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Calling all Contra Dance Callers!

The CDSS Contra Dance Task Group wants to know more about the needs of contra callers, of all levels of experience. How did you start calling? What was most useful as you learned? What resources do you think would be most useful to you now in developing further as a caller? What would you like to see on a comprehensive contra dance website? These are some of the areas our survey is exploring. We have tried to identify as many of the contra callers in the country (and abroad!) as we can—but if you haven’t received your copy you can go to the survey and start right now! It will be open until June 1, though we hope everyone responds right away before life and the next contra dance sweep your thoughts away. The results of the survey will be made available to those who respond—even if you can’t do the survey you can leave your email address to receive the results and stay in touch as further resources are developed. The results should also be available (probably in an abbreviated form) to everyone through CDSS. We hope the survey both makes people aware of the vast amount of material available to callers, and helps CDSS fill in the gaps as needed.

Members of the Task Group:
Lynn Ackerson (El Cerrito, CA)
Emily Addison (Ottawa, ONT)
David Chandler (Metuchen, NJ)
Martha Edwards (St. Louis, MO)
Lisa Greenleaf (Bolton, MA)
Chris Page (San Diego, CA)
Louise Siddons (Stillwater, OK)
Mary Wesley (Ferrisburg, VT)

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Categories: Features & Fun | + 2 Comments »


  1. Joe Wilkie
    Posted May 3, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Shortly after completing your survey, I had an idea about a handy resource.

    I was recently talking to the primary local caller of a venue I’ll be calling this summer and he gave me some nice pieces of information: They’re a pretty experienced crowd and fast at getting lined up, so you can expect to call around fifteen dances. They don’t like squares. At break, the snack is in the basement, so it can be a challenge to get everybody back after the break; but if you play a hambo, it’ll bring them in. . . and so on.

    What if there were an online place for callers to post their experiences and insights relevant to specific venues? That way, when someone is going to call at an unfamiliar dance, s/he could look it up and potentially get useful information.

    • Lynn Ackerson
      Posted May 3, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Joe. Great idea.

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