BACDS American Dance and Music Week — July 2–7, 2017 BACDS American Dance and Music Week, July 2-7, 2017

AmWeek 2017 Staff

Contras, Squares, Waltz, and more!

Bob Isaacs

Bob Isaacs is well known in the contra dance world as author/choreographer of hundreds, if not thousands, of contra dances. His many much-loved dances emphasize flow and energy. His calling is also spot on, energetic and dancer focused. You'll know you are in good hands as you let go and become one with the dance.

Bob Isaacs
Deb Comly

Deb Comly

Deb Comly was bitten by the contra bug in 1994 and took off dancing across the country. Her passion for the dance keeps her dancing, calling, teaching, organizing, and playing music in Flagstaff and across the Southwest. From her beaming smile to her happy feet, Deb's energy is contagious!


Moving Violations

The Moving Violations

Van Kaynor


Ron Grosslein

fiddle, mandolin

Eric Eid-Reiner


The Moving Violations have a playful energy that transcends borders of countries and encourages spontaneity and improvisation. Driving double fiddle harmonies, strong rhythm, affectionate abandon and occasional silliness prevails. Original compositions as well as Celtic, Eastern European, Swedish, Klezmer, and Classical are all fair game for The Moving Violations.

Van Kaynor's fluid and lyrical fiddle playing has taken him many places, appearing on A Prairie Home Companion, playing for dance camps and festivals from Alaska to Texas to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Van plays with several bands including The Moving Violations, Big Bandemonium, and the Fourgone Conclusions. Ron Grossline contributes his great enthusiasm and charisma on both fiddle and mandolin in The Moving Violations and Swallowtail. He enjoys helping to mold the energy that happens between the dancers and the music. "It's like making a sand castle at the beach with a talented and creative group of friends, delightful while it lasts, and washed away with the next tide, with nothing to clean up!" Eric Eid-Reiner has performed throughout the Northeast at contra dances, concerts, weddings, synagogues, and festivals. Celtic Beat Magazine has recognized Eric for his "superb craftsmanship on the keys," and he can be heard performing solo, with the Moving Violations, The Reiner Family Band, and fiddlers including Julie Metcalf, Alden Robinson, David Kaynor, and Andy Reiner.


George Penk


Jeff Kerssen-Griep


Sue Songer


Erik Weberg


Stringrays with David & Matt

Joyride is a Portland Oregon contra dance band known for fun, skilled play, tune sets carefully tailored to dances, and well-phrased melodies and harmonies set in a danceable groove.

George Penk’s powerful connection between music and dance has placed him in high demand throughout the U.S. He has an unusual ability to infuse his fiddling with both driving rhythm and intense emotion. George’s music urges dancers to respond—soaring and gliding to beautiful English tunes or stomping and shrieking to fast-moving reels. Jeff Kerssen-Griep contributes soulfully solid guitar drive and percussion. A sunny rhythm catalyst, his guitar muscle and lilt owe as much to Steve Cropper as to John Doyle. Sue Songer's solid and irresistibly danceable piano playing is the bedrock for the fiddlers she accompanies. Whether playing for contra or English dances, she enjoys varying the texture of the tune to suit the mood at hand, fostering a strong connection between the music and the dancers. Sue is well known for her contributions to the larger dance community, including publishing the Portland Collection tune books and companion CDs. Erik Weberg holds down the “windy” end of Joyride, playing flutes (concert C and Alto), harmonicas and bombardes. Erik takes joy in playing not only the tunes themselves, but providing the rhythmic and percussive effects that make music danceable. Harmonicas and bombardes are used less often, but add color, variety and even excitement to the Joyride sound.

The Whoots

Shira Kammen


Jim Oakden

Mandolin, Accordian, Clarinet, Recorders, and more instruments than will fit in one vehicle

The Whoots

“WHOOT WHOOT!!!” is the sound dancers make when things really get cookin’; musicians live for that. The Whoots play a blend of Irish, Scottish, French Canadian and Old Time music, ContraFusion — a fusion of traditional contra dance and techno contra dance, trad music mixed with pop. swing, and techno beats/lighting FX. Multi-instrumentalist Shira Kammen has spent well over half her life exploring early and other intriguing styles of music. A member for many years of countless early music ensembles, she also is the founder of Class V Music, a group dedicated to providing music on river rafting trips. Shira performs now with several groups, among them English Country Dance/Contradance band, Roguery, and The Whoots, and collaborates with performers such as storyteller/harpist Patrick Ball, poets Jane Hirshfield and Kay Ryan, clown Jeff Raz, and in many theatrical and dance productions, including the California Revels and the Oregon, California and San Francisco Shakespeare Festivals. The strangest place Shira has played is in the elephant pit of the Jerusalem Zoo.

Jim Oakden went to college on a music scholarship, but ended up in grad school as a marine biologist. However, he continued to avidly pursue music, first via Early Music, and then as a dance musician. He continues to perform with many bands in a host of genres on an absurd array of instruments. He is very dedicated to passing on his knowledge-at symposia, workshops, and dance and music camps from the East Coast (Pinewoods, etc) to Fairbanks AK to Santiago de Compostela, Spain—and many places in between. He runs community bands, camp bands, does individual and small group instruction, and has been an instructor at Lark Camp for many years. He appears on 20 or so CDs. Plus, he loves to dance, in many different styles.


Stretching and Pilates

Jean Gibson-Gorrindo

Jean Gibson-Gorrindo is a West Coast dancer and caller who has also been teaching Pilates for fifteen years. Jean founded the Five Seasons Pilates studio in Los Osos, CA. She retired after nearly three decades in the health and fitness industry, and now encourages health and fitness as a contra dance caller and choregrapher!

Photo of Jean Gibson-Gorrindo


Photo of Marty Brenneis

Marty Brenneis

Marty Brenneis, a valued “gizmo guy,” was a rock-n-roll sound engineer in a former life. It wasn’t long after he started contra dancing that he began twiddling the knobs on the soundboards for dances … and he hasn’t stopped yet.