Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Two for the Show ...

Last Saturday night at Carleton was tons of fun! Frederick Park held a large crowd of energetic young dancers in thrall as he explained both the history of contra dance (and social dance in general) and where to put your feet. We got to provide the music. A highlight for me was the long square dance that Frederick called where he asked us to only play one tune, not a medley as we typically do. We had a ball giving "The Squirrel Hunters" a thorough working over. Even better, it looks like there's a good chance we'll get to play in Northfield again next Fall and in Spring 2008.

This Saturday (April 28th) we'll be reunited with our "Fifth Beatle", Ted Hodapp, at Tapestry in Minneapolis. It will be our last dance at Tapestry for this season (no more until Fall) and our first chance to give Ted a hard time since our D.C. Tour back in November. Ted has already set up another mid-Atlantic tour for us for next April but we'll have more news about that later.

All good things come to an end and Sat. May 5th (that's Derby Day back where I come from) Contratopia will close this season with what has become a traditional finale at the beautiful Highlandville Schoolhouse (see Pat O'Loughlin's photo above) just north of Decorah. Thanks to the sponsorship of the Decorah contra dance group we'll get to work again with our buddy Sue Hulsether. Even though the dance floor is small we always have a large amount of fun playing in the Schoolhouse.

If you've never made the pilgrimage to Highlandville you owe it to yourself to take a look. Dances have been held there for over 30 years now. As Bill Musser wrote in 1994:

The mixture of people that came amazed me. How could such a diverse group - from the cow barn, the classroom, the commune, and the office; the very old, very young, progressive, conservative, single, and married; believer, atheist, agnostic, meat-eater, vegetarian - all hold this singular pleasure of dancing to old-time music in common?

You can find directions for getting to the Schoolhouse from Decorah at the website of our good friends Foot-Notes who have been carrying on the tradition of dancing there for over 15 years. You can bet that we'll play Erik's lovely "Highlandville Waltz" before the evening is over.

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