March 25th contra dance

Come and join us for our last $10 dance before the new donation goes into effect in April!

Talent: Joyce Miller calling to the music of Hot Cider
Date: Saturday, March 25, 2017
Time: 8:00–11:00 pm, with newcomer’s orientation at 7:30 pm
Location: Coloma Community Center, 4623 T St, Sacramento, CA
Cost: $10 for adults; $8 for college students with ID; $5 for dancers under 18; $25 maximum for families (cash or check)

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We get the whole Nevada City package this coming dance, with calling by Joyce Miller, their home caller, and music by Hot Cider, their home band. Maybe our many Nevada City friends will travel down the hill and dance with us! Joyce Miller has been calling for contra dances since 2000, starting under the tutelage of Eric Curl. She has called at dance camps in the U.S. and Canada, but what she likes most is to call for her friends in the Sierra Foothills and environs. 

Hot Cider is the house band for the Nevada City contra dance. They’ve played hundreds of contra dances in their years together. These three pickers (Rudy Darling, Barry Angell, and Rick Toles) like to mix it up. You’ll hear the best traditional Celtic, Canadian, Appalachian, and western swing tunes. Always looking for a smile, the guys take more musical chances than might be prudent, so look out for manic mandolin and foolhardy fiddle.

A newcomer’s orientation is offered at 7:30 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. Potluck snacks are available at the break, and we encourage you to bring something to share. 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

Upcoming events:
April 2: English country dance
April 8: contra dance
April 22: potluck and special Anniversary Dance (contra, English, and more!)
April 29: zesty contra dance

March 11 waltz workshop & contra

Talent: Kelsey Hartman calling to the music of Whimsical
Date: Saturday, March 11, 2017
Beginning Waltz Workshop: 5:30-7:00 pm, cost $5 per person
Contra Dance: 8:00–11:00 pm, with newcomer’s orientation at 7:30 pm
Location: Coloma Community Center, 4623 T St, Sacramento, CA
Dance Cost: $10 for adults; $8 for college students with ID; $5 for dancers under 18; $25 maximum for families (cash or check)

sept24contraSaturday’s fun will start with Kelsey Hartman teaching a class for dancers who want to learn the basic waltz moves. Come early at 5:30 to learn how to do this fun dance and be able to join in for waltzing at regular contra dances. Kelsey is a “contraholic,” who can often be found dancing or calling a contra dance. Her inspiration comes from Nils Fredland, whose workshop in 2012 spurred her down the caller’s path. When calling, she considers herself a conduit between the dancers and the band, helping to channel the  joy of the music through flowing, interesting dances.

Whimsical is an all-female contra dance band, featuring Debra Tayleur on piano, Regan Hemphill and Janette Duncan on fiddle, and Beth Christian (not pictured) on cello. The group loves to combine strong rhythmic drive with lilting melodies, playing New England, old time, Quebecois, and Irish tunes to make dancers’ spirits and feet fill the floor with joy.

A newcomer’s orientation is offered at 7:30 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. Potluck snacks are available at the break, and we encourage you to bring something to share. 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

Upcoming events:
March 11: Playford Ball workshop for experienced English country dancers
March 25: contra dance
April 2: English country dance

February 25th contra dance

Talent: Mike Fynan calling to the music of The Upside Sound
Date: Saturday, February 25, 2017
Time: 8:00–11:00 pm, with newcomer’s orientation at 7:30 pm
Location: Coloma Community Center, 4623 T St, Sacramento, CA
Donation: $10 for adults; $8 for college students with ID; $5 for dancers under 18; $25 maximum for families (cash or check)

feb25_contraHailing from Santa Rosa, Mike Fynan is a flashy and innovative caller. The Upside Sound gives new definition to acoustic music with its unique instrumentation and rhythms. The band (Darin Smith on cello, Brad McClanahan on guitar, Michael Charnes on cittern and bass, and Caleb Morelli on bass, banjo, and accordian) blends original and traditional tunes for upbeat dancing, creating new resonances with Americana, indie, Celtic, swing, and Latin jazz.

A newcomer’s orientation is offered at 7:30 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. Potluck snacks are available at the break, and we encourage you to bring something to share. 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

Upcoming events:
March 5: English country dance
March 11: beginning waltz workshop & contra dance
March 11: Playford Ball Workshop for experienced English country dancers

New contra dance donation

Because our costs have risen, the donation for the second and fourth Saturday contra dances will soon increase for the first time in almost a decade. Starting in April, the regular adult rate will be $12/person. The rates for college students, children, and families will not change.

There were two significant increases in contra expenses this year. The City of Sacramento raised the rent for the Coloma Community Center, and we increased the payments to our wonderful bands and callers. This increase allows us to stay in line with other Bay Area dance groups that compete with us for talent. As the most inconvenient venue for most bands and callers to reach, it didn’t seem wise for SCDS to also offer the lowest pay.

To maintain the contra dance’s financial stability, the Board approved a donation increase that will exactly cover these increased costs. This rate is on par with other Bay Area dances. The donation for zesty and other special dances will be considered on a case-by-case basis throughout the year, depending on the cost of the talent and other circumstances.

Another way to offset the additional expenses would be to increase attendance. The Board will continue efforts to attract and retain new dancers, and we encourage all of you to invite anyone who might be interested to come and discover the fun of contra dancing!

February 11th family dance & contra

We’ll start early this Saturday with our family contra dance, designed for all ages, children through grandparents, from 2:00-3:30 pm. Beginners and children are especially encouraged to attend. This dance will feature easy, friendly contras called by Talib Huff to live music by Claudia’s Kitchen. The cost for the family dance is $15 per family (parents and children), $5 per child without dancing parent, and $10 per adult without children. Some contra dances taught in the afternoon will be repeated at our evening dance (separate donation) for all to enjoy.

Evening Dance:
Talent: Talib Huff calling to the music of Star Thistle
Date: Saturday, February 11, 2017
Time: 8:00–11:00 pm, with newcomer’s orientation at 7:30 pm
Location: Coloma Community Center, 4623 T St, Sacramento, CA
Cost: $10 for adults; $8 for college students with ID; $5 for dancers under 18; $25 maximum for families (cash or check)

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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. Star Thistle plays contra dances featuring Celtic, old-time, and other music. The band (left to right, as pictured) is Lonna Whipple (fiddle), David Wright (fiddle and mandolin), and Cheryl McKinney (keyboard).

A newcomer’s orientation is offered at 7:30 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. Potluck snacks are available at the break, and we encourage you to bring something to share. 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

Upcoming events:
February 25: contra dance
March 5: English country dance
March 11: beginning waltz workshop and contra dance

January 28th potluck and contra dance

Talent: Yoyo Zhou calling to the music of Deniz Akin and Obin Sturm
Date: Saturday, January 28, 2017
Time: 8:00–11:00 pm, with newcomer’s orientation at 7:30 pm
Location: Coloma Community Center, 4623 T St, Sacramento, CA
Cost: $10 for adults; $8 for college students with ID; $5 for dancers under 18; $25 maximum for families (cash or check)

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We’ll kick off the night’s festivities with a community potluck, starting at 6:30 pm in the Nevada City Room of the Coloma Community Center. Please bring a dish to share and serving utensils. You may also bring your own table setting to save on disposables.

Yoyo Zhou is a caller from Berkeley who is known for his thoughtful teaching and fun dances. He has been calling dances since 2012, sometimes on a few minutes’ notice. He believes in helping dancers get the most out of each dance.

Obin Sturm has been playing fiddle instead of doing his homework for 15 years.  He has participated in groups such as Scottish Fiddlers of Los Angeles and Southwest Fiddlers of Sunset Park, but is mostly known for serenading Downtown Davis twelve months a year. Deniz Akin is involved in just about all aspects of contra dance—calling, playing, programming, and dancing.  Also a banjoist, Deniz has been a part of the bluegrass and old-time scene for years.  If she’s not on stage, you can usually find her on the dance floor, doing anything from ceili to contra to social dance (especially swing!), or attempting to learn ragtime piano.  As a guitarist for several different contra dance bands, she draws from both Irish and American traditions to create driving, dynamic, and danceable rhythms.

A newcomer’s orientation is offered at 7:30 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. Potluck snacks are available at the break, and we encourage you to bring something to share. 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

Upcoming events:
February 5: English country dance, Roseville
February 11: special family dance and contra dance
February 25: contra dance

January 14th contra dance

Talent: Celia Ramsay calling to the music of Magic Reelism
Date: Saturday, January 14, 2017
Time: 8:00–11:00 pm, with newcomer’s orientation at 7:30 pm
Location: Coloma Community Center, 4623 T St, Sacramento, CA
Cost: $10 for adults; $8 for college students with ID; $5 for dancers under 18; $25 maximum for families (cash or check)

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Celia Ramsay has been calling contra dances since 2002, but has been telling people what to do for much, much longer. She chooses dances that fit the people in the room, uses clarity and brevity in teaching, and has a warm personality that makes the dancers happy. 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.

A newcomer’s orientation is offered at 7:30 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. Potluck snacks are available at the break, and we encourage you to bring something to share. 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

Upcoming events:
January 28: potluck & contra dance
February 5: English country dance
February 11: family dance & contra dance