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Dancing at the Festival

The dancing just gets better and better every year at the Festival. On Saturday, the dance workshops, in two venues, start at 10:30 a.m. Take a dinner break at 6:30 p.m. and then come back for the Saturday evening dances that start at 7:30 p.m.. This year, the Barn Dance co-sponsored by ADC will feature The Rifters, and the Contra Dance, sponsored by FolkMADS, will feature the Albuquerque Megaband with Erik Erhardt calling.

Of course, you can always dance to the live music at various venues around the festival. And if you feel like dance jammin', you can join in the Band/Dance Scramble, with planning, rehearsal, and name creation from 4:30-5:30 p.m. and performance from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Dance Workshops

Here's our 2015 dance workshop schedule, with two dance venues. Don't miss the chance to try all kinds of different dancing styles. Thanks to Deb Brunt for organizing the dance workshops.

Dance Tent

TimeSessionNameDescription
10:30 AMDancing Along the Santa Fe TrailHigh Desert Dancers with Scott Mathis and Linda Askew

Jim Calvert has been the director and choreographer of the High Desert Dancers since founding the group in 1982. The main focus of the troupe has always been western dance, but their repertoire is as varied as the cultures of the Southwest and, at times, contains some real surprises. This year's workshop will focus on several dances that were commonly seen around the campfires of the many wagon trains that traveled the Santa Fe trail from St. Louis to Santa Fe, beginning with the Varsouvianna, and a quadrille or two, and ending with a folk version of the "Cotton-eyed Joe". Contact info: email: calvert390@yahoo.com phone: (505) 869-6391

11:30 AMCross-Step WaltzGary Diggs & Kerrie Gorrell

Cross-Step waltz is a relatively new social dance form, in large measure invented at Stanford in 1995, but has roots in dances of the ragtime era. Drawing on tango, swing, as well as waltz traditions, it is designed to facilitate spontaneity. For a demonstration and more info go to Stanford Cross Step Waltz, or simply search on "Richard Powers waltz".

12:30 PMCloggingSandia Mountain Cloggers

The Sandia Mountain Cloggers are a local folk dancing group specializing in an American percussive style non-partnered line dance which contains elements of Irish, Scottish, and African Dance. Clogging predates tap dancing and is one of the first "street dances." Our dancing is very rhythmic with our feet keeping time with the downbeat. We wear leather shoes with a two-piece aluminum tap and enjoy making as much noise as possible. We dance to a large variety of music including country, bluegrass, pop, and we even danced to Mozart once!

Our group has been dancing in Albuquerque for over 30 years. We have an annual beginners class in the fall. Please contact us at sandiamtncloggers@live.com for more information as we dance almost every Thursday night.

1:30 PMHula: The Art & Soul of Hawai'iCindi Heffner with Ha`aheo O Hawai`i

Come and learn the basic hand, foot, and body movements that gracefully entwine to tell stories of Hawaii's history, places, people and traditions...all infused with the spirit of Aloha.  Hawaii's beautiful, joyous cultural dance is suitable for everyone of every age. 

2:30 PMIrish CeiliNorita Callahan

A lively Irish hoedown, led by Norita Callahan, with round, line and square figures danced to reels 'n jigs 'n hornpipe music.

Traditional Irish Ceili (K-lee) folk dance classes for beginners - pre-teen to adult - are held on Wednesday evenings at 7pm.

These classes have been on-going in Albuquerque since 1985.

Ceili dances are simple, mildly aerobic and no partner is needed. We dance 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 and 16 hand dances in round, square and line formations. The lively music - which makes your feet want to dance - are reels, jigs, polkas and hornpipes.

Please call/email Norita 298-2708, noraabq@yahoo.com for more information. IT'S FUN - Join us...

3:30 PMKlezmer DanceRikud Yiddish Dancers and Nahalat Shalom Community Klezmer Band

Rikud Yiddish dancers will lead you in traditional Eastern European Jewish dances to Klezmer music performed by the Nahalat Shalom Community Klezmer Band.

Both groups rehearse regularly and are open for the public to join. The groups also co-produce along with the non-profit Nahalat Shalom "Klezmerquerque" - a weekend of workshops and performances featuring world-renowned klezmer dancers, musicians & scholars held annually over Presidents' Day Weekend.

For more information regarding klezmer/Yiddish music and dance events in the area, Rikud, the Nahalat Shalom Community Klezmer Band, and Klezmerquerque visit: nahalatshalom.org (click on "klezmer music/dance") and/or contact Beth Cohen at (505) 243-6276, E-mail: cohenedmunds@netzero.net

4:30 PMNuevo Tango ArgentinoTony Espinoza

In our Argentine Tango workshop, we will explore the playful non-verbal communication between lead and follow, as we learn the basic tango footwork. Our focus will be to work on "ocho cortado" footwork. This includes La Salida, forward and back Ochos, and "La Cruzada". No partner needed, as we will change partners frequently.

5:30 PMContra DanceErik Erhardt with The Mullanys

This "rhythmic swirl of awesomeness and dancing" is a style of traditional American folk social dance in long line sets down the dance hall.  These dances are social, providing opportunity for dancers to relate to each other in a fun and non-stressful way. All of the dances are taught, and beginners are welcomed warmly and encouraged.

Every Saturday you can enjoy contra and traditional community dancing with the New Mexico Folk Music and Dance Society (FolkMADS). On the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month dances are in Albuquerque, and on 2nd and 4th Saturdays they are in Santa Fe (see FolkMADS.org).

Caller Erik Erhardt calls contra and English country dance and teaches couples dancing (such as rotary and cross-step waltz and Scandinavian) at local community dances, dance weekends, and dance weeks throughout the U.S.

Rooted in the East Mountains near Albuquerque, The Mullanys are currently a trio of Jim, Marj, and Riley Mullany. The Mullanys fiddle their favorite old-time tunes and sing beautiful early country songs. Marj grew up in northern New Jersey, harmonizing with her mother who sang parlor songs with her family in Depression-era Amarillo, Texas. Jim was raised in a wholesome, sing-around-the-piano musical family in Northern Virginia, but fell in with the wrong crowd and subsequently learned to play clawhammer banjo in high school. Jim and Marj met at the Santa Fe Banjo and Fiddle Contest in the late 80's, married soon thereafter, and raised a couple old-time-playing kiddos, including Riley, who is home from Northeastern University in Boston.

Indoor Dance

TimeSessionNameDescription
10:30 AMElegant English Country DanceNoralyn Parsons with Mad Robin

If you've watched Pride and Prejudice on TV, or seen Sense and Sensibility or Emma at the movies, you have seen English Country dancing. People love English Country dancing because of the hauntingly beautiful music, the grace and elegance as you glide through the moves, and the fleeting connections and flirtations between you, your partner, and the other dancers. Learn these easy but elegant dances, flirt with your partner, and pretend you are Jane Austen and Mr. Darcy!

Mad Robin is a group of talented and experienced musicians who have been playing together in different bands and playing different types of music for over 25 years.  Playing for dances is the main focus of Mad Robin, including English Country, contra dances, waltzes, Zweifacher, hambos, polkas and tangos.

 "Mad Robin" is the name of a particular move in English Country Dancing, the name of a specific tune, and a particularly good name for a group of slightly crazy mature musicians who are always weaving new harmonies around each other and old tunes while in their heads imagining how they would be dancing it if they weren't sitting there playing for you!

The menagerie of members include:

Gary Mayhem, guitar, who shines in English Country and classical styles, was a member of "Boxwood Consort" and "Melismata." For over 20 years he has joined a large group of fellow musicians to play guitar every Wednesday. In his leisure time, he writes games and tries them out on his friends! He is a retired-NOT tired- math teacher, who lives with his pet crocodile.

Dr. Willliam Litchman plays clarinet, and founded "Boxwood Consort" decades ago for the purpose of playing and dancing English Country dances. He is also a caller for square dances and English Country dances.

Julie Paladino, viola and violin, was a member of "Half Gypsy" and "Baillywick". She has also played with "String Song" and "Tersetto Trio." Julie recently retired from teaching orchestra in Albuquerque Public Schools, and on certain nights, it rains cats and dogs at her house.

Angela Welford plays flute with the Robins as well as the Albuquerque Civic Band. Angela is a long time member of FolkMADS and volunteer for the ABQ Folk festival. She is also a superb dancer and sings alto or tenor as she did in "Melismata." In her neck of the woods, she gets visited by lions, squirrels and bears.

Sherilyn Urben, cello/piano/harp/violin/vocals, has been a member of "Boxwood Consort," "Tersetto Trio", "Megaband," and an originator of "Distant Cousins," and "String Song." She has also played with the Santa Fe Symphony and Musical Theater Southwest, and sung with "Opera Southwest" "Meliamata' and "Opera Unlimited." She teaches music and dance to elementary school students and business information technology to CNM students, teaches private music and voice lessons, and dances in her not-spare time. Rehearsals at her house are accompanied in counterpoint with her talking/singing parrot.

11:30 AMScottish Country DancingKenneth Armstrong with The Thrifters

The Enchantment Scottish Country Dancers love dancing. We meet on Friday nights and new people are very welcome to join us. Scottish Country Dancing is usually done in a four couple set. The dances are Reels, Jigs and Strathspeys and are great fun and good exercise. Further information from Kenneth Armstrong at 294-0042 or karmstrong00@comcast.net.

The Thrifters is Deb Bluestone, violin/viola (Albuquerque, NM), and Dave Faires, guitar/vocals/percussion (Sandia Park, NM).

Since 2011, The Thrifters has provided music for Contra dances in Santa Fe and Albuquerque; weekly classes of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society/Albuquerque branch; Contra and Scottish dance demonstrations at the Albuquerque Folk Festival; and demonstrations and balls for the Rio Grande Valley Celtic Festival and Highland Games.

Together with other musicians, Deb and Dave also play for English County Dance as Anonymous Tomato, and explore the singer/songwriter repertoire blended with traditional Celtic, American, and Scandinavian folk music.

12:30 PMZwiefacherDonna Howell with Mad Robin

Zwiefache have been around since Columbus was in diapers. Two forms of documentation have been preserved from the 1400's: musical notation and arrest records. Arrest records? Dancing in a closed hold, even with your spouse, was equivalent to 'doing it' in public. Basically, the dance is a fast turning waltz sprinkled with pivots. A couple's rate of rotation will continuously speed and slow, centrifugal forces changing at the same time. If you never dance it again, you'll still come away with improved social waltz skills. The workshop will be blessed with live music from Mad Robin. The tunes are melodic to the point of being 'ear-worms' and each tune has its set pattern of waltzes and pivots. .... you may consider it wise to wear shoes that protect your toes. A video of folks dancing zwiefache is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWp8lz0fJ3k&feature=related.

Instructor Donna Howell has taught historic and modern couple dances for over 25 years. She currently teaches at the Genoveva Chavez Community Center in Santa Fe, produces a show of dance music on Santa Fe Public Radio KSFR 101.1 FM and can be reached at donna_jhowell@hotmail.com.

Mad Robin is a group of talented and experienced musicians who have been playing together in different bands and playing different types of music for over 25 years.  Playing for dances is the main focus of Mad Robin, including English Country, contra dances, waltzes, Zweifacher, hambos, polkas and tangos.

 "Mad Robin" is the name of a particular move in English Country Dancing, the name of a specific tune, and a particularly good name for a group of slightly crazy mature musicians who are always weaving new harmonies around each other and old tunes while in their heads imagining how they would be dancing it if they weren't sitting there playing for you!

The menagerie of members include:

Gary Mayhem, guitar, who shines in English Country and classical styles, was a member of "Boxwood Consort" and "Melismata." For over 20 years he has joined a large group of fellow musicians to play guitar every Wednesday. In his leisure time, he writes games and tries them out on his friends! He is a retired-NOT tired- math teacher, who lives with his pet crocodile.

Dr. Willliam Litchman plays clarinet, and founded "Boxwood Consort" decades ago for the purpose of playing and dancing English Country dances. He is also a caller for square dances and English Country dances.

Julie Paladino, viola and violin, was a member of "Half Gypsy" and "Baillywick". She has also played with "String Song" and "Tersetto Trio." Julie recently retired from teaching orchestra in Albuquerque Public Schools, and on certain nights, it rains cats and dogs at her house.

Angela Welford plays flute with the Robins as well as the Albuquerque Civic Band. Angela is a long time member of FolkMADS and volunteer for the ABQ Folk festival. She is also a superb dancer and sings alto or tenor as she did in "Melismata." In her neck of the woods, she gets visited by lions, squirrels and bears.

Sherilyn Urben, cello/piano/harp/violin/vocals, has been a member of "Boxwood Consort," "Tersetto Trio", "Megaband," and an originator of "Distant Cousins," and "String Song." She has also played with the Santa Fe Symphony and Musical Theater Southwest, and sung with "Opera Southwest" "Meliamata' and "Opera Unlimited." She teaches music and dance to elementary school students and business information technology to CNM students, teaches private music and voice lessons, and dances in her not-spare time. Rehearsals at her house are accompanied in counterpoint with her talking/singing parrot.

1:30 PMDare to Be SquareKris Jensen with Virginia Creepers

Square dancing is a truly American folk dance that's evolved over the years to its current modern form. In this session, we'll learn dances that show how square dancing has changed over time, and you'll see a demo of the exciting modern dance where the dancers never know what will come next. You won't need any experience to try a little do-si-do; everyone's welcome.

Kris Jensen calls both modern and traditional squares locally and around the country.

For more information on modern square dancing in Albuquerque, check the Albuquerque Square Dance Center's website at www.asdc.org. FolkMADS contra dances often include traditional square dances; check them out at www.folkmads.org.

The Virginia Creepers have been playing old-time music in New Mexico for more than 20 years.  Past winners of the Old Time Band Contest at the Santa Fe Traditional and Bluegrass Music Festival, they play tunes and songs that range from the Civil War era and earlier to newer pieces in the old-time style.

The current line-up features three founding members: Rick Olcott on guitar, Steve Huestis on clawhammer banjo, and Scott Mathis on mandolin and guitarron, plus Laurie Phillips, who joined the Creepers in 1999, on mandolin, Jane Phillips on fiddle (a 2010 recruit), and our most recent addition, Marc Robert, on bass.  The band members have a combined total of well over 150 years of musical experience.  Based in Albuquerque, they play around NM and beyond for dances, parties, and festivals, and as soothing background music for the quiet and studious patrons of saloons and taverns.

2:30 PMInternational Folk DanceBill Croft, Carol Toffaleti, & Patsy Gregory with Rumelia

Teaching international folk dances from Europe, the Balkans and the Near East.

Bill Croft has been dancing international folk dance since 1981, and Carol Toffaleti since 1977. Bill and Carol began dancing in California, led the international folk dance group in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the late 1980s, and danced in Manchester, UK before moving to Albuquerque in 2006. They have attended workshops in California, Michigan, Illinois and the UK.

Many of you already know Patsy Gregory. She was the Albuquerque Folk Festival Dance Manager for the past 6 years before she "retired" and gave the job to Deb. She started doing international folk dance in about 1957. Patsy discovered Balkan dances at that time, and has been dancing them ever since. She specializes in dances that are done by folk at parties, rather than ones choreographed for a particular piece of music or the stage.

Live music by Rumelia. "Bringing you the exotic and delightful sounds of the Balkans."-Founded in 2010, Rumelia (Rum?li'?) is a group of women putting a new spin on music from eastern Europe, a region generally known as the Balkans. Rumelia comes from the word "Rumeli" meaning "Land of the Romans," a Turkish word used to describe the Southern Balkan region. The music is unique to the western ear in that it uses odd time signatures (5/8, 7/8, 9/8, and 11/8) as well as eastern scales (maqamat) and tonalities. Rumelia's repertoire is derived from traditional and popular tunes of Albania, Turkey, Greece, Macedonia and Bulgaria, to name a few. Rumelia is- Nicolle Jensen (vocals, doumbek, bass doumbek, frame drum, & riq); Sitara Schauer (violin, backup vocals, guitar, & mandolin); Deborah Ungar (accordion & clarinet); and Alysha Shaw (vocals, cajon, doumbek, bass doumbek, frame drum, & riq).

3:30 PMCuban Salsa (Casino and Rueda de Casino)Sarita Streng

In Cuba, the "equivalent" of salsa dance is known as "casino." Casino is a vibrant dance that has incorporated son, mambo, chacha, Afro-Cuban sacred dance, East Coast swing and more into its movements. Casino may also be danced in a circle or wheel - similar to contra dance - with partner switching and a caller. Come experience the "de facto" national dance of Cuba at this workshop taught by Sarita Streng.

Sarita Streng has a M.A. in Dance Education from UCLA's World Arts and Cultures program and is a co-director of the documentary film "La Salsa Cubana." She is the director of the Rueda 505 Dance Company and teaches at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque. She can be reached at saritastreng@yahoo.com or 505-288-8713.

4:30 PMIrish Step DanceJennifer London and Kim Coleman

Irish Step Dance is noted for leaps, points, and other precise foot movements, done to complex rhythms such as jigs, reels, and hornpipes. Two varieties, soft shoe and hard shoe, can be done as solos, in couples, or in larger groups.

5:30 PMCountry Western SwingSusan and Gary Kellogg

You'll be dancing NM's most popular country dance, Country Western Swing, by the end of class! No partners/experience needed. Following the lesson, practice your new steps at the "Barn Dance" to live music by The Rifters at 7:30 pm. Presenters Gary and Susan have been teaching dance in Albuquerque for over 20 years. Susan is editor of the free E-newsletter called "Local DanceNews" which posts LOTS of fun dance activities in New Mexico, as well as where to learn just about any form of dance. To subscribe to LDN and for info on the ABQ Dance Club (over 600 members) and their popular dance classes offered through UNM Continuing Education, please e-mail glkello@nmia.com or call 505-299-3737. "We look forward to dancing with you soon!"




Evening dancing for everybody

Saturday Night

Variety Barn Dance in the Indoor Dance Space, 7:30-10:30 p.m., sponsored in part by the Albuquerque Dance Club. Music by The Rifters

The Rifters are Rod Taylor (guitar, mandolin, vocals), Don Richmond (guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, pedal steel guitar, dobro, harmonica, vocals), and Jim Bradley (bass, vocals). Putting out more music than it seems should be right for three guys on stage, the Rifters employ a wide range of acoustic and electric instruments, combined with soaring three-part harmonies, to provide a mesmerizing variety of music from driving blue-grama-grass to ethereal desert beauty. The years of playing to the dance crowds in their northern New Mexico homeland has given their music a toe-tapping rhythm that is engaging and undeniable. With a pedigree of bands like Hired Hands, the Rounders, and South by Southwest among them, the Rifters are truly a musical voice of their region of high desert vistas and mountain majesty.

and

NM FolkMADS Contra Dance in the Indoor Dance area from 7:30 - 10:30 p.m..  Music by the Albuquerque Megaband and calling by the New Mexico Callers Collective, TNG

The Albuquerque Megaband is an open acoustic band that plays for each 3rd Saturday contra dance in ABQ. Since its beginnings in the early 1980s it has provided a place for experienced musicians and those just starting out to play together at FolkMADS dances, workshops, and occasionally other events.

Erik Erhardt calls contra and English, instructs couples dance, and organizes dance in New Mexico, traveling widely for dancing and community building.