CANCELED – June 11th Contra Dance

The last few days have really been a roller-coaster ride. When I sent out my last message, I thought the picture looked less than rosy, but little imagined that the CDC was about to put us into the red risk zone. Their schedule is very inconvenient for us, but I don’t suppose they care much. They update their ratings on Thursday evenings, we see them on Fridays, and have at most a day or two to react. 

Our COVID policy calls for us not to dance at all if we’re in a red zone, as the CDC’s criteria for that is that local hospitals are being stressed by COVID cases, so we’d be risking not only the health of our own dancers, but potentially risking delaying treatment for other community members. The board, therefore, canceled last Sunday’s English country dance, which was particularly painful to the band, which had been rehearsing the tunes and were looking forward to a delightful dance.  

The board didn’t cancel next Saturday’s contra dance, though, because there was another CDC cycle before that, and just possibly we’d be back in the yellow. Right. Then last night, word emerged that hidden away in an obscure CDC technical page on COVID death statistics, there was a notice that starting yesterday a massive upgrade was being done to the National Vital Statistics System, so no new data would be reaching COVID dashboards and databases until June 21st! Clearly, we weren’t going to move into the yellow zone on Friday.

Our first thought was to look at data coming from the California Department of Public Health to see what the likely situation would be. It was disappointing. The most recent hospitalization data for our counties was last Friday’s, and the trend then was upward. A sensible suggestion was advanced to turn the dance into a concert, which the board considered, but our past experience has been that they cost the same to put on as dances, but are sparsely attended.  

We understood when we returned to dancing that we’d be running deficits for a time, but there are limits to how long we can do that, so we tightened our belt. We hope to be back in action in July, but please remember to check the SCDS calendar before coming to a dance! The schedule might have to change quickly.

Martin Lodahl
Board President

May 28th Contra Dance

Talent: Talib Huff calling to the music of Persons in Black
Date: Saturday, May 28, 2022
Time: 7:00–10:00 pm, with newcomer’s orientation at 6:30 pm
Location: Coloma Community Center, 4623 T St, Sacramento, CA
Cost: $12 for adults; $8 for college students with ID; $5 for dancers under 18; $25 maximum for families (cash or check)

Talib Huff has been calling dances for over 20 years. He currently calls primarily in the Sacramento region and has led dances for local groups, schools wedding, festivals and dance communities. Persons in Black is Sue Jones on concertina and recorders, David Wright on fiddle and mandolin, Clark Smith on guitar, and Del Eckels on percussion.

The SCDS Covid safety policy requires full vaccination, including boosters. Masks must be worn at all times while inside the building. We recommend N95, KN95, or KF94 masks and do not allow masks with exhaust valves (because they don’t protect others) or cloth masks unless they are worn on top of a surgical mask. Please bring your own water and snacks, and plan to step outside to eat or drink. Windows and doors will be open to ensure good ventilation, so please dress accordingly. We will collect information for contact tracing, so please let us know if you become ill after the dance. Most importantly, if you’re not feeling well, stay home and join us next time.

If you haven’t been to a dance yet, please email a photo of your vaccination card to Laura Leonelli at lauraleo524@gmail.com before the dance. Please also print a copy of our waiver form, sign it, and bring your paper copy to the dance. You only need to do this once; we will record that you have provided this information, so that it will be valid for future dances.

A newcomer’s orientation is offered at 6:30 pm, perfect for people who have not contra danced before, or who could use some refresher. Experienced dancers are invited to partner with newcomers during the orientation and early dances to help integrate them into the community.

No partners are needed, so come by yourself or with friends or with family. These events are accessible to people with disabilities.

For more information, and lost and found, contact Laura Leonelli, 916-549-7093, or email info@sactocds.org

Contra & English Dances on May 14th & 15th

We’re hosting two dances on the same weekend: a contra on Saturday, May 14th and an English country dance on Sunday, May 15th. Details for both dances are below.

The SCDS Covid safety policy requires full vaccination, including boosters. Masks must be worn at all times while inside the building. We recommend N95, KN95, or KF94 masks and do not allow masks with exhaust valves (because they don’t protect others) or cloth masks unless they are worn on top of a surgical mask. Please bring your own water and snacks, and plan to step outside to eat or drink. Windows and doors will be open to ensure good ventilation, so please dress accordingly. Most importantly, if you’re not feeling well, stay home and join us next time.

If you haven’t been to a dance yet, please email a photo of your vaccination card to Laura Leonelli at lauraleo524@gmail.com before the dance. Please also print a copy of our waiver form, sign it, and bring your paper copy to the dance. You only need to do this once; we will record that you have provided this information, so that it will be valid for future dances.

Contra Dance

Talent: Mark Goodwin calling to the music of Star Thistle
Date: Saturday, May 14, 2022
Time: 7:00–10:00 pm, with newcomer’s orientation at 6:30 pm
Location: Coloma Community Center, 4623 T St, Sacramento, CA
Cost: $12 for adults; $8 for college students with ID; $5 for dancers under 18; $25 maximum for families (cash or check)

Mark Goodwin began calling contra dance in Chico in 2001 and has called for local regional dances, including Nevada City and Newcastle. His aim is to call programs that bring everyone along for the ride, with dances that are memorable, have intuitive transitions, and weave familiar and interesting elements into a variety of dancer interactions. 

Star Thistle plays contra dances featuring Celtic, old-time, and other music. The band is Lonna Whipple (fiddle), David Wright (fiddle and mandolin), Clark Smith (guitar), and Del Eckels (percussion).

A newcomer’s orientation is offered at 6:30 pm, perfect for people who have not contra danced before, or who could use some refresher. Experienced dancers are invited to partner with newcomers during the orientation and early dances to help integrate them into the community.

English Country Dance:
Talent: TBD calling to the music of Quite Carried Away
Date: Sunday, May 15, 2022
Time: 2:00-5:00 pm, with newcomer’s workshop at 1:30 pm
Location: Polish American Hall, 327 Main St, Roseville
Cost: $10 for adults; $8 for college students with ID; $5 for dancers under 18; $25 maximum for families (cash or check)

The music will be provided by Quite Carried Away, our house band: Dick Holdstock on octave mandolin and banjo, Susan Jones on concertina, Arlene Jamar on piano, Jane Kostka on whistle, Martin Lodahl on viola da gamba, and David Wright on fiddle and mandolin.

As usual, beginners are welcome.  If you are bringing, or know of any, first-timers, please urge them to come at 1:30 for the introductory workshop that precedes the dance.

No partners are needed, so come by yourself or with friends or with family. Both events are accessible to people with disabilities.

For more information, and lost and found, contact Laura Leonelli, 916-549-7093, or email info@sactocds.org

Anniversary Contra Dance on April 23rd

Talent: Susan Petrick calling to the music of Joyride
Date: Saturday, April 23, 2022
Time: 7:00–10:00 pm, with newcomer’s orientation at 6:30 pm
Location: Coloma Community Center, 4623 T St, Sacramento, CA
Cost: special pricing $15 for adults; $10 for college students with ID; $5 for dancers under 18; $30 maximum for families (cash or check)

Please join us as we celebrate our 36th anniversary and elect our new board of directors at this special event! Joyride is a Portland, Oregon, contra dance band known for fun, skilled play, tunes fit to dance figures, and ringing, rocking, gorgeous melodies that make you want to move. George Penk’s rich and lively fiddle, Erik Weberg’s nimble flute, harmonica and bombarde, Sue Songer’s pulsing piano, and Jeff Kerssen-Griep’s percussive guitar energy breathe big life into modern and traditional tunes. 

Susan Petrick is a regional treasure with national prominence, who tours throughout the country calling for dance weekends and festivals. She is well-known for her clear teaching, efficient guidance, and expert pacing, making even complex dances accessible to all.

Because of Covid restrictions, we will not be able to offer cake or a potluck dinner this year. The SCDS Covid safety policy requires full vaccination, including boosters. Masks must be worn at all times while inside the building. We recommend N95, KN95, or KF94 masks and do not allow masks with exhaust valves (because they don’t protect others) or cloth masks unless they are worn on top of a surgical mask. Please bring your own water and snacks, and plan to step outside to eat or drink. Windows and doors will be open to ensure good ventilation, so please dress accordingly. Most importantly, if you’re not feeling well, stay home and join us next time.

If you haven’t been to a dance yet, please email a photo of your vaccination card to Laura Leonelli at lauraleo524@gmail.com before the dance. Please also print a copy of our waiver form, sign it, and bring your paper copy to the dance. You only need to do this once; we will record that you have provided this information, so that it will be valid for future dances.

A newcomer’s orientation is offered at 6:30 pm, perfect for people who have not contra danced before, or who could use some refresher. Experienced dancers are invited to partner with newcomers during the orientation and early dances to help integrate them into the community.

No partners are needed, so come by yourself or with friends or with family. These events are accessible to people with disabilities.

For more information, and lost and found, contact Laura Leonelli, 916-549-7093, or email info@sactocds.org

Contra Dance on April 9th

Talent: Mark Goodwin calling to the music of Wild Goose Chase
Date: Saturday, April 9, 2022
Time: 7:00–10:00 pm, with newcomer’s orientation at 6:30 pm
Location: Coloma Community Center, 4623 T St, Sacramento, CA
Cost: $12 for adults; $8 for college students with ID; $5 for dancers under 18; $25 maximum for families (cash or check)

Mark Goodwin began calling contra dance in Chico in 2001 and has called for local regional dances, including Nevada City and Newcastle. His aim is to call programs that bring everyone along for the ride, with dances that are memorable, have intuitive transitions, and weave familiar and interesting elements into a variety of dancer interactions. Hailing from Nevada City, classic dance band Wild Goose Chase is Margo Meredith on fiddle, Anne Meigs on piano, Kate Dwyer on banjo, and Dave Earl on mandolin.

The SCDS Covid safety policy requires full vaccination, including boosters. Masks must be worn at all times while inside the building. We recommend N95, KN95, or KF94 masks and do not allow masks with exhaust valves (because they don’t protect others) or cloth masks unless they are worn on top of a surgical mask. Please bring your own water and snacks, and plan to step outside to eat or drink. Windows and doors will be open to ensure good ventilation, so please dress accordingly. Most importantly, if you’re not feeling well, stay home and join us next time.

If you haven’t been to a dance yet, please email a photo of your vaccination card to Laura Leonelli at lauraleo524@gmail.com before the dance. Please also print a copy of our waiver form, sign it, and bring your paper copy to the dance. You only need to do this once; we will record that you have provided this information, so that it will be valid for future dances.

A newcomer’s orientation is offered at 6:30 pm, perfect for people who have not contra danced before, or who could use some refresher. Experienced dancers are invited to partner with newcomers during the orientation and early dances to help integrate them into the community.

No partners are needed, so come by yourself or with friends or with family. These events are accessible to people with disabilities.

For more information, and lost and found, contact Laura Leonelli, 916-549-7093, or email info@sactocds.org

Contra Dance on March 26th

Talent: Erik Hoffman calling to the music of Magic Reelism
Date: Saturday, March 26, 2022
Time: 7:00–10:00 pm, with newcomer’s orientation at 6:30 pm
Location: Coloma Community Center, 4623 T St, Sacramento, CA
Cost: $12 for adults; $8 for college students with ID; $5 for dancers under 18; $25 maximum for families (cash or check)

Local favorite Erik Hoffman brings clear teaching and calling, along with a sense of humor. Magic Reelism plays old-time and Celtic dance music, with David Wright on fiddle and mandolins, Sue Jones on concertina and recorders, Cheryl McKinney on piano, and Del Eckels on percussion.

The SCDS Covid safety policy requires full vaccination, including boosters. Masks must be worn at all times while inside the building. We recommend N95, KN95, or KF94 masks and do not allow masks with exhaust valves (because they don’t protect others) or cloth masks unless they are worn on top of a surgical mask. Please bring your own water and snacks, and plan to step outside to eat or drink. Windows and doors will be open to ensure good ventilation, so please dress accordingly. Most importantly, if you’re not feeling well, stay home and join us next time.

To help everyone enter the dance more quickly, we ask each dancer to email a photo of his or her vaccination card to Laura Leonelli at lauraleo524@gmail.com before the dance. Please also print a copy of our waiver form, sign it, and bring your paper copy to the dance. You will only need to do this once; we will record that you have provided this information, so that it will be valid for future dances.

A newcomer’s orientation is offered at 6:30 pm, perfect for people who have not contra danced before, or who could use some refresher. Experienced dancers are invited to partner with newcomers during the orientation and early dances to help integrate them into the community.

No partners are needed, so come by yourself or with friends or with family. These events are accessible to people with disabilities.

For more information, and lost and found, contact Laura Leonelli, 916-549-7093, or email info@sactocds.org

Dancing resumes in March!

The SCDS Board and committees have been working intensively over the last couple of weeks to get us back to dancing, safely. It’s looking like we may be there! If the transmission rates continue to fall, if no new fierce variant pops up, and if public health advisories remain as they are now, English country dance will resume on March 20th, with Alisa Dodson calling to the music of Quite Carried Away at the Polish-American Hall in Roseville, and contra on March 26th!

This is part of the process of learning to live with COVID, our newest endemic disease. Since you can’t negotiate with a virus, all the concessions are on our side. We won’t be dancing like we did before. Changes include:

·   Proof of vaccination AND BOOSTER required.  There will be a sign-in checkpoint outside the hall, and once verified, you shouldn’t have to show your card again at future dances. Sorry, natural immunity claims cannot be honored.

·   Masking is required. High-quality masks only; no cloth masks, bandannas, neck-gaiters or other foolishness. The idea is to keep us safe, and we have high-risk people in the community.

·   Windows will be open to maximize changes of air in the hall, so dress accordingly.

·   Bring your own water bottle, please, and step outside to drink from it. Similarly, please don’t eat in the hall. Masks must be worn at all times.

·   If you’re not feeling well, come to the next dance, not this one.

It’s really all common sense and consideration. We can take a little inconvenience to keep dancers, callers, and bands safe. As the threat eases over time, we’ll gradually adapt.

My refrain continues to be, check the calendar at https://sactocds.wordpress.com/calendar before coming to a dance! In the months ahead, we anticipate having to cancel some dances as conditions change, though I hope to be wrong about that.

Martin Lodahl, Board President
Sacramento Country Dance Society

SCDS dances CANCELED through June 30th & Board nominations

Covid-19, the new coronavirus, is spreading through California, and we need to work together to stop its transmission by staying home for a while. Protecting our community is a key value of SCDS, so we have reluctantly chosen to cancel our dances through June 30th. At that time, we will re-evaluate the situation and decide what to do going forward. We’re very sorry to miss dancing with all of you and hope to be able to see you again soon!

One consequence of this decision is that we will not be able to meet in person to elect a new Board of Directors in April. Instead, the slate of nominees is listed below and in our email newsletter, and we will ask you to vote by email at the end of next month. Please share this information with anyone you know who might be interested. (If you are not yet receiving our email announcements, you can sign up at https://groups.io/g/SactoCDS.)

If you’d like to support freelance callers and musicians during this difficult time, CDSS (our parent organization) has put together a list of ways to help here: https://www.cdss.org/covid19/send-love-to-freelancers.

Closer to home, you can support our musicians and dancers:
Topher Gayle
Celia Ramsay
Ryan McKasson
The Syncopaths
Nancy Thym

2020-2021 SCDS Board of Directors nominations:
Sandra Aamodt
Susan Jones
Laura Leonelli
Karen Leyse
Martin Lodahl
Virgil Schmidt
Douglas Schwilk
Susan Stratton
Pam Wade
Bobbie Watson

February 29th zesty contra, March 1st English country dance, and February 29th Jane Austen Ball

We’re hosting two dances on the same weekend: a zesty contra on Saturday, February 29th and an English country dance on Sunday, March 1st. Plus, our annual English outreach event, the Jane Austen Ball at Liberty Ranch High, will also be held on the evening of Saturday the 29th. Details for all three dances are below.

Our Zesty Contra:
Please note the special time and location for this dance. In this special zesty contra, dances will be taught quickly. Dancers should be familiar with hey for four, Petronella turns, and contra corners. This is an evening for experienced dancers who want to dance with enthusiasm!

Talent: Lynn Ackerson calling to the music of BLAM!
Date: Saturday, February 29, 2020
Time: 6:30–9:30 pm. No newcomer’s orientation.
Location: Camp Pollock, 1501 Northgate Blvd, Sacramento
Cost: $12 for adults; $8 for college students with ID; $5 for dancers under 18; $25 maximum for families (cash or check)

Ackerson_BLAM

Lynn Ackerson from Oakland, California, brings a huge and ever-expanding contra dance repertoire. Her gracefully efficient walk-throughs and delightful programs reflect her philosophy: to build the relationship between the band and the dancers and then get out of the way. Hailing from Monterey, BLAM! is Bob Silberstein on piano and doumbek, Elizabeth Todd on flutes, whistle, bodhran, and foot percussion, and Marta Lynch on fiddle.

No partners are needed, so come by yourself or with friends or with family. Potluck snacks are available at the break, and we encourage you to bring something to share. These events are accessible to people with disabilities.

 

Special English country dance event on February 29th:
Please join us as we introduce Galt High School students to English country dancing! The 4th Jane Austen Ball will be held on February 29th from 6-9 pm. Those of you who came last year know how much fun we had and how much the students appreciated your presence. Lise Dyckman will again be teaching and calling to the music of Quite Carried Away. She is very keen to have experienced dancers participate in our big outreach effort! Tickets can be purchased at the event or online.

 

Our English Country Dance:
Talent: Lise Dyckman calling to the music of Quite Carried Away
Date: Sunday, March 1, 2020
Time: 2:00-5:00 pm, with newcomer’s workshop at 1:30 pm
Location: Polish American Hall, 327 Main St, Roseville
Cost: $10 for adults; $8 for college students with ID; $5 for dancers under 18; $25 maximum for families (cash or check)

Dyckman_QCA

Having taught and called English country dance (and contra dance) for decades, Lise Dyckman is known for her clear and concise calling, musicality, humor, interest in dance history and attention to welcoming community. Our house band, Quite Carried Away, is Dick Holdstock on octave mandolin and banjo, Susan Jones on concertina, Arlene Jamar on piano, Jane Kostka on whistle, Martin Lodahl on viola da gamba, and David Wright on fiddle and mandolin. Ask about their CD!

As usual, beginners are welcome and no partners are necessary.  If you are bringing, or know of any, first-timers, please urge them to come at 1:30 for the introductory workshop that precedes the dance.  All dancers are welcome at the workshop, but first-time attendees receive a coupon for half-off admission at their next dance! Potluck snacks are available at the break, and we encourage you to bring something to share.


For more information on any of our dances, and lost and found, contact Laura Leonelli, 916-549-7093, or email info@sactocds.org
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Upcoming events:
March 8: Playford Ball Workshop
March 14: contra dance
March 15: English country dance