The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society was chartered in the Fall of 2005 as a non-profit, educational organization to promote a better understanding and appreciation of American folk dancing, its music, its history and related folklore. HJDS is a group affiliate of the Country Dance and Song Society. We are an all-volunteer organization based in Jonesborough, the oldest town in Tennessee.

We will hold community dances on the first and third Saturdays every month in the auditorium of the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street. Our dances are open to the public and feature live music in a smoke and alcohol free environment. No experience is necessary. Each dance is taught by the caller for the evening. You do not have to bring a partner. Comfortable shoes and clothing are recommended. Snacks and beverages are for sale in the visitors center. For more information about Jonesborough, please visit their website that can be found in our links section.

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Next Event: Contra Dance Saturday Dec 6th

Contra Dance in Jonesborough Honoring Charley Harvey!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a Contra Dance on Saturday December 6, 2014 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street. Class for beginning contra dancers starts at 7:00 pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30 pm with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm. Guest performers include “Toss the Possum” band from Blacksburg, VA, and a group of all-stars that include Barbara Groh, Lindsay Morris, Terry Doyle and Diane Silver.

The evening dance includes a tribute to caller Charley Harvey. Harvey began dancing in Berea Kentucky over twenty five years ago. He has called dances far and wide, teaching American Folk dance in Denmark and leading local dances and dance weekends throughout the eastern US.

Harvey began as an English Country Dancer, went on to become a member of Berea College Country Dancers. In 1992 he helped found the Berea Kentucky dance series "Oh Contraire!" and began calling dances regularly shortly after that. He has served as a workshop leader (Waltz, Swing, Hambo, Salty Dog Rag to name a few) at various Contra Dance Weekends throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Mid-West.

Widely regarded as an exciting and enthusiastic dance caller and sometime Washboard impresario, Harvey has worked with highly regarded bands such as Giant Robot Dance, Notorious, Hotpoint Stringband, Crowfoot, Footloose, The Avant Gardeners, Atlantic Crossing, Euphor and The Berea Castoffs. A prolific dance composer, Harvey will be honored by the assembled callers who will be calling his dances all evening.

The name Toss the Possum was inspired by a possum who found itself trapped under a spare dresser drawer in the garage of the Zisette family. This family band originally consisted of Chas on bass, Jane on flute, Rob on fiddle and Laura (mom) on keyboard.
Nowadays, Rob and Laura carry on as the kids grew up and moved away.

Rob Zisette, age 23, is the fiddler for Toss the Possum. After playing violin for a year and a half, he entered the fiddle contest sponsored by the Festival of the American West at age 10. He won first prize and has been fiddling ever since. Rob also likes to compose and was a percussionist in high school, but now attends Virginia Tech majoring in physics and math.

Laura (mom) taught Piano at Utah State University until she moved to Virginia. In Utah she played with Barnstorm and Leaping Lulu. Now she’s hanging on for the ride with Toss the Possum and has teamed up with Rob to compose over 50 original waltz tunes.

Come as you are; wear soft flexible shoes for dancing. Come to dance or just to listen. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught. As always, our dances are smoke, alcohol and fragrance free. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for students.

Posted by: David Wiley on November 26, 2014