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HarvestBall
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Fall Dance Camp

Last weekend was LCFD Fall Gender Free Dance Camp. We were at a YMCA camp in Becket, Mass - the site of many such dance camps - we have two a year and the fall one is at this site; the spring one at another YMCA camp. Also our West Coast affiliate runs a very similar dance camp - I've been to all three of them and will go to the next one in April.

There were 115 of us this time - all but ~9 were returning campers. It's so great to be part of this weekend community - many of us have been there many times (this was my 27th) and also see each other at local dances as well. It is the sense of community (which contra dancing helps) that seems to draw many people again and again. We have good bands and skilled callers (different ones at each camp) - a necessary ingredient for good dancing.

The main theme is Contra Dancing, but there is also some English Country dance and something else - this time it was Hambo (a swedish couples dance). There are sessions aimed for beginners and for experienced dancers and this time there was a musician's workshop and a caller's workshop. Seven of the caller's workshop demonstrated what they learned by calling a medley - they were quite good - thanks the great teaching by Chris. Saturday afternoon we had tea, scones and waltzing. Some of us spent a session Sacred Harp singing, others constructed a labyrinth - and then there was the Variety Show at which I taught everyone how to do Matrix Inversion (don't ask).

Our band was Loco Mojo - two fiddles and a piano, and they were joined by Marco Brehm, a well known bass player. Loco Mojo is a pretty new band and they've gotten really good over the past several years. They played for all the Contra Dances and some of the English - other musicians from our community played for some of the other English sessions.

We finally got Steven to come to this camp so although a new camper he knew some of the people from Morris dancing, Shape Note singing and from the NEFFA food booth. Here's what he said.

This is a 3:22 video of one of the Contra dances -