March 2009

The First International Money Musk Moment

The chart below is a compilation of information about the many people and places where Money Musk was danced in March 2009. Below the chart are comments (from callers/organizers and dancers) that we received following the event. Clicking on a link in the chart brings you to directly to the appropriate comment.

– David Millstone and David Smukler

Location State Caller Band Musicians Dancers
Wed, March 11
Baltimore MD David Millstone Cabaret Sauvignon Dave Wiesler 30
Paul Oorts
Andrea Hoag
Karen Ashbrook
Fri, March 13
Carlisle MA Walter Lenk David Titus 40
Carol Bittenson
Deborah Knight
6 sit-ins
Sat, March 14
Christchurch NZ Bill Baritompa recording 32
(see the video)
Jamaica Plain MA Bob Golder Dogtown Norb Spencer 40
Becky Miller
Tom Randall
Morrisville NY David Smukler George Wilson 50
Tom Hodgson
Laurel Sharp
North Yarmouth ME Chrissy Fowler Perpetual e-Motion Ed Howe 60
John Coté
Bethlehem PA Donna Hunt DanceWiz Bill Quern 64
(see the video) Steve Epstein
Adlai Waksman
Jo Anne Rocke
Kalamazoo MI Bob Stein Top Drawer Laura Stein 70
String Band Brian Bishop
Joel Mabus
Binghamton NY Nancy Spero Wild Rose Amy Shapiro 42
Beth Hogan
Allen Lutens
Tom Quigley
Greenfield MA Nils Fredland Tidal Wave Rachel Aucoin 200
Sabin Jacques
Pascal Gemme
Stuart Kenney
Nelson NH Rebecca Lay Gift of the Marcii Andrew Marcus 36
Aaron Marcus
Peggy Marcus
Merriam KS Jill Allen Three Bean Salad Dayle Dryer Black 60
Mike Black
Mike Yoder
Concord MA Daniel Friedman Nor’easter Cedar Stanistreet 40
Julie Vallimont
Max Newman
Eric McDonald
Høje-Taastrup DK Else Bach Nielsen recording 36
Worcester MA Dudley Laufman Two Fiddles Dudley Laufman 12
Jacqueline Laufman
Contra Banditos 12 musicians
Monte Toyon CA Linda Leslie Rhythm Rollers Cathie Whitesides 56
(see the video) Bob Isaacs Laurie Andres
danced twice: WB Reid
workshop & evening dance Bob McQuillen
Norwich VT David Millstone Northern Spy Bill Shepard 140
(see the video) Thal Aylward
Andy Stewart
Rick Barrows
Mary Jo Slattery
Alan Graham
Carol Compton
Doug Creighton
Tommerup DK Frede Olsen Reel de Quebec Jørgen Larsen 116
Margit Olsen Frank Lykkeskov
danced twice: Jeremy Newton
two variations Nicolas Cherenq
Cleveland OH Emma Anderson Pi In Your Face Michael Friedman 50
Jonah Sidman
Kirsten Lamb
Sat, March 21
Montpelier VT David Millstone Notorious Eden MacAdam-Somer 150
Larry Unger
Dietlikon CH Katja Hunn Over the Isles Philipp Hunn 24
(see the video) Rahel Zellweger
Jörg Bühler
Devet Büchner
Camp Wannadance WA David Kaynor George Wilson 28
Laurie Andres
David Kaynor
22 locations 21 callers 88 musicians 1376 dancers!

 



Comments from Callers and Organizers


We had our 14 March contra dance here in Christchurch New Zealand, and around 9 pm danced Money Musk. Since we get the first sun each day, we started off “International Money Musk Day!” Success to all the rest of you as you dance it later tonight, and success to the two Davids on their book release parties.

We had 32 dancers tonight (still no musicians), and lots of beginners, so it took a while to teach, but we then danced it three times (4 couple sets Scottish style 8x). By the third time, lots were doing it really well given that no one here has much experience of contra dancing.

– Bill Baritompa



Morrisville, NY: The dance/book release party last night was very successful. We had about 100 dancers (a very large crowd for us; our dances typically have somewhere around 40).

My wife Laurel has some friends at work who do catering. They provided outrageously wonderful refreshments, including little cucumber hors d’ouevres, fruit pizza, a bean layered thing with chips, a bean salad, assorted shortbread and cookies. All was presented gorgeously (and we included the “donated by CDSS” sign). Not exactly a classic New England theme… but very much admired and quickly devoured.

The music was superb. George and Tom asked Laurel (who is a fine whistle player) to sit in.

Money Musk – My only regret was that I did not make a big deal of the “International Money Musk Moment” before the break, because there was a lot of attrition. We had about 50 people dancing MM. It went really well. Dudley would have loved it; no balancing, very smooth dancing. Dancers helped one another really beautifully.

– David Smukler



Money Musk called and danced at the Wescustogo Grange Hall, North Yarmouth, ME

First dance after the break – about 10:30pm.

Dancers: Five sets of 6 couples – 60 dancers

Band: Perpetual eMotion (Ed Howe & John Cote)

Caller: Chrissy Fowler

Did a workshop before the dance, with about 30 dancers. All were enthusiastic and pleased to be part of the big event. Much hooting and hollering. Loping pace for the tune (plenty of recovery time for the Money Musk newbies, well-timed elegant styling for the old hands.) Some people apparently showed up specifically because Money Musk was on the program, thanks to some some advance publicity. Two sets merged, so a few people didn’t get the chance to be active, because I didn’t want to run it too long. (Though I could have… after all I was at that Ralph Page Legacy Weekend when we danced it 43x!) I had practiced so much that I prompted the dance all night long in my sleep. (“Once and a half around, once and a half and you go below one…”) Wheee!

I don’t know if you want to add another event in the (geological scale) moment, but I also called it (by request) as dance number 4 for the lead-off event of the DownEast Country Dance Fest!

Friday, March 27

DownEast Country Dance Festival, Topsham, ME

Chrissy Fowler calling with Frigate (Steve Muise-fiddle, Glen Loper-mandolin, Fred White-guitar)

approx. 90 dancers

In the days and weeks following the Maine-style Money Musk Moment in North
Yarmouth, several people requested that I call it at the DownEast Festival.
Steve, Glen & Fred were on board, and we did it relatively early, halfway
through our session. I told a handful of people about it ahead of time, and the
word got out … fast! Enthusiastically received. The band played marvelously,
at my request, accelerating very gradually throughout, such that it was a zesty
116-120bpm by the end. Unsolicited comments afterward point to a certain
“Chestnut Mania” among dancers of all ages and experience levels.

:-) Chrissy Fowler



“Money Musk,” called and danced gender-role-free

Boston Gay & Lesbian Contra dancers

First Church of Jamaica Plain (U.U.), J.P., MA.

Second dance after the break. About 40 dancers.

Caller: Bob Golder

Band: Dogtown (Norb Spencer, Becky Miller, Tom Randall).

Well received by all, including several attendees for whom this was their first contra dance.

– Bob Golder



The Money Musk Moment happened on March 14th at the Valley Contra dance in Bethlehem, Pa. There were approximately 64 dancers on the floor.

Caller: Donna Hunt based in Philadelphia

Band: DanceWiz (based in Philadelphia) featuring Bill Quern on Fiddle, concertina, Mando and banjo, Steve Epstein on Clarinet and Alto Saxophone, Adlai Waksman on accordian, Jo Anne Rocke on Piano.

We had a demo set and had the dancers line up in groups of 7 or 8 couples.

The Money Musk Moment was well received! Dancers were excited by the thought that this was an International Event and Bob Isaacs (a local caller) was in California calling this same dance. I received miscellaneous comments from the crowd including, “I enjoyed the same gender R&L through,” “I remember dancing this 20 years ago when I did reenactment dances in Virginia,” “I didn’t dance tonight but I remember watching my father dancing this when I was a child.”

Experienced and new dancers struggled with the triple minor progression, were challenged by the varied timing of the allemandes, and at times confused by the same gender R&L through. However they helped each other and managed to dance well with the repetition. My thanks to the musicians who were excited enough with this idea to learn the tune!

– Respectfully submitted by Donna Hunt

We only learned the tune the afternoon of the dance and mostly faked it.

– Steve Epstein



At last night’s Country Dancing in Kalamazoo dance at the Oshtemo Grange, our caller was Bob Stein from Lansing, and the band was Top Drawer String Band (Laura Stein and Brian Bishop from Lansing and Joel Mabus, formerly from Lansing and now in Kalamazoo). Money Musk was presented as the first dance after the break, around 9:30, and it was a big hit. The tune was brilliantly played. I think there were about 75 dancers on the floor.

– Mike Clark


Binghamton, NY

I did it!!!!! We had 42 dancers divided into 3 lines. There where many first time contra dancers in the bunch (probably as many as a dozen first timers) and no one who was a ringer (They were all at David’s dance in Morrisville) though some remember having danced it, or danced triple minors in the past. The group got it quite well! The age range was from what I would guess were young college students to senior citizens. The band, Wild Rose got the tune the day before to learn for the occasion and did a great job. Everyone was excited to be part of the historic occasion and joined in with that challenge in mind. So I let them know I would report our results to you folks so we can be part of the historic documentation. Since it is an early dance, I did it as the 2nd dance after the break, at approximately 9:30 when we began (9:45 would not have fit the flow of the evening as well, as it would have been the last dance) . It is the first time I ever called the dance, but have danced it many times in many places and with David’s encouragement and notes it went very well.

– Nancy Spero

p.s. If you know the “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” story, 42 is the answer to the ultimate question, and they are on a search for the question. Well now I know the question is: How many Contra Dancers danced Money Musk on March 14, 2009 in Binghamton?


I did! I was in greenfield, MA with tidal wave. It was interesting – i’d communicated with stuart beforehand about how important it was to me to participate, and he was definitely on board. But things got lost in translation a bit, and when the band showed up (trouble at the border meant they got to the grange with only about 5 minutes to spare), they hadn’t gotten word. I sat down with sabin at the break, and he said he could play the tune; but when he played the version he knew, it was clear that it was different than what i had heard before. HOW different i didn’t really understand until i started calling. The good news is it worked fine with the dance. My delivery of the calls didn’t mesh so well, though…i’ve programmed myself to call this dance ‘in the style’ of page and dudley, so when i realized (quickly) that that wasn’t really going to work, my solution was to stop calling. As fast as possible.

The end result was a good experience for the dancers (most of whom probably didn’t realize that the tune was different and that i was struggling), and lessons learned for me (be more organized, be more flexible). anyway, i was very glad to be part of it! Add greenfield to your list of ‘money musk’ participants.

– Nils Fredland

YES! In fact I had the word from Alice or Stuart a few days before the actual dance and I immediately confirmed Sabin could play the Money Musk. I didn’t realize it was really the american traditional dance that was to be called, so I was in a sort of a choc when I realized this and there is nothing I could do: although Nils had provided sheet music, as you know Sabin plays by ear and, in his mind, knows the money musk, are you kidding? Truth is this quebecois version has been in circulation for a long time and is very popular amongst accordeon players. Although he played it soo fast, the form of the music fitted the dance. Well, lets just say cultures met on March 14 at the Greenfield dance.

– Rachel Aucoin



Yes! We did Money Musk in Nelson. Almost everyone dancing there knew the dance pretty well, or had danced it before. It rocked!! (Though it was bizarre to hear the tune played without a fiddle.) I even got to jump in and dance after I got everyone going. (I borrowed Dudley’s CD from Nils and learned the singing calls, though the key is really not good for my voice…). The band was The Gift of the Marcii (Andrew Marcus, Aaron Marcus, and their mom, Peggy Marcus). I’d say we had about 35-40 people dancing.

– Rebecca Lay

We also danced Money Musk at the Nelson Town hall on the 14th. The caller was Rebecca Lay, with wonderful music by Gift of the Marcii. It was the first dance after the break, a little after 9PM. There were not many there who did not already know the dance by heart.

– Rich Hart



Yes – We wouldn’t have missed it for the world, even though we jumped the gun by 24.5 hours. Sue Rosen normally calls the dance, but she and Bruce are in China visiting their son Joel, so she gave me specific instructions……

Where: At the 2nd Friday Dance in Carlisle MA

When: About 9:15 PM (we go from 8 to 10:30, and don’t take a break)

Attendance: About 55 overall, about 40 dancers for Money Musk

Caller: Walter Lenk

Music: David Titus and Carol Bittenson on Fiddles, Deborah Knight on piano, and about a half dozen sit-ins.

– Walter Lenk



Merriam, KS

Yes! I called Money Musk on March 14 at the “Crosscurrents Barn Dance” at the Merriam Community Center in Merriam, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City. We danced it right after the break. We had a large number of newcomers and most people there had never danced in a triple minor set, so I taught a session on the dance at the break. The band was “Three Bean Salad.” I sprung it on them earlier that week, so without much time to prepare they didn’t want to play it fast. It was not particularly lively, but probably the best tempo for our dancers. The musicians had a recording of Rodney Miller playing the tune in several different keys, so they already loved the tune.

We did the same version of the dance that is in the videos you sent except that here in Kansas we do R & L through with hands, and we did the courtesy turn with an arm around waist to enhance connection for beginners. (I have had some second thoughts about that) We did the balances step-kicking to the R and then L, because of caller’s preference. :)

The dancers were interested in the historical aspect of the dance and they were very willing to learn. There were almost as many people at the teaching session at the break as people later dancing the dance. We did it. It went well. There was a nice applause for the band. It felt very special to be part of something bigger than ourselves!

– Jill Allen



Dietlikon, Switzerland

We did it! The dancers liked the dance so much and they were proud to belong to the worldwide “Money Musk Community”!

You are probably interested in knowing how I introduced Money Musk to the
dancers who were not all experienced dancers. I would like to tell you about how we practiced Money Musk. Nobody of the dancers has ever danced Money Musk before and it was a dance also with beginners. Most of them have never danced a triple contra before. First I talked about your project and about the historical background of that specific dance. Then, before the big break we first learned the dance in a triplet and did it like a 3 couple dance in Scottish dancing: after the first couple has had its turn they slipped to the bottom and the former 2nd couple started as first couple and so on. We walked it thru several times for each couple and then danced with the music. After the break we repeated it in that same way and then came the great moment when we did it as it had to be — and it worked and everybody was happy!

The band learned the tune especially for that occasion and they did a wonderful job! For me it was a challenge and I’m looking forward to the Second Annual Money Musk (or whatever) Moment.

– Katja Hunn



Concord, MA (Scout House)

Yes it’s true. I didn’t hear anything about the International Money Musk Moment until around I got a call from Vince O’Donnell at about 11:30 am to ask if it was happening. Not only did I not know anything about it, but the band, the other caller, and I had only been booked the day before (we still got a flyer which I’ll attach). The band was Nor’easter: Cedar Stanistreet playing fiddle, Julie Vallimont on piano, Max Newman and guest Eric McDonald. Chris Lahey called the first half, I called the second half. I would have called the entire night, but I was working till 8:30. Vince called Cedar first to ask him if it was happening and Cedar’s response was something like “oh, there’s a dance that goes with Money Musk?” So I packed my bag with a copy of New England Fiddler’s Repertoire just in case and headed off to work. I rushed from work to the dance and got there in time for the last dance before the break.

At the break Chris asked me if I knew what I was going to call. I said no, but that we might start with Money Musk. He responded that that was evil and he hated that dance. I chatted with Cedar. He said he had played MM for a recording a few years ago, but it didn’t seem like he was going to be able to play it tonight… until I told him I brought music. Then he was very confident. He glanced at the music and ran through it quickly with Julie.

I decided to just go for it. There were mostly experienced dancers there. I picked up the mic and told people to take hands 6 for Money Musk. I didn’t give any style pointers on the rights and lefts or anything. I just explained triple minor dances, walked it through twice and we danced. After the second time through the dance I stopped the dance because I realized that the number of measures of music the band was playing was not the number of measures I was expecting them to play. If we had planned it out more, we would have worked those things out, but just doing it at the last second, I guess that’s what you get. We worked it out and danced without further interruption.

I think most of the people had a good time, especially those that already knew the dance. There was loud applause when it ended. There were definitely some dissenters. After it ended, one guy made a remark he wanted me to hear about it being too long (be he’s just a guy that makes comments like that). A friend of mine that I introduced to contra dancing a few months ago, and now loves it, didn’t like MM at all. She thought it was boring and asked me why I did that to her. I think some people who haven’t done it in an environment where everybody’s into it just don’t get why it’s fun. Oh well.

The 2 lines were a pretty uneven. The fireplace side is the usual younger, wilder line and I couldn’t convince them that they were better off in the shorter line. I probably should have just made three lines, but at the time it seemed the lines would be pretty short if we did that. I don’t remember exactly but I think the short line had at least 8 couples and the long line had at least 12 couples.

– Daniel Friedman



Yes, your spies are right! I did call Money Musk on Saturday in Copenhagen. I was hired to call an afternoon workshop with 50s squares, and at the end of the workshop I said “no more squares – something else is coming up,” and I asked them to form contra sets. They did look a bit confused, but I then explained to them that we were going to dance an old contra on the same day it was danced by many groups in the USA – and most dancers stayed on the floor even though they were indeed square lovers and maybe not all too keen on triple minor contras!! I was hired by Erni and Michael’s club “Vestegnen,” and Erni and I agreed that the best time to call Money Musk would be at the end of the workshop. Somehow it would have fitted in better in the evening (social dance with a mix of squares, contras, mixers etc.), but we had live music for that and the band did not know Money Musk. I used Ralph Pages book’s description and the music from New England Chestnuts.

– Else Bach Nielsen

Høje-Taastrup, Denmark

We did dance it – we were 18 couples on the floor, caller Else Bach Nielsen. Our local union “Vestegnens Square Dance” had a dance in Hedehusene, it is part of our municipality (the name is Høje-Taastrup Municipality). Hedehusene is located about 20 kilometre from Copenhagen. We have a big hall with a wonderful wooden floor, it is a very fine place to dance. Else Bach Nielsen was calling and we were 18 couples on the floor dancing Money Musk to a recording by Rodney Miller, Randy Miller, Sandy Bradley, George Wilson and Steve Woodruff from the cd “New England Chestnuts.”

– Erni Neistrup



We called the contra dance in Worcester, MA Saturday night. The band was the Contras Banditos out of Groton, Mass, big band…five fiddle (7 if you count us) some whistles, guitars, banjo, harmonica, keyboard. They learned Money Musk the week before. The dance was large…100 folks. Some were seasoned contra dancers (or thought they were), but a large contingent of college kids who had some knowledge, but mostly flayled about. Trying to show them the R&L would have been a job and a half. So I waited til the dance was over and we had sung Maple Sweet and done the required waltz. Then gathered 6 couples and we did The Money Musk.

– Dudley Laufman



I am very happy to report that the dancing of Money Musk at Monte Toyon camp, twice!, was a sheer delight. At a workshop that I did at 9am, entitled “Unraveling Triple Minors,” I saved Money Musk for the last dance. The other dances we did were British Sorrow, King of the Keyboard, and The Golden Thread. There were about 30-40 dancers, most of whom had not done triple minors before. By the end of the workshop, they were enjoying the challenges of remembering to switch between 2s and 3s, and the excitement of being the active couple. They had the distinct pleasure (as did I!), of dancing to the music of the Rhythm Rollers (Cathie Whitesides, Laurie Andres, W.B. Reid, and Bob McQuillen).

While planning the weekend calling, Bob Isaacs and I decided that we would also make sure that the evening dance party also included Money Musk. Bob was scheduled to call after the evening break, also with the Rhythm Rollers, so the time that you had planned to call the dance worked well for us, too. As an added bonus, I got to dance! The 50-60 dancers had a fantastic time, and Bob kept the dancing going until all couples were able to be the active couple several times through.

– Linda Leslie

Yes, Money Musk was so nice we did it twice. Linda called it in her triple minor workshop in the morning, and did such a good teaching job I needed only one walkthrough in the evening. It was the first time I called it. Having the Rhythm Rollers play the great tune was very special. There were a few campers who learned the dance on the fly, but soon found the groove and appreciated why. Thanks for spearheading IMMD and allowing dancers to take hands six all around the world.

– Bob Isaacs

It was great to learn it in a workshop environment as there were a lot of folks who had never danced Money Musk, and also more time to explain the history of the dance, etc. Then, at the evening dance party, we danced it again, with a larger crowd. What a great idea!

– Karen Fontana



Norwich, Vermont: We had everyone from absolute first-timers, to many of the regular crowd, to folks whom we haven’t seen on a dance floor in ages. Some dancers drove two hours to attend, enticed by the prospect of an all-chestnut evening. There were probably 140 people on the floor when we did the dance, first one after the break, about 10:15 or so.

One of the things I noted in looking at the two hours of video footage was seeing all those inactive couples having fun while just standing still. Smiling at their partner, listening to the music, occasionally sneaking in a swing with an inactive from the neighboring line– okay, so they weren’t always standing still– and watching the active couples. Boy, I sure remember picking up a lot of tricks from watching good dancers, something that’s much harder to do in the everyone-moving-all-the-time dances. Don’t get me wrong– I love those, too, and call plenty of ‘em, but variety is good.

– David Millstone



I called Money Musk on March 14 at the Cleveland Heights Advanced Dance at
Grace Lutheran Church. The musicians were Jonah Sidman, Michael Friedman
and Kirsten Lamb (called Pi In Your Face, for the night). The dancers
weren’t all that enthused at the prospect of dancing Money Musk, but they
gave it a wholehearted try. Unfortunately, it didn’t go very well – they
had trouble with the timing of the balances, and remembering who was in and
who was out as they got to the ends of the lines. By the end, the dance had
completely fallen apart, and everyone was looking really frustrated. I
reminded them that the whole point of doing this dance was to have fun, so
they dance-jammed around and swung their partners until the end of the tune. A couple people afterward thanked me for calling it.

– Emma Anderson



I did indeed call Money Musk at Camp Wannadance. Laurie Andres and George Wilson were the band and I played along (mostly harmony).

I forget how many people danced, but we had two sets. It was well received. It’s worth noting that because that entire programmatic segment was clearly designated “classic contras old and new,” its participants were predisposed to enjoy it. [Note from the keepers of the data: Based on a conservative guess that David’s 2 sets had at least 7 couples each, we will estimate this number as 28.]

– David Kaynor



Tommerup, Denmark

Yes, we did the Money Musk Saturday. Right after the coffee break. We celebrated our 20 years anniversary with country dance in Vissenbjerg on March the 14th 2009.

  1. We had the band Reel de Quebec to play for us (4 musicians)
  2. Margit and Frede were both calling – ***see below
  3. It took place in Tommerup Efterskole, in Tommerup, Denmark
  4. We were 117 dancers

***In Ralph Page’s book “An Elegant Collection of Contras and Squares” Ralph Page writes that he has 12 versions of Money Musk, so we picked 2 of them and Margit called one of them (the one with go forward and back) and Frede called another one (with balance).

So we don’t know if you will count them as two dances of different Money Musk
and then count 234 dancers dancing it, and 2 callers. That is up to you. We had a great party.

– Margit and Frede Olsen



Comments from Dancers

Comment made afterwards in an e-mail to a dancer/photographer/videographer:

But you didn’t get Money Musk on video! Sigh…

Response:

I was dancing Money Musk. One must set priorities.


GREAT dance last night! What wonderful dances!! Those chestnuts are such a treat to dance – they’re full of that unending flowing feeling if you’re active; and if you’re inactive, they’re full of chances to admire the actives – the hall – and the caller and band, to enjoy the other dancers in your set, and to support the actives in making each round of the dance a perfectly timed smoothly-choreographed delight. And Money Musk is one of my favorites, so it was wonderful to do that last night – I particularly like when the active person swoops (or backs) into his/her spot in the lines of three – or as an inactive, when to two of you are receiving the “incoming” active with just the right timing. Plus while we were dancing it, it was wonderful to realize that this dance being done by like-minded but unknown “friends” all around the globe, with great callers and bands all urging on the dancers! So, thanks again for a great evening!


In particular thanks for the delightful theme. While I share at least some of the modern sentiment in favor of swings and of equally-active 1s and 2s, I also value variety and tradition, so I found it delightful to be doing these old chestnuts in the knowledge that dancers before me have been experiencing the same pleasures for centuries. (And in the case of Money Musk, in the knowledge that others around the world were simultaneously experiencing the pleasure.)


Thank you for an absolutely wonderful dance last night. The program and music and calling were utter heaven, and your warmth seemed to fill the hall.


What a lovely dance last night! I wish I could have stayed for the whole evening but these old bones don’t do so well on the long trips anymore. I really liked the dance where you divided the hall. You could run the sets crossways on triples to make shorter dances but making sure everyone gets to be active. I saw so many familiar faces (usually I can’t remember the names) and found that many had come because of the program. Us ‘oldsters’ don’t get the chance to do the old chestnuts often. Thank you! I just hope I didn’t miss Sackett’s Harbor, Lonesome Shepherd, or Fisher’s Hornpipe in the second half. Anyway, thanks for the super programming.


We would LOVE to see this become an annual tradition! And we certainly wouldn’t object to paying a little more for such a special evening. Maybe add a little refreshment during the break? It’s so important to keep the old chestnuts alive and in the repertoire!


A thanks of great appreciation for all who put up videos of their Money Musk dances. Having read about this dance for years, never seen it, never danced it, certainly never called it, it was so nice to see the dance (so that’s how it looks!), if only via the airwaves. Someday it will be in person. But the energy and joyous enthusiasm came through even this way.


I don’t know if we will even get to the next dances you call, but I keep going to dances hoping that somebody will mix in some of the older “chestnuts” that are still really good to dance to. Everybody knows Chorus Jig, and Rory O’More and Petronella, but nobody calls them anymore….and I am not thinking about calling them every dance, but I have been waiting 30 years to dance some of those dances again….and I still remember how much fun it was to balance ocean waves up and down the hall with Rory O’More from that long ago even though I have probably only danced it only 3 times in my life.

So, I know Chorus Jig is probably a pain in the butt to teach to new folks with the country corners figure (and older people like me probably forget halfway through the dance). And it’s true that everybody calls a newer dance now that is sort of like Petronella (and they always teach it…”Now do a spin turn, just like a Petronella turn”)… But do you think that you might be able to revive one or two of these old dances? (Just the good ones, I know there are a lot of boring old ones too).


On the way back we were wondering if this [program of chestnuts] could become an annual event. I’ve pretty much given up contra dancing in recent years (twirling, stomping, athleticism, etc) but that night brought back everything I love about it.

The calling, the music, the dances, it was all sheer pleasure. So were the tidbits about the dances and their history. You even persuaded people to behave in a civilized manner, and did it graciously.