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Dance Camp in Woodstock this past weekend

This weekend was another great Lavender Country and Folk Dancers (LCFD) dance camp. We have them twice a year. rsc and I went to our first one in the fall of 1997 and I haven't missed any since then (Robert missed one because he was sick).

We do lots of Contra Dancing and some English Country dancing. Our band was Perpetual e-Motion. They are a very interesting and unique band - one fiddle, one guitar, occasional didgeridoo or voice and lots of electronic enhancement. They record themselves while playing and then patch in these recordings while playing so they sound like a band of 4-6 people at times. We've had them at camp several times before. Our Contra dance caller was Lynn Ackerson and the English caller was Graham Christian.

We have a costume (optional) dance on saturday night following a variety show - I always do something - usually a scientific or historical lecture - this time about some unpublished items in the Magna Carta; after our trip to Egypt I reported on some hieroglyphics in a 2,000BC tomb that described a contra dance.

It was friday-sunday event at a YMCA camp in Woodstock, CT - 2 nights and 6 meals. Lots and lots of dancing of course. The weather was beautiful this time; lots of people enjoyed the outdoors. I got to do a bit of archery. Of the ~15 arrows I shot, one reached the bulls-eye and most of them hit the target somewhere.

It's a very social event - and of course Contra dancing and English country dancing are very social in nature. Many of the attendees are regulars so it is wonderful to see people you see at other camps and in dances that I go to. The Eval forms (not yet processed for this camp) usually show that the thing people like best is the community. But we have great callers and bands and I usually dance close to every possible dance.

I am treasurer of the organization. We made a profit but I don't know exactly how much because of a few expenses that haven't been reported yet.

One of Doug Heacock's videos:

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Chip Prince has suggested I try Contra Dancing. I always find it amusing that so many of the men are women's skirts ... no kilts... but skirts ... like the two in the first frame of the video:)

There is a contra dance every Saturday night at the Tapestry FolkArts Center in MPLS. You, mrdreamjeans, should try it some time. The music at contra dances is usually pretty good - each band is different in musical style and instrument choices - so there is lots of variety from night to night. Some bands are quite jazzy and innovative; I think it a lot more interesting than Country & Western, or MWSD music.

Contra Dance is easy to learn. Tapestry does have a beginners session.

I'll see if I can make it to one! Thanks!

Well, the idea (for me) is mostly to stay comfortably cool, and kilts tend to be made out of heavy material.

Oh, and Chip is right.

It was a fantastic weekend. That was the quickest board meeting I have ever been involved in, and the only treasurer's report that only gave one dollar amount! It was so nice to get to know people better that I had met the first time at previous dance camp last October or at the JP dances.

Mrdreamjeans, try it, you just might change your life! Skirts optional. A lot of straight men wear skirts and kilts in folk dancing, especially Contra dancing. Search "NEFFA 2014" on YouTube for the New England Folk Festival videos from two weekends ago. You'll see plenty of skirts & kilts! The utility kilt and sports kilt is becoming popular.

Edited at 2014-05-07 05:34 am (UTC)

That looks like great fun!

I can't dance at all now- not with my bad left ankle - and my balance issues- but I do sometimes move my upper body when listening to music alone at home.

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