No Summer Contradances


Hope you all enjoyed our Caribbean Contra in June.
We had a great turnout, with fabulous music, wonderful refreshment treats, and an all-round good time.

As usual, we skip the contradances in July and August.
But we'll be back on Friday September 4th, 2015.
For that dance, the music will be by Ms Marty & SGB, with Ted Crane calling.

Watch your email, this blog, or our facebook page later for more details about this dance.
And look for our newsletter in mid August, which will include our schedule for the rest of the year.

Have a wonderful summer...see you in September!

Caribbean Contradance June 5th


Finally winter has left us and summer is close.
And with it comes our special June dance...the Caribbean Contra!

To celebrate, our hall will be festively decorated and we will have some special treats for refreshments.
And, if you like, come dressed in Caribbean style. (If you do, you will get a discount on the admission fee.)
The music will be by "Balter" and Peter Stix will be the caller.

Balter is made up of Peter Blue on accordions, nyckelharpa, and percussion, fiddler John Potocnik, Tom Wetmore on bass, drummer Marcel Smith, and Carol Mandigo playing guitar. And they will be joined by two special guests...Rachel Polens playing conga and recorders and Solvei Blue on clarinet and percussion.
While all these musicians are well versed in traditional contradance tunes, they will be adding a Caribbean twist to some of our favorites. And they probably will have a few surprises for us as well.

Peter Stix is a well-known caller and teacher of New England contradances. He has been calling for more than 25 years in many parts of the country but now concentrates on leading dances in and around the Capital District. It is a real treat to have Peter join us in Cooperstown and he will surely put his own stamp on this fun event.

Peter says the band's name means "to dance without particular skill or grace but with extreme joy".
So come BALTER with us on June 5th!

May 1st Contradance

This Friday, our monthly contradance will have music by Uncle Joe & the Rosebud Ramblers and Michael Kernan will be calling.

The Rosebud Ramblers are made up of Joe Chicone on banjo, Renee Baum on fiddle, Tom Farrell on guitar and Nancy Spero on bass. The group plays a mix of lively up tempo New England fiddle tunes, energetic old time tunes and family oriented traditional folk songs, with Joe and Tom adding an occasional vocal.

Mike Kernan has been the house caller at Saratoga Springs' start-up Parting Glass series, called at the NEFFA Festival in 2014 and many other dances in NY, MA, VT and CT. He is a dancer himself (both a contradancer and an English country dancer), which is what he attributes his success a a caller.

Join us for another fun-filled night of dancing.

April 3rd Contradance


At this month's contradance, Traverse be providing the music and Gary Aney will be calling.

Traverse is a locally-based band featuring Liz Brown on flute, Carol Mandigo on guitar, and Bernd Neumann on fiddle. Together they play traditional music from the various Celtic cultures and contemporary American contradance tunes.

Caller Gary is a popular favorite in central New York and a longtime dancer as well. He combines his love of historical interpretation with modern influences to call a pleasing balance of contemporary and traditional contradances. He calls dances from the Revolutionary War era, the nineteenth, twentieth and even twenty-first centuries which makes for an interesting blend of sounds and styles.

This combination will create an evening which will be enjoyable for dancers of all ages and ability levels. So try to join us.

March 6th Contradance


Getting tired of winter? Come warm up at our March dance!
The music will be by Continental Drift and Bob Nicholson will be calling.

Continental Drift is a high-energy duo made up of Eric Anderson and Eileen Nicholson. Eric is a pianist from Seattle and has played with groups like Celticladda. Eileen, Bob's daughter and a native of Syracuse, plays fiddle with several are groups like Happy Endings and Seaglass.

But for the past year, they have been touring throughout the country.
Eileen combines a remarkable tone with solid rhythm and Eric's lively piano style adds a special touch to each dance. Their 'fiddle-and-piano' combination is sure to please!

Bob has been calling contra and square dances since 1990 throughout New York, Pennsylvania, Ontario and beyond. He has an easy-going calling style which makes him especially successful with beginner dancers.
And his enthusiasm makes for a great evening of fun for beginners and veterans alike.

With the band's exciting style and repertoire and Bob's teaching skills,
this is a great chance to learn contradancing or improve your skills.

February 6th Contradance

At our February dance, music will be by Eleemosynary and the caller will be Casey Mullaney.

What does Eleemosynary mean? It means "of, relating to, or dependent on charity; charitable". It is also the name of a band, made up of Peter Blue on nyckelharpa and button accordion, Carol Mandigo on guitar, and Danny Birnbaum on bass. Eleemosynary plays traditional and new contra dance music with an emphasis on tunes composed by Peter on nyckkelharpa and accordion.

Casey began calling while a student at Hartwick College and since graduating, has extended her experience at a variety of dances throughout upstate New York. Her warm and friendly style reflects her love of contradancing and, she enjoys working with beginners as well as challenging the more experienced dancer.

January 2 Contradance

Our 2015 schedule begins on January 2nd with Peter Blue calling to music by Robert and Jessica Calandresa, John Potocnik, and Tom Ives.

Peter is well-known as a caller and musician, performing throughout the Northeast. He has an easy-going calling style, an extensive repertoire of dances, and a sense of humor which ensures that you will enjoy the dance, regardless of how skilled you are.

Robert, who is a regular member of the band Tame Rutabaga, plays accordion and also writes dance tunes. Joining him is Jessica Calandresa, John Potocnik on fiddle, and Tom Ives on Bass. They will be playing a variety of contra jigs and reels of Celtic and traditional origins, as well as some of Robert's original tunes.

Now that the holidays are over, it's time to just relax and dance! So come join us.