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Past Events - A Little History

In addition to our current events, BACDS is pleased to have been involved many specials events. Here are a few:

Chuck Ward's Lifetime Contribution Award March 28, 2010

On Sunday, March 28, 2010, at the Albany Veteran's Memorial Building, 1325 Portland Avenue (off Key Route Boulevard), Albany, CA, from 2:00 - 6:00 pm, we had an afternoon of music, song, and dance, with tributes to Chuck, and tales of his musical pranks and escapades. Admission to this celebration was free.

The CDSS Lifetime Contribution Award went to Chuck Ward, longtime keyboard player for English dance and active in the Bay Area since before BACDS existed. CDSS President Brad Foster presented the award, Kalia Kliban MC'd, and music was provided and dances led by musicians and callers whose lives Chuck has touched.

See the flyer for more information, potluck info, volunteer opportunities, etc.
PDF: Sharon Green's CDSS News article about Chuck
PDF: Comments and stories about Chuck

Elixir in Mountain View January 14, 2010

The nationally known band Elixir (Nils Fredland, Ethan Hazzard-Watkins, Jesse Hazzard-Watkins, Anna Patton, and Owen Morrison) played a special dance January 14, 2010 at the SFV Lodge at 361 Villa Street in Mountain View. Sponsored by the Friends of the Palo Alto Contra Dance.

National Dance Week 2009

National Dance Week is an annual nationwide celebration of dance in all its forms. It lasts for 10 days at the end of April All events listed in the National Dance Week Event Guide are free to the public.

BACDS participated in the Bay Area National Dance Week from 2007 to 2009. In 2009, we sponsored the following events:

  • An Introductory Contra Dance Saturday, April 25, 2009, from 5:00 to 6:00 pm at Oakland Free Dance Festival, Oakland Dance Center (formerly the Vet's Center); see for details. Erik Hoffman led, with music by Debra Tayleur and friends.
  • An Introductory English Dance Saturday, April 25, 2009, from 6:00 to 7:00 pmat Oakland Free Dance Festival, Oakland Dance Center (formerly the Vet's Center); see for details. Sam Weiler led, with music by Stan and Susan Kramer and friends.
  • Celebrate May Day Morning This year, our regular May Day Morris performances fell during National Dance Week. We encouraged folk to get up at 5 in the morning and watch us dance the sun up at four locations around the Bay Area.

Learn more about what our participatory dances are like - check out our newcomers information.

English Dance Workshop with Michael Barraclough October 25, 2008

On October 25, 2008, at All Soul's Episcopal in Berkeley (it's at 2220 Cedar, just up the street from Grace North), Michael Barraclough led a special English dance workshop for experienced dancers. Michael, recently relocated from England to Virginia, is a well-known caller and reconstructor, and he's extended his visit for Fall Frolick to do special events here. The workshop was accompanied by Jon Berger (fiddle) and Chuck Ward (piano), and went from 2-5 pm. Special price; $12 for all. Folks stayed around Berkeley for dinner and came back at 8:00 for the 4th Saturday experienced English dance, where these two great musicians were be joined by Erik Ievins on cello.

25th Anniversary Bash May 20, 2007

On May 20, 2007, BACDS celebrated 25 years with a day of music, contra dance, English dance, morris dance, history, and general fun. BACDS founder Brad Foster, Bruce Hamilton, the Hillbillies from Mars, Flashpoint, and many, many more callers and musicians were there for our pleasure, At the Nature Friends Center in the Oakland Hills, with two floors of dancing, a history room, and more. Lots of info at the event website

Couple Dance Party October 2005

In October 2005, BACDS took advantage of the presence of legendary musicians Mary Lea and Jacqueline Schwab to have a special couple dance party at St. Clement's Church in Berkeley on Tuesday, October 11. (Mary, Jacqueline, and Earl Gaddis also played at the Berkeley Wednesday English dance on the 12th, and at that year's Fall Dance Weekend October 14-16.) It was a lovely evening of waltzes, tango waltzes, polkas, schottisches, and a couple of sequence dances (like "Gypsy Wine", the title track from one of Mary's couple-dance recordings) and mixers or country dances, led by Alan Winston and Lise Dyckman.

More info at the web page.

Ceilidh Workshops 2003-2005

BACDS has had the occasional English ceilidh/barn dance workshop. In 2003, we were pleased to play host to legendary ceilidh caller Pete Grassby and members of the Aardvark Ceilidh Band for a full day of workshops and dance.

In 2004, we played host to English traditional dance expert Hugh Rippon and English ceilidh band Four in a Bar. For more information about Hugh's workshops and dances, please visit the event web page.

Led by internationally-known ceilidh caller and leader of the Aardvark Ceilidh Band, Pete Grassby, our ceilidh music and calling workshop was a must-attend event for anyone that is interested finding out what English ceilidh dancing is: How to dance it, how to play it, how to call it, and how to spell it.

The workshop and dance were held Saturday, February 1,at the El Cerrito Veterans Hall. The workshop ran from 10:00am to 1:00pm and the dance from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. Admission price for both the workshop and dance was $12 for card-carrying BACDS/CDSS/CDSS affiliate members and $15 for non-members; the price for only the dance was $8 for card-carrying BACDS/CDSS/CDSS affiliate members, $10 for non-members, and $5 for children.

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