Local Hero: Craig Tinney

craigFor new musicians hoping to hone their skills enough to play for dances, approaching a circle of well-established musicians can feel intimidating. I've had that experience while toting an accordion, an instrument not always fondly regarded among traditional musicians of a certain stripe. Accordionists are not unique in being greeted with well-worn jokes about our instruments, and if aspiring musicians feel intimidated already, those jokes, though perhaps well-meaning, can add to the feeling of nervous self-consciousness.

Local Hero: Michel Landry

michael landry*We are sad to say that this posting came in shortly before Michel passed away and is another testament to his legacy of good work and community support.

After decades teaching international dance, Michel Landry, assisted by his wife Arduina Alonzo, began teaching English Country Dance in Montreal in 2002. Undaunted by lingering anti-anglo prejudice amongst some francophones, they have introduced many to the pleasures of ECD, and continue to do so.

Local Hero: Mary Luckhardt

maryMary Luckhardt invariably does what it takes to make English Country dancing happen in the Bay Area. Most recently, as dance manager of our Berkeley Wednesday ECDs, she's been coping with a sticky floor problem by arriving at the church early to spot mop and buff the floor, occasionally spreading cornmeal or cornstarch to alleviate the stickiness, after which she teaches the beginners' introduction to English dance.

Local Heroes: Carol Barry and Kevin Barrett

Carol and Kevin copyOklahoma's contra and English dance organization, Scissortail Traditional Dance Society, would like to formally thank, with joyful gratitude, our long-term members, Carol Barry and Kevin Barrett, for their generous, consistent, and ongoing contributions to our dance community.

Carol started dancing with a local international folk dance group in 1984. Together with Noel Osborn, John Rapp, and Jean Hill, she helped to establish the first core group of contra dance callers in Oklahoma in the late 1980s. Carol also fell in love with ECD and started Oklahoma's first ECD group in 1998, which succeeded and has been meeting twice a month since around 2000. In 2006, she invited some local musicians to form an ECD ensemble for a special weekend event. This group soon evolved into a regional favorite, the Ladies at Play.

Local Hero: Bob Nicholson

Bob Nicholson picBob Nicholson has been an anchor and inspiration for the Syracuse Country Dancers for many, many years. He was one of the first people I met when I started dancing and his kindness, easy-going nature, and enthusiasm for traditional dance and music has impressed me more and more every year since. At practically every event, he's there to call or dance, set up sound or close up the hall at the end of the evening. And in addition, he manages to help the new people and veterans alike have a wonderful time.

Local Hero: Sharon Green

sharonSharon has been dedicated for many years to build the Bay Area Country Dance Society through her frequent personal emails about local dances, her thoughtful and gentle dance teaching and calling, and her cheerful warm personality. She is the glue that holds us all together!

Local Hero: Theresa Lowder

Theresa LowderTheresa has led a performing folk dance group made up of teens from our local community, for nearly 30 years. Through their practices, performances, and amazing trips (Spain, Fiji, Denmark, etc,) she has taught them much more than how to dance well - she has taught them how to live well.

Local Hero: Ed Wilkinson

Ed WilkinsonEd Wilkinson has been a mainstay and stalwart member of Nashville Country Dancers (weekly Contra Dance *AND* weekly English Dance) for the past 30 years. He and his wife, Melissa, run the weekly English Dance, for which they have been callers and organizers for many years. Ed is one of the scant handful who organize the weekly Contra Dance; present early to set up the sound, calling regularly and an active dancer. Ed has served continuously on the Nashville Country Dancers Board for decades, and has served repeated terms in all the elected board positions (President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary).  For Nashville's two annual dance weekends, he has been a major support throughout these many years. Ed is a key organizer for the autumn Nashville Music City Masquerade and the lead organizer for the spring Nashville Playford Ball.

Local Hero: Janine Smith

smith janine copyJanine, whom I have worked with for some years now and done jobs that involved calling to everything from demanding expert dancers to inner city kids who didn't really want to be where they were, well, Janine covers it all. She prepares for every gig no matter how small and NEVER talks down to the dancers, no matter how slow or unskilled they may be.

Local Hero: David Millstone

DMillstone copyWhy is David Millstone my local hero? Let me tell you the story. I am now a 'senior' (60+) TEFL Peace Corps volunteer in Hrazdan, Armenia. I have been here now for seven months.

Before leaving for Armenia I asked David to teach me to be a dance caller. I had been attending David's dances with Northern Spy in Norwich, Vermont for a few years. After spending some time with David talking over lunch about dances and calling, I thought, "I can be a caller". With David's coaching I called my first dance at the Ralph Page Weekend in Durham, New Hampshire. My dance was Galopede. David coached me in calling a dance at a few Spy dances in Norwich and then let me follow him to all of his summer camp dances in VT and NH last summer before I left for Peace Corps in Armenia.

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