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Community Contra & Square Dances and Dance Workshops
January 9, 2016 — December 10, 2016


8 - 10:30 pm
Admission: $7
Location:  Community Room, Keith House

English Country Dance Workshop Series

Like a contra dance, each English Country dance is made up of short, fun, easy-to-learn figures. What really sets it apart is the music. It can be slow and elegant (dance like a Queen!) or quick and lively (dance like a Duke!) There is a definite air of sophistication and romance. More ballroom. Less barn.

The dances are held in the historic Keith House, with its beautiful wood floor, from 8pm until 10:30pm. The first half of the evening consists of easy dances suitable for everyone, and all the figures will be taught. If you are a beginner and want to learn what English Country dancing is all about, be sure to come to the first half. The second half will include slightly more challenging dances for those with more dance experience."

Instructor: Carl Dreher
Violin and piano music by Margie McDonald and Gretchen Wurth

TIME: 8 - 10:30pm
LOCATION: Keith House, Community Room

2016 DATES:
February 20
March 19
April 16
May 14
June 25
July 9
August 20
September 10
October 8
November 12
December 10

June 4, 2016


8:00-11:00 p.m.
Adults $7
Ages 12-18 $4
Under 12 $3
Location:  Community Room, Keith House

Contra & Square Dance with Lauren Kriel, Chris Liakos & Abel Allen

Lauren Kriel picked up contra dance while at Warren Wilson College. After contra became a deep part of her life, as an actor and a lover of patterns, she found herself drawn to dance calling. The Folk School's own Bob Dalsemer took her under his wing and mentored her. She has been sharing and honing her craft all over the southeast.

Chris Liakos has played fiddle and dance music for 18 years and "cut his teeth" at the Folk School under the tutelage of Susan Songer and David Kaynor during Dance Musicians Week.

Able Allen grew up coming to the Folk School and learned guitar at jam sessions with great Brasstown musicians. He learned the different styles of traditional dance music from the northern and southern ends of the Appalachians. With a healthy influence of rock-and-roll beats, he makes for a fun rhythm section.

June 18, 2016


8:00-11:00 pm
Adults $7
Ages 12-18 $4
Under 12 $3
Location:  Community Room, Keith House

Contra & Square Dance with Diane Silver and GoodFoot

Diane Silver's skills range from being an environmental educator to clogging instructor and contra & square dance caller. She hails from the Asheville area and is a former president of the board for the Old Farmer's Ball, the largest contra dance in the Southeast.

Good Foot is named after an old Oklahoma expression describing someone who is feelin’ fine. Folks remark that it “looks like you’re dancin’ on your good foot”. Originally founded as a contra dance band, it’s an apt description for the joyful groove of the Charleston, SC based ensemble. Each member brings a different background resulting in a fun, varied array of traditional and original Celtic and American tunes.

The band released their debut disc (Good Foot) at Charleston’s Famed Gage Hall Coffeehouse this November. Other concert appearances include Celtic Night at the Charleston Music Hall; St Patrick’s Day at Seanachai Social Club (Charleston’s most authentic Irish pub) and St John’s concert series in Summerville, SC. They play regularly for the Charleston Folk contra dance and in other cities around the southeast.


June 20, 2016 — June 24, 2016


7-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday
after the concert Friday night
Admission Free
Location:  Community Room, Keith House

Evening Dances During Little/Middle Week

Evening Dance During Little/Middle Week from 7-9 pm Monday-Thursday nights and after the concert Friday night. Beginners and experienced dancers welcome. Beginners are advised to arrive promptly at 7 pm.

July 2, 2016


8:00-11:00 p.m.
Adults $7
Ages 12-18 $4
Under 12 $3
Location:  Community Room, Keith House

Contra & Square Dance with Bob Dalsemer & Mick Kinney and The HickHoppers

Bob Dalsemer has taught and called traditional contras and squares throughout the country for nearly 40 years. For the past decade he has been principal instructor at the annual Mountain Folk Festival in Berea, KY and is the former Music & Dance Coordinator for the John C. Campbell Folk School.

Mick Kinney & the HickHoppers come from Atlanta, GA area. They make an especially fun dance band because of the wide range of tunes styles they can play. Expect rags, blues and old-time tunes that simply make you want to dance!

Mick Kinney is truly a musician of many talents. He has worked with of Stranger Malone, John Hartford, Sarah Guthrie, Vic Chesnut, Victoria Williams and REM's Peter Buck. Along his musical journey, Mick has played stride piano at Manhattan's Swing 46 with veteran tap dancer Harold Cromer, fiddle with Creole jazzman Al Broussard in New Orleans French Quarter, and lap steel at Louisiana's Cajun Rendez-vous. He has performed at McCabe's in Los Angeles, the Bluebird in Nashville, and on NPR's Mountain Stage.

A native of Wisconsin, Mick has made his home in Atlanta since 1977. He currently tours with multi-lingual chanteuse Elise Witt, as well as with his swing string band the Gypsy Hicks and his old-time band the Georgia Crackers. He teaches fiddle, piano, guitar, banjo and music theory workshops regionally and is a recipient of the Georgia Council for the Arts Folklife Grant.

Beginners should arrive promptly at 8 pm. Easier dances with more teaching are called early in the evening.


July 11, 2016 — July 15, 2016


8-10 pm
Admission free
Location:  Community Room, Keith House

Evening Dances During Dance Musicians' Week

Enjoy free dances all this week with instructors and class members from our Dance Musicians' Week.

The dances will be Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 8-10 p.m., Tuesday night 7-9 p.m. and after the Friday night concert. Beginners and experienced dancers welcome. Beginners are advised to arrive promptly at the starting time.

July 29, 2016 — July 31, 2016


Tuition: $200
(Does not include room and board)
Location:  Community Room, Keith House

Learn to Two-Step, Honky-tonk Style!

Do you enjoy classic Country Western music and Honky Tonk? Want to learn to dance the two-step or gain techniques to improve your style? This class will offer enjoyable lessons on basic two-step, as well as several types of turns and tricks. Don your dancing boots (or shoes) and prepare to have fun kickin' up your heels to live music by Vollie McKenzie & the Western Wildcats. Some physical fitness is required - but a partner is not.

Vollie McKenzie, Kari Sickenberger & The Western Wildcats will be your live music for the weekend playing only the best from their vintage country, honky tonk and western swing repertoire. Vollie and Kari trade off singing favorites such as Pick Me Up On Your Way Down, Tall Tall Trees" and Driving Nails. This weekend will definitely be worth dusting off your dancing boots for.


September 9, 2016 — September 11, 2016


Tuition: $200
(Does not include room and board)
Location:  Community Room, Keith House

Intro to Cape Breton Step Dance Weekend

Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, is known for its irresistible dance music, and dance we shall! Cape Breton Step is a hard-shoe percussive dance form with Celtic roots, notable for its rhythmic footwork and relaxed demeanor. It is still performed today by dancers of all ages. Beginners, join the fun! This is a medium-impact dance, similar to light jogging in place for a short period.

Pearl Shirley of Black Mountain, North Carolina, picked up her first tiny violin at age 5 and has been fiddling and singing her way through life every since, especially at contra dances and folk concerts. She also teaches and performs Cape Breton percussive step dancing. Pearl raises her three children in the mountain homestead where she was born.


October 28, 2016 — October 30, 2016


Instructors: Susan Kevra, Tod Whittemore & John Krumm
Location:  Community Room, Keith House

Fall Square Dance Weekend 2016

Join, not one, but THREE amazing callers for a wide range of square dance styles from various regions in U.S.: Susan Kevra, Tod Whittemore & John Krumm. Foot-stomping live music will be provided by the well-loved band, Evening Star (Steve Hickman, John Devine, and Claudio Buchwald, with Kevin Roop).

All dances will be taught and walked through in advance. The weekend also includes Ask the Caller sessions and free entry to our annual Halloween community contra & square dance on Saturday night.

Some previous contra or square dance experience is recommended. Singles and couples welcome. Tuition $200


4:30 Instructor Orientation
5:30 Student Orientation
6:00 Supper
7:00 Introductions
7:30 Dance

9:00 - 12:00 Dance Workshops
12:15 pm Lunch
1:30 -4:30 Dance Workshops
4:30 - Ask the Callers Session
6:00 pm Supper

8:00-11:00 Square Dance (Halloween Costumes Encouraged!)

8:15 Breakfast
9:10 Farewell Dance
11:30 Closing Ceremony and Craft Class Exhibit


November 18, 2016 — November 20, 2016


Instructor: Bob Dalsemer & Charlotte Crittenden
Live Music: Ed Baggot & Elsie Peterson
Location:  Community Room, Keith House

Learn to Contra Dance Weekend w/ Bob Dalsemer & Charlotte Crittenden

Join the friendly fun of contra dancing and discover why so many are enjoying this modern form of a centuries-old dance tradition. Contra dancing involves groups of couples in two long lines. After learning basic moves in this beginners' class with a master teacher, you'll be ready to participate in the Saturday night community dance. Singles and couples are welcome. Be prepared for moderate exercise.

Bob Dalsemer has been calling square, contra, and English country dances for more than 40 years. He has called throughout the U.S. and in Canada, England, Denmark, Belgium, Russia, and the Czech Republic. Bob's original dance compositions are danced at contra dances throughout the country. He is the author of "West Virginia Square Dances" and has collected traditional square dances in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee, and South Carolina. In 2011, Bob received the Country Dance and Song Society's Lifetime Contribution Award.

Charlotte Crittenden is famous in Brasstown for being able to do everything from call a great contra dance to build a rock wall to shear a sheep! She is fast becoming a popular regional caller, calling at Old Farmer's Ball, River Falls, Grey Eagle, Chattanooga, and Sautee. Charlotte is also assistant coordinator for Winter Dance Week, assistant instructor for many Folk School classes, and part owner of Brasstowns local yarn and fiber supply shop, Yarn Circle.


December 26, 2016 — January 1, 2017


Standard Tuition: $376
Local Tuition: $188

EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT ! : Register on or before November 1 and get a special rate of $300! Does not apply to other discounted registrations.
Location:  Community Room, Keith House

Winter Dance Week

The Folk School's popular year-end folk dance & music celebration will feature American contras & squares, English country dancing, waltz & partner dance technique, French Bal Folk & group singing, jam sessions & yoga.

Ring in the New Year dancing to the glorious live music by SEAGLASS (Rachel Bell, Andrew VanNorstrand & Eileen Nicholson) and FOXFIRE (Daron Douglas & Karen Axelrod)

Dance Week offers a unique combination of top-notch callers, teachers, and musicians - along with beautiful surroundings, good food, comfortable accommodations, and a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.

A Gala New Year's Eve party and New Year's morning breakfast will finish off the week.


Your All-Star staff: TBA

Participants should have previous contra dance and/or English country dance experience (such as our "Learn to Contra Dance" class or the equivalent). We do not recommend Winter Dance Week for beginning dancers.

Standard Tuition: $376
Local Tuition: $188

EARLY BIRD SPECIAL! : Register on or before November 1 and get a special rate of $300!

Limited work exchange scholarships are available. Phone the office or email anniefain@folkschool.org to request a scholarship application.


1-800.FOLK.SCH (365.5724)
828.837.2775 • (fax) 828.837.8637
Contact us by email

John C. Campbell Folk School
One Folk School Road
Brasstown, NC 28902

Office Hours:
Mon.-Fri. 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST

Craft Shop and History Center Hours:
Mon. - Sat. 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST
Sun. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST

John C. Campbell Folk School is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

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