Contra Dance Callers Course
August 11 - 18, 2013
Held during CDSS at Timber Ridge.
Is there still room?
For up-to-date info about availability and wait lists,
see our main Dance & Music Camps page.
Rick Mohr is a nationally-known contra caller and choreographer and an accomplished morris dance leader, singer and musician. His enthusiasm, humor and deep dance and music repertoire help groups of kids, teens and adults experience the joys of traditions old and new.
Great callers draw on a wide range of skills--from teaching, to programming, to timing, to stage presence. If you are an advanced beginner through intermediate caller with a knack for some skills and a commitment to work on the others, and are ready to take your calling to the next level, this intensive calling course could be for you.
In a fun and supportive atmosphere we'll focus on the most important calling skills through exercises, practice, and discussion. Topics include leading clear and concise walkthroughs, picking great dances and programs, working with beginners, crafting calls, vocal and mic technique, and working with musicians.
And in our daily "dancing lab" each participant will have three opportunities to teach and call a dance with live music, camper dancers, and expert feedback, as we work through some of the real-life situations that arise on the dance floor.
In addition to attending the main daily workshop (a 2 hour and 15 minute block in the afternoon) you're invited to participate in the vibrant morning and evening activities of Adult & Family Week at Timber Ridge, including further opportunities to call at an afternoon Open Calling session led by Gaye Fifer. Come prepared to immerse yourself in the many facets of contra calling, dancing, and music. (...including homework assignments between sessions!)
The course is led by Rick Mohr, based on the workshops and exercises he's developed over 15 years of working with groups of callers at dance weeks and weekends across the country. Rick's fun and supportive style combined with deep calling experience helps each participant progress on skills and overcome challenges.
This course is limited to eight participants to ensure plenty of opportunity for active participation. If the course is oversubscribed on March 18 there will be a lottery of the qualified applicants. Please clearly indicate if you would like to attend Adult & Family Week at Timber Ridge, if you did not get a space in the course. Scholarships are available.
Requirements for callers
With your registration form please also include a short description of your calling experience and an area where you'd like to improve.
In order to attend the course you must:
- Be able to time calls appropriately to phrases of music;
- Know how many beats of music basic contra figures take;
- Have called at least 3 contras in a real dance setting such as an open mic, new caller night, guest caller slot, or dance party in your living room;
- Have a repertoire of at least 3 dances you feel comfortable teaching and calling;
- Be prepared to receive and incorporate feedback, even if you have a lot of calling experience.
Morning Contras (18 & up): Gaye Fifer
Music by: Adam Broome, Nicholas Williams
Wake up gently with smooth, fun dances and wonderful music.
Advanced English (18 & up): Melissa Running
Music by: Daron Douglas, Dave Wiesler, Paul Oorts
For those familiar with the repertoire and those who learn patterns well. We'll do familiar dances from talk-throughs only, and save some intensive teaching time for the unfamiliar gems--dances you can sink your teeth into.
Challenging Contras (13 & up): Rick Mohr
Music by: Adam Broome, Nicholas Williams, Jaige Trudel
Get your dance buzz going from intricate moves, close timing and unexpected choreography. A few brain-benders, a variety of surprises and a whole lot of fun!
Morris (13 & up): David Roodman
Music by: David Cantieni
Come and learn morris dances new and old. Get airborn! Bring sneakers, enthusiasm and a passion for jumping around with bells!
|11:30-12:15||All Camp Gathering with songs, singing, games and stories|
|1:00-1:30||Canoeing in the River|
|1:30-3:45||Contra Dance Callers Course|
Family Dance Band (11 & up): Ann Percival, David Cantieni
All instruments welcome. If you are 11 years old or older, comfortable playing in the common keys (G,D,A,C) and want to have fun with dance music in an ensemble setting, come join us. Playing by ear will be stressed but not required -- here's a chance to leave your written music behind. The Family Dance Band will usually play for a dance or two during the evening program; it will also work out some other tunes plus get a handle on the parade music.
Open Calling (13 & up): Gaye Fifer
Music by: Nicholas Williams
New callers, or callers who want more practice, are welcome to come and give it a try. Folks in the caller's course are welcome as well. We'll have great music, some feed-back for those who desire it, and a need for dancers!
Swing/Blues (13 & up): Josh Van Vliet, Tresne Hernandez
Music by: Steve Hickman, John Devine
Swing dancing is all about energy in motion. Experience the juicy stretch, the graceful sharing of weight that makes Lindy Hop so exciting. Blues Dancing originated around the same time as Lindy Hop and represents the slower, smoother side of swing dancing. We'll start with the basics of blues and lindy hop: moving with a partner, add some key techniques for partner connection and musical interpretation (which you can bring to any partner dance!). Then on to the learning the 8-count swing out and some cool swing moves! As lindy hop and blues dances often meld together, you will be able to meld the two as well. All levels of dance experience welcome!
|4:45-5:45||Bookstore staffed, Swimming in the Pool, Canoeing in the River|
|5:15-5:45||Sing for your supper|
|6:45||Parade from the Grove to the Playhouse|
|7:35-8:15||All Camp Gathering|
|8:15||Pied Piper/Bedtime for children 9 & younger|
|8:30-11:00||Evening Dance Party|
|9:30||Bedtime for 10-12 year olds|