Contras & Squares

English Country Dancing

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About Joseph


For dance event organizers, here are brochure blurbs and quotable quotes.  

I grew up in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, and began square dancing there in the late 70's while in high school. I later discovered contras as an undergrad at the University of New Hampshire in 1984.  Later, as a graduate student at the University of Michigan throughout the 90's, I found the wonderful and thriving traditional dance community in Ann Arbor, and learned of the joys of English country dancing.  Here I met Erna-Lynne Bogue, who mentored me as I learned to call.  

While in Ann Arbor, I founded the Ann Arbor Rainbow Contra (AARC) Dancers to organize a monthly gender-free contra dance, where one's role in the dance is not determined by gender, allowing people to dance with any partner they choose.  This provides a welcome space for LGBT dancers and others who appreciate variety and inclusiveness.  

I lived in Columbus, Ohio from 1998 to 2005, and helped organize in the Big Scioty Barn Dance, which sponsors regular contra and square dances, and the Columbus English Country Dancers, who arrange regular English dances.  I organized a fun and successful weeknight series of Intermediate Contra Dance Workshops, too.  

More recently, I've fallen in love with Texas, living in Houston for 4.5 short years. Some of the friendliest dance communities anywhere made it difficult to leave, but I am also happy to be in Washington DC, with more great dancing than anyone could dream for.

On the national level, I've served on the Board of Directors for the Country Dance & Song Society (CDSS), which provides vital support for the traditional music and dance that is such an important part of our lives. My work with CDSS has continued as a member of the Nominating Committee and as staff at CDSS summer dance and music weeks.

I've written a number of dances, several of which are being led by popular callers around the country.  You can find these and others in my dance book, The Cardinal Collection.  Some of the most popular dances are also on web pages

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