Hey Days Staff


Brooke Friendly (OR), program director, 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, she co-leads a weekly English and Scottish dance, teaches ECD callers workshops, calls Contra and family dances, and teaches country dance in a variety of settings: college academic credit, older adults, and K-12 students. Brooke has been on staff at camps, weekends, festivals, balls, and workshops throughout North America and England.

A dance choreographer, she, with her husband Chris Sackett, has published five books of dances (Impropriety Vols. 1-5) and produced six CDs with the band Roguery (Shira Kammen, Jim Oakden, Anita Anderson, and Dave Bartley). Theatre choreography credits include Southern Oregon University Department of Theatre Arts productions of Entertaining Strangers (with Chris), Dancing at Lughnasa, and Caucasian Chalk Circle; and Oregon Cabaret Theatre’s world premiere of Parcel from America.

A founding member (1981) of The Heather and the Rose Country Dancers, a statewide organization of English and Scottish dance in Oregon, Brooke is Secretary of the board of the Country Dance and Song Society. Previously, she was on the CDSS board and executive committee for six years (2001-07) and served on the CDSS Youth Task Group.

You can find more information on her books, CDs, and teaching at BrookeFriendlyDance.com.

Brooke will teach ECD. Brooke is our program director for 2019.

Back to top


Bruce Hamilton (CA) is a thoughtful and energetic teacher of English country dancing. He started dancing in college, and took up teaching in the early ‘70s. He founded the San Jose English dance and has taught English country dancing for over 30 years, all over the US and abroad. Lately he’s been focusing on non-choreographic elements of ECD: moving well, musicality in dancing, how to recover from mistakes, how to be a good partner, body mechanics, and the social and mental aspects. He doesn’t teach many new or complex dances (claims he can’t remember them!) but instead focuses on skills that apply across all dances. He carries this focus into his sought-after callers workshops, which he’s done for the last couple of decades. Learning to teach takes years, but even in a weekend or week-long mini-course he’s been able to point students in useful directions, and some have made great strides. Bruce served two terms as president of the Country Dance and Song Society.

Bruce will teach two ECD classes and a Callers Workshop.

Back to top


Bridget Whitehead (Canada/OR) conveys warmth and enthusiasm in her dancing and calling, encouraging kindness, community and the love of dancing together. She first experienced the pleasure of social dance accompanying her parents to vintage balls as a young child. In 2005, after many years of ballet, and several of modern dance, swing, and tango, Bridget fell in love with English country dancing in Toronto, Ontario. Returning from a couple of years exposure to ECD in Montreal, Quebec, she founded a bi-weekly English country dance in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, which she led from 2009 to 2011. She has also called in Hamilton and Toronto, Ontario and in Columbia, Missouri. Bridget now lives in the Ashland, Oregon area where she is a regular caller and workshop deviser. With her husband Kyle, Bridget co-leads youth English country dance events. In addition to her dance background, Bridget has a degree in education and a knowledge of music theory, yoga, and Pilates.

Bridget will teach an ECD class and lead a stretching class.

Back to top


Gillian Stewart (MA) has been teaching and performing sword dancing on both sides of the Atlantic since 2004. Hailing from the vigorous folk scene surrounding Boston, MA, she has been doing rapper since the tender age of 9, when she managed to persuade a teacher at a dance camp that she was, in fact, strong enough to bend a sword. Since then, she has performed, taught, and judged rapper on both sides of the Atlantic whenever her schedule permits. After falling in love with the statelier graces of longsword in her teens, she joined Orion Longsword, which she now leads. She also dances with Candyrapper VSOP and Muddy River Morris and indulges in morris, pub singing, any kind of percussive stepdance that she can get her feet on, and social dancing of many stripes. Her teaching has been described as "engaging, high energy, and accessible". In her copious free time she enjoys social singing, cooking for dance events, and recreational data analysis.

Gillian will teach longsword, morris, and percussive dance.

Back to top


Nicole Singer (MA) is back by popular demand! She sings both traditional and non-traditional folk songs, specializing in maritime music shaped by her experience as a deckhand aboard the schooner Mystic Whaler and as an onboard educator for Clearwater. She recently released her first album, Long Hot Summer Days. Nicole is a co-founder and current organizer of Youth Traditional Song Weekend, a co-author of the CDSS Folk Sing Starter Kit (with Julia Friend), and the Chairwoman of Folk Music and Song sub-committee for NEFFA. She has performed and led singing workshops at many festivals, camps, schools, and colleges in the Northeast, and has sung at house concerts and local participatory sings from Baltimore to Boston and many places in between. She can sometimes be found singing aboard tall ships too. Nicole also enjoys dancing swing, lindy hop, Blues, contra, ECD, and squares. When she’s not singing and dancing, Nicole teaches visual art at an elementary school in Amherst, MA. Photo by Kiqe Bosch.

Nicole will teach two singing classes, sing for the percussive dance class, and lead the daily Gathering.

Back to top


Trio Picante is Kate Barnes, Daniel Beerbohm, and Mary Lea playing contra, English, and couple dance. With such excellent musicians, it's not surprising that as a band they are known for superb dance playing and inventiveness.

Back to top

Kate Barnes (MA) has been playing piano, flute and assorted other instruments, in more genres, in more interesting locations, for longer than most of us can remember. Kate keeps herself busy with teaching, recording, publishing music books, composing, ceramics, and wisecrackery. She has played for traditional dancing since 1971, and has been invited to most major English, contra, square, and vintage dance events throughout the United States, performing for dances and concerts, leading ensemble workshops, and generally acting in a crazy and often undignified manner. Averaging over 250 engagements per year since 1980, she is arguably one of New England’s busiest musicians, and has also played for festivals and tours in England, France, Denmark, Shetland, Scotland and Czechoslovakia.

In addition to Trio Picante, she works with the bands Bare Necessities, The Latter-Day Lizards, Third String Trio, Yankee Ingenuity, Big Bandemonium, Dark Carnival, Crazy Quilt, and The Dactyls and has performed with many traditional greats including Seamus Connolly, Joe Derrane, Cathie Ryan, Chris Norman, Alasdair Fraser, Rodney Miller, and Joe Cormier.

Publications include English Country Dance Tunes (Volumes One and Two), a widely used collection of English traditional dance music, A Little Couple Dancemusik, a collection of 400 traditional couple dance tunes, and Interview With A Vamper, an instruction book of piano techniques.

Recordings include Sous le Ciel de Paris with Third String Trio, Sleeping On a Rock with The Latter Day Lizards, Kitchen Junket and Heatin' Up The Hall with Yankee Ingenuity, Bare Necessities, Take A Dance, Nightcap and at least 10 others in the Boston CDS Centre Dance Series with Bare Necessities, Airplang and Airplang II with Rodney Miller, BLT (Barnes, Lea & Tomczak), Soir et Matin with Kerry Elkin, Yankee Dreams and Moxie with Frank Ferrell, Shape Shifting with Jeanne Morrill, Cascata de Lagrimas, Between Two Worlds and Gypsy Wine with Mary Lea, and Twelve-Gated City, The Great Waltz and Childsplay: Live with Childsplay. canispublishing.com

Kate will play for ECD and teach a music workshop.

Back to top


Daniel Beerbohm (NJ) plays clarinet, flute, saxophone, and whistles and spices his English and contra dance playing from a rich background of swing, klezmer, and classical. He performs extensively with Trio Picante, Hold the Mustard, A Joyful Noise, and Reunion at dance and music events along the east coast and occasionally westward, when not busy slinging software or constructing circuits as an engineer.

Daniel will play for ECD and teach a music workshop.

Back to top


Mary Lea (VT) is a Brattleboro VT-based fiddler with a national reputation for playing a wide range of dance music. Performing since 1978, Mary is a founding member of Bare Necessities, known here and abroad as the benchmark of English country dance music. Her musical versatility and wide ranging musical interests are reflected in the variety of bands she has played and recorded with over the years: Yankee Ingenuity, BLT, Wild Asparagus, the mega-band Childsplay, MGM, Cilantrio, Paradiso and of course Bare Necessities. Musical styles have included contra dance music, couple dance and vintage dance music, as well as European and South American music. Her principal bands now are Bare Necessities, Trio Picante, and a local duo playing French and Scandinavian music. In the past 35 years, Mary has toured extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad playing for concerts, dance weeks and weekend events and has played on and helped produce many recordings. Also an experienced teacher, she has run workshops for musicians, produced concerts and organized and run dance and music weeks and events over the years. dancefiddler.com

Mary will play for ECD and teach a music workshop.

Back to top


Charlie Hancock (CA), pianist and accordionist, is equally adept playing for English country, Scottish country, contras, and display dancing. Performed with brilliance, drive and clarity, his music is infused with jazz, swing, and Irish influences. He is a member of several Bay Area dance bands, including the Raggedy Annes, and has recorded with Sylvia Herold, Holly Tannen, and Cathie Whitesides.

Charlie will play for ECD and longword.

Back to top


Audrey Knuth (CA) hails from Honolulu. She moved to Boston in 2008 to attend Berklee College of Music and to explore the thriving New England folk scene. After graduating, Audrey has made a name for herself in the music community, as a dance fiddler specializing in English dance, New England, Celtic, and Old Time tunes, and as an audio engineer. With her bands, The Free Raisins, The Gaslight Tinkers, Audacious (with Larry Unger) and Wake Up Robin, she has travelled across the US and Europe, playing for dances and concerts. She’s equally adept at teaching workshops, and has been on staff at various camps including CDSS English week at Pinewoods, Ashokan Northern Week, BACDS American week, and Halsway Manor. Audrey’s fiddle playing is rhythmically lively and spontaneous; she's guaranteed to get you up and dancing. audreyknuth.com

Audrey will play for ECD and percussive dance.

Back to top


Jim Oakden (CA) started playing piano and clarinet at an early age and stumbled into early music from the classical music scene. After six years performing early music, he discovered the world of traditional and ethnic music. Having diverse tastes, he has played in many bands and performs on an absurd number of instruments, including accordion, mandolin, several styles of bagpipes, recorders, whistle and zurna (to name but a few). A dancer himself, he specializes in playing for dancers in a bunch of bands for ECD, contra, morris, Irish, Breton/French, Greek, and Bulgarian. He has been on staff at myriad dance camps throughout the country. In addition to the Roguery CDs, his recordings include three albums with Persons of Quality.

Jim will play for Morris.

Back to top


Emily O'Brien (MA) is a native of Washington, DC where she played recorder from a young age. She studied recorder and french horn at Boston University, and recorder and Baroque flute at the Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe, Germany. She performs in recorder ensembles and historical chamber music, including several dance and classical crossover programs with Jacqueline Schwab. She has had the pleasure of playing in English Country Dance bands for local events as well as for New London Assembly and about five different dance programs at Pinewoods. As a teacher, she works with private students and ensembles in the Boston area as well as teaching at various summer workshop such as CDSS’s Early Music Week at Pinewoods (where she is the current program director) and Amherst Early Music Festival. Emily’s solo album, “Fantasies for a Modern Recorder” explores the variety and possibilities over four centuries of repertoire offered by the Helder Harmonic Tenor recorder. In her spare time, she enjoys long distance cycling. emilysdomain.org

Emily will play for ECD and will teach a music workshop.

Back to top


Chip Prince (NY), originally from New Hampshire (via Utah and California), is a lifelong pianist who also dabbles in choral singing, euphonium playing, and background acting. His main gig, when he has one, is playing keyboards for (and occasionally conducting) Broadway shows in New York and on the road. He first found folk dancing in 1975 as a freshman in college but didn’t pursue English and Contra dance music until 2000. He was a member of the English band Hudson Crossing, and plays on Tuesdays for Country Dance * New York. Current contra dance bands are The Three Wise Guys and Gig Economy. In 2018, he was on staff at CDSS English Week at Pinewoods and is thrilled to come west for Hey Days.

Chip will play for ECD and the callers workshop.

Back to top


Alan Roberts (WA) will return after doing a great job as sound engineer the past several years. A regular sound engineer at dance events in the Northwest and at CDSS weeks at Pinewoods, he is also a fiddle player and dancer. Aware of the nuances that make us happy, he is able to provide a great experience for callers, band members, and dancers.

Back to top