Thursday, November 26, 2009

Gigs Galore!

The Mad Robins have had a busy fall!  While starting our own dance series in Burlington is still on the agenda, we've put it off until early 2010 because there have been ample opportunities to call elsewhere.  Some of our most exciting gigs have been organized by local schools: students at St. Michael's college in Colchester have put together a series of dances throughout the school year, and a wonderful trend is developing at UVM of embellishing campus events with a contra dance.  This is a relatively new demographic to hit the dance floors in northern Vermont and we are excited to help the movement continue.

Dancers in UVM's Billings Hall

Indeed many students are so hooked they are venturing off campus as evidenced by the whopping 140 person crowd at Burlington's Queen City Contra this November, the largest in the dance's recent history.  We were so honored to call our "home town" dance.  The support from regular dancers, both for Mad Robins at the mic and for all those new folks on the floor, was overwhelming!  Thanks to then the evening went swimmingly.  We enjoyed fabulous tunes from Montreal's "Contraindicators," and as musician Sean McCutcheon said, "there was nothing even resembling a train wreck!"  We are blessed with a community that is eager to grow and excited to see us move from the dance floor to the stage.

With Atlantic Crossing at UVM's Localvore Dinner in October

We are learning as we go.  Each time we meet and each time we call our goals are recalibrated.  The biggest lesson so far is that there is more to calling than prompting a dance.  The potlucks continue, not only because we need energy to plan our next endeavors, but also because sharing food builds community.   As we spend time supporting each other as callers, leaders and friends we also learn how to bring that atmosphere of support to the events we call.  We have come this far because that support was extended to each one of us when we first discovered contra dancing.  Ever thankful for this, one of the biggest goals we have achieved has been simply to help strengthen and give back to the community that gives us all so much.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Mad Robin Callers Collective!  We will be celebrating all weekend long: join us Friday, Nov. 27th at the Tinmouth, VT dance, and Saturday the 28th in Bristol, VT.  Thanks for stopping by!

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