Oddfellows Hall, San Luis Obispo

School Dances

As the father of two young sons, with whom I love sharing traditional music and dance, I take a special interest in school events. I've done many events at all levels from pre-school up through university. Contra dance, which lets everyone dance with everyone else in the room, is ideal for back-to-school events or other parties where students need to mix.

As a simple form of dance easily learned by all, contra dance is readily accessible to all students. As a dance form rooted in more than 200 years of American history, contra dance also can be used in combination with social studies classes.

I will work with you to craft a dance event that optimally suits your needs, and I can also make the arrangements for band and sound equipment. I offer my services to schools at a hefty discount to my regular rate for private events, because I believe in passing the tradition on.

'Civil War' Dances

In recent years 'Civil War' dances have become very popular with some school and home-school groups. Students greatly enjoy these events, which are an ideal complement to the study of this critically important era of our history.

I have deep roots in this era myself, as my great-grandfather (pictured, left, with my great-grandmother at right) was a Kentucky cavalryman. Four other family members also served in the war, one of them dying in service. Born and raised in Maryland, of a family part Northern and part Southern, I grew up with the stories and folklore from both sides.

For 'Civil War' events I am pleased to offer a variety of traditional period dances from both North and South, plus other complementary material, all guaranteed to give students a memorably fun evening.

Calling Workshops

I am also pleased to offer workshops for teachers or parents interested in adding traditional dance to their classrooms on a regular basis. While I love doing school events, I recognize that it isn't practical to bring me and a band to the classroom each week. The workshop will give you some tools to lead your own dances.

Workshops emphasize the three building blocks of calling: vocal technique, teaching, and program selection, with emphasis according to the group's needs. Workshops can be offered either in conjunction with a dance event, or separately. The approach is very 'hands-on.' Music for the workshop plus handouts and sample material to keep are provided.