Recent News

Next Event: Feb 6, 2016

Jonesborough Contra Dance! Shake those winter blues on the dance floor!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday February 6, 201 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street at 7:30 PM. Dot-Dot-Dash will play the tunes while Phoebe Williams will do the calling. Admission is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A special family package for members is now offered for a total of $15. Parents and all of their own children under age 18 can gain admission for one price. All dances are taught. The event is smoke, alcohol and fragrance free.

Dot-Dot-Dash has been playing contra dances in the Southern Appalachian region for over 12 years. From a whisper to a growl, they play a variety of traditional dance music as have a large and growing repertoire of original tunes. Band members include Bill Anderson on fiddle (Boone, NC), Matt Livingston on mandolin (Roanoke, VA), and Patrick Turner on bass (Blacksburg, VA). Special guest pianist, Kerry Morgiewicz will be joining Dot Dot Dash on keyboards for this event.

Phoebe Williams hails from Blacksburg, Virginia where she is a big part of the traditional dance community. Phoebe was born into a contra dance family. She started calling about five years ago and now
teaches swing, waltz, Irish set, Irish step, Scottish country dance.

As a caller, Phoebe focuses on the community aspect of dance, the overall pattern of the dance and making beginners feel welcome.

After the dance gets going, Phoebe has a knack for teaching style points as a refinement.

Posted by: David Wiley on January 22, 2016

Next Event: January 16, 2016

Contra Dance!

Guest caller: Jacob Legrone

Guest band: The Stuff (Nic Coker & Gretchen Caverly)

Class for beginners 7:00pm.

Dance 7:30-10:30pm

Posted by: David Wiley on January 5, 2016

Next Event: January 2-3, 2016

A New Years Affair 2016

Bands: Playing with Fyre & Buddy System

Caller: Charlotte Crittenden & Jesse Edgerton


Saturday Jan 2nd:

10:30am - 12 noon Contra w/Buddy System (Acoustic)

12:00pm - 1:30pm Lunch

01:30pm - 2:15pm Waltz with Buddy System

02:30pm - 5:00pm Contra w/Playing with Fyre

05:00pm - 7:00pm Dinner Break

07:00pm - 8:45pm Contra w/Playing with Fyre

09:00pm - 11:30pm Techno Contra with Buddy System

Sunday January 3rd

10:30am - 11:45am Waltz

12:00pm - 01:45pm Contra w/Buddy System

02:00pm - 03:45pm Contra w/Playing with Fyre

Admission price:
_____$40 for all events in advance, $30 for HJDS Members, Students in advance
_____$15 for Sunday, $10 for HJDS Members, Students
_____$15 for Saturday day, $10 for HJDS Members, Students
_____$15 for Saturday night, $10 for HJDS Members, Students

Posted by: David Wiley on December 20, 2015

Next Event: Dec 19th

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday December 19, 2015, at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street.

The guest performers are Sassafras Stomp from Maine. They are Nordell on guitar and Johanna Davis on fiddle. The guest caller is Warren Doyle from Laurel Bloomery, TN.

The Christmas Holiday Season event invites all comes to bring sweet treats to share during the evening and waltz break.

Beginners lesson at 7:00pm taught by Warren (Santa) Doyle. The dance runs from 7:30-10:30pm.

Admission $7, $5 for HJDS Members and Students.

All dances are smoke, alcohol and fragrance free.

Posted by: David Wiley on December 8, 2015

Next Event: Nov 21, 2015

“West Virginia Quartet plays for Jonesborough Contra Dance & Food Raiser”

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance on Saturday, November 21, 2015 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center. The featured band will be the Contrarians with Dean Snipes calling. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members and students $5. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. A workshop for beginning contra dancers will be led by the callers at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm where, once again, Klondike Bars will be served to all who attend.

The Food Raiser, a month-long collection, is being organized to supply non-perishable food stuffs for the Jonesborough Area Ministerial Association Food Bank. Nationwide food bank donations continue to decline. Donor fatigue may be setting in as the economy puts more and more families at risk and unable to feed themselves. “We are asking all dancers and members of the local community to bring non-perishable food stuffs to give to those in need” adds even organizer, David Wiley.

Some truly exceptional talent is coming to Jonesborough! The Contrarians hail from the Charleston, WV area. The Contrarians consist of Paul Epstein on fiddle, John Longwell on mandolin and tenor saxophone, Will Carter on bass and Andy Park on guitar.

From early childhood, John Longwell played piano. Into high school, the tenor saxophone and folk guitar were his preferred musical instruments. In the early 70’s, he moved from Pennsylvania to rural West Virginia near Charleston as part of the “Back to the Land” movement. He and his wife Peggy found themselves in somewhat of an intentional community that was filled with Old Time music devotees. John picked up and mastered the fiddle and mandolin and became part of Paul Epstein’s band “Booger Hole Revival” and later on the “Back Road Travelers”. Professionally, John was involved in every part of the wood working industry after starting the Green Creek Woodshop in the early 80’s where he had a sawmill, custom cabinet and furniture shop and also ran a sizeable farm. He and Peggy raised a son who now lives on their farm with two grandchildren.

Andy Park is a retired public school teacher from who currently lives in Charleston, WV. Now 58 years old, he has played music in bands since he was 16. During the 1990s I was in an alternative band called “Crazy Jane” that had some regional success. They released 3 CDs. After Crazy Jane disbanded, he joined a band named “Voodoo Katz” which is a world beat band. World Beat is a music genre that blends Western pop music or rock music with traditional, folk or world music influences. “Voodoo Katz” released two CDs to date..

Andy joined the Contrarians in September of 2013 playing guitar in addition to some fiddle, mandolin and banjo. He has a solo CD called “True Love” in which he sings original tunes. Andy played at the Acoustic Coffeehouse in Johnson City several years ago.

Will Carter, the Contrarian’s bass player, was raised in Charleston, West Virginia and now lives in a small intentional community in rural Putnam County, West Virginia. He and his wife Martha are the parents of Trace Carter, an avid contra dancer who a second-years student at Warren Wilson College. Will also plays bass in Blue Yonder, an acoustic honky-tonk trio featuring national-award-winning musicians John Lilly (singer-songwriter) and Robert Shafer (guitar), and is the founder of the Appalachian String Band Music Festival, better known as "Clifftop". A Harvard-educated attorney, Will's day job is leading a company he founded that specializes in holistic financial planning.

Band leader, Paul Epstein, is also a retired educator. Paul plays fiddle and does abundant song writing, composing and arranging the tune sets for the band.

Dean Snipes is a favorite caller of the Jonesborough dance community. He is known for his great choice of dances, easy teaching and brings a sense of generosity and great enthusiasm to the dances. Dean also wrote a dance to honor the dance community called “The Jonesborough Way”.

Posted by: David on November 13, 2015

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