Family Camp 2016 Staff Bios / Websites
Andy Wilson will be teaching stilting this year. He is patient and competent and will help you guide your child on those first very tall steps. He excels in making other people better–he’s often run our family camp sound board. Soon your child will be proudly walking tall!
Brooke Friendly (Ashland, OR) is known for her warm yet commanding personality, her clear and concise teaching, her creativity, and her sense of humor and whimsy. She has a strong sense of what makes for a good community and she makes the learning experience fun and relaxing. A dancer for more than 30 years, Brooke co-leads a weekly English and Scottish dance, calls Contra and family dances, and has been on staff at camps, weekends, festivals, and workshops throughout North America and England. Brooke has been the programmer for the Bay Area Country Dance English week and is currently Secretary of the Country Dance and Song Society. Also a dance choreographer, she, with her husband Chris Sackett, has published five dance books (Impropriety Vols. 1-5) and produced six CDs with the band Roguery. She loves to sing, especially rounds. For more information, check out her web page at brookefriendlydance.com.
Christina Lewis is the director of the Clown School of San Francisco, where she has been teaching workshops in clown character development and improvisation for fifteen years. Christina started clowning in Nicaragua when she traveled there with a Women’s Circus. She has studied and performed clowning in Europe, Mexico and the United States. She received her Master’s in Drama Therapy in San Francisco. More info
Craig Johnson, camp programmer this year, has been to almost every Family Week, and has also played piano and accordion for dancers since 1982. He plays with Bangers and Mash at SF’s Dickens Fair, the Dogwatch Nautical Band, and is a regular musician for San Francisco’s longsword team, Ring of Cold Steel.
David Brown (CA) is a versatile instrumentalist, playing banjo, guitar, mandolin, and fiddle. He’s been at the heart of the Bay Area old-time music community for over 30 years, and also has a deep love for Quebecois, English country dance (Playford Clawhammer, anyone?), string ragtime, and many other types of music. David is in the band “Uncle Dave” with Kathrine Gardner and Dave Courchaine.
Jim Oakden plays for dancing—lots of kinds of dancing—on a ridiculous array of instruments from accordion to zurna, and has appeared at numerous dance camps throughout the country. Oddly enough, he’s also one of the founding members of Sacramento’s wacky Ophir Prison Marching Band—which is still going strong after several decades.
DeLaura Padovan (VA) is an irrepressibly joyful presence around camp, whether she is dancing and singing with the youngest campers, or leading dancing with the whole community. DeLaura (along with Steve Hickman and their two daughters) raises chickens, goats and organic vegetables on her 57-acre family homestead, Biota, and teaches and organizes for her local Virginia homeschooling community.
David James has spent time in western swing bands, symphony orchestras, pop/rock bands and ECD/contra dance bands. He’s the musician for Wild Wood Morris (Border) and Rising Phoenix Morris (Cotswold), and a member of the ECD/contra dance band Whirled Peas.
Kalia Kliban (CA) has been part of the Bay Area dance community since the mid-80s, performing and teaching morris, longsword, American clog, English clog, contra, and English country dance. Among her other useful talents are the making of excellent pipe-cleaner sculptures and the juggling of a wide variety of supermarket produce. Her clear and humorous teaching style has gotten feet tapping at camps and gatherings in California and beyond, and she’s been part of the Family Week community since 1996.
Julie James was an international folk dancer in her youth. She later found English country dance, then morris, and never looked back. In 2000 Julie formed Wild Wood Border Morris, where she focuses on teaching complex, fun dances with an emphasis on both precision and exuberance.
Kathrine Gardner has delighted contra, square, and English dancers with her fiddle and piano playing since the mid-80s. She flirts with the banjo and accordion and likes to sing Broadway musicals and parodies.
Lorraine Kostka has been hosting tie-dye events for adults and children in the south bay for the past eight years. In addition to tie-dye, Lorraine would love to share workshops in batik (with low melt soy wax, which washes out with soap) and heliographic fabric dye (sun-printing). Having hosted tie-dye events, Lorraine is familiar with the logistics of walking a group of up to 40 people through a tie-dye project within 30-60 minutes. A mother of four kids, Lorraine has worked in her children’s preschool for the past eight years. Lorraine likes working with kids and looks forward to sharing fabric arts.
Steve Hickman (VA) is one of the truly great performers of fiddle music, electrifying audiences for close to 30 years. Besides playing for numerous bands in the Washington, D.C. area, including Evening Star, Fiddlestyx, and The Capitol Quicksteps, Steve is one of the world’s leading authorities on the arcane art of hambone. Steve lives in King George, Virginia but spends much of his time traveling to play at dance workshops, festivals and camps throughout the country and the world.
Nick Cuccia brings his sound expertise once again to Family Week. Nick strives to enhance the dancing experience by providing sound that is both clear and enjoyable. Nick has been sound engineer for BACDS’ Family Week, English Week, Fall Frolick/Fall Weekend, Playford Ball, and Fall Ball, as well as NBCDS’s Mad Robin Ball. Nick also leads and teaches contra, English and barn dances throughout northern and central California.
Ruth Halpern has been telling stories and teaching storytelling for over 20 years. She travels the world, telling world folktales and improvised stories that tickle the funny-bone while stimulating the imagination. Ruth believes that everyone has a story to tell! She’s delighted to return to BACDS Family Camp for her 2nd time, after a 9 year hiatus.
Rhonda Cayford and Alex Cayford Of all the styles of dance that Rhonda has done, Rapper has always been her passion. The fast movement creates an energy that is exciting to be part of, and the ways one can be twisted and untwisted while connected by swords is captivating. She is the founder of a new womens’ rapper team called Twisted Sisters, and was a founding member, along with her husband Randall, of Swords of Gridlock. She will do any type of dance, which has included Longsword, Rapper, Morris, English Clog, Cape Breton step, Cajun, contra, English … to name a few.
Alex grew up watching Swords of Gridlock practice, and started dancing Morris with them at age 4. His athletic ability makes the movement of sword dance look easy. He has been a regular family camp participant, and this will be his first year on staff.
sTan Fowler “Dance Ranger” returns as our lifeguard, and we couldn’t be happier. When he’s not on duty keeping the waters safe and fun for all, he’s been our morris fool, contortionist, and camp archivist.
Susan Worland is a Bay Area fiddler specializing in Scottish music and Eastern European music. In June each year she returns to Boston to join her East Coast colleagues playing at Pinewoods, and many summers she has been the band leader for the Stockton Folk Dance Camp here in California. She has performed Polish music on four continents, and if all goes according to plan, will be playing Scottish music in New Zealand in early 2016! Her latest CD, “Lucky 13,” Scottish music with pianist Lyle Ramshaw and bodhran player Michael Bentley (Susan’s multi-talented husband), can be found online at https://redthistlemusic.bandcamp.com/ In her “violinist” role Susan teaches at Starland Music in Alameda and is a member of the Santa Cruz Symphony.
This bio will be added soon. Thanks for your patience.