All Hands In: Steáfán and Saskia w/Sue Gola

Saturday, November 14, 2020. “Doors” at 6:00PM, Dance from 6:30 PM – 7:45 PM

MMTD is joining forces with communities across North America to produce All Hands In, a virtual contra dance event open to dancers world-wide.

November 14th: Music by Steáfán and Saskia, with Sue Gola calling

We are delighted to feature Steáfán Hannigan and Saskia Tomkins, an incredibly talented husband and wife duo who each play a wide assortment of contemporary and Celtic instruments. Steáfán and Saskia are from Cobourg, just outside of Toronto along the shores of Lake Ontario. Their music is enchanting and full of energy – you’re in for a treat!

Our featured caller will be Sue Gola. A long-time contra dancer, Sue was drawn into calling for contras in 2014. Since then, she has called at dances both large and small throughout the Northeast. Sue gives instructions concisely and clearly, and has a friendly way about her that makes dancers feel welcome.

Because this dance uses pre-recorded video to feature our band, it is best if you join via laptop or PC; those joining on a mobile device will have difficulty if they like to pin or watch other dancers. Or join with both – use your PC for sound and your mobile device for pinned dancing.

Have you been to a virtual dance yet? If not, you might be surprised how fun it can be. In virtual (online) contra dancing, dancers interact with imaginary people (“ghosts”) in the majority of dances. Because of this, we presume that everyone in attendance has contra dancing experience. Walkthroughs are concise, and there won’t be a beginners’ lesson.

That said, when you dance alone in your living room, the contra line is exactly where you imagine it, and unexpected moves become glorious new choreography! So, everyone is always welcome to join.

To attend the dance, click on the following link:

Join the event at 6:00PM Central on Saturday to join our community social room. When you log on, you will be able to select the Mid-Missouri community room (or tell the moderator in the chat box that you would like to join the Mid-Missouri room) where we will be able to socialize as a local group for about 30 minutes.  Then we will rejoin the large group where there will be a brief introduction to virtual dancing at 6:30PM, and dancing will begin promptly thereafter.

At in-person dances, an entry fee is collected; for All Hands In, we work on the honor system, asking dancers to make a donation to the band. Recommended donation is $10 (more if you can; less if you can’t.

All of our callers and helpers are volunteering, to help our musicians during a difficult time. You can make your donation to our musicians at this link:

Steáfán and Saskia have put in a tremendous amount of work preparing this set of tunes specifically for our dance, so please give generously.

Toronto’s contra dance community hosts the infrastructure and provides the funding to produce All Hands In, with further volunteer assistance from participating communities like ours. MMTD board members volunteer to assist in various ways, so we do our part of this collaborative initiative.

All Hands In is scheduled every 2nd and 4th Saturday evening until we can dance in person again. MMTD participates as a group every 2nd Saturday of the month, but you are still welcome to attend the 4th Saturday events on your own. You can keep track of MMTD scheduled events on our community Facebook page or the MMTD website:

We have a generous limit of 500 participants, so tell your contra dancing friends, and feel free to reshare this announcement.

See you at the dance!

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Virtual Dance to Live Music with STEAM!

Join us Friday, October 23 at 7:30 PM for a special Zoom event: the chance to dance to live music with STEAM! We are lucky that all four band members are together in one place, so they can provide live music while band member Claire Zucker calls the dances. Don’t miss this!  The link to join the event will be sent to the MMTD email list. If you aren’t on the list, contact us at to be added. The emails are sent using the MailChimp service and may go to your spam or other folder. Please add the address to your contacts so that you can be sure to see the emails.

STEAM! is Alice Boyle on fiddle, Robert Rosenberg on guitar, Claire Zucker on bodhran and calling, David Firestine on mandolin.

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“All Hands In” virtual dance event, Saturday, September 12

NEW! This Saturday night, September 12, MMTD will be joining with groups across North America for the kickoff of All Hands In, a virtual dance event, organized by the Toronto Dance community! “Doors” open at 6:00 PM for social time, with music and dancing starting at 6:30 PM. The event will end at 7:45 PM.

Music will be provided by two contra “rock stars”: fiddler Audrey Knuth (Wake Up Robin, Gaslight Tinkers, Free Raisins, Root System, Audacious) and guitarist Max Newman (The Stringrays, Nor’Easter, etc.). Caller will be Claire Takemori, known for sharing the joy of music, dance & community from coast to coast and beyond, and more recently for calling many virtual dances.

Details for how to attend the online event are in the MMTD email sent September 9th. If you didn’t receive the email and would like to be on our mailing list, contact us at

MMTD will be participating in All Hands In every 2nd Saturday of the month, until we can dance in person again. Also watch for news for our local virtual events to be held every 4th Friday, beginning September 25th. Mark your calendars and see you at the dance!

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First Friday Zoom Contra

Please join us online Friday, June 5 at 7:30 PM for another Zoom event. The plans include live music by Amber Gaddy and David Cavins and dancing led by Jim Thaxter and Claire Baffaut! This week we will also have a special guest caller, Jeannine Ameduri, joining us from New England!  June 5th is also the birthday of MMTD Board member and musician extraordinaire Molly White. Please join us to help her celebrate. 

Our plan is to host events like this on the first and third Fridays of the month, following our regular contra dance schedule (skipping any 5th Fridays). 

Note: Due to “Zoom bombing” issues during other contra dance events we will no longer be sharing the Zoom link on our website or Facebook. The link will only be sharing with our mailing list. If you would like to be added to our mailing list, please contact us at

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