting, well-executed musical tricks of the trade. In addition to contra dance music from many latitudes and eras, the beings can put on a swing or couples dance, concert and the occasion wedding. The have been featured at dance weekends and events for the last 15 years.
Diane Silver has been a die-hard contra dancer, swing dancer, and kitchen-flat footer for over ten years. With a penchant for hot modern contras and a few active squares, she loves sharing high energy dancing that allows everyone to “play” with the band. Highly acclaimed for her clear, efficient teaching and calling, creative medleys, great positive energy, and spirit of community building, Diane provides and sizzling evening of dance in a friendly, welcoming tone. Diane’s motto: “I can’t believe this much fun is legal!”

This event is co-sponsored by the Andrew Johnson Bank of Greeneville. For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesdboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on May 6, 2007

Press Release

Spring Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, May 5, 2007 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street. The dance begins at 8:00 PM with music by Asheville based “Fly By Night”. The caller, Mark Langner, will conduct a class for beginners at 7:30 PM. No partner is necessary. All dance steps are taught by the caller. All events are smoke and alcohol free. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students.

Fly By Night is led by Karen Gaughan on the piano. Karen is Asheville’s most in-demand contra dance key board player. Gaughan together with her by Fly Night Partners, Laura Lengnick on fiddle, Beth Magill on Flute and Julia Weatherford on Fiddle, provide a full sound, plenty of rhythm and a really good ride for the avid contra dancer or waltzer.

Their repertoire starts with upbeat traditional New England contra dance tunes chosen with care to fit the dance at danceable tempos kept rock solid with Gaughan’s thumping bass hand. The band weaves in lilting Celtic melodies and makes them fly with Beth Magill’s achingly beautiful flute woven through with fiddle harmony. The girls let their hair down with funky, rockin originals. They’ll pull out the percussion toys, and dig deep in to some of their own tunes as well as others to keep the dancers flying. The driving force of the southern fiddle tunes is Laura and Julia who create a small tornado in the room when sawing it down with their twin harmony.

“Last summer, Fly By Night provided the music for our first benefit contra dance” offers event organizer David Wiley. “We needed to raise some operating funds because we were caught a little off guard by the lower attendance during the summer months. They came through for us and we raised what we needed to keep the dance going.”

Caller Mark Langner plays guitar for the Dancing Bears band but is also an accomplished dance caller. Mark is a certified
Hypnotherapist, counselor and guitar builder and lives in Asheville. He and his wife Karen do education and counseling using horses as facilitators.

Our first after-dance party and gathering will be at the new Cranberry Thistle at 107 Main Street in Jonesborough. Come and enjoy gourmet coffees, home made pastries and sandwiches after the dance.

Posted by: David Wiley on May 2, 2007

Press Release

Spring Contra Dance in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, May 5, 2007 from 8:00-11:00pm at 117 Boone Street in Jonesborough,TN. The featured band is the all female “Fly By Night” from Asheville, NC. Calling and teaching the 7:30pm class for beginners is Mark Langner.

The band is made up of Karen Gaughan on keyboards, Beth Magill on flute, Laura Lengnick and Julia Weatherford on Fiddle.

Admission is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students.

Dancers are invited to gather for a post-dance reception at the newly expanded Cranberry Thistle at 107 Main Street in Jonesborough.

Posted by: David on May 1, 2007

Press Release

Contra Dance Visits Milligan College!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society has been invited to bring a contra dance to the campus of Milligan College on Saturday, April 21, 2007. The Social Affairs committee, part of the Student Government Association at Milligan College, is co-sponsoring this dance which will be held at the Steve Lacy Fieldhouse. There will be a class for beginners at 7:30pm taught by caller Hank Morris from Asheville. The dance will go from 8-11pm with a waltz break at 9:30pm. The Milligan College tennis team will man the concession stand to help raise money for their program. Admission to the dance will be $1.00 for Milligan students, $7 for the general public, $5 for HJDS Members and $4 for all other students. The band will be Far Horizons from Asheville along with favorite caller Hank Morris from Black Mountain, NC.

Far Horizons is a string band with a southern feel featuring Barbara Davis on guitar and vocals; Art Shuster on mandolin and mandola and Julia Weatherford on fiddle, cello and vocals. They’ve played continuously in the Asheville area for 20 years.

Art Shuster has been playing for contra dances in Western North Carolina and all over the US since he first hooked up with fiddler and dance caller, Laurie Fisher, in the stairwells of Warren Wilson College in 1982. First as a guitar flatpicker, and most recently as a mandolinist. He has added his fiddle-tune-based style to a plethora of bands including the String Beings and Far Horizons. Art has bound his niche in the contra dance scene, and is most happy trying the make his mandolin blend with the fiddles while making the dancers bounce. Art’s wife, Barbara Davis, is the guitar specialist for the Far
Horizons band.

Julia Weatherford is a graduate of Berea College, where she majored in studio art and worked in the weaving and needle craft student industries as well as a traveling summer puppet theater. Julia’s textile work has been featured at Southern Highland Handicraft Guild shops, shows and fairs since 1997 in addition to many other galleries and shops in Asheville, Black Mountain and Berea. Music is also a big part of Julia’s life. She played cello with the Asheville symphony for 13 years, and currently plays fiddle and cello with Fly By Night and Far Horizons which recently performed as one of the featured contra dance bands at the spring Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF). Julia is currently working as assistant director of the Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College.

Their repertoire includes traditional southern, New England, Cape Breton, bluegrass, Celtic reels and jigs - all stunningly arranged for the contra dance.

Some events Far Horizons has played include LEAF in Black Mountain, NC; Old Farmer's Ball in Swannanoa; the Charleston Bug Stomp and dance halls in Birmingham, Atlanta, Greensboro, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Wilmington, Greenville and more. This visit marks the second time Far Horizons has played in the area.

Dr. Charlene Kiser, humanities professor at Milligan College, is a member of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society. “Dr. Kiser has encouraged us all along to bring the gift of dance to the Milligan students” says event organizer, David Wiley. Dancing is social, athletic, non-competitive and participatory—not many other activities offer this combination. People who think they can’t dance or aren’t athletic at all turn into dancers. “As an organization whose goal is to build community through traditional music and dance, we are excited about the opportunity to teach an enthusiastic, high-energy, mostly able bodied group of students many of whom have already attended some of our dances at the Visitors Center in Jonesborough”, adds Wiley. The upcoming dance at Milligan is, of course, open to the public.

For more information and directions to Milligan College, contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. Directions to Milligan College: I-26 to Exit 24 to Elizabethton (hwy 67 East), exit right on Milligan Highway, go approximately 3 miles, campus entrance is on the right. Please visit www.milligan.edu to view a map of the campus.

Posted by: David Wiley on April 11, 2007

Press Release

Contra Dance and Waltz Workshop!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold another contra dance and waltz workshop on Saturday, April 7, 2006 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The dance will run from 8:00-11:00 pm. The waltz workshop will be offered from 6:00-7:00pm with an open waltz to follow. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5 and Students $4. The waltz workshop is $3.

A class for beginner contra dancers will be held from 7:30-8:00 pm. Beginners and experienced dancers alike are encouraged to join together in the class.

Performing for the waltz workshop and dance will be the Reel Magnolias from Asheville. The band includes June Advincula on keyboards, Jane Weaver on fiddle and Suzanne Hosch on Flute. The caller and teacher for the evening will be Gaye Fifer from Charlottesville, Virginia.

Gaye has been a caller and teacher at nearly every dance weekend in the Eastern U.S. In her engaging and entertaining manner, she teaches moves with an emphasis on leading and following—connecting with your partner and the music. As a caller, Gaye will delight you with clear walk throughs and smooth flowing contras. Be prepared to be challenged with some tasty dances too! Her pleasant style and graceful teaching put dancers at ease and set the stage for a great evening.

For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org

Posted by: David Wiley on March 17, 2007

Press Release

Old Time Contra Dance Magic!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society welcomes Asheville band “Spring Chickens” and caller Margaret Matthews to the next contra
Dance, Friday, March 16th in the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center
Located at 117 Boone Street.

The dance will begin at 8 p.m. with a workshop for beginners to be
held at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $7 per person, $5 for HJDS members
And $4 for students with I.D. A special family package offer to
members admits parents and all their children for only $15.

The beginner’s workshop gives the experienced dancers and first timers
a chance to warm up together. The caller explains many of the calls
such as balance and swing, star left and star right, ladies chain across,
Do-si-do, courtesy turn, allemande and hey for four. Many of these
calls would be familiar to anyone who square danced. The contra
dance employs a longwise set and allows couples to progress up
and down the line to dance with all other couples.

The Spring Chickens known mostly for their hard driving rhythmic old time repertoire will crossover to add contra dance tunes for our dance. The Spring Chickens are lead by regional potters Rob and Beth Mangum from Weaverville, NC., on fiddle and guitar. The remaining members of their group are McLean Bissell on bass, Ben Harvey on banjo and Art Schuster on mandolin.

Margaret Matthews moved to the Asheville area two years ago from
Upstate New York and has become a regular caller on the contra dance
scene in Asheville.

Event organizer, David Wiley, believes that our community building
efforts are paying off. “Our attendance is continually on the rise. We have a core group of regulars, but see many new dancers at every
event”. “We combine traditional live music and dances that anyone can
do” adds Wiley. The dances are held two times per month in the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center. All the dances are taught by
the caller. You don’t have to bring a partner.

For more information, contact David Wiley, event organizer at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on March 7, 2007

Press Release

“Celtic, Appalachian Dance & Gypsy Jazz”

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will host the next Contra Dance of the season on Friday March 2, 2007 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street at 8 PM. The featured band is D0t-Dot-Dash from the New River Valley in southern Virginia. Asheville’s Laurie Fisher will be on the caller’s stand for this event. Admission is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students. A special family package for members is now offered for a total of $15. Parents and all of their own children can gain admission for one price.

Dot-Dot-Dash is a lively quartet inspired by Celtic, Appalachian and Gypsy Jazz traditions. Band members are Joel Keebler on bass, Bill Anderson, fiddle, John Hildreth, guitar, and Matt Livingston on mandolin. The group formed in the fall of 2002 and regularly performs at Virginia and North Carolina contra dances and just recently released a self-titled debut CD album.

Laurie Fisher has been a big part of the resurgence of community
contra dance in the Tri-Cities area. She has called several dances
and has performed as fiddler with “Hot Flash”, “String Beings” and
the “Ants in the Pantry”. In addition, Laurie has been teaching our
second contra dance class at ETSU. One dancer recently commented,
“Laurie Fisher is a great teacher - patient, clear, methodical with a marvelous rapport with the dancers”.

Come as you are; wear soft flexible shoes for dancing. The caller will teach a class for beginners at 7:30 PM and the dance will run from 8-11 PM with a waltz break at 9:30 PM. Come to dance or come to listen. No partner is necessary. It is customary at contra dances to change partners after each dance. As always, our dances are smoke and alcohol free. Families, students and singles are welcome.

For more information, contact David Wiley at 423-913-3246, 423-534-8879 or david@historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on February 22, 2007

Press Release

Valentine’s Contra Dance—You’ll Feel The Love!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a Valentine’s Contra Dance on Saturday, February 17 at 8pm at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone St. Performing for the dance will be the “Dancing Bears” from Asheville with caller Barbara Groh. A class for beginners will be held at 7:30pm. Every dancer is encouraged to attend the class to become familiar with dance steps, formations, and flow.

Our dance will celebrate Valentine’s Day three days late. Barbara Groh will call such
dances as “Heartbeat Contra,” “Sharie’s Valentine,” “Roll in the Hey,” “The Rendezvous,” “The Hussy Bride,” and the “Flirtation Reel” in hopes of sparking romance on the dance floor. Dancers are encouraged to wear something Red, White, or Pink. Smiling, eye contact, and flirtation are part of the fun of contra dancing.

At the 9:30 break, members will provide tasty treats such as chocolate fondue, truffles, cakes, fudge, and other chocolate delicacies. Every lady who comes to the dance will receive a long-stem red rose as a gift from one of our supporters.

“Our dancers are really getting the hang of it, and the skill level is really getting better,” states event organizer David Wiley. “Our dance is for all ages. For some reason, I hear folks saying that they think our contra dance is geared to the older crowd. We have dancers of all ages from seven to seventy. Plus, you don’t have to have a partner.” The best way to learn contra dance is by asking a more experienced partner to dance. It’s perfectly acceptable for ladies to ask gentlemen to dance.

Admission to the dance is $7 for (yet-to-be members), $5 for HJDS members. Students get in for $4. A Family Package has been instituted for members that allows parents and as many children in their core family to get in for only $15. “We’re seeing more children at our dances, and they catch on to the dance real fast,” adds Wiley.

The Dancing Bears consists of Lew Gelfond on fiddle, Mark Langner on guitar, John Culp mandolin and banjo, and Skip Metheny on bass. Lew Gelfond has been playing the fiddle since long before the cows came home. He is a solo performer of old time fiddle and banjo music and also plays swing, ragtime, Celtic, gypsy, country, Klezmer, tangos, and other traditional music. Lew performs at schools, concerts, workshops and festivals and has been a violin, viola and fiddle teacher for over 20 years. Mark Langner started playing keyboards and guitar in a garage rock band in high school. In college, he played coffeehouses as part of a duo which did an eclectic mix of music ranging from Merle Haggard to Grateful Dead to Frank Zappa. Mark’s current interest is in swing and jazz, which colors most things the Bears do. Mark is also a certified hypnotherapist and builds acoustic archtop quitars in an effort to add to the total amount of beauty in the
world. John Culp got his first real guitar on his 16th birthday and has been pickin’ strings ever since. Since meeting his bride and favorite caller, Barbara Groh, and becoming submerged in the contra dance community, he has concentrated on mandolin and tenor banjo. If he’s not playing for a dance, you might spot John running the soundboard or even dancing. In addition to playing for festivals and other dances, John is also a general partner of the Asheville Contradance, which produces the Asheville Summer Soiree dance weekend and the Asheville Contra Dance monthly dance. Skip Metheny began playing drums in his early teens with various R&R bands. He was a founding member of the show band “The Doomsday Refreshment Committee” which toured Vietnam entertaining US and allied military folks during the psychedelic era and later became the house band in a Bangkok nightclub. After moving to Asheville, Skip became an avid contra dancer. He has been playing bass and percussion for contra and swing music at various festivals, dance weekends and other events around the Southeast since 1997.

Barbara Groh, a resident of Asheville, NC, has been calling contra dances all over the Southeast since 1989. She has called such festivals as the Charleston Bug Stomp, Gotta Dance, the Summer Soiree, the Black Mountain Music Festival, Moon Dance, and the Gypsy Meltdown. Her smooth style, clear teaching and collection of interesting dances will help you achieve Contra Nirvana.

Barbara has been immersed in the traditional music and dance scene for three decades. She became an avid square dancer at age thirteen. In college she fell in love with contra dancing and learned to play old-time banjo. As a caller, her patience and ability to give precise dance instructions stem in part from her 15 years as a classroom teacher and private tutor. She currently works with children of all ages who have dyslexia.

For more information, contact event organizer David Wiley at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on February 7, 2007

Press Release

January 25, 2007

CELTIC Contra Dance!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will return to Johnson City, Tennessee on Saturday, February 3, 2007 to stage another contra dance at the new Carver Recreation Center at 322 W. Watauga near the Down Home. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for students. A family package for HJDS members allows parents to bring all of their own children for a total of $15.

Contra dances are community events. At almost any contra you will find people of all ages and all dance skill levels, from young to old, beginner to expert. Contra dancers form a very open and welcoming group of people. You can come alone or with others since it is a tradition to dance with a variety of partners throughout the night. It is perfectly acceptable for either a man or a woman to ask someone they haven’t met before to dance. You will find contra dancing a great way to make new friends.

For the beginner, there is a class at 7:30pm to teach the basic steps and formations of contra dance. The caller explains the figures for each dance and has everyone do a walk through to get used to the flow of the dance. In addition to the pre-dance class, there is a seven-week course at ETSU that began last week. The classes run from 7-9 pm on Tuesday evenings in the dance studio in the Mini Dome. Cost of the class is $60 and $45 for students.

Headlining the event will be Anam Cara, a Celtic band from Charlotte, NC. Anam Cara means “soul friend” in Gaelic. The band unites four players with many collective years of performance experience. Instruments played include the bodhran, guitar, trumpet, mandolin, concertina, doumbek and fiddle.

Dr. John Harding plays the trumpet and the bodhran. John is a professional trumpet player and enjoys playing the bodhran which is a handheld Irish frame drum usually made with goatskin and played with a stick. He has taught at UNC Charlotte, UNC Chapel Hill, University of Miami, New Mexico State University and the American College in Cairo, Egypt. John has performed as principal trumpet with several symphony orchestras and as lead trumpet for a number of big bands.

Troy Conn is a versatile guitarist and musician with a variety of styles under his belt. He received his Bachelors of Music Performance at UNC Charlotte where he studied classical guitar and performed with the Guitar Ensemble, Big Band, Jazz Combo and orchestra. Troy has played in local and regional rock bands and jazz orchestras and is currently enjoying his role in Anam Cara. He is also guitar instructor at the L.A. Guitar Factory in Charlotte.

Taylor Caton is Anam Cara's doumbek player. The doumbek is a goblet shaped drum. One hundred years ago Taylor would have jumped freight trains or stowed away on tramp steamers. He would have written novels in the manner of Jack London, painted portraits of exotic womanhood as did Paul Gauguin, and he would have been a guide through steaming jungles in the furthest outposts of civilization. In these days of the jet plane, Taylor uses the doumbek to express his deepest desires. Taylor has enough energy to power a small fleet of motor vehicles. It's a fuel that burns full-throttle, ignited by the heat of his soulful rhythms and the power and passion of his performance.

Kelly Harding plays the fiddle and mandolin and sings vocals. She took up the viola many years ago in California when there were no flutes left to give out and the viola was the one remaining instrument left in the instrument room. After moving to Atlanta, her mother dragged her to a yard sale and found a violin glued to a picture frame with the asking price of two dollars. Her mother bought it, had fun cleaning it up, and presented it to her daughter, and Kelly has been playing it ever since.

This dance’s caller, Anne Marie Walter, lives and dances in Asheville, NC where she teaches, goes to school, gardens and plays with fiber. “She has been calling contra dances throughout the southeast for nearly a dozen years,” says Wiley. “She is known for her efficient walk-throughs and her sense of fun.”

“My job is to select the right dances for the crowd,” says Walter. “That way I can get out of the way and let the dancers groove to the tunes.”

It is tradition to end the night with a waltz as well as waltzes that take place at the 9:30 pm break. Unfortunately, most contra dancers are not good waltzers. The contra dances are lots of fun but do not really connect you with a partner like a couples dance. Waltz is a romance of unspoken communication—two people speaking with their bodies. The leader provides a strong frame and the follower matches body weight and balance. The music is romantic and styles vary from soft New England country and powerful Strauss to New Age. “We feel the need to offer waltz workshops for our dancers” adds David Wiley, event organizer. “For many of our dances, Warren and Terry Doyle from Banner Elk, NC, and offer waltz lessons before our dances”. This workshop this week will be from 6-7pm with an open waltz to follow until 7:30pm. Cost for the workshop is only $3 with proceeds going to the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society.

For more information on this weeks dance or the non-credit class at ETSU, visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or call event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246.

Posted by: David Wiley on January 25, 2007

Press Release

January 7, 2007

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will bring the New Southern Ramblers to town on Saturday, January 20, 2007 for an evening of old-time music and dancing at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street. The dance will run from 8:00-11:00 pm with a class for beginners at 7:30pm. No partner is necessary as Phil Jamison, the leader of the band, is not only an accomplished musician and caller, but has been teaching square dance and contra dance since 1975. You can expect an evening of fun with lots of fast moving squares as well as contras.

For those interested, we will have a Potluck Dinner and open waltz from 6:30-7:30pm. We will have access to the kitchen for cold food storage or hot food preparation. Recorded music will be provided for those who wish to waltz. If you are coming to the potluck dinner, please contact David Wiley at 423-913-3246 and state what item you are bringing.

The New Southern Ramblers are an old-time string band who play driving Southern Appalachian dance music. Formed in 1982, the band toured with fiddler Ralph Blizzard of Blountville, Tennessee until his death in 2004. With four recordings to their credit, they have won numerous contests throughout the Southeast and have been featured at concerts, festivals, and workshops throughout the country from Florida to Alaska. The New Southern Ramblers are, of course, Phil Jamison (guitar), Gordy Hinners (banjo), John Herrmann (fiddle), and Meredith McIntosh (bass).

Phil Jamison is a nationally-known dance caller, old-time musician, and flatfoot dancer. Phil calls a mix of fun, fast-paced old-time squares, modern contras and Southern Appalachian big-ring dances. He has called at dances and music festivals throughout the country and overseas. Adept at calling for beginners as well as experienced dancers, he can help first-time dancers take to the floor with confidence. A long time member of the Green Grass Cloggers, his flatfoot dancing was featured in the film, Songcatcher, for which he also served as the Traditional Dance consultant. In addition to playing guitar with the New Southern Ramblers, Phil plays fiddle and banjo, and he teaches mathematics and Appalachian music at Warren Wilson College, where he also serves as Assistant Director of the Swannanoa Gathering.

Gordy Hinners is a veteran of the old-time music and dance scene, known for his distinctive claw hammer style on the fretless banjo and his masterful rhythmic footwork as a buck dancer. He plays banjo with the New Southern Ramblers and for many years was a mainstay of the Green Grass Loggers. Gordy has taught workshops throughout the country. He livers in Weaverville, North Carolina and teaches Spanish at Mars Hill College.

John Hermann has been traveling the world playing old-time music for over thirty years. He plays fiddle with the New Southern Ramblers, but he has performed with many bands including the Henrie Brothers (1st Place Galas, 1976), Critton Hollow, the Wandering Ramblers and the Rockinghams. Equally adept on banjo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar and bass, he is known as the “Father of Old-Time Music” in Japan. John has been on staff at numerous music events from coast-to-coast, and has completed several European tours with dancer Ira Bernstein. He lives in Marshall, NC.

Meredith McIntosh is known for her rock-solid bass playing. She has a degree in music education and loves old-time music. She also plays fiddle, guitar, flute and piano. Over the years, he has performed with numerous groups including the Wildcats, the Heartbeats, and Balfa Toujours. She lives in Asheville, NC where she is a certified massage therapist and teacher of the Alexander Technique.

“I have been anxiously awaiting this performance and dance,” adds event organizer, David Wiley. “This will be one of the best shows of old-time music that we will see. My first contra dance was two years ago at Merlefest and the caller was none other than Phil Jamison. I am really glad that he made me feel very welcome on the dance floor. His teaching inspired me to learn the dances and thus become a dance organizer in our area”.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org

Posted by: David Wiley on January 7, 2007

Press Release

“Contra Dance for a Change”

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will kick off the 2007 contra dance campaign on Friday January 5th promoting the theme of “Contra Dance for a Change”. The dance will be held at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. with a class for beginners starting at 7:30 p.m. The featured band will be “Hot Flash” consisting of Karen Gaughan on keyboards and Laurie Fisher on fiddle. Calling the dance will be the ever popular Hank Morris. Admission is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $4 for Students.

“Contra Dance for a Change” is a call to all citizens of the area who rededicate themselves to New Year’s higher ideas and ideals for diet and exercise changes. “We know from the experts that most people start the year with ambitious goals for weight loss, smoking cessation or other behavioral changes during the first ten days of the New Year”, states organizer David Wiley. “The problem is that many of these commitments fade away in the short term” adds Wiley. “Our contra dance program, even though it is held only twice per month can jump start anyone toward their goals...” We had twenty-four dances during 2006. In and of itself, twenty-four dances won’t make or break anyone’s fitness program, but for many, it made a difference. We have built the foundation for our own dance community.

Hot Flash and Hank Morris performed at the inaugural contra dance on January 6, 2006. Karen, Laurie and Hank will return to the Visitors Center to kick off our second year. Laurie Fisher and Karen Gaughan will deliver the kind of Hot Flash no one minds experiencing. Multi-talented Fisher has been entertaining dancers and inspiring musicians full-time for the past 14 years. In addition to fiddle, she plays piano and calls dances. After calling the dance last week, a dancer posted a comment on the HJDS website that read, “Laurie Fisher is a great teacher - patient, clear, methodical with a marvelous rapport with the dancers.” What a great compliment! Laurie is regionally well known as the fiddler for The String Beings, an Asheville contra dance band whose success has traveled them from Boston to Florida and California to Michigan. Look for The String Beings performance June 10th in Jonesborough with Fred Park returning to call.

Karen Gaughan is Asheville's most in-demand contra dance side-girl. Fisher and Gaughan together will provide a full sound, plenty of rhythm and a really good ride for the avid contra dancer or waltzer. After hearing the duet, an often-heard comment from the dance floor is an amazed, "I can't believe there's only two of you!" Gaughan has also been playing for dances for the last 14 years, working it around her day job as an elementary school teacher near Asheville.

Hank Morris is an active part of the very thriving Asheville dance community. Hank Morris makes the dances fun for both the beginner and the experienced dancers.

“We have already scheduled another year of great contra dance bands and callers” adds Wiley. For more information on Friday’s dance or any upcoming events, please call David Wiley at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on December 28, 2006

Press Release

“Christmas Contra Dance” in Jonesborough

On Saturday, December 23, 2006, the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold its final contra dance of the year. The dance will take place at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street, at 8:00 P.M. From Blacksburg, Virginia, the Zisette family brings their musical expertise in the form of their band “Toss the Possum.” The dance caller is Asheville’s Beth Molaro.
Come to dance or come to listen to the music. No partner is necessary; all dances are taught by the caller. Admission to the dance is $6, HJDS members $5, and students with ID only $3. A class for beginners always precedes the dance at 7:30 P.M. New dancers will mix and mingle to cover the basics of contra dance.

Hearing the name “Toss the Possum”, you might expect this family band to have roots in the South, but in fact, Toss the Possum was founded when the family moved to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia from the snowy mountains of Northern Utah three years ago. Mom, who found herself without a band to play with after the move, recruited the kids.

The name Toss the Possum was inspired by a possum who found itself trapped under a spare dresser drawer in the garage. Chas, upon seeing the upside down drawer moving mysteriously of its own volition around the garage floor, yelled for everyone to come see. Thus, the first possum we ever saw was a very unhappy one!

Rob Zisette, age 14, is the fiddler for Toss the Possum. After playing violin for a year and a half, he entered the fiddle contest sponsored by the Festival of the American West at age 10. He won first prize and has been fiddling ever since. Rob also likes to compose and is a great percussionist. Occasionally he’ll pick up the drumsticks at a dance.

Chas, age 16, taught himself to play bass as soon as he realized the family band was forming without him. Sometimes he plays his sax with the band. Chas’ claim to fame is that he can play ‘Ode to Joy’ on 16 different instruments.

Jane, age 18, began playing flute when she was 12. Soon after, she heard Joannie Madsen play her whistles with Cherish the Ladies and decided to add the Irish whistle to her repertoire. Jane plays on Patrick Riordan whistles. Jane also sings with the band. She plans to major in Music Performance when she begins her university studies next fall.

Laura (mom) taught Piano at Utah State University until she moved to Virginia. In Utah she played with Barnstorm and Leaping Lulu. Now she’s hanging on for the ride with Toss the Possum.

Charlie, (dad) of course, is the most important member of the band. Not only has he picked up sound engineering and springs for food after the gigs, but the kids have dubbed him the ‘instrument Sherpa’.

Toss the Possum has played for all kinds of events, festivals, and dances for the past three years – that is, as many as their busy school schedules have allowed. They especially enjoy playing for contra dances because they know how much fun the dancers are having. The Zisettes have been contra dancing since Rob was four years old, drawn by the terrific live music and the wonderful spirit of the dance community.

This band puts their unique twist on southern tunes, old time, Celtic, jazz and folk. They are known for their energetic, driving renditions of traditional tunes. These teens like to occasionally slip in ‘cameos’ of non-traditional tunes. They also love the excitement of creating color and rhythm on the fly!

The Jonesborough Dance is Toss the Possum’s last gig before Christmas. The possum kids plan to kick it up a notch in honor of the spirit of the season. Be ready to hear some great traditional tunes with a holiday flavor. What a great way to spend a Christmas vacation!

Dancers from coast-to-coast will tell you that Beth Molaro is GREAT! When she calls, the dance is always a party! Her enthusiasm is contagious and she makes any dance more energetic and exciting. She is truly a dance caller dedicated to the art of traditional American dancing and good fun.

Beth lives in Asheville surrounded by the mountains of western North Carolina with her daughter, Rebecca Grace, where they are an active part of the thriving dance community. Often on the road calling dances all over the place, her clear calling and skilled dance selection have made her one of the country’s most popular and widely traveled callers.

Since 1994, Beth has called hundreds of dances from coast to coast as well as in Denmark and Canada. Beth is in demand as a caller and teacher for weddings, family reunions, community dances, dance weeks, weekends and folk festivals including the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Dance Flurry, Florida Snowball, Charleston Palmetto Bug Stomp, Moondance (Greenville, SC), Winter Warm-Up (Columbus, OH), Butterball, Brattleboro Dawn Dances, Gypsy Meltdown, Spring Dance Romance, Feet Retreat, Spring Thaw, CDSS English & American Dance Week at Buffalo Gap and Timber Ridge, Contra Dancer’s Holiday Delight Week, Dance Rhapsody Dance Weekend and many more.

Beth’s vocal style is unique in the dance world. Her ability to sing the calls makes for an exciting blend of music and calls which she accomplishes with both clarity and musical integrity. You will hear elements of blues and jazz in her voice as she sings you from one figure to the next, weaving together various elements of the dance, music, and dancers into a positively charged room of inspired enthusiasm.

Beth calls high energy, turbocharged Appalachian squares and smooth flowing contras. She is known for her quick, no-nonsense walk throughs and effective teaching for both the beginner and the most seasoned dancers. Beth’s dances are always a guaranteed whoop and a holler good time. Dancers are sure to leave with a feel-good dancing high.

In addition to calling, Beth is a skilled and exuberant foot percussionist in the Appalachian flat-foot style.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on December 12, 2006

Press Release

Kick up Your Contra Dance Heels in Gray!

November 29, 2006

JONESBOROUGH, TN - The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society is on the road again sharing the Contra Dancing Craze! Dancers will be meeting Saturday, December 9, from 8 p.m. – 11 p.m. in the Gray United Methodist Church, 2108 Oak Street, Gray, TN. Lessons for beginners will begin at 7:30 p.m. Admission cost will be $6 for general admission, $5 for members and $3 for students with I.D. More information is available at www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or by calling event organizer, David Wiley, (423) 913-3246.

Holiday season finds the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center a very busy place. So, we are going back to the Gray United Methodist Church after having one of our earlier dances there in February, says Wiley. “We had a great crowd and fun contra dance the first time and were enthusiastically invited to bring our dance again to their church. They have a beautiful facility. The gymnasium has a beautiful parquet wood floor, sound system and stage. Their location is just about in the center of the Tri-Cities universe. That will give many of our dancers who come from far and wide a little travel break.”

“Our band this time,” says Wiley, “is another fine group of musicians from Virginia called House Red. Shawn Brenneman plays Piano, Owen Morris on guitar and mandolin and Jonathan Thielen is on fiddle.”

This dance’s caller, Hank Morris, lives and dances in Swannanoa, NC where works as a contractor. “Hank has been calling contra dances throughout the southeast for nearly a dozen years,” says Wiley. “He is known for his efficient walk-throughs, easy manner and good natured calling style. Hank is one of our most favorite callers,” adds Wiley.

Wiley adds, “Again, we are bringing the dance to the people. Gray is a booming area with lots of families and children. Also, the youth group at the church will have an opportunity to raise some funds by selling water and sweets at the dance.”

Posted by: David Wiley on November 29, 2006

Press Release

Halloween Contra Dance, “Come as You Aren’t”

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will invite all ghouls and goblins to their Halloween Contra Dance on Saturday, October 28 starting at 8:00 P.M. at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street. Guest caller Roberta Kogut from Hickory, NC, will lead the dancing while the North Carolina based “Wild Goose Chase” contra dance band will provide a musical style filled with traditional and modern tunes.

At 7:30 P.M., prior to each dance, the caller conducts a class for beginners where basics of contra dance are taught to new and experienced dancers alike. Admission to the dance is only $6, $5 for HJDS members, and $3 for students. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. No partner is necessary. Many people come to the contra dance alone and are encouraged to dance with many different partners throughout the evening.

This year’s theme, “Come as You Aren’t,” invites all Halloween revelers to display the most amazing creativity and originality in costume selection. Event organizer, David Wiley, says that “you are who you are most of the time and this is a time to enter the make believe world for one night.” Halloween costumes are encouraged, but not required. If you don’t want to wear a costume, bring a “Silly Hat.” There will be prizes for best costume and silliest hat.

This dance will be sponsored by Andrew Johnson Bank. Bank spokesperson, Jim Austin, states, “Andrew Johnson Bank is excited to sponsor the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society. We believe in supporting activities that strengthen our local community and its citizens. Contra dancing has traditionally been a way to bring people together, and we would like to see this tradition be a part of our town. Organizer David Wiley offers a great way to spend the evening with friends and neighbors of all ages. This partnership represents our commitment to Jonesborough with a family activity that combines music, fellowship, exercise, and fun.”

The hall will be decked out with balloons and streamers, jack-o-lanterns, corn stalks, and gourds.

Roberta Kogut has been enthusiastic about contra dancing and other related dance forms since 1982 when she attended her first contra dance in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She performed with a local rapper sword dance team and also mastered the art of several couple dances, including hambo, tango, schottische, and waltz.

After moving to Florida, she began calling and started her own contra dance class, offered free to the public, to develop contra dancing in the Tampa Bay area. She quickly became a favorite, combining a gentle, yet effective, teaching style and a smorgasbord of fun and interesting dances. After moving to North Carolina, Roberta and her fiddle playing husband, Bob, worked hard at nurturing a growing dance community in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. She often calls for Bob’s contra dance band, Wild Goose Chase, and can often be heard playing waltzes with the band on concertina.
She has a repertoire of fun and flowing dances that thrill experienced dancers and a clear, beginner-friendly delivery to soothe the hearts of newcomers.

Wild Goose Chase is made up of Bob Kogut on fiddle, Karen Gaughan on keyboards, Skip Metheny on percussion, and Art Schuster on mandolin. Bob Kogut has been fiddling around western North Carolina for the past six years. He is past-president of the Florida Fiddler’s Association and has won numerous awards at fiddle contests throughout the South. In his spare time, he makes fiddles and is an official sponsor of Merlefest in Wilkesboro, North Carolina every April.

Karen Gaughan has been playing piano at dances for nearly 15 years from Alabama to New Jersey. Karen is Asheville’s most in-demand contra dance side-girl. Karen also has played in Jonesborough with Fly by Night, Hot Flash, and Ants in the Pantry. Her great keyboard performances are sandwiched around her day job as elementary school teacher near Asheville.

Skip Metheny, an avid contra dancer since moving to Asheville, has played percussion and bass for contra and swing music at various festivals, dance weekends, and other events around the Southeast since 1997.

Art Shuster has been playing for contra dances in western North Carolina and all over the U.S. since he first hooked up with fiddler and dance caller, Laurie Fisher, in the stairwells of Warren Wilson College in 1982—first as a guitar flatpicker, and most recently as a mandolinist. He has added his fiddle-tune-based style to a plethora of bands including the String Beings and Far Horizons. Art has found his niche in the contra dance scene and is most happy trying to make his mandolin blend with the fiddles while making the dancers bounce.

Contra dancing is a form of North American folk dance in which the dancers form two sets of parallel lines which run the length of the hall. Each dance consists of a sequence of moves that ends with couples having progressed one position up or down the set. As the sequence is repeated, a couple will eventually dance with every other couple in the set.

Contra dancing was all the rage in the 1800s. Many of the basic moves in contra dancing are similar to those in square dancing (swings, promenades, do-si-dos, allemandes). If you have danced squares, you will enjoy contras immediately.

In contra dancing, your feet are never asked to do more than walk to the music. Each dance is taught by the caller before it is danced, and the caller continues to prompt the dancers as needed. Because the pattern of moves of each contra dance is repeated often, contra dances are very easy to learn. Both beginning and experienced dancers happily share the same set.

Contra dances have a relaxed, family-like atmosphere where the emphasis is on dancing. Wiley adds, “We are still getting families with children coming to our dances. The youngsters pick it up very quickly.” The dances provide excellent exercise that you can take at your own pace.

Dancers are asked to bring a yummy treat for the dessert potluck at the 9:30 break. For more information, contact David Wiley at 423-913-3246 or visit www. historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on October 18, 2006

Press Release

Contra Dance Benefit & Yard Sale

Jonesborough, TN -
On Saturday, August 26, the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a benefit community contra dance. Guest caller, Diane Silver, from Asheville, NC, will lead the dancing while the Asheville-based band, Fly By Night, will provide lively dance tunes. The dance begins at 8:00 PM in the air-conditioned Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street. At 7:30 PM, prior to each dance, the caller for the evening conducts a class for beginners where the basics of contra dance are taught to new and experienced dancers. Admission is only $6, members of HJDS $5, and students $3. The dances are always smoke and alcohol free. The band and caller are donating their performance to help the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society raise needed operating funds. Pre-dance diners at Jonesborough’s Dogwood Lane restaurant receive $1.00 discount coupons for the dance.

Back by popular request, we will offer a waltz workshop from 6:00-6:45 PM conducted by Warren & Terry Doyle from Banner Elk, NC. Cost for the workshop will be $5.00. Warren and Terry, bona fide dance gypsies, have danced all over the USA. They have provided dance workshops in West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Their instruction is patient, simple, and effective. After the workshop, we will have open waltz from 6:45-7:30 PM.

Also, on Saturday morning, at the Visitors Center, the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will have a Yard Sale at the far end of the parking area opposite the entrance. Volunteers will be selling donated items as a part of the day of fund raising.

Fly By Night is led by Karen Gaughan on the piano. Karen is Asheville's most in-demand contra dance side-girl. Gaughan together with her Fly By Night partners provide a full sound, plenty of rhythm, and a really good ride for the avid contra dancer or waltzer. Gaughan has also been playing for dances for the last 14 years, working it around her day job as an elementary school teacher near Asheville. She also plays with Wild Goose Chase that will appear in Jonesborough for our Halloween contra dance on October 28.

Laura Lengnick, fiddler and member of the faculty at Warren Wilson College, regularly plays dance events in a number of contra dance bands including the Goosebone Prophets, Laura and the Lava Lamps, and Fashion Horse. Drawing on a repertoire of traditional and contemporary tunes from Northern, Southern, and Celtic fiddling traditions, Laura delights dancers with her jazz-inspired improvisations and constant attention to the dance floor. She also plays for step-dancing and conducts workshops in dance-fiddling and dance ensemble playing.

Beth Magill on wooden and silver flutes and tinwhistle came to excellence early and by the age of 11 had garnered state and regional championships as a member of the Yalesville (CT) Junior Ancient Fife & Drum Corp. Classically trained, she was a member of the Charlotte Flute Choir when she was captivated by Celtic music, and through studies with such luminaries as John Skelton, Mike Rafferty, Mike Casey, Grey Larson, Chris Norman, and Jerry O’Sullivan began exploring the complex possibilities of the wooden flute. A popular session musician, she has recorded several albums with singer/songwriter, John Smith, hammered dulcimerist Jerry Read Smith, Jim Taylor and more. With a passionate, exuberant style, Beth was also a founding member of Asheville’s groundbreaking Celtic band, Mooncoin. She plays with her husband Jim, son Andrew in The Magills and Fly By Night. She also enjoys a thriving Kindermusik studio, teaching music and movement to children ages newborn to five.

Julia Weatherford is a graduate of Berea College, where she majored in studio art and worked in the weaving and needlecraft student industries as well as a traveling summer puppet theater. Julia’s textile work has been featured at Southern Highland Handicraft Guild shops, shows, and fairs since 1997 in addition to many other galleries and shops in Asheville, Black Mountain, and Berea. Music is also a big part of Julia’s life. She played cello with the Asheville symphony for 13 years, and currently plays fiddle and cello with Fly By Night and Far Horizons which recently performed as one of the featured contra dance bands at the spring Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF). Julia is currently working as assistant director of the Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College.

Diane Silver hails from Asheville, NC. She was here as teacher/caller for our “Day of Dance” during Jonesborough Days. She has been a die-hard contra dancer, swing dancer and kitchen flat-footer for over 10 years. With a penchant for hot modern contras and a few active squares, she loves sharing high-energy dancing that allows everyone to "play" with the band. Silver is highly acclaimed for her clear, efficient teaching and calling, creative medleys, great positive energy, and spirit of community building. Dancers are sure to receive a sizzling evening of dance in a friendly, welcoming tone. Silver’s motto is "I can't believe this much fun is legal!"

Contra dance is a form of American folk dance in which the dancers form a set of two parallel lines that run the length of the hall. Each dance consists of a sequence of moves and steps that ends with the couples having progressed one position up or down the set.

Many basic moves resemble square dancing—swings, allemandes, do-si-dos—but contra dancing is more a sort of amusement park ride that the dancers make for themselves. A square dance set is compromised of only four couples, whereas the length of the hall only limits the number of couples in a contra dance set. To join a set, only a partner and soft-soled shoes are necessary.

Event organizer, David Wiley, states that “You start our dancing with your partner and another couple called your neighbors. Then you dance with some new neighbors and then some more new neighbors until you dance with everyone in your longwise set. The music is very lively and upbeat with great jigs and reels and waltzes. So, it is very social and very energetic.”

Contra dancing originated in England and found its way to the United States with the early settlers. By 1800, contra dancing was all the rage. Wiley noticed contra dancing at some of the festivals in western North Carolina and decided to give it a try. “You catch on so quickly and then you are hooked!” The caller teaches each dance and you change partners after each dance. “It’s all about building community through traditional music and dance.”

For more information about community contra dance, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on August 17, 2006

Press Release

FamDamily Contra Dance Band Has Ties to Jonesborough

Jonesborough, TN -
On Saturday, August 12, the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold the next in a series of summer community contra dances. Guest caller, Shawn Brenneman, from Radford, VA, will lead the dancing while the Asheville-based band, FamDamily, will provide lively dance tunes. The dance begins at 8:00 P.M. in the air-conditioned Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street. At 7:30 P.M., prior to each dance, the caller for the evening conducts a class for beginners where the basics of contra dance are taught to new and experienced dancers. Admission is only $6, members of HJDS $5, and students $3. The dances are always smoke and alcohol free. Pre-dance diners at Jonesborough’s Dogwood Lane restaurant receive $1.00 discount coupons for the dance.

FamDamily is lead by Paul Moore on the accordion and piano. Well known and much in demand for his infectious keyboard rhythm and jazzy improvisational work, dance pianist Paul Moore has been the cornerstone of assorted Tennessee and North Carolina bands for a long time. He recently teamed with violinist Daron Douglas to produce a fabulous CD titled “Somewhere between Here and Home—Waltzes for Family and Friends, Vol. 2.” FamDamily includes Paul’s wife Amy on keyboards; Paul’s father-in-law and Jonesborough resident Gary Burkett on banjo; Paul’s brother Charlie on bass; and Charlie’s son Colin on guitar.

Shawn Brenneman has been calling dances since 1999. She regularly calls dances in Virginia and North Carolina but has performed in 18 other states. When calling, her goal is to help create an atmosphere where dancers can best enjoy the music, each other, and the dance. “I do this by choosing good dances, teaching them simply, clearly and quickly, calling in a clear and timely manner, and dropping out when possible to let the music carry the dancers forward,” adds Brenneman. “I like to choose a varied and interesting program of well choreographed dances to make the evening fun.” Shawn is also keyboard player for the popular contra dance band House Red that will be performing in Jonesborough on December 9.

Contra dance is a form of American folk dance in which the dancers form a set of two parallel lines that run the length of the hall. Each dance consists of a sequence of moves and steps that ends with the couples having progressed one position up or down the set.

Many basic moves resemble square dancing—swings, allemandes, do-si-dos—but contra dancing is more a sort of amusement park ride that the dancers make for themselves. A square dance set is compromised of only four couples, whereas the length of the hall only limits the number of couples in a contra dance set. To join a set, only a partner and soft-soled shoes are necessary.

Event organizer, David Wiley, states that “You start our dancing with your partner and another couple called your neighbors. Then you dance with some new neighbors and then some more new neighbors until you dance with everyone in your longwise set. The music is very lively and upbeat with great jigs and reels and waltzes. So, it is very social and very energetic.”

Contra dancing originated in England and found its way to the United States with the early settlers. By 1800, contra dancing was all the rage. Wiley noticed contra dancing at some of the festivals in western North Carolina and decided to give it a try. “You catch on so quickly and then you are hooked!” The caller teaches each dance and you change partners after each dance. “It’s all about building community through traditional music and dance.”

For more information about community contra dance, please contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on August 4, 2006

Press Release

DANCING BEARS Migrate from Asheville!

The Summer Series of Contra Dances continues on Saturday July 22nd with an appearance by Asheville’s “Dancing Bears” and the return of Barbara Groh as caller. The dance will be held at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street. The dance starts at 8:00 P.M. A class for beginners will be held at 7:30 PM. Beginners and experienced dancers are invited to the class. No partner is necessary. The dances are smoke and alcohol free.

Admission to the dance is $6, Members of HJDS receive $1.00 discount. All students get in for $3.

The Dancing Bears consists of Lew Gelfond on fiddle, Mark Langner on guitar, John Culp mandolin and banjo and Skip Metheny on Bass. Lew Gelfond has been playing the fiddle since long before the cows came home. His is a solo performer of old time fiddle and banjo music. He plays swing, ragtime, Celtic, gypsy, country, Klezmer, tangos and other traditional music. Lew performs at schools, concerts, workshops and festivals and has been a violin, viola and fiddle teacher for over 20 years. Mark Langner got started playing keyboards and guitar in a garage rock band in high school. In college, he played coffeehouses as part of a duo which did an eclectic mix of music ranging from Merle Haggard to Grateful Dead to Frank Zappa. Mark’s current interest is in swing and jazz, which colors most things the Bears do. Mark is also a certified hypnotherapist, and builds acoustic archtop quitars in an effort to add to the total amount of beauty in the world. John Culp got his first real guitar on his 16th birthday and has been pick’in strings ever since. Since meeting his bride and favorite caller, Barbara Groh, and becoming submerged in the contra dance community, he has concentrated on mandolin and tenor banjo. If he is not playing for a dance, you might spot John running the soundboard or even dancing. In addition to playing for festivals and other dances, John is also a general partner of the Asheville Contradance, which produces the Asheville Summer Soiree dance weekend and the Asheville Contra Dance monthly dance. Skip Metheny began playing drums in his early teens with various R&R bands. Skip was a founding member of the show band “The Doomsday Refreshment Committee” which toured Vietnam entertaining US and allied military folks during the psychedelic era and later became the house band in a Bangkok nightclub. After moving to Asheville, Skip became an avid contra dancer. He has been playing bass and percussion for contra and swing music at various festivals, dance weekends and other events around the Southeast since 1997.

Barbara Groh, a resident of Asheville, NC, has been calling contra dances all over the Southeast since 1989. She has called such festivals as the Charleston Bug Stomp, Gotta Dance, the Summer Soiree, the Black Mountain Music Festival, Moon Dance and the Gypsy Meltdown. Her smooth style, clear teaching and collection of interesting dances will help you achieve Contra Nirvana.

Barbara has been immersed in the traditional music and dance scene for three decades. She became an avid square dancer at age thirteen. In college she fell in love with contra dancing and learned to play old-time banjo. As a caller, her patience and ability to give precise dance instructions stem in part from her 15 years as a classroom teacher and private tutor. She currently works with dyslexic children of all ages.

For more information, contact event organizer David Wiley at 423-913-3246 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on July 9, 2006

Press Release July 1, 2006

Summer Contra Dance Series Includes Local Band

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society continues its summer series of Contra Dances on Saturday July 8th with a dance at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center located at 117 Boone Street. The dance will be called by Anne Marie Walter from the Asheville area.

The dance will begin at 8:00 p.m. with a class for beginners to start at 7:30 p.m. Event organizer, David Wiley, states that the Day of Dance during Jonesborough Days brought many new dancers to the workshop series. Wiley adds that “the weather may be hot outside, but we are contra dancing in the air-conditioned Visitors Center.” “Many area residents have been following the story of contra dance revival in the area and have finally decided to come and give it a try”. Contra dance is much easier to learn than couples dances. You don’t have to have a partner. It is customary at contra dances to dance with a different partner for each dance. You are able to interact with nearly everyone who comes to the dance.

Admission to the dance is only $6. Members of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society get a $1.00 discount. Students get in for only $3. For more information, visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or call 423-913-3246 and inquire to David Wiley.

The featured band this week is the “Dave Macon Cover Band” consisting of Steve Cook, director of Jonesborough’s Music on the Square program, Jeff & Amy Benedict, Sam Gobble and Richard Blaustein. The DMCB merges players from several popular bands from as far back as the 1960’s. With a combined musical heritage of nearly 150 years, the tunes emanating from these musicians are not always familiar, but are rooted so deeply in tradition that they are unmistakably traced to the ground floor of where old-time music began to be shared and passed down to the performers of today. Although the band was formed in 2003, the members have played together off and on for many years. They have played and delighted festival goers, wedding and private parties and other music lovers for years. As the house band for the Lost State of Franklin Contra Dance Society which existed for years back in the 90’s, the DMCB thoroughly enjoyed the energy and pleasure of keeping the dance tunes lively and watching the dancers step to their musical meanderings.

The dance caller, Anne Marie Walter, lives and dances in the Ashville area, where she teaches, goes to graduate school, gardens and is a fiber artist. “She has been calling contra dances throughout the southeast for nearly a dozen years”, says Wiley. “She is known for her efficient walk-throughs and her great sense of humor which especially helps to reduce the angst for beginners”.

“My job is to select the right dances for the skill level of the crowd,” says Walter. “That way I can get out of the way and let the dancers groove to the tunes.”

Posted by: David Wiley on July 2, 2006

PRESS RELEASE

DAY OF DANCE!
The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a “Day of Dance” during the 36th annual Jonesborough Days celebration July 1 from noon to 9:30 P.M. in the Contra Dancing Village at the Jonesborough Visitors Center.

The day will consist of three workshops for contra, waltz and square dancing and will be followed by three dances including a Family Dance for parents or grandparents with children, a southern square dance and a contra dance. The workshops and dances will be called by Asheville’s Diane Silver.

The Washington County Ramblers, consisting of Roy Andrade of Reel Time Travelers and friends, will provide old time and contra music for the event.

The schedule for the day is:
Noon-1:15 p.m. Contra Dance Workshop
1:30-2:45 p.m. Waltz Workshop
3:00-4:00 p.m. Sqare Dance Workshop
4:00-5:00 p.m. Family Dance
5:00-5:45 p.m. Dinner Break
6:00-7:30 p.m. Square Dance
7:30-9:30 p.m. Contra Dance

Dance caller, Silver, said all who are interested in learning to contra dance are welcome. She has been a die-hard contra dancer, swing dancer and kitchen flat-footer for more than 10 years. With a penchant for hot modern contras and active squares, Silver loves sharing high-energy dancing that allows everyone to “play” with the band.


She is highly acclaimed for her clear, efficient teaching and calling, creative medleys, great positive energy and spirit of community building. Her careful attention to dancers’ pace and progress creates a fun, low-risk atmosphere for beginning dancers to get up and give it a try.

Admission is $1 for the workshops and $3 fro the dances.

For more information, call event organizer David Wiley at 423-913-3246 or 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on June 25, 2006

Press Release

Contra Dance in Johnson City

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will take its show on the road Saturday, June 24th to Johnson City, Tennessee. Due to a scheduling conflict at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, the next contra dance will be held at Johnson City’s new Carver Recreation Center at 322 W. Watauga Avenue near the Down Home.

The recent health initiative that Johnson City launched called “Up and At Em” makes contra dance a perfect fit for this program. “We will stage the dance at Carver and show residents of Johnson City how contra dance can impact people’s lives through traditional music and dance.” The Carver Center is a beautiful facility and will make an excellent venue for contra dance.

Headlining the contra dance event will be a group called the Spring Chickens from the Asheville area. The Spring Chickens known mostly for their hard driving rhythmic old time repertoire will crossover to add contra dance tunes for our dance. The Spring Chickens are lead by Rob and Beth Mangum, potters from Weaverville, NC. The remaining members of their group are McLean Bissell on guitar, Ben Harvey on banjo and Meredith McIntosh on Bass.

Calling the Johnson City contra dance will be Weaverville, North Carolina’s Charley Harvey. Charley began dancing in Berea, Kentucky over twenty years ago. He has called dances far and wide, teaching American folk dance in Denmark and leading local dances throughout the eastern U.S. A founding member of Berea’s monthly contra dance, Charley enjoys a reputation as an exciting and enthusiastic dance caller while being good with beginners. No matter how much or how little experience you have as a dancer, Charley will lead an evening of dance that will leave you smiling!

There will be a class for beginners at 7:30 P.M. followed by the dance at 8:00 P.M. Cost is $6, Members $5 and students $3. A soft shoe policy will be in effect for the Carver Center. Please wear suitable shoes to protect the new floor from damage.

Posted by: David Wiley on June 13, 2006

Press Release

GREATEST CONTRA DANCE BAND!

The String Beings, considered to be the greatest contra dance band ever to come to Asheville, will trek up to the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center on June 10th to perform for the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society. Class for beginners starts at 7:30 P.M. The dance will run from 8-11 P.M. with a break at 9:30 for waltz.

The String Beings have performed at dance weekends and festivals from coast to coast, but rarely perform in our area. The String Beings are known for their edgy rhythms, audacious drive and a repertoire that is expertly delivered to provide dancers with a ride to remember.

Laurie Fisher is the heartbeat of the band with her fiery fiddle playing. Laurie has been entertaining dancers and inspiring musicians full-time for the last 14-years. In addition to fiddle, Laurie also plays piano and calls dances.

Tom Trozak plays the guitar and drums with strength and passion, driving the dance with relentless rhythm.

Art Shuster’s masterful mandolin playing adds spice to the Beings and never fails to lift the dancers’ feet.

And finally, after years of living and playing in distant lands, Mark Mueller has reunited with the String Beings. Mark’s extraordinary fiddling and gentle soul bring harmony to the group.

Calling for the dance will be Fred Park. Fred returns to call again after performing with Firefly back in February. Fred has been writing and calling dances for over 25 years. He started the Old Farmers Ball in Asheville and has helped initiate many successful dances all over the southeast.

For more information, visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or call event organizer David Wiley at 423-913-3246.

Posted by: David Wiley on May 28, 2006

Press Release

EVENT & DATE: CONTRA DANCE FEATURING ANTS IN PANTRY, MAY 27
CONTACT: DAVID WILEY, 423-913-3246.
PHOTO: FROM LAST DANCE

ANTS IN THE PANTRY

JONESBOROUGH, TN - The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society welcomes the “Ants in the Pantry” contra dance band from Asheville. They will perform in the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street on May 27 beginning at 8 p.m. Admission to the dance is $6, $5 for members and $3 for Students. A workshop for new dancers will begin at 7:30 P.M. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller.

The band was assembled in the summer of 2000 by veteran dance caller Barbara Groh to play one time at a benefit contra dance and picnic. So much fun was had by all that they have been performing at contra dances around the southeast ever since. The band members are John Culp, Skip Metheny, Laurie Fisher and Karen Gaughan.

John Culp got his first real guitar on his 16th birthday and has been pickin strings ever since. Since meeting his bride and favorite caller, Barbara Groh, and becoming submerged in the contra dance community, he has concentrated on mandolin and tenor banjo. If he’s not playing for a dance, you might spot John running the sound board or even dancing. In addition to playing for festivals and other dances, John is also a general partner of the Asheville Contradance, which produces the Asheville Summer Soiree dance weekend and the Asheville Contra Dance monthly dance. In addition to playing for the Ants, John also performs with the Dancing Bears.

Skip Metheny, from early teen years, played with various Rock and Roll bands. He was founding member of the show band “The Doomsday Refreshment Committee” which toured Vietnam entertaining US and allied military folks in the 70s and later became the house band in a Bangkok nightclub. After moving to Asheville, Skip became an avid contra dancer and was influenced by the local music scene to experiment with different styles of music. He has been playing percussion and bass for contra and swing music at various festivals, dance weekends and other events around the Southeast since 1997.

Multi-talented Laurie Fisher has been entertaining dancers and inspiring musicians full-time for the past 14 years. In addition to fiddle, she plays piano and calls dances. After calling the dance last week, a dancer posted a comment on the HJDS website that read, “Laurie Fisher is a great teacher - patient, clear, methodical with a marvelous rapport with the dancers.” What a great compliment! Laurie is regionally well know as the fiddler for The String Beings, an Asheville contra dance band whose success has traveled them from Boston to Florida and California to Michigan. Look for The String Beings performance June 10th in Jonesborough.

Karen Gaughan is Asheville's most in-demand contra dance side-girl. Ants members and Gaughan together provide a full sound, plenty of rhythm and a really good ride for the avid contra dancer or waltzer. Gaughan has also been playing for dances for the last 14 years, working it around her day job as a elementary school teacher near Asheville.

A resident of Asheville, NC, Barbara Groh has been calling contra dances all over the East coast since 1989. She has called at such festivals as the Charleston Bug Stomp, Gotta Dance, the Asheville Summer Soiree, the Black Mountain Music Festival, NEFFA, Moondance, Gypsy Meltdown, Spring Dance Romance and the Lake Eden Arts Festival. Her smooth style, clear teaching and collection of interesting dances will help you achieve Contra Nirvana.

Barbara has been immersed in the traditional music and dance scene for more than three decades. She became an avid square dancer at the age of 13. In college, she fell in love with contra dancing and learned to play old-time banjo. Her involvement in the dance community has included serving for several years on various dance committees.

For more information, please visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or call dance coordinator, David Wiley at 423-913-3246. Come and join the fun. You don’t have to be a skilled dancers. Remember the phrase “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. Get in the game of life” Learn to dance and be a part of our community.

Posted by: David Wiley on May 21, 2006

Dance News!

THE ANTS COME TO JONESBOROUGH

That’s the “ANTS IN THE PANTRY”! The Ants in the Pantry are a contra dance band from Asheville that was formed in the summer of 2000 to play at a benefit picnic contra dance. So much fun was had by all that the band has been playing contra dances around the Southeast ever since.

The band is made up of Laurie Fisher on fiddle, Karen Gaughan on keyboards, John Culp on tenor banjo and mandolin and Skip Metheny on drums, percussion and bass.

We have already had the pleasure of hearing Laurie and Karen perform as the group “Hot Flash”. In addition, we had a wonderful night of dancing with Laurie calling for us back in March.

Barbara Groh, one of the areas most popular contra dance callers, will return to the area with the “ANTS” to perform at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center on Saturday May 27th. A workshop for beginner dancers will start at 7:30 P.M. The contra dance will commence at 8:00 P.M.

Admission to the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society contra dances remains $6.00,
$5.00 for members and $3.00 for students.

Posted by: David Wiley on May 14, 2006

Press Release

PRESS RELEASE
EVENT DATE: May 11
CONTACT: Event Coordinator, David Wiley 423-913-3246 or 423-534-8879

Nightingale lights in Jonesborough

JONESBOROUGH, TN - The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society welcomes the band Nightingale and caller Rick Mohr to the next contra dance, Thursday, May 11 in the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center located at 117 Boone Street.

The dance begins at 8 p.m. Admission is $10 per person. A $2 discount will be given to members of any dance society. For more information, please visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-913-3246.

“We expect contra dancers to come from all over the area for this,” says Wiley. “We’re fortunate to have Nightingale here. They’re one of the greatest contra dance bands in the country and they’re stopping here on their way to the LEAF festival. Even if people didn’t want to dance at all, they could come on and just listen to the music and it would be well worth their $10 admission. For a sample of what you’ll get that night, Nightingale will be giving a live radio performance on May 11 from 3:30 – 4 p.m. on WETS 89.5 - AM.”

Over the past decade the three superb musicians who make up Nightingale, Becky Tracy (fiddle), Jeremiah McLane (piano, accordion) and Keith Murphy (guitar, mandolin, foot percussion, vocals), have charmed audiences with their vibrant and imaginative explorations of musical traditions that carry listeners across New England to Quebec, Newfoundland, Ireland, France and beyond.

Hailed in Sing Out! Magazine for their "impeccable playing...danceable and exciting, with a reflective approach to the music", Nightingale has fashioned a fresh and distinctive sound that is innovative while rooted in Celtic and Northern European folk traditions.

The nightingale bird is a poetic figure that appears in traditional songs from many places including parts of Northern Europe, Canada and the United States. So the nightingale was an appropriate emblem for a band committed to drawing inspiration from such a wide musical territory.

McLane, Murphy and Tracy were all established players in the traditional New England contra dance scene when they met and Nightingale quickly became a highly sought after New England dance band. But from its inception, Nightingale explored music outside the bounds of New England contra dance and could never be pigeon holed as simply a dance band. Songs of Quebec and Newfoundland were a staple of their repertoire and in their concerts they stretched the format of traditional dance music. Still, their experience as dance musicians generated an obsession with rhythmic integrity and the sustaining pulse that is the essence of dance music. The listener could never miss the underlying drive of much of Nightingale's music.

The group has performed on CBC radio in Canada and was recently chosen for the Meet the Composer series in Saranac, New York. They continue to perform at festivals, performing arts centers, folk clubs and major dance events everywhere. (band information courtesy of www.nightingalevt.org)

Rick Mohr, contra dance caller and musician, is also from New England. A software developer/architect by trade, Rick travels the country calling and playing his fiddle for contra dances. Much of his creative energy is devoted to traditional music and dance but also includes harmony singing, Morris dancing, fiddle and melodeon. Rick is also an accomplished dance composer and plans to write of book of dances someday.

Posted by: David Wiley on May 5, 2006

Press Release

EVENT DATE: April 29
CONTACT: Event Coordinator, David Wiley 423-913-3246 or 423-534-8879
****************************************************
Asheville band, Reel Magnolias, in Jonesborough

JONESBOROUGH, TN - The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society welcomes Asheville band “Reel Magnolias” and caller Margaret Matthews to the next contra dance, Saturday, April 29th in the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center located at 117 Boone Street.

The dance will begin at 8 p.m. with a workshop for beginners to be held at 7:30 p.m.
Admission is $6 per person, $5 for members and $3 for students with I.D. For more information, please visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-913-3246.

Reel Magnolias is comprised of June Advincula on keyboard, Suzanne Hosch on guitar and Jane Weaver on fiddle. Advincula and Hosch are educators in the Asheville area.
Weaver is a quilter and music teacher from Weaverville, NC.

“Dancers will recognize Margaret Matthews,” says Wiley. “She performed on piano with Jeff Baker and ‘Morning Coffee’ back in March. This will be the first time that we’ll see her as a caller. She e-mailed me back in January, after moving from upstate New York to Asheville, trying to get the word out to all contra dance organizers in the area that she was available as a caller. I looked at her resume and decided to book her with the ‘Reel Magnolias’.”

Earlier in the day on Saturday, members of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society have been invited to demonstrate contra dancing at the kickoff of Johnson City’s health initiative “UP and AT EM”.

“One of their objectives,” says Wiley, “is to increase citizen physical activity by creating events supporting an active community. Councilperson Jane Myron visited one of our dances and immediately saw how music and contra dance could be a part of their program. We’ll bring about 20 dancers and a caller to Freedom Hall for a demonstration that is scheduled for 1:25 p.m. until 2 p.m. People attending the kickoff will get a $1 discount coupon for our dance Saturday night. In addition, we’ve been invited to bring our contra dance to the Carver Center on June 24th.” He adds, “Long range plans are coming together to bring a contra dance to Johnson City once a quarter. Hopefully, the exposure in the Johnson City area will help us build our dance community in Jonesborough.” See www.johnsoncitytn.org for more information on their program.

There will be a special contra dance on Thursday May 11th at the Jonesborough Visitors Center as the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society welcomes “Nightingale” from Vermont as they travel to perform at the Lake Eden Arts Festival in Black Mountain, NC. Admission will be $10 or $8 for members of any dance society. Please visit www.nighingalevt.org.

Posted by: David Wiley on April 21, 2006

Press Release

CONTACT: DAVID WILEY 423-913-3246 OR 423-534-8879
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WALTZ, POTLUCK & CONTRA DANCE
On Saturday, April 15th, the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a special dance event at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Starting at 4 p.m., a beginning contra waltz workshop will be led by Scott Baxla. Scott is an excellent teacher and is particularly good at relating to men, helping them understand and even enjoy the art of leading. The workshop will cover the basics of footwork, partnering, leading and following. Understanding the structure and rhythm of waltz music will also be covered. Contra waltz is different from ballroom waltz – and generally easier to learn.

No partner or experience is necessary to participate in this basic waltz lesson. The workshop will last until 5:30 with a 10-15 minute break in the middle. From 5:30 – 6 p.m, an open waltz will follow to the live music of “Keys to Excess” with David DiGiuseppe and Pete Campbell from Chapel Hill, NC. Scott will be available for individual pointers during the open waltz. Admission to the waltz workshop is $10, students $5.

For those who are interested, we will have a potluck dinner from 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the visitors center. We will have access to the kitchen facility for cold food storage or hot food preparation. Hopefully, the weather will be ideal enough to picnic on the grounds outside. If you are coming to the potluck dinner, please contact David Wiley at 423-913-3246 and state what item you will be bringing.

At 7:30 p.m., the contra dance portion of the program will begin with a new dancer workshop led by our caller/teacher for the evening, Hank Morris, from Asheville. Hank called our very first dance back in January. He has extensive experience in contra dance calling in the southeast and we are very excited about having him back.

David DiGiuseppe is well known for his fiery accordian playing extending into Irish, contra dance and southern old-time styles. David has three solo recordings. His newest release, MOVIN ON, features his masterful accordion playing on Celtic tunes, Parisian musettes and music from the American South. He has recently published two collections of traditional tunes arranged for accordion with Mel Bay Publications.

Pete Campbell (probably one of the most intriguing people you will ever meet) plays and calls for contra dancing, square dancing, Scottish, English and international folk dancing.
He brings inexhaustible energy as a pianist to each performance.

The contra dance will be from 8 p.m. – 11 p.m. with another opportunity to waltz at the 9:30 p.m. break. Admission is $6, $5 for members and $3 for students with I.D.

For more information, please visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or call 423-913-3246.

Posted by: David Wiley on April 6, 2006

Press Release

Hot Flash hits Jonesborough

JONESBOROUGH, TN – The cool winter winds might still be blowing around outside, but when you come to Jonesborough for Friday’s contra dance, you better bring your water bottle and a clean handkerchief to wipe your brow – ‘cause you’re going to experience a Hot Flash!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society (HJDS) welcomes contra dance band, Hot Flash, to the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, March 31 at 8 p.m. The center is located at 117 Boone Street. The dance begins at 8 p.m. with a workshop for beginners at 7:30 p.m. The admission is $6 per person, $5 for members and $3 for students with I.D.

Laurie Fisher and Karen Gaughan will deliver the kind of Hot Flash no one minds experiencing. Multi-talented Fisher has been entertaining dancers and inspiring musicians full-time for the past 14 years. In addition to fiddle, she plays piano and calls dances. After calling the dance last week, a dancer posted a comment on the HJDS website that read, “Laurie Fisher is a great teacher - patient, clear, methodical with a marvelous rapport with the dancers.” What a great compliment! Laurie is regionally well known as the fiddler for The String Beings, an Asheville contra dance band whose success has traveled them from Boston to Florida and California to Michigan. Look for The String Beings performance June 10th in Jonesborough with Fred Park returning to call.

Karen Gaughan is Asheville's most in-demand contra dance side-girl. Fisher and Gaughan together will provide a full sound, plenty of rhythm and a really good ride for the avid contra dancer or waltzer. After hearing the duet, an often-heard comment from the dance floor is an amazed, "I can't believe there's only two of you!" Gaughan has also been playing for dances for the last 14 years, working it around her day job as a elementary school teacher near Asheville.

Diane Silver will travel from Asheville, NC to call the dance. She is here fresh from a two-week tour of England where she called about 10 contra dances and lived with British families along the way. She has been a die-hard contra dancer, swing dancer and kitchen flat-footer for over 10 years. With a penchant for hot modern contras and a few active squares, she loves sharing high-energy dancing that allows everyone to "play" with the band. Silver is highly acclaimed for her clear, efficient teaching and calling, creative medleys, great positive energy and spirit of community building. Dancers are sure to receive a sizzling evening of dance in a friendly, welcoming tone. Silver’s motto is "I can't believe this much fun is legal!"

“There won’t be any April fools joke with Hot Flash performing and Diane Silver calling,” says Event Coordinator, David Wiley. “They are the cream of the crop in musical and calling talent in this area. We should have a terrific night of dancing.”

For more information, please visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or call Wiley at 423-913-3246.

XXX

Posted by: David Wiley on March 24, 2006

Press Release

March 10, 2006

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold its sixth Contra dance of the year on Saturday, March 18, 2006 at the Visitors Center in Jonesborough. The dance begins at 8:00 P.M. with a workshop for beginners at 7:30pm. The admission is $6.00 per person, $5.00 for members and $3.00 for students with I.D.

Our performers will again be traveling from Asheville. Morning Coffee, normally consisting of Jeff and Diane Baker, will be playing Contra dance tunes on piano and fiddle. Substituting for Diane on piano will be Margaret Matthews, a recent transfer from Syracuse, NY. Margaret brings to Jonesborough years of experience in various contra dances bands from the upstate of New York. She is also an accomplished dance caller and will be performing as a caller for us on April 29th for the Reel Magnolias band.
Jeff has been running the weekly Monday night Contra Dance at the Grey Eagle Tavern for the last twenty years. Much of the credit for the growth and development of the dance community in Asheville is attributable to Jeff’s hard work over the years.

Earlier in the day, we will be demonstrating Contra dance at the Kingsport Celtic Festival. We will bring a group of experienced dancers to the Renaissance Center in Kingsport at 1200 Center Street to introduce the festival goers to contra dance. “The question that I get asked most often is “Just what is contra dance?”. Well, we are going to answer the call and put on a show. Laurie Fisher, our dance caller for the evening dance, will go with us to the festival site to lead us in the demonstration and the follow with a workshop for those in the audience who want to give Contra dance a try. Hopefully, we can attract some in the audience to come to Jonesborough and be a part of our dance. The demonstration and workshop will be held from 2:00-4:00 pm and is free to the public.

Laurie Fisher, our caller/teacher for the Saturday night dance, helped us get started back in November and December of last year by conducting two Contra Dance workshops. Laure is multitalented both performing as a dance caller but also as a fiddle and keyboard player in several contra dance bands. We welcome her back to our dance hall.

For more information, please visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or call event organizer, David Wiley at 423-913-3246.

Posted by: David Wiley on March 10, 2006

Press Release

Contra Craze!

February 24, 2006

JONESBOROUGH, TN - The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society is on the road again sharing the Contra Dancing Craze! Dancers will be meeting Saturday, March 4, from 8 p.m. – 11 p.m. in the Gray United Methodist Church, 2108 Oak Street, Gray, TN. Lessons for beginners will begin at 7:30 p.m. Admission cost will be $6 for general admission, $5 for members and $3 for students with I.D. More information is available at www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or by calling event organizer, David Wiley, (423) 913-3246.

Contra dances are regularly held two times per month in the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center. “One of the members of our dance community found out that we were looking for an alternative location for our March 4th dance,” says Wiley. “After telling her pastor how much fun contra dance was, we were enthusiastically invited to bring our dance to their church. They have a beautiful facility. The gymnasium has a beautiful parquet wood floor, sound system and stage. Their location is just about in the center of the Tri-Cities universe. That will give many of our dancers who come from far and wide a little travel break.”

“Our band this time,” says Wiley, “is another fine group of musicians from Asheville called Fashion Horse. Art Shuster plays Mandolin. Paul Moore is a very talented keyboard and accordion player and Laura Lengnick is on fiddle.”

This dance’s caller, Anne Marie Walter, lives and dances in Asheville, NC where she teaches, goes to school, gardens and plays with fiber. “She has been calling contra dances throughout the southeast for nearly a dozen years,” says Wiley. “She is known for her efficient walk-throughs and her sense of fun.”

“My job is to select the right dances for the crowd,” says Walter. “That way I can get out of the way and let the dancers groove to the tunes.”

Wiley adds, “Just like the antiques roadshow, when we arrive on Saturday evening, the crowds will come. We are bringing the dance to the people. Gray is a booming area with lots of families and children.”

Posted by: David on February 24, 2006

Press Release Feb 10, 2006

“soulful, thoughtful and spirited!”

JONESBOROUGH, TN - Saturday, February 18, the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present its fourth Contra Dance of 2006 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 177 Boone Street. A class for beginners will start at 7:30 p.m., with the dance starting at 8 p.m. Admission cost will be $6 for general admission, $5 for members and $3 for students with I.D.

Performing this week, will be the Asheville band, Firefly, a mother-daughter, all-acoustic combo, playing early country, western swing and old-time music of Appalachia with sweet family harmonies. Members have been described as, “soulful, thoughtful and spirited!”

Firefly is based in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Members have performed at the LEAF festival, Black Mountain Festival and throughout the southeast, enlivening contra dance and concert halls far and wide. Members include Pearl Mueller on fiddle, mandolin and vocals; Laurel Willoughby on vocals and bass; Barbara Davis on guitar and vocals and Julia Weatherford on fiddle, cello and vocals.

“Our special treat for this week's dance will be the legendary caller, Fred Park,” says Event Organizer, David Wiley. Fred has been instrumental in continuing the tradition of contra dance all over this country.” Fred has been calling and writing dances for over 25 years. He started the Old Farmers Ball in Asheville and helped initiate numerous successful contra dances large and small in the southeast. Fred is also an accomplished graphic artist, photographer, storyteller and dance instructor. A unique and lively evening is guaranteed with Fred on board with great music from life-long friends, Firefly. “We are a very young and relatively inexperience dance community so far. Fred will likely leave a lasting impression on all of us who come to this dance."

“We have entertained close to 500 dancers in just three events” comments Wiley. “There is a huge amount of interest thanks to local media coverage. We have dancers coming from Asheville, Boone, Damascus, Knoxville and all over the region.” “We have close to 50 people who have joined our organization and have made a commitment to support Contra dance here for a long time”.

Contra Dancing is very popular everywhere now. There is a Monday night dance at the Grey Eagle in Asheville, a Thursday night dance called the Old Farmer’s Ball at Warren Wilson College in Swannaoa, NC. This coming weekend in Knoxville, the Knoxville Country Dancers hold their annual Dance Weekend in the ballroom at UT where a band called Nightingale from Vermont will be performing Friday through Sunday. This event will attract Contra dancers from all over the country.

Again, dancers who dine at Dogwood Lane before the Contra dance will receive 10% off their dinner check and a $1.00 discount coupon for the dance.

Posted by: David Wiley on February 12, 2006

Press Release 1/27/2006

Contra Dance Travels to Johnson City

JONESBOROUGH, TN – The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will go on the road so-to-speak for their third dance of the 2006 season. The dance is normally held in the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center.

“Due to a scheduling conflict,” says Event Coordinator, David Wiley, “we will be dancing in downtown Johnson City in the King’s Centre building at 300 East Main Street at the corner of Main and Roan on Saturday night February 4th at 7:30 p.m.

“The second floor of the building has been renovated very nicely and has a beautiful new wooden floor. I can't wait to hear the sound of feet stomping on the hardwood. The diners at the new Russo's New Orleans style restaurant will wonder what the heck is going on upstairs. Well, if we have to smell their gumbo all night, they can feel the energy of 200 dancers having fun Contra Dancing. There are several parking lots around the area. Our dancers will just have to find them and walk a short distance. We’ll have another exciting and talented band from Asheville called Mock Turtle Soup. How appropriate since one Louisiana specialty is turtle soup. The very popular contra dance caller, Barbara Groh, is also from Asheville and she’ll be leading the fun.”

RECIPE FOR MOCK TURTLE SOUP

Add together a cup of tradition, a pint of spirits, two parts vocal harmony, a handful of homemade instruments and a heaping spoonful of foot stomping and you'll be well on your way to Mock Turtle Soup. This Asheville, NC band has been touring the southeast contra dance circuit for almost two years, with their first cross-country tour during the fall of 2004. They strive to blur the line between the energy and groove of a dance band and the rich soul of folk songs. With the wide-ranging backgrounds of each of its members and a veritable truckload of instruments every song and every tune has its own distinct flavor, from Mexican waltz to Gypsy dance tune, from brass to a cappella.

Willie Repoley first started playing mandolin after finding his grandfather's SS Stewart mandolin hidden away in a closet. His vocals evoke a bit of John McCutcheon, while the candy-apple red electric mandolin reminisces Steeleye Span.

Pearl Mueller grew up in Black Mountain, NC, soaking up traditional Appalachian music and dance almost without noticing. Pearl picked up the fiddle at the age of 5, and since that time has delved into dance music, folk, and old-time. Besides fiddle, she kicks it up with English and Cape Breton dance steps and adds Appalachian-steeped vocals to the musical mix.

Chris Holleman joins the band on clawhammer banjo and guitar, with an occasional accordion or trombone-shaped trick up his sleeve. A North Carolina native, he began playing old-time eight years ago and soon afterwards started building openback banjos. Recent additions to his army of instruments include a solid-body 5-string complete with a homemade wah pedal.

CONTRA NIRVANA

A resident of Asheville, NC, Barbara Groh has been calling contra dances all over the East coast since 1989. She has called at such festivals as the Charleston Bug Stomp, Gotta Dance, the Asheville Summer Soiree, the Black Mountain Music Festival, NEFFA, Moondance, Gypsy Meltdown, Spring Dance Romance, and the Lake Eden Arts Festival. Her smooth style, clear teaching, and collection of interesting dances will help you achieve Contra Nirvana.

Barbara has been immersed in the traditional music and dance scene for more than three decades. She became an avid square dancer at the age of 13. In college, she fell in love with contra dancing and learned to play old-time banjo. Her involvement in the dance community has included serving for several years on various dance committees.

Barbara's patience and ability to give precise dance instructions stem in part from her 15 years as a classroom teacher and several years as a private tutor. She currently works with dyslexic children of all ages.

Posted by: David on January 26, 2006

Press Release

Guaranteed Whoop and a’Holler!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold its second contra dance of the 2006 season on Saturday, January 21 at 8 p.m. – with a workshop available at 7:30 p.m. for new dancers.

The dance will be held at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street, and will feature high-energy caller, Beth Molaro and feel-good band, Far Horizons. Admission is $6 per person or $5 for members and $3.00 for students with I.D.

Beth Molaro is an active part of Asheville’s thriving dance community. It’s been said that “…her clear calling and skilled dance selection have made her one of the country's most popular and widely traveled callers…when Beth calls, the dance is always a party!”

Since 1994, Molaro has called more than 100 dances each year from coast to coast as well as Denmark and Canada. She calls high-energy, turbocharged squares and smooth flowing contras and is known for her quick no-nonsense walk-throughs, clear instructions and effective teaching.

Far Horizons is a string band with a southern feel featuring Barbara Davis on guitar and vocals; Art Shuster on mandolin and mandola and Julia Weatherford on fiddle, cello and vocals. They’ve played continuously in the Asheville area for 20 years.

Their repertoire includes traditional southern, New England, Cape Breton, bluegrass, Celtic reels and jigs - all stunningly arranged for the contra dance.

Some events Far Horizons has played include LEAF in Black Mountain, NC; Old Farmer's Ball in Swannanoa; the Charleston Bug Stomp and dance halls in Birmingham, Atlanta, Greensboro, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Wilmington, Greenville and more.

“What a great contra dance!” says event coordinator, David Wiley, when asked about the previous dance on January 6. “Over 150 dancers helped us kick off the 2006 season. It was a perfect night. Laurie Fisher and Karen Gaughan, otherwise known as Hot Flash, played great tunes. Hank Morris, our caller, took us all to new heights of dance skill. Even the beginners performed like expert contra dancers after just a few sets. I encourage everyone to come out and enjoy the dances, the exercise and to make new friends.”

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society (HJDS) is a membership organization. The first dance enlisted 26 new members who will receive a $1 discount on dance admissions. “Admission fees,” says Wiley, “will help us attract the best bands and callers and help promote our dance all over the region. Anyone wishing to join can print a membership form from our website and can mail it or bring to the next dance on January 21st.”

For more information, please visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org or contact Wiley by phone at 423-913-3246 or by mail at P.O. box 651, Jonesborough, TN 37659.

Posted by: David on January 12, 2006

First Contra Dance

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will kick off the 2006 Contra Dance Season Friday night January 6th with our inaugural dance featuring the band Hot Flash from Asheville with Hank Morris calling the dance. Please come early if you wish to join our organization (see membership). Everyone entering the dance hall will have to pay the admission fee. Please dance at your own risk.

Posted by: David on January 2, 2006

New Members

After our third workshop on Tuesday, December 27th, the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society welcomed its first new members, Katie and Wally Driskell of Piney Flats, Gary and Alexis Burkett of Jonesborough and Velma Southerland of Greeneville. We thank you all for your interest and support of our dance community and look forward to seeing you at many of the upcoming dances.

Posted by: David on December 31, 2005

New Band Debuts

Squeeze, made up of Paul Moore, Amy Moore, Charlie Moore and Collin Moore will have their debut performance at the third preseason dance workshop Tuesday December 27th from 7-9 pm. This workshop will be led by Diane Silver from Asheville with sound engineering by Phil Leonard. First dance will be Friday January 6th, 2006.

Posted by: David on December 26, 2005

New Website

Welcome, contra dance fans, to the new Historic Jonesborough Dance Society website!! Look around and enjoy. See you at the next dance.

Posted by: Jonathan on December 20, 2005