Contra Dance Oct 8 and English Country Dance Oct 9

We’re hosting two dances on the second weekend in October: a contra dance on Saturday, October 8th and an English country dance on Sunday, October 9th. Details for both dances are below.

Contra Dance
Talent: Talib Huff calling to the music of Star Thistle
Date: Saturday, October 8, 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, weddings, festivals and dance communities. Star Thistle plays contra dances featuring Celtic, old-time, and other music. The band is Lonna Whipple (fiddle), David Wright (fiddle and mandolin), and Cheryl McKinney (keyboard).

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: Bruce Herbold calling to the music of Quite Carried Away
Date: Sunday, October 9, 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)

Bruce Herbold started dancing Scottish country dance in 1977 in Berkeley and got seriously into English country dance in the 90s. He teaches two SCD classes each week and calls ECD all around the Bay Area.  His overarching goals as a caller and a teacher are to make the dancing sociable and fun. He believes that every good dance tells a story. 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.

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

January 10th Audrey Knuth & Amy Englesberg in Concert and Waltz Workshop

Please save the date for our next online concert, with Audrey Knuth and Amy Englesberg, at 4 pm Pacific time on Sunday, January 10th. Earlier on the same day, at 1 pm, Star Thistle will offer a waltz workshop for musicians (preregistration required). Details for both events are below.

The Concert

Audrey Knuth and Amy Englesberg, both classically trained musicians, are two-thirds of the Free Raisins. Audrey, who recently moved to the Bay Area from Boston, plays a driving and lyrical fiddle, while Amy plays piano and accordion. The Free Raisins fuse New England roots with a modern groove. This concert promises a versatile mix of danceable tunes.

You can join the concert at https://contradance.link/SCDS, starting at 3:45 pm on January 10th. 

Tips for the band are appreciated: paypal.me/audreyknuth

The Waltz Workshop

On Sunday, January 10th, at 1:00 PM Pacific time, the members of Star Thistle are happy to offer a waltz learning workshop! They will teach two of their original waltzes, one written by Lonna and the other by David. This one-hour online event will lead melody players in learning and playing the waltzes, and offer playing tips and the stories and feelings behind the tunes. There is no fee to attend, but a charitable donation is encouraged. One possibility is the Phoenix fund to help Jeremiah McLane and his family recover from a house fire, in which they lost their instruments and music.

The workshop will be aimed for melody players, notably violin/fiddle, viola, or mandolin but is accessible to other instruments. Lonna, David, and piano wizard Cheryl McKinney will offer accompaniment tips, too.

Star Thistle is a contradance band, which has played often at the Newcastle/Auburn and Sacramento contradances, as well as other venues and special events in California. Fiddler Lonna Whipple grew up playing classical violin. As an adult, she began dancing and playing international folk dance music. Then in the nineties, playing and dancing to music cemented her move into the world of Irish and of course contradance fiddling! Playing with her bandmates in Star Thistle has been a rewarding, growing experience, including the opportunity to try composing her own tunes. David Wright also started with classical training, but experienced teen rebellion and gave up playing entirely, only rediscovering the mandolin and fiddle twenty years later – with traditional and contradance music. He joined Star Thistle in 2001 and is still loving the exploration.

The two tunes are easy waltzes in A-minor and D. Participants should be comfortable with C, G, and D scales (no fancy positions). The band suggests learning to play them by ear, though sheet music will also be provided. 

To participate, respond to daveofdavesue@yahoo.com for the link to the event, which will be sent by email in the second week of January.

Please share this information with anyone you know who might be interested. To receive email announcements of SCDS events, sign up at https://groups.io/g/SactoCDS.

Upcoming concerts:
Feb. 7 – Rachel Bell and Becky Tracy
March 14 – Caroline McCaskey
April 11 – Turnip the Beat

Jan 23 Contra Dance (Fourth Saturday)

  • Woody Lane calling to the music of Star Thistle (Cheryl McKinney, Lonna Whipple & Barry Angell)
  • January 23, 2016, 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM
  • Location: Coloma Community Center, 4623 T St, Sacramento, CA 95819
  • $10 for adults; $8 for college students with ID; $5 for dancers under 18; $25 maximum for families

Lane+StarThistleAlt

Woody Lane (caller) and Star Thistle (Cheryl McKinney, Barry Angell, Lonna Whipple)

Woody Lane is from Roseburg in southwestern Oregon. He’s been calling for more than 25 years. He says, “I love to call dances. Leading folks through patterns across the floor, synthesizing my voice with the dances and the lilting music — I am honored and proud to be the leader for such an evening.” Star Thistle plays contra-dances and Celtic, old-time, and other music. Star Thistle is Cheryl McKinney (keyboard), Barry Angell (mandolin and guitar), and Lonna Whipple (fiddle).

A newcomer’s orientation is offered at 7:30PM, 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.

December 12 Contra Dance (Second Saturday)

  • Kelsey Hartman calling to the music of Star Thistle (Cheryl McKinney, David Wright & Lonna Whipple)
  • December 12, 2015 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM
  • Location: Coloma Community Center, 4623 T St, Sacramento, CA 95819
  • $10 for adults; $8 for college students with ID; $5 for dancers under 18; $25 maximum for families

Kelsey is a caller, organizer and dancer active in the Hayward dance community, “helping to channel the joy of the musicians’ music through flowing, interesting dances.” Star Thistle are long-time favorites of the Sacramento dance community who will provide just that “joy of the musicians’ music.”

Kelsey&StarThistle

Kelsey Hartman and Star Thistle

A newcomer’s orientation is offered at 7:30PM, 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.

More information? Call Susan or David at (916) 739-8906 or email info@sactocds.org

Note: There is NO contra dance December 26. Instead, join us New Years Eve!

 

August 29 Truckee Contra Dance

A special 5th-Saturday contra dance co-sponsored by the Sacramento Country Dance Society, the Sierra Contra Dance Society (Reno), and Foothill Country Dancers, with help from folks in Truckee. The caller is Foothill favorite Joyce Miller, and the music will come from the Newcastle house band, Star Thistle.

  • August 29, 2015, 7:30 PM – 10:30 PM
  • Headlining are caller Joyce Miller and Star Thistle (Cheryl McKinney, keyboard, Lonna Whipple, fiddle, and David Wright, fiddle and mandolin).
  • Donation: $12 for adults
  • Location: Truckee Community Art Center, 10046 Church St, Truckee

A newcomer’s orientation is offered at 7:00PM, 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.

Some people will be staying in the area and may be hiking on Sunday. Please contact Barbara Gebhart at bgebhart2000@yahoo.com or 916-761-3021 for info about camping.