From Foster, Rhode Island, Aubrey Atwater and Elwood Donnelly are delightful, energetic performers and teachers, presenting enthralling programs of traditional American and Celtic folk and dance. Award winners, Aubrey and Elwood are in great demand on the American folk music circuit and have performed and taught in over thirty-five states as well as England and Ireland. They blend unusual harmonies and play and teach mountain dulcimer, old-time banjo, guitar, tin whistle, mandolin, harmonica, bodhran, bones, spoons, limberjack, and other surprises, as well as clogging, tap, and contra dancing. Their exquisite joy and musicality blend with their scholarly sides, showing a deep understanding and appreciation of folk music and its key players. In their 22-year career, Aubrey and Elwood have produced six books and a film as well as eleven recordings which receive international airplay. www.atwater-donnelly.com
- Harmony Singing
- Beginning Mountain Dulcimer
- Intermediate Mountain Dulcimer
- Songs of the Carter Family
Eric is a graduate of Berea College, a fine arts major in textiles. His festive banners, paper cuts, and decorations grace Seabury Center at CCDS. He has been making temari for over 17 years. This will be his 6th year of teaching Temari at CCDS.
- Beginning Temari Craft
- Intermediate Temari Craft
As one of The Sparkle Sisters, Laurie performs and teaches step dances in the style of Alex Mulligan, as taught by members of the 1980s group The Mulligan Dancers. She has been winding her way in and out of sword dancing for almost twenty years as a past member and teacher of Totonto Women’s Sword. Laurie loves to work with beginning dancers and those with experience to bring a strong sense of team support and deep physical connection to this impressive display of swords and skill.
- Beginning Rapper
- Ontario Step Dance
Brad has been dancing and teaching English country, contras and squares, and morris and sword for over thirty five years. He is well known for sharing the joy found in dance, and has taught throughout the US, Canada and Europe, including at Berea, Pinewoods, Mendocino, John C. Campbell Folk School, and Augusta. He is Executive and Artistic Director of the Country Dance and Song Society, a post he has held for over 25 years.
- Squares and Odd Formations
- Intermediate English Country Dance
- English Callers Workshop
Earl Gaddis was originally trained as a classical violinist, with a special passion for Baroque music, but his orientation shifted when he discovered the excitement of small-ensemble music improvisation for dancers, with its unique opportunities for creating interesting harmonies, countermelodies, and rich musical textures on the spur of the moment. He is now a full-time dance musician who has played violin and viola for a variety of English, Scottish, American, and international dancing for well over 40 years. Earl performs at dance camps, workshops, balls and other dance events throughout the United States and abroad, and he has made twenty-some recordings with various musical groups. When not on the road, he lives in great contentment on ten acres of woods in rural Michigan with his wife, Sherry Brodock.
Kent Gilbert has been singing and dancing since before conception, and has been a Christmas School participant for over 25 years. A leader in the Berea Shape Note community, Kent also has extensive experience in street theatre, writing, and community dance.
- Shape Note Singing
Mary has taught English country dancing at workshops, dance camps, elderhostels, and at Christmas Country Dance School for many years. She brings enthusiasm and a sense of fun to beginners, while teaching in a clear, concise style.
- Beginning English Country Dance
Fiddler Ethan Hazzard-Watkins grew up in Amherst, MA in the heart of the New England traditional music scene. He studied fiddle with Van Kaynor, and started playing for contra and English dances in High School. Since graduating from Macalester college in 2001 Ethan has toured extensively with bands such as Elixir, The Figments, Firetruck, and Beeswax Sheepskin, playing for contra dances, English dances, in concerts and festivals, and developing a reputation as an exciting, versatile musician. His fiery, lyrical fiddling fuses elements of Irish, French Canadian and New England styles, along with influences from swing, blues and classical music. Based in Brattleboro, VT, Ethan is also an avid composer of fiddle tunes and helps to organize several local dance series.
Cis Hinkle has delighted contra and square dancers since 1985 with her clear instruction, welcoming manner, playful enthusiasm, and masterful selection of dances. She is in great demand at music and dance festivals all over the US, England, and Denmark, and is currently coordinator for Dance Week at the Augusta Heritage Workshops in Elkins, West Virginia. When not on the road, Cis teaches t’ai chi classes in her native Atlanta, Georgia.
- Mind bending Contras and More
- Calling Contras and Squares
- Snappy Squares from the Nifty 50’s
Andrea Hoag has studied traditional Swedish music with elders Pekkos Gustaf and Nils Agenmark, and holds a certificate in Folk Violin Pedagogy from Malungs Folkhögskola. Her trio’s CD Hambo in the Snow, with Loretta Kelley and Charlie Pilzer, was nominated for a Grammy. Andrea has played for contra and English dances at many dance weeks and weekends around the U.S. Her first contra dance band was Parcel of Rogues, who played in Berea, Morehead and Lexington in 1978-80.
Frank Jenkins calls lively, fun dancing for all ages and abilities. Frank began as a dance caller for late night dances in the 1980s. Since then, he has been a caller for monthly dances, festivals, and historical re-enactments as well as teaching calling workshops. Frank is in demand in Kentucky and surrounding states for his clarity, ease, good humor, and for creating a sense of community among dancers. A true teacher of traditional arts, he imparts a sense of history with each dance.
- Appalachian Mountain Dancing
Jonathan is an inspired pianist in a wealth of musical styles from contra to English Country to ragtime and jazz. A composer of brilliant English country dance tunes and waltzes, Jonathan performs at dance events and camps around the country and is a bassist with the Baltimore Symphony.
From Berea, KY, Atossa has been a long time musician and staff member of Christmas School playing piano, clarinet, recorder and accordion. In addition to playing for regional dance week-ends and workshops, she is a musician for the local English dance group, the Berea Festival Dancers, and, occasionally, the Berea College Country Dancers. She has recently retired from her teaching position in the music department at Berea College. She will continue teaching privately, playing for dances and as a clarinetist with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra.
Heidi Kulas grew up dancing with three generations of her family in Greenville, Michigan. As a young teenager, she was already competing, performing, touring and teaching clogging, Irish and many other traditional forms of percussive dance. She received a Michigan Dance Heritage Fellowship and moved to Maryland to be a principal dancer with the international touring company, Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble. Heidi has performed as a guest dancer with many artists including Lunasa, Uncle Earl, the Gibson Brothers and Eileen Ivers. She is a musical theatre choreographer in Western North Carolina for many schools, colleges and theatres, most recently for ACT and SART. She holds a BA in Theatre Arts from Mars Hill College where she served as the 16-time National Champion Bailey Mountain Cloggers captain for two years. She is also a member of the All American Clogging team and currently is the director and choreographer for the percussive dance company, Sole Impact, based in Western North Carolina.
- Beginning Clogging
- Intermediate Clogging
Lewis & Donna Lamb
Native Kentuckians, this remarkable father-daughter duo have been making, preserving, teaching, and sharing traditional Appalachian music for many years. With Lewis on fiddle and Donna on Guitar your feet don’t stand a chance of remaining still! They began playing for the Berea College Country Dancers in the 1960’s. They perform and teach old time square dance music and traditional songs at festivals and workshops throughout the region. Lewis is also known for his folk-art woodcarvings and he and Donna together have crafted numerous musical instruments. Lewis and Donna are recent winners of the Kentucky Folk Heritage Award.
One might say Roo has been observing, learning and studying Scandinavian dance since she met the Hambo on the dance floor when she was in college. Roo’s hallmarks include clear, positive teaching that incorporates background information, styling and technique and her ability to present the basic concepts of Scandinavian dance to dancers of all levels in a fun and lighthearted manner. She conducts workshops throughout the US, specializing in the turning dances of Norway and Sweden. Roo will be assisted by Harry Khamis, a regular teacher at Miami Valley Folk Dance Club in Dayton, Ohio.
- Scandinavian Dance Basics
- Scandinavian Dance
- Dancing Further into the Scandinavian Dance
From Co. Clare, Ireland, fiddler Denis Liddy has been instrumental in teaching and inspiring students to play traditional music for many years. Since 1999, his students have recorded four CDs and toured in Ireland, the UK, France, Spain, Canada, China, Bulgaria, the US, Australia and Sweden. Denis has also won numerous All-Ireland awards as a soloist and as a group and band member. He released the CD Waifs and Strays with legendary flute player Michael Hynes and guitarist Rob Shearer in 2003 to critical acclaim. Last year, he released “Spectacle Bridge” with Michael Hynes, Jack Talty and Eoin O’Neill
- Beginning Dance Band
John Mayberry is a founding member, and “fool” of the Toronto Morris Men, John’s experience in the theatre includes juggling, clowning, medieval and folk drama, writing, choreography, stage fighting, and scenery and props production. He is also a traditional singer, sometimes performing as one half of the Irish Music Hall duo, “The Bullero Brothers”. He is a professor in the Department of Theatre, York University, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, whose latest passion is Afro-Cuban dance.
- Morris Dancing
- Mummers Play
Elvie grew up in New Hampshire surrounded by folk music and dance. As a recent Watson Fellow she travelled in Ireland, the UK, France and Scandinavia, studying accordion and traditional dance music. She now lives in Ireland where she is a professional weaver and musician. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in music therapy.
- Advanced Dance Band
- After Dance music coordinator
Suzi Mills is the Music Education Coordinator at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. Her career spans 27 years performing American Folk, Bluegrass, Country, Reggae, Rock, Cajun, South African, and Irish music. Suzi is an active clinician and guest conductor for multicultural music and a 2006 recipient of the Appalachian Music Fellowship of Berea College.
- Playing and Singing Games
Jim has been a traditional dance enthusiast since his first Christmas Country Dance School in 1968. He helped found several morris and sword dance groups. He was a pioneer in the study of historic American social dance and a collector of traditional community dance in the Southeastern US and New England. Jim plays fiddle and guitar, currently performing with the Morrison Brothers Band and the Albemarle Morris Men.
- Long Sword
- Advanced Rapper Sword
- Fun with Minuet
Owen Morrison is a second generation dancer and musician. His fluid guitar playing is influenced by styles as diverse as bluegrass, swing, classical and flamenco but is firmly rooted in traditional dance music. Since graduating from Guilford College in 2006 with a degree in music, Owen now travels the country playing for dances, festivals and camps. His bands include the Morrison Brothers, Airdance, House Red, Night Watch and Elixir.
Naomi Morse grew up surrounded by music and dance in the folk communities of New England. She is known for her energetic and driving fiddle playing for both contra and English dancing in many bands, including Night Watch, Housetop and the “mega-fiddle-band” Childsplay. She has toured extensively with the world-music ensemble, Northern Harmony, and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY, where she sings professionally.
Gene Murrow has been an English country dancer and musician since 1965, and has been teaching and calling at clubs, workshops, festivals, and balls throughout the United States as well as England, Europe, and Japan since 1988. He has taught recorder ensembles throughout the United States, and was President of the American Recorder Society for six years. As a member of the dance band MGM, he has made four recordings, and is also the Producer of the series of English dance recordings featuring Bare Necessities and the three recordings of Gary Roodman’s dances. He as served on the Board of Directors of the Country Dance and Song Society of America and is currently on the Board of Early Music America.
- Advanced English Country Dance
- Intermediate/Advanced Recorder
- English Dancing for All
Janet, a basket maker from Rockcastle County, Kentucky, will proudly be joining the CCDS staff for her ninth year. Janet will be offering both traditional and nontraditional styles of basketry using materials native to the east Kentucky region.
- Basketry, Session One and Session Two
Anna Patton plays dance tunes on the clarinet with great verve, clarity and harmonic whim. Besides English and contra dance tunes, her repertoire includes Balkan dance tunes, Brazilian choros and early jazz. Based in Brattleboro, VT she has spent much of her young life on tour around the U.S. and abroad, singing and playing for dancers, concert goers and pedestrians. She also enjoys teaching music to kids and adults and writing arrangements.
Storyteller Jim Pfitzer would rather paddle a canoe than drive a car and prefers watching birds to watching television. After spending much of his twenties wandering the west in an old Volkswagen—guiding rafters on the Snake River in Wyoming, running a hostel in the Redwoods in California and working with birds of prey in Arizona—Jim went urban and moved to Chicago for ten years. To begin his fifth decade, Jim accepted an artist’s grant to move back to the city of his birth, Chattanooga, TN and pursue storytelling full time. He has since traveled from coast to coast telling tales and teaching workshops. Storyteller Donald Davis says that“Jim Pfitzer’s nature stories are not stories of naïve ecology, but rather stories of the honest struggle to fit human needs (and sometimes wants and desires) into the fragile order of the natural world.”
- Beginning Storytelling
- Intermediate Storytelling
Patty is a member of the Ritchie Family of Eastern Kentucky with a repertoire of traditional Appalachian songs and singing games. She plays dulcimer and sings and enjoys leading groups in song.
Will coordinate Morningsong and Stories and Evening Parlor.
Darlene Underwood, from Cincinnati, Ohio, has been spreading contra joy for over 10 years. Darlene lifts the spirits of everyone in the room with her seemingly inexhaustible supply of energy and smiles as well as her very skillful way with a roomful of dancers.
- Fun and Easy Contras
Al teaches Appalachian music for string instruments at Berea College and is best known for his mandolin, fiddle, guitar, and banjo playing, teaching any and all of these when asked. Al plays fiddle in the Berea Cast-Offs dance band and has been an artist-in-residence for the Kentucky Arts Council in storytelling, folk music and dance. He also has been a staff member at Pinewoods, Buffalo Gap, KY Summer Dance School, and other dance weeks.
Alice grew up singing and playing traditional, bluegrass and gospel music with her family in the McLain Family Band. She is an early elementary school teacher and plays bass in the Berea Cast-Offs.
Will coordinate evening staff music
Nathan is an inspired musician playing the bass, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, and piano. He has recorded and performed with numerous groups in the US and Czech Republic including Airdance, Ken Holbrook, Tim Lake, Lewis and Donna Lamb, Funny Bones, and Monogram. He currently plays with Mostly Music, Schrodinger’s Cats, Big City Groove, The Lexington Community Orchestra, Kentucky Ballet Theater Orchestra, and The Wilson Family Trio with his daughters Adéla and Anna. Nathan brings his love of music to others through teaching orchestra in the public schools, as a director of music at his church, and as a private music teacher. Nathan is also one of the world’s only unrecognized randomly amusing storytellers. Nathan’s spouse, Eva, danced with the Czech folk dance troupe Beseda (Frantisek Bonus, choreographer). She is now a dancer with the Lexington Vintage Dance Society.
Sound by Doug Dorschug