I love to create opportunities for dancers to have fun, no matter the group size or level of experience. Should you be interested in booking me to call your dance, please get in touch via:
I look forward to working with you!
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More About Me
I'm one of the organizers for the Monday night contra dance series at the Concord, MA Scout House. Our dance specializes in highlighting our local New England talent and also helping new dancers and performers get their start working with experienced performers and dancers.
I currently serve as the Vice President and administer the website for the Concord Scout House, Inc. and help the organization with technology issues consultation and implementation. I designed and set up the group's current networking and VoIP phone system.
I have been writing quite a few contra dances recently. My dances have been called in several venues across North America and overseas.
I call for all levels, from major dance series to community dances (which typically focus on being supportive of new dancers and include dancers of all ages and abilities). My programs for dances normally include good compositions which are often different from typical mainstream programs -such that experienced dancers find something new/different and new dancers get a wonderful first experience.
I've had the honor to call at the New England Folk Festival (NEFFA) multiple times, starting in 2015. Videos of my appearances are below. I've also called for the renowned NEFFA Thursday Dance at the Concord Scout House several times and get around New England quite a bit.
Some examples of my calling:
- Calling - Walk-through for the dance "Further and More" by Lisa Greenleaf at the Greenfield, MA Guiding Star Grange Fall Frolic with The Moving Violations, 9 Nov 2014. Video courtesy Kevin Mabon.
- Calling the dance "Mundane Chain" by Gene Hubert as part of the famous medley series at the New England Folk Festival with music by Contraindicated, 24 Apr 2015. Video courtesy Sage Veino.
- Calling "Another Flirty Attempt" by Marian Hepburn at the New England Folk Festival with music by the Festival Orchestra, 25 Apr 2015. Also, walk-through and calling my own dance "Twirl Away" at the same event. Videos courtesy Sage Veino.
- Calling the dance "Molly Pitcher" by Melanie Axel-Lute at the New England Folk Festival in another medley with music by Pizzazz, 26 Apr 2015. Video courtesy Sage Veino.
Testimonials & Comments
I typically put out a comment book and welcome personal feedback at the events where I call. I take inputs seriously and have used many of them to improve my calling. Even when there're complaints, there's often something of value you can use to improve rather than focus on the negative! Selected written and verbal comments include:
"Our Friday night dance was a smashing success, in no small part due to your skillful calling and patient working with the floor to make sure everyone understood the dance. You have really demonstrated community-building at its finest."
- Cape Cod, MA dance organizer by email June 2016
"Nice dances!"; "I really enjoy the dances you've been calling"; "Stupendous job!"
- Comment book entries, Boston Intergenerational Dance Advocates (BIDA) dance, October 2016
"Your 'handy hand' dance perfectly matched the music. Or the music perfectly matched the dance. And that was cool!"
- Concord Scout House comment book entry 2/15/2016, on my dance "Sneaks & Peeks", written to go with Daniel Boucher's "Circular Reel" - played that night.
"Great personality, Don! Don't change your easy manner."
- Comment book entry, Gardner MA contra dance, 2014
"Hi, Don. I just want to say how much your Monday calling was appreciated by the large number of new dancers. They didn't know they appreciated it - like good house keeping, we only notice when it ISN'T done - but I noticed how easily the new folks were brought into dancing. You kept the dances simple at the beginning of the evening, and you were aware of difficulties. [...correspondent recounts a difficult experience with another caller in the area and finishes...] it reminded me that we too often forget to tell someone when something is done well. So ... you done good. Thank you!"
- Concord Scout House dancer, via email January 2015
"Great dances & great music! Thank you for all the work you do to bring these dances to us!!"
- Comment book entry, Concord, MA July 2014
"We'll definitely be giving you a call soon about doing it again this year"
- Face to face comment from Chelmsford MA church Pastor, upon chance encounter in 2016 after calling a Barn Dance for them in 2015
- Comment book entry [complete with cute smiley face] by the band, MIT contra dance February 2016
"Great job, Don! Wonderful pacing + I love your full deep voice. You are very positive, nice rapport with us dancers."
- Comment book entry, Concord Scout House dancer, September 2013
"Great night of dances!"
- Comment book, Northboro MA contra, November 2013
"Magical night - great tunes with great dance selection!"; "The new dance of yours was super great flow, loved all the dances tonight!"
- Comment book entries, Concord Scout House August 2016
"Lovely - lovely - lovely music, dances & atmosphere! Wonderful dancing[,] loved the first two dances after the break - especially your new one!!"; "That goes double for me!!"
- Comment book entries, Concord Scout House March 2015
"Fun dances last night. Thank you. The dance with the cross trail through up and down was a hoot!"
- Facebook message following a Concord Scout House Thursday gig on my dance "Double Crossed Again!", September 2015
"I just wanted to tell you that you did an outstanding job tonight. You picked great dances, taught them well and made adjustments for the crowd throughout. Your calling was clear and timely, you have a great voice. Really glad to see how well your calling has developed!"
- Face to face comment, Concord Scout House August 2016
"You will come back and call for us again, won't you?"
- Dance organizer comment as we packed out, Cape Cod, MA September 2016