It is likely that there are musicians and callers in your local community who would be excited to support your event. Here are some ideas for how to find them.
- Search online for something like "[your town] Contra dance" or "[your state] English dance" and you'll probably find a fairly local dance group that runs regular events. They exist in every state. If you don't find them in a search engine, look at Ted Crane's Dance Database, or the Dance Gypsy, both of which have searchable lists of events, groups and performers.
- Get in touch with the organizers of your local group and ask them if they know of musicians and callers who might be interested to help support a new event. Emphasize that you want people who are charismatic, fun, and good with beginners.
- If you know musicians, callers, or organizers in other parts of the country, ask for their suggestions about people you should contact locally. The traditional dance and music scene is very well connected all over the country and in Canada.
- If none of this works, get in touch with CDSS and we can help refer you to someone near you (a CDSS member or affiliate organization) who can probably help.
- Once you have identified performers you want to hire, contact them and ask if they are interested to play or call for your event. Take a look at this general information on band/caller relations. If you expect to be able to pay performers, let them know. If you don't plan to or don't know what the pay will be as you start out, explain that and ask if the performers are willing to donate their services in support of getting more beginners and young folks involved in traditional dance and music.
- If you are working on a college campus or in a school, it's great to work to develop student performers