Contra Dance – Friday, Dec 21, 2018 with Blackberry Pickers

Contra Dance – Friday, Dec 21st.  Come join us Friday, Dec 21st for a contra dance at  3906 Peachtree Drive. Our lively music will be provided by the Blackberry Pickers, a band from Hermann and the St Louis area. The Blackberry Pickers first got together to play at a 2015 Mid-Missouri Traditional Dancers contra dance.  Ronnie Schuppan, our principal fiddler, and Kathryn Render (fiddle and banjo), play Old Time and Irish fiddle tunes in several string bands including the Farmhouse Buds.  Crystal (guitar) and Steve Craig (banjo and hammer dulcimer) have played together for 22 years in a number of string bands including Miss Crystal’s Pretty Good String Band.  Mark Borzillo (mandolin), joined us for contra dances at the Harvest Table in Hermann and is now an official Picker. Mark plays several instruments, in a number of styles with well-known Missouri musicians and bands, including Swing DeVille.



Our caller will be Jim Thaxter.  Jim developed an interest in traditional dancing about the same time he was discovering the banjo. One thing led to another and he was a regular on the dance floor at the old-time contra dances about 40 years ago. Calling started about 10 years later. Numerous calling workshops at dance camps and dance weekends helped hone his skills. Calling for beginners groups made him more aware of the needs of the dancers for clear instruction. Calling is a great way to bridge the gap between listeners’ tapping toes and the lively rhythms from live musicians.

Beginners are encouraged to come to an introductory lesson at 7:00 p.m.  Everything is explained.  You do NOT need to know how to dance before you come.  You also do NOT have to bring a partner.

Dancing starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Ballroom Academy of Columbia, 3906 Peachtree Drive.  Admission is $8 for the public, $5 for students and ages 16-25, with free admittance for children 15 and under.


No dance experience is needed and folks of all ages are welcome! No partner is necessary, as dancers switch partners for most dances. Every dance is taught and called throughout the evening to live music. Dancers should wear lightweight, comfortable clothing and soft-soled or leather-soled shoes to preserve the floor—no spike heels or cowboy boots. (Please carry-in appropriate dance shoes as needed.)

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