David Newitt arrived at Swarthmore College in the fall of 1976 and was shocked to discover that this pillar of higher education had a two year physical education requirement. Faced with the alternatives of being smashed to pieces on the football field and going to Folk and Square Dancing, the choice was clear. He’s been dancing ever since.
Starting with international folk dancing, he was soon dragged into the local Scottish Country Dance group, the college morris and rapper sword team, and, when it started in 1978, the Kingsessing Morris team of Philadelphia. He came to Berkeley in 1982 to work on a Ph.D.in physics and to do country and display dancing. Since the dissolution of the One Shot Morris Team due to MIBS (Morris Induced Baby Syndrome), he has concentrated on country dancing in the Bay Area, teaching and playing music for regular Scottish and English dances and calling contras and the occasional square dance.
When not dancing, David takes pictures of people’s insides, doing research in Magnetic Resonance Imaging at UCSF, specializing in body parts that start with B. David is one of the most accomplished country dance teachers in the Bay Area, known particularly for his mastery of dance geography and his ability to make complicated dances seem simple. David’s priorities can be guessed from the final acknowledgment in his dissertation, in which he thanks, “All my friends in various dance and music groups without whose continuing support I would undoubtedly have finished this dissertation several years earlier.”