John attended his first Sacred Harp singing more than thirty years ago in Alabama at the suggestion of Bicky McLain. He has since published a book and several articles on the subject and has been a steadfast supporter of this music in the Midwest. His most recent work is an annotated CD recording of the National Sacred Harp Singing Convention. John currently resides in Cincinnati.
- Sacred Harp Singing
Dave has played traditional music since 1968. His band, Wild Thyme, recorded 20 English Dance collections between 1975-1999. More recently, Dave’s new bands, ConTradition and Skylark, are known for their energy, creativity in styles from English to Contra. Dave’s improvisational and rhythmic style being at the heart of this music. Dave has been a regular visitor to Berea and he has appeared at most English festivals playing for Dance and teaching Advanced Dance Band and Folk Orchestra classes. Dave’s workshops are not to missed!
- Advanced Dance Band
Mary Elizabeth Colmer of Berea has created over 10,000 cornshuck dolls in the last 34 years. Dedicated to preserving endangered heritage crafts, she has taught classes in cornshuck dollmaking, mountain dulcimer, and tatting for 21 years at her studio/workshop, Weaver’s Bottom, located in Old Town, Berea, KY.
- Cornshuck Dolls
David has been an active dance musician for over 30 years in Kentucky and around the eastern seaboard, performing for many Christmas Schools and as a member of the Capital Quicksteps, Evening Star, and most recently, Microchasm. He currently resides in Baltimore, MD, where he works as an artist, commercial designer, teacher, and writer.
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 13 years.
- Temari Craft
John is a wonderful guitar player and a delightful singer of swing and old-time songs. John plays for all styles of country dancing from English to New England to Southern and has taught and played at Buffalo Gap and Pinewoods Family Weeks.
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 20 years.
- Advanced English Country Dance
- English Country Dances From Playford to Ceilidh
Svend and Anna Hamborg
Anna and Svend Hamborg, Denmark, have been dancing Danish, Scandinavian and international folk dances for 35 years. Most of the time they have been dance leaders for several groups in North West Jutland Svend has specially studied traditional folkdances in the local area. They have organized Danish American Folk Dance exchanging several times. Svend was a guest teacher at Berea Christmas Country Dance School back in 1989.
- Beginning Danish Folk Dance
- Int/Adv Danish Folk Dance
- Scandinavian Couple Dances
Mary has taught English country dancing at workshops, dance camps, elderhostels, and at Christmas Country Dance School. Her enthusiasm for the dance is infectious, and her clarity makes learning a pleasure. She is a graduate of Berea College, and was a performance dancer under Frank Smith during her college years.
- Beginning English Country Dance
Steve has been on staff at dance camps and family weeks from Alaska to Florida, including John C Campbell Folk School, Lady of the Lake, Pinewoods, and Buffalo Gap. Steve is a master of music for Irish, Scottish, English country, contras and swing dancing, and known for his mastery of “hamboning.”
Andrea Hoag played in her first dance band in Berea in 1978, and has never looked back. She has been a full-time musician since 1984. She has played on a hip hop recording, at half-time for the Norwegian national basketball team, and at the Kennedy Center, but thinks there is nothing quite like CCDS.
Steve Howe is program coordinator for the Country Dance and Song Society’s summer camps at Pinewoods, Buffalo Gap, and Ogontz. He started morris and sword dancing in NYC with the Greenwich Morris Men and currently is foreman of both the Marlboro Morris Men and That Long Tall Sword in western Massachusetts. He also dances with Green Mountain Mummers.
- Cotswold Morris
Based in Montague MA, lydia plays fiddle regularly for English, contra, and couple dancing with her bands the Further Adventures and Rose Tree; as a guest musician with the Greenfield Dance Band, the Moving Violations, Yankee Ingenuity, and Pleasures of the Town; and with many other combinations of talented folk.
Jonathan is an inspired pianist in a wealth of musical styles from contra and 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.
Chris Kermiet has been calling and teaching traditional American squares and contras for over thirty years. He comes from an extensive music and dance background. His mother was Pauline Ritchie of the singing Ritchie family from Viper, Kentucky, while his father was Paul Kermiet, one of Colorado’s premier old time square dance callers. Chris grew up with square, contra, and folk dance. His father ran a summer camp, the Lighted Lantern, for thirty years (1946-1976) during the time that Chris was growing up. The Lighted Lantern camp was a mecca for square and folk dancers who came from all over the United States and Canada to spend a week dancing with some of the finest callers and teachers in the country. Chris learned from all of them, and became intrigued with learning more about the other Celtic dance traditions that influenced American squares and contras. He learned Scottish dance from Bruce McClure and C. Stewart Smith, Welsh from Vyts Beliajus, and English from May Gadd and Genevieve Shimer. During the last ten years, as well as being in demand as a caller and teacher of traditional dance, he has created choreographies for a number of performing groups and theater companies. Five years ago, he received the Heritage Award/2000 Artist Fellowship from the Colorado Council on the Arts for calling and teaching traditional American community dance, as well as the Westword Best of Denver Award for Best Dance Caller.
- Squares & Odd Formations
Currently residing in Nashville, TN, Susan began calling in New England in 1991, appearing in grange halls in tiny snow-covered villages, as well as major festivals and dance camps from coast to coast. She spent 2000-2001 in France, traveling throughout Western Europe teaching contras, squares and English Country Dancing. Dancers on both sides of the Atlantic appreciate her clear teaching and diverse repertoire of singing squares, Western patter calls, contras and English Country dances presented with charm, wit and respect for the traditions. The choreographer of a number of well loved dances, she is the author of “Trip to Phan Reel” and “The Country of Marriage.” She is also a fine clarinetist and singer and is a member of the English Country Dance Band, “Meeting House.” Her calling and singing can be heard on the critically acclaimed CD, “Full Swing,” featuring New England’s finest contra dance musicians. It contains a lengthy and entertaining booklet written by Susan tracing the roots of New England contra dancing and a guide for new callers.
- Intermediate English Country Dance
- Square/Contra Dance Caller’s Workshop
Atossa has been a dance musician and teacher in the area for 40 years. In addition to playing for dance workshops, she plays for the Berea College Country Dancers. She is a member of the music faculty at Berea College.
Peter Kruskal grew up going to pinewoods dance camp starting at age four. He joined Pinewoods Morris Men and Velocirapper in 1996. Peter co-founded a rapper team at Oberlin College and served as forman from 2004 to 2005. While at Oberlin he also taught a rapper dancing class to college students.
- Beginning Rapper
- Advanced Rapper
Tom Kruskal fell in love with the anglo concertina at the age of 13 at Christmas School, 1962. He’s been playing ever since, recently for the Pinewoods Morris Men, Orion Sword, Hop Brook Morris and Great Meadows Morris and Sword. Every year he directs a mummer’s play with his children’s team. A veteran of CDSS, Tom is looking forward to returning to Berea after a long absence.
- Mummers Play
Lewis & Donna Lamb
This father and daughter duo 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 & workshops throughout the region.
- Songs From The Past To The Present
Glen has been leading organized and community dances for 25 years across Michigan and the Midwest as well as Canada, Europe and Scandinavia. His current passion is helping Home School groups organize contra, square and historical dance events. Glen and his wife Judi are members of The Olde Michigan Ruffwater Stringband circa 1978. Check out his new book, “Dance the Winter Away”!
- Challenging Contras and Squares
- Writing Contra Dances
- Organizing A Dance Community
Judi plays hammered dulcimer and piano for dances with her husband Glen in the Ruffwater Stringband and also performs folk music in the group Just Friends Trio. She teaches hammered dulcimer and back-up piano, composes music and has authored five music books including the Ruffwater Fakebook. She has presented workshops and played for dances and dance camps across the Midwest as well as Canada, Europe and Scandinavia.
- Beginning Dance Band
Dr. Patrick E. Napier
Pat is an Appalachian square dance caller, author of Kentucky Mountain Square Dancing, storyteller, and Presbyterian minister. He is also on the CCDS policy committee. This is his fifty-fifth year at CCDS.
- Kentucky Set Running
Janet is a self taught basket maker from Rockcastle County, KY. She has been making baskets for eight years. This will be her sixth year with CCDS. She enjoys working with materials native to her region and truly loves to share the joy and knowledge of basketry with other interested individuals.
From Berea, KY, Deborah has grown up playing fiddle in the dance community. A former member of contra dance band “The Last of the Fashion Conscious Lumberjacks,” she has also played with the “Berea College Bluegrass Ensemble,” and bluegrass band “CaneBreak”. Deborah performed with the Berea Festival Dancers and co-led a children’s dance group playing music and teaching dances to local Berea youth.
Ruth Pershing has long been active in traditional music and dance circles, performing with the Cane Creek Cloggers for 19 years, and regularly calling contras, squares and family dances. She has taught clogging and led dances at Brasstown (NC), Ashokan (NY) Pinewoods (MA), Wannadance (WA), Mendocino (CA), Merlefest (NC), Moosejaw (MN), and Hindman (KY). She studied buck dance with bluesman John Dee Holeman of Durham (NC), and worked with Mike Seeger to co-produce Talking Feet, a video-documentary on southern step dance. She has also worked with traditional music and dance in event production, archiving, and radio. She currently teaches mathematics to middle school kids and parents her own three children in Chapel Hill, NC.
- Beginning Appalachian Clogging
- Advanced Appalachian Clogging
Patricia Petersen has been intensely involved with recorder, early music, and English country dance for more than 30 years. A Certified Teacher of the American Recorder Society, she is currently the Music Director of the Triangle Recorder Society in central North Carolina, a Director Emerita of Amherst Early Music Inc., and a popular teacher of English country dance, recorder, early music, and Renaissance notation, both at home and at summer and weekend workshops across the country.
- Beginning Recorder
- Int/Adv Recorder
Charlie plays piano, bass, and button accordion (and occasionally tuba) in a number of dance bands and plays accordion for the Foggy Bottom Morris Men. He tours with Spaelimenninir, a Scandinavian band. He works as a mastering engineer and does historic audio restoration. Charlie produced and played piano for the the Berea Cast Offs first CD. Charlie and his wife Cecily have been program directors for Pinewoods Family Week and were instrumental in the founding of the CDSS programs at Buffalo Gap and were Camp Directors for a number of years.
Meg Ryan is a founding member and sometime leader of Guiding Star Clog Morris, She is also an outstanding performer and teacher of English and Anglo-American clog dance styles. A member of The New Dancing Marleys, Meg has performed in England, Canada and the U.S.. She has studied with masters of English clog including Pat Tracey, Alex Woodcock and Sam Sherry as well as Connecticut’s Anna Marley.
- Marley Step Dance
- Northwest Clog Morris
Brad Sayler danced and called in Philadelphia and with the Boston Centre before moving to Charlottesville Virginia, where he leads English dances, contras and squares, races stock cars and plays ice hockey. In addition to the excitement he gets from calling for established dance communities, he also enjoys sharing the joys of dance with new dancers in church, school, and community groups. In his calling, he strives for clarity and precision, with a generous dose of warmth and humor. He considers it a privilege to have been on staff at festivals and dance camps throughout the country.
- Advanced English Country Dance
- Fun & Easy Contras/Squares
- English Dance Callers Workshop
A native of Eastern Kentucky, Octavia grew up hearing folk tales, Jack tales, and Cherokee legends that her family members have told and re-told for generations. Octavia is a member of the National Storytelling Network and the Kentucky Arts Council and has performed widely throughout the region and at the National Storytelling Association Festival in Jonesborough, Tenn. She holds a bachelor’s degree in History and English Education from Berea College and an M.S. in Health Education.
A dance leader and organizer for more than twenty-five years, Joe has been Program Director of CDSS Family Week at Buffalo Gap and is Squire of Foothills Morris Men in Berea. He was the interim Director of CCDS in 1990 & 1991, and has served as Director of CCDS since 2000.
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 for Elderhostel groups in and around Berea.
- Morningsong and Stories
- Evening Parlor
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.
Sound by Doug Dorshug