1998 Fall Dance Weekend Crosses Boundaries
Don't fall into a dance rut! Take a step off that beaten path and come
to the 1998 Fall Dance Weekend at Monte Toyon. Our camp's stellar staff
is full of multi-talented people who straddle the borders between different
dance genres. Our varied program will let you both indulge yourself in
your favorite dance type and experiment with styles you might not have
done much before -- or ever. We're also offering music workshops for both
beginning and established musicians. Whether you live for the dance trance
and the flirty balance or for smooth and swooping moves to scrumptious
music, Fall Weekend will have something to please you.
Our Teaching Staff
- Bob Dalsemer, a world-class contra and squares caller from
Brasstown, North Carolina, has been a favorite locally, where his warm
personality and clear instruction have inspired square and contra dancers,
cloggers, and aspiring callers at Spring Weekend, the May Swing and Hey
and the Mendocino Country Dance Week. At Fall Weekend he'll teach a session
of user-friendly contras (exceptionally smooth dances
punctuated occasionally by something a bit out of the ordinary), as well
as a session on Danish couple and set dances. Bob will also lead
a fast-paced two-session workshop that features selected aspects of
Modern Western square dance choreography while ditching the fancy outfits
and recorded music.
To beginning callers, learning to deliver the dance calls along with
the music may seem like the main problem. Experience reveals that effective
teaching, both of dances and of dance skills, is at least as important.
In a workshop titled "Teaching Without Preaching," Bob
will focus on this vital aspect of the caller's craft.
- Beverly Francis is renowned on the East Coast as a contra
and English country dance caller. Her encyclopedic knowledge of dance repertoire
inspired the Ring o' Bells Morris ditty, "Beverly Francis, she knows
lots of dances..." -- not an idle rhyme! For Fall Weekend Beverly
will teach a longsword dance new to the West Coast, the Inn River dance
from Austria, which she has performed with her New-York based sword
team, New World Sword. Beverly comes to us fresh from her successful programs on country dance
and Jane Austen, which helped bring many new people to English dancing
at Country Dance * New York (where she has also been a frequent Mistress
of Ceremonies for their Playford Ball). In her Literary Connections
session, Beverly will also show us the longstanding
links between popular English country dances and popular literature,
from early Playford through to this century, as well as explore the boundaries
of English dance with sessions on "perpetual-motion" dances
and on lush, romantic dances.
- Seattle's Mike Richardson was a big hit when he taught at
Fall Weekend in 1992. He teaches and composes English and contra dances
and tunes, and plays a sprightly fiddle. Mike will straddle the border
between English and contra more than once, not only in his class on English
and Contra Favorites, but in his Dance Band Workshop, suitable
for both English and contra musicians. The band workshop will cover dance
band issues from the most basic -- starting and stopping together, instrumental
variation -- to the more sophisticated -- picking tunes that fit the dance,
appropriate use of cheap tricks, and ways to keep callers happy and give
them what they need even if it's not what they want. Mike will share his
experience from both sides of the caller/musician border.
Contra aficionados should make a point of attending Mike's class on
"contra dance enlightenment," or transcending mere technical
issues to achieve both community and dance nirvana. And finally, Mike will
serve as both a caller and musician throughout the weekend.
- Carl Dreher, a dancer, musician, and general ritual dance
maven who comes to us from Dallas, Texas, has taught ritual dance at camps
from Pinewoods to Brasstown and Buffalo Gap, and many weekend festivals.
His rapper and Cotswold morris classes, suitable for newcomers and ritual
dance veterans alike, will zero in on "reaching out to the audience"
and giving really hot performances. As part of this focus Carl will teach
a flashy Bampton-style stick dance of his own composition, showing ways
to make standard dance figures look better. The rapper sword workshop will
include both standard figures and new ones, and will spend some time on
looking at the rapper set as a stage space.
- Doug Olsen, who was well received at last year's Fall Weekend,
and on staff for Mendocino English Week this year, will again lead singing,
including a special Sacred Harp session on Sunday morning. Doug's extensive
musical background includes many years performing and recording with
Oak, Ash, and Thorn, and his sense of humor and good fellowship bring a
lot to camp.
The staff is chock full of musicians whose skills span multiple genres
of dance music. Here's a brief rundown:
- The Guppies, known in their individual incarnations as Kathrine
Gardner, Craig Johnson, and Jim Oakden, will serve as the primary contra
band for Fall Weekend. Kathrine has been a mainstay in BACDS music circles
for years -- she's currently a member of the Contrabandits, and is the
nucleus for the community contra band Hell Broke Loose in Berkeley. Craig
Johnson, when he's not being the linchpin that holds all of BACDS together,
plays Irish, English, Morris, and American tunes on piano and accordion,
and chants Gregorianly; Jim Oakden plays a wide range of wind and string
instruments for English and American dance in both CDS and SCA venues,
and is an accomplished archer.
- Dick Bagwell, longtime Fool for Deer Creek Morris Men (and
yes, Fool is an official term) literally wrote the book on pipe and tabor
playing, The Pipe and Tabor Tutor. Dick will play for English
- Jon Berger has played for morris, English Country, Scottish,
and Irish dancing for almost twenty years. In his spare time between musical
engagements, Jon attends Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.
- Chris Jong, well known as a folk-music radio host for the
KUSP program, "Down on the Peripatetic Farm," is also one of
the leading musical lights in the Santa Cruz/Monterey dance community.
- Ruth Anne Fraley, a long time pianist for English and Scandinavian
and a founding accordionist for Deer Creek Morris Men, will play for English
and Danish dancing, as well as Beverly's longsword class. Ruth Anne has
been on staff for week-long camps at Pinewoods and Mendocino.
- Anise Feldman, fluent flautist and Accordionist from Hell, will
play for English Country Dancing. Anise is also an English Country dance
leader and a high-jumping morris dancer.
- A new feature of this year's camp is the Waltz Jam, which
is designed to be particularly accessible to campers who have recently
have crossed over from dancing to playing music and may be challenged by
playing the notier jigs and reels up to tempo. This will be a chance to
look at some less technically challenging tunes and work on making them
beautiful. Conveniently enough, we'll hold the Jam in a space suitable
A Kid-Friendly Camp
Fall Weekend aims to be child-friendly. Families are welcome!
We'll set aside dorm space for adults bringing children. However, we don't
have special programming for children, and parents remain responsible
for their children at all times during camp. A parents' co-op will be organized
so that everyone gets time to dance. Call camp co-manager
at (650) 365-2913 to find out more about pricing and other arrangements
Ready to register? Look for our flyer in the BACDS publicity mailing
or at your local dance, or check out our web page at ./fw98.htmlx.
For more information, call camp managers Alan Winston and
at (650) 365-2913, or email
This is a dance camp you won't want to miss!
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