Rochester Contra & English on TV

This morning, June 21, 2016, a lively band of CDR dancers met at dawn under the full moon to dance with 13 WHAM & Fox Rochester’s Alexis Arnold.  We had a great time showing Alexis and the television audience what Contra and English Country Dance are all about.  You can see the video on the Fox Rochester web site. Many thanks to Lisa Brown for making the connection with the station and getting the word out, and also to musicians Dick Bolt and Jane Knoeck giving us lively tunes, and to callers Margaret Mathews and Richard Sauvain.

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We dance mostly New England style contras and other traditional styles every Thursday at Covenant United Methodist Church (MAP). We offer an easy and friendly pre-dance lesson every week around 7:15 for newcomers, and the dance starts at 7:30.


Thursday, June 23, 2016 - Contra Dance

Special Dance

Callers:   Eric Rounds and the Rochester Callers’ Collective
Bands:  Blackthorn Ceilidh Band and Rounds/Henry/Williams

This Thursday, 6/23/2016, is the 40th anniversary of the first official CDR Contra Dance and we will be celebrating!  We are fortunate to have the same band that played on 6/23/76.  Imagine that!  There will be door prizes, special treats, and some historical flashbacks.

The first half of the evening will feature Eric Rounds calling with Blackthorn Ceilidh Band. They are planning to call/play Petronella, so if you’ve never danced it but always hear about “spin one place, as in Petronella,” here is your chance to learn why that terminology is used.

The second half will feature members of the Rochester Callers’ Collective with music by Eric Rounds, Mark Henry, and Brian Williams.  More great music and their favorite dances.

Stick around and socialize with the Blackthorn Ceilidh players–let them know how much you appreciate their participation in the early days with the Country Dancers of Rochester–an organization that has held weekly dances for 40 years!

If you have memorabilia to add to our historical display, bring it to the dance or email peggy@cdrochester.org

Thursday, June 30, 2016 - Contra Dance

Caller:   Bob Fabinski
Band:  Ensoleil

Ensoleil (pronounced “on-so-lay”) is a group of recent graduates of the Music Composition Department  from the University of Michigan’s School of Music with Nadine Dyskant-Miller on flute and feet, Christine Hedden on fiddles, Tanner Porter on voice, cello and guitar, and Annika Socolofsky on voice, fiddle and bouzouki.  This band is touring the northeast and we are delighted that they are passing through Rochester.  We remember Nadine from her days with TuneScape and Confluence; we’ve missed hearing her absolutely phenomenal flute playing.  Our own Bob Fabinski has an outstanding dance program planned–be sure to join us tonight.

Thursday, July 7, 2016 - Contra Dance

Caller:   Colin Hume
Band:  Calliope

A fantastic treat from across the pond – Colin Hume is visiting from England. He is a world-renowned caller who will teach contras and other formations that are popular in England.

Touring with Colin is a wonderful band called Calliope from New England.  The complete band of Calliope is: Amy Cann (Violin, Viola, Piano), Richard Salvo (Clarinet) Carol Compton (Piano) Bruce Randall (Trombone, whistles and recorders), Marco Brehm (Bass), Vince ODonnell (Fiddle) and Norm Spencer (accordion).  We will have a subset of these talented musicians, and it will be sure to be a great dance!

Thursday, July 14, 2016 - Contra Dance

Caller:   Clinton Ross

Band:  George Wilson and Jane Knoeck

Clinton is a touring caller who will treat us to contras from his large collection of dances.   George Wilson is a super-talented fiddler from Eastern New York, and will team with Jane Knoeck to play revolutionary new tunes on this Bastille Day!

Thursday, July 21, 2016 - Contra Dance

Caller:   Chuck Abell
Band:  Robin Osgood and Norman Rodham

ALTERNATE SITE AND EARLIER TIME TONIGHT!  We will be dancing at First Baptist, 175 Allens Creek Road (MAP) from 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm. 

Robin Osgood danced her first contra in Rochester in 1992. She and husband Norman are touring WNY, so we are delighted to have her play at her first “home dance”.   Norman plays guitar, bodrhan, cittern, bones and foot percussion. Robin plays fiddle. Come dance to Celtic, Quebecois, and traditional New England Contra music.  We are delighted to have our own Chuck Abell calling tonight.

Thursday, July 28, 2016 - Contra Dance

Caller:   Sherry Nevins
Band:  New Brew

Eileen Nicholson, Tom Santarsiero and Jane Knoeck have picked a name for their band: New Brew! Come celebrate.

Sherry Nevins visits us again from the West Coast with fun dances.

Thursday, August 4, 2016 - Contra Dance

Caller:   Maxine McDonald
Band:  Colton Robbins

Maxine McDonald is our youngest local caller, with fun energetic dances to teach.

Colton Robbins, a student of Dick Bolt, is putting together a band of young musicians for this night.

Thursday, August 18, 2016 - Contra Dance

Caller:   Joyce Rossbach
Band:  The McKenzies

What could be better than dancing to live music?  Come on out and join us.

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English Country dances are held every Sunday (except 5th Sundays) at First Baptist Church (MAP). Pre-dance intro to English dancing session offered at 6:10 pm for newcomers.



Sunday, June 26, 2016 - English Dance

Caller:  Dan Seppeler
Band:  Serendipity

Heartwarming music from Laurie Williams on flute and Barb Seppeler on piano.  Dan’s sense of humor and impressive repertoire make for a lively evening.

Sunday, July 3, 2016 - English Dance

Caller:  Richard Sauvain
Band:  Arugula

Arugula, in various configurations, has a long history of playing for both our English and our contra dances.  Their mix of violin, flute, piano, and bass is rich in texture and lively in energy.  Richard will teach us a pleasing mix of dances old and new.

Sunday, July 10, 2016 - English Dance

Caller:  Colin Hume
Band:  Calliope

Don’t miss this opportunity to experience excellent teaching with British flair from one of the great callers of our generation! Colin has deep knowledge of country dance, developed over decades of calling in England.  He’s in the colonies to teach at the Amherst Early Music Festival, and we are lucky to get him on a pre-Festival tour.  Music by Calliope (see July 7).

Sunday, July 17, 2016 - Afternoon English Dance

Callers:  Pamela Goddard & Allison Thompson
Band:  Amarillis

A Sunday afternoon tea dance, 2-5 pm, with Amarillis, a great band from Pittsburgh.  The musicians are  Maro Avakian piano, Donna Issac fiddle, and Allison Thompson accordion.  From tender waltzes to driving English dance tunes, this trio is adept and energetic.  Allison will share the calling with Ithaca caller Pamela, a local favorite.

Sunday, July 24, 2016 - English Dance

Caller:  Melanie Axel-Lute
Band:  Eileen Nicholson & Jane Knoeck

Melanie is known for interesting programming, clear teaching, and enthusiasm for the dance that shines through and makes the dancing fun! Jane’s sparkling piano and Eileen’s dynamic violin make moving to music even more fun!

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