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Dance Leader: Caller and Teacher

If you are Looking for a Dance Caller . . .

I work with people to lead dances for all kinds of groups – from advanced, experienced traditional dances to children’s dance parties and everything in between.  Here is a quick overview of how I can work with you and/or your group.

My Dance Repertoire

I lead dances from a wide range of traditions and cultures.  I draw most strongly on the kind of contra dances and square dances called at traditional (live music) venues in the United States today.  Over the years I have added a selection of old fashioned, 1950s-era, square dances.  These older square relay more on patterns that todays “hash” style Modern Western square dances.  I also have a lot of old fashioned singing calls in my repertoire.

For dance parties – any dance where most of the dancers are not experienced dancers – I also call a lot of set dances.  The most familiar of these to most Americans is The Virginia Reel.  It is just one of dozens of lively, enjoyable dances that come from the US, England and Canada that are appropriate for less experienced dancers. Additionally, there are lots of circle dances, “no partner needed” dances and other dances and dance activities we do to keep people moving and having fun.

I’ve also done events where we drew on special dance traditions for the occasion: Swedish dances fro a wedding with guests coming from Sweden and a Korean dance for a Korean-American family event. Typically my dance programs may include other international dances, based on the audience and music availability.

In recent years, I’ve begun working with recorded music and I’ve added a lot of “pop” dance activities to my programs, ranging from line dances like Cotton eye Joe and The Electric Slide to dance fusion experiences (a Virginia Reel done to Gangnam Style, fer’instance).

Planning/Preparation

My goal is always to work closely with event organizers, whether it’s a family event, a church or school, a scout troop or any other organization or individual – to make the dancing activities fit to occasion and have the be enjoyable and accessible to everyone.  I typically spend a lot of time speaking with the organizers, planning the event, in some instances right down to the minute.  The schedule never works out precisely, but the time we invest in preparation helps assure us that we hit all the key goals for the event and know where we can skip forward to keep the event on schedule.

With more casual events, we can work closely with the active participants – allowing them to pick and choose dances (this works well with “pop” dances – so there can be a “do in yourself” element built into the event.

If you are interested in communicating with me about leading a dance for you, please contact me by email at ridgek (at) gmail (dot) com and let me know about the date, location and general parameters of your event.  We can use e-mail to arrange a phone conversation.  If I’m not available or I’m not a good fit for your program, I’ll be happy to help you find another dance caller who will be right for you.