Contra Dance – Friday, May 31st. Join us for a contra dance at 3906 Peachtree Drive. Our lively music will be provided by The James River Scraphounds. The music is centered around the articulate, but driving fiddling of Peter Howard from Fayetteville, Arkansas on fiddle; Jim Ruth from Columbia, MO on banjo; Barbara Weathers on guitar . The Scraphounds are often seen playing dances in the region. Pete’s repertoire focuses on tunes from the Ozarks and includes some rare ones which have been out of circulation for many decades. In addition, Pete is adept at adapting music from other parts of the country to his style.
Barbara Weathers, though living in St. Louis, is a Springfield, Missouri native and a fine Ozarks oriented fiddler herself. She uses her fiddling knowledge to great advantage in her role as guitarist in the band.
Banjoist Jim Ruth of Columbia, Missouri, also a fiddler, has adapted his clawhammer banjo style to a wide variety of fiddling over the last 45 years. Though living a ways apart, the three musicians’ experience and similar musical tastes allows them to maintain a tight sound with the banjo closely following the fiddle melody with the guitar provides a strong rhythmic anchor.
Our caller will be Claire Baffaut. “I call because I want to make people happy. That is what dancing does to me so I think it might do the same to others. I want dancers to feel connected to each other and to the musicians. After dancing for >20 years, I first gave a thought to calling in 2012. I tried at a party (a calling jam), in November 2012. I felt exhilarated and I still get that feeling whenever I call. I like to have a variety of dances during an evening, often a mix of modern contra dances, circle dances, and triplets. Perhaps a square or a triple minor. I also call community dances (longways, circle dances, and simple squares).”
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.)