A brand new weekend of dance at Halsway! Popular, energetic and great fun, we’re delighted to be introducing this Contra Weekend.
Charlie Turner and Jake Wood are two of the most exciting contra callers in the new wave. They will be joined by UK favourites the English Contra Dance Band providing you with high-energy, vibrant, inventive music.
Expect a weekend packed with workshops and dancing: an immersive, joyful contra experience!
Who’s it For?
Dancers of all levels of experience are welcome; there will be plenty to challenge and entertain experienced contra dancers, while newcomers to contra will also be supported and included in the party! Dancers will be welcome to dance any role they choose.
Charlie Turner has been dancing and teaching for as long as she can remember, but a move to San Francisco transformed her contra dancing and started her calling. Now based in Cambridge, UK, she brings the best of the West Coast to contra crowds, with clear, friendly teaching and satisfying dance selections. She emphasises connection, fun, flow and inclusivity in dance. Her favourite dinosaur is the triceratops.
Jake Wood is a contra and ceilidh caller based in Coventry. Jake’s love of dance encompasses American contras and squares, English ceilidh and Playford, rapper, balfolk, Scandi, blues, modern jive, Argentine tango and lindy hop. But don’t worry, he’ll stick to Contra for this weekend! He has called at a variety of festivals including Priddy Folk Festival, Sidmouth Folk Week, and was chair of the 2016 organising committee for the Inter Varsity Folk Dance Festival. Jake is in high demand as a contra dance caller, and is also known for his workshops popularising folk waltzing. His favourite dinosaur is “probably a Stegosaurus or an Ankylosaurus. I mean obviously I love plesiosaurs, but they aren’t dinosaurs because of their hips.” Jake’s calling is generally more concise than this.
The English Contra Dance Band (Linda Game – fiddle, Gareth Kiddier – piano) is a two piece band, combining backgrounds in Traditional English and Rock(!) music to become one of the UK’s most in-demand purveyors of American-style high energy contra dance music. As a dancer recently said, “How can two people make so much noise!”. They’ve performed at most of the major UK Festivals – including Sidmouth, Chippenham, and Towersey – and have played international dates in Denmark and America’s East Coast.