American Dance & Music Week at Pinewoods

August 1- 8, 2009

This week is over -- see you next year!

Tentative Schedule

American Dance & Music Week
Tentative Schedule
7:45 - 8:15 Breakfast
9:00 - 10:00
Nils's Favorite Dances Nils Fredland
Old-time Fiddle George Touchstone
Banjo Jon Gersh
10:15 - 11:15
Irish Set Dancing Owen Morrison
Matthew Duveneck
Music Theory Anna Patton
11:15 - 12:00 Swimming, Bookstore Staffed
12:00 Lunch
1:30 - 2:30
Squar'em Up Kathy Anderson
Singing Tune Swap
George Touchstone and Jon Gersh
Matthew Duveneck
2:45 - 3:45
Challenging Dances of all Shapes
Lisa Greenleaf
Dance Ensemble Ethan Hazzard-Watkins
Harmony Singing Nils Fredland
4:45 - 5:15 Tea with Jam, Swimming and Bookstore Staffed
5:15 - 6:00 Rendezvous
6:30 Dinner
8:00 Couple Dances
8:15 Evening Dance Party
11:00 Optional After-dance activities

Program Description

Look at Adult Programs for general information; here are details about this particular program and staff.

Kathy Anderson will lead a Square Dance Callers Course concurrent with this week (pre-registration required).

American Dance & Music Week is geared towards dancers and players alike as some of the finest callers and musicians gather to share their expertise. Set to the music of fabulous northern and old-time bands, our featured dance styles include Irish sets, Argentine tango, swing dancing, New England contras and a wide range of squares. Top this off with singing, jamming and socializing, and you have yourself a satisfying camp experience.

For dancers, the week offers a chance to have fun dancing with old and new friends while learning from accomplished and engaging teachers. To start your day off on the right foot, Nils Fredland leads an energetic and accessible contra style class (you're sure to smile when he starts playing the trombone, too). Follow that up with couple dances led by the elegant Matthew Duveneck, who is a master at teaching both West and East coast swing, and a real pro when it comes to the patterns and partner connection of Argentine tango. Owen Morrison is on hand to share the infectious fun of Irish Kerry sets, and Kathy Anderson brings fabulous squares you can only find at a rich week like this. Program Director Lisa Greenleaf returns to add some afternoon zing with a session of challenging dances, and, as always, the evening dances showcase the talents of all the staff, providing a magical experience in C#, our heavenly open-sided wooden-floored pavilion.

Dancers will be excited by the energy of the stellar musical staff. Our two driving northern bands the Figments (Ethan Hazzard-Watkins, Anna Patton and Owen Morrison) and the Groovemongers (Rebecca McCallum, CW Abbott, Jane Knoeck and Mark Hellenberg) are complemented by the infectious old-time playing of the Canotes (brothers Jere and Greg Canote) as well as Jon Gersh and George Touchstone (from the band the Dixie Butterhounds).

For musicians, there is plenty of opportunity to sharpen skills and learn new repertoire. Individual instrument classes include banjo and fiddle, and all musicians can partake in the clear and easy style of Anna as she patiently reveals the mysteries of music theory. Ethan expertly guides the ensemble class, in which campers will form small bands for focused learning. Expand your repertoire of both music and song in Jon and George's Singing Tune Swap, and pick up some classic old-time tips with the Canotes in the late afternoon old-time jam. For dancers and musicians alike, Nils's singing class will encourage you to raise your voices in a variety of songs from all over the world.

Tying all of this together is Rendezvous, our community gathering featuring staff concerts, stories, jokes and laughs.

American Week is a chance for individual talents to shine and be celebrated, and for all of us to come together for a rewarding community experience -- please join us!

-- Lisa Greenleaf, Program Director



Kathy Anderson is widely admired for her exciting squares, quirky contras and swift, clear teaching. She has long been a favorite caller across the U.S., Canada and Europe. Kathy's smooth delivery and intriguing repertoire make for a fun, engaging dance experience.

Matthew Duveneck grew up dancing many styles, and now manages to find a fine balance between his passion for morris dance, forest fire ecology and Argentine tango. During the last ten years he has focused much of his creative energy on couple dancing and can often be found at tango milongas in various cities of the U.S., Canada and beyond. He is also the cofounder/director of the informal music dance party Ciderfest.

Nils Fredland made the shift from classical trombone player to trombone playing dance caller sometime in the year 2000 and he hasn't looked back. Widely known as a skilled, charismatic and caring leader, Nils has shared his talents with dancers and singers coast to coast and overseas.

Lisa Greenleaf returns to Pinewoods to share her community spirit and her sense of humor. She has been busy calling at dance camps across the country and in Europe, as well as mentoring new callers at leadership workshops on both coasts. She looks forward to sharing old and new dance favorites at American Week.


The Canote Brothers from Seattle, WA, are as renowned for their affable attitudes and humor as they are for their music. Greg on fiddle, and Jere on guitar, both on banjo ukes, play for dances, lead songs and promote a good time. The Canote Brothers demonstrate their love and mastery of vintage styles from old-time fiddle tunes and country songs to novelty numbers and swing. They perform with spirit, humor, sterling musicianship and genetically-matched voices. Personal Webpage

The Figments incorporate an eclectic mix of styles into their inspired performances of music for dancing or listening. Whether grooving on an old-time, Irish or French Canadian fiddle tune, trading daring improvisations on a gypsy jazz or swing number, or exploring the nuances of a graceful waltz or elegant English country dance tune, this trio of versatile musicians makes dynamic, spontaneous and electrifying music.

  • Fiddler Ethan Hazzard-Watkins performs traditional and original music with infectious energy, passion and grace. His fiery, lyrical fiddling fuses elements of Irish, French Canadian and New England styles, along with influences from swing, blues and classical music. Based in Brattleboro, VT, Ethan tours extensively with the bands Elixir, the Figments, Firetruck and others. Ethan is also just finishing up a year of working to get young people involved in dance and music as Youth Projects Intern for the Country Dance and Song Society. Personal Webpage
  • Owen Morrison grew up in the music and dance world and began playing for dances as a teenager. He now plays guitar and mandolin with several bands and at dance events around the country. Owen also shares his delight in dancing Kerry sets, teaching these high-energy dances at Pinewoods, Berea and many a late-night party.
  • Anna Patton plays dance tunes on the clarinet with great verve, clarity and harmonic whim. Besides English and contra dance tunes, her repertoire includes Balkan dance tunes, Brazilian choros and early jazz. Based in Brattleboro, VT she has spent much of her young life on tour around the U.S. and abroad, singing and playing for dancers, concert goers and pedestrians. She also enjoys teaching music to kids and adults and writing arrangements. Personal Webpage

The Groovemongers is a northern-style band with a world view of dance music. They are known for their rhythm, flair and drive, and weave a variety of musical influences into their style. They thoroughly enjoy the dance camp experience and look forward to playing for and jamming with campers.

  • Rebecca McCallum grew up playing classical violin, but began to transform from a "violinist" to a "fiddler" shortly after college. She favors northern styles of music in her driving contra dance fiddling, but indulges her Mediterranean roots by playing in a Greek band as well.
  • CW Abbott is the band's improvising mandolinist extraordinaire. He comes from a southern musical tradition, but has embraced new styles such as French Canadian reels and Irish jigs with abandon. In addition to mandolin, he's played guitar, bass, fiddle, pedal steel and jug.
  • Jane Knoeck's education includes a degree in music history and theory and years of piano, which did little to prepare her for playing contra, English and Scottish country dances. But after 20 years of touring the country playing piano and accordion with various bands, she has become an expert at matching the musical groove to the dance.
  • Mark Hellenberg has been playing traditional music for over forty years, beginning as a drummer in his father's bagpipe band in the early sixties. Since then, Mark has been featured as a percussionist on over a dozen recordings with both contra and Celtic bands. When not playing music, Mark works as a producer and classical music host at Ohio University Public Radio in Athens, OH.

Jon Gersh can barely contain a full blown banjo obsession that began when he was a teenager. He really enjoys matching dances to old-time, whether they be squares, contras, clogging and anything else that brings the rhythm to life. Jon grew up in New York, lived in Nashville for a long time, and has been in the Boston area for about 15 years . You can find him playing with the Dixie Butterhounds and Planet Banjo anywhere there's good music, dance, friends, food and drink. George Touchstone, originally from North Carolina but now living in Cambridge, MA, is a fiddle player in the southern old-time band the Dixie Butterhounds. He also plays mandolin, banjo-mandolin, guitar and blues slide guitar. In an earlier life he played in Calico and the String Benders. His influences include Charlie Poole, Gid Tanner, the Carter family, Tommy Jarrell, Bruce Molsky, Judy Hyman, Rayna Gellert and Alan Block.

Class Descriptions

Nils's Favorite Dances -- Nils Fredland / Figments (Anna Patton, Ethan Hazzard-Watkins, Owen Morrison)
Each session will explore a particular theme, with an overall emphasis on connection, communication and a safe and satisfying dance experience for everyone. Come expecting variety…contras, squares, chestnuts, mixers and unusual formations. Anything goes!

Old-time Fiddle -- George Touchstone
This will be a class in old-time fiddle style for people already playing other traditional genres, or people who have played some old-time and want more. Emphasis will be on style and technique rather than on learning a bunch of tunes. We'll particularly work on bowing styles and patterns.

Banjo -- Jon Gersh
This class will emphasize rhythm, rhythm and more rhythm. Then we'll add the basic strum, plus the distinctive four-count clawhammer stroke and the basic (and easy) three chords. You'll be amazed at what you can play with just those basics! We'll move on to more complex melodies and songs as the week progresses. We'll have a few songs at the end of each session for experienced players to just "let loose."

Irish Set Dancing -- Owen Morrison / Jane Knoeck, Ethan Hazzard-Watkins, Mark Hellenberg
Dance the sets of Cork and Kerry counties in the southwest of Ireland. These fast and fun dances are danced in four couple sets to lively polkas and slides. Beginners are welcome and encouraged to come join the fun.

Swing -- Matthew Duveneck / Greg and Jere Canote
Western swing has foundations from East coast swing, two-step and polka. Matthew will teach a variety of partner-based swing dance styles found on the honky-tonk dance floors of the American West. All levels welcome.

Music Theory -- Anna Patton
Exercise for the brain, but lots of playing as well.

Squar'em Up -- Kathy Anderson / Greg and Jere Canote, CW Abbott, Mark Hellenberg
Squares to engage your brain and tickle your fancy, with old and new dances from the southern, western and New England traditions, all danced to great old-time music guaranteed to keep your feet in motion.

Singing Tune Swap -- George Touchstone, Jon Gersh (a song and instrumental tune swap)
Seeking to bridge the gulf between song swaps and tune sessions, we'll play tunes with words and sing songs where the melody is interesting enough to be a good instrumental lead or break. These will be numbers that are fun to both sing and play. We'll also touch on vocal harmonies and instrumental backup for vocals.

Tango -- Matthew Duveneck / Anna Patton, Owen Morrison
Argentine tango was born in Buenos Aires during the earliest days of the last century and is now popular all over the world. Tango is considered by many partner dancers to be the ultimate form of creative dance. The class will compare tango to other dance forms and will explore a comfortable, joyful way to communicate through this beautiful and sensual dance. It will emphasize five dance connections: to music, to partner, to self, to the floor and to the community. All levels are welcome! Please bring shoes with leather or suede soles.

Challenging Dances of all Shapes -- Lisa Greenleaf / Groovemongers (CW Abbott, Rebecca McCallum, Mark Hellenberg, Jane Knoeck)
In this hour, experienced and confident dancers can enjoy the intricacies and quirks of more advanced choreography. Most of the dances will have great flow and will require very little thinking beyond the walk through (but you need to be very secure in your knowledge of figures), and a small but fun minority will be "head" dances that Lisa just can't resist.

Dance Ensemble -- Ethan Hazzard-Watkins
This class will allow musicians to explore the dynamics of playing dance music together in small ensembles. We will form bands to work with throughout the week and examine topics such as how to learn tunes from each other, how to rehearse, how to develop arrangements, both ahead of time and on the fly, how to create medleys, how to match music to dances, and how to create exciting and enjoyable dance music. Some proficiency on your instrument is required.

Harmony Singing -- Nils Fredland
Nils will deliver an instant choir experience that will amaze and inspire. He will lead songs from a wide range of choral singing traditions, focusing on American songs from the shape note and gospel canons, African songs (with accompanying dances!) and a few contemporary a capella gems. Basic music reading skills are helpful, but not necessary. We'll sound like a polished chorus by week's end!

Caller's Open Mic -- Nils Fredland / Rebecca McCallum, Jane Knoeck
Campers take over the calling during this session with our fabulous staff musicians. Please come and share your talents, your new dance compositions and your favorite dances. Dancers, come groove to the great music and to the wealth of camper talent. Feedback forms will be provided and Nils will take time outside of class to offer constructive comments to any interested participating callers.

Old-time Jam -- Greg and Jere Canote
Come learn some new tunes and wail away on old favorites, while working on some stylistic points of old-time and string band music.

Rendezvous -- Lisa Greenleaf
Gather in the Camphouse with our MC, Lisa Greenleaf, for entertainment and laughs, singing and staff concerts.