Workshop philosophy -- Socorro May 2014

Some philosophy

This workshop is aimed at -- and written from the perspective of -- a contra dancer who wants to learn to play. If you're Bruce Molsky or David Greenberg, you can play anything you like, and the dance will organize itself around you, and the dancers will enjoy it. If you're Ruthie Dornfeld or Erin Shrader, you already know full well how to play for contra dancers, and I wouldn't have much to say anyway. (They would no doubt disagree with much that I have to say here.)

But if, like me, you're starting long on enthusiasm but short on technique, here are some basic ways you can tailor your music to the dancers so that you all participate directly in that joy that is contra dancing.

This monograph emphasizes making the music clear and simple, to feed the excitement of a roomful of dancers at your local weekly or monthly dance. The weekends where the dancers look for sophistication and new approaches -- if you're that good, you don't need my help.

Look at it this way. Techno is all the rage in modern contra dancing. Recorded music! What have they got that we haven't got? If we can't outdo techno, we have no business playing for dancers.

Back to the main workshop page.
25 May 2014