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Next Event: July 4th @ Serenity Knoll

Rockin' 4th of July Party & Dance

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a picnic, dance and sky watch at Serenity Knoll, 542 Bacon Branch Road in Jonesborough, TN on Saturday July 4, 2015.

The event will begin with a potluck dinner starting at 5pm. Then a contra dance will ensue from 7:00-10:00pm with JOSEPH SOBOL & CHAD BEAUCHAINE bringing the tunes and MARK LANGNER calling. Admission $7 for all comers.

Bring food, swimsuit (in case we have waterslide or pool) binoculars, telescope and mosquito repellent.

Special Guest EMILY RUSH will continue the dance fun with a RUSHFEST session from 10:30-Midnight. The cost for Rushfest is a suggested $5 donation.

Of course, there will be fireworks not only on the dance floor but throughout the valley below.

When things calm down at midnight, Stargazer columnist, MARK MARQUETTE will lead us in a special "CONTRA COSMIC CONNECTION," The evening of dance will be enhanced with the naked eye stargazing of constellations and telescopic views of Venus Jupiter and the gibbous Moon.

And when the lights go out in the dance hall there will be a chance for some serious stargazing of galaxies and nebulae through telescopes provided by Bristol and Bays Mountain amateur astronomers led by local sky popularizer Marquette. Bring your own telescope and the experts will show you how to properly use it.

Posted by: David Wiley on June 21, 2015

Next Event: Concert & Contra Dance June 10th

“New England Trio plays for Special Contra Dance in Jonesborough!”

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will host the next contra dance of the season on Wednesday June 10, 2015 at the Pavilion at Serenity Knoll, 542 Bacon Branch Road, Jonesborough. The featured band is NOVA from Boston, MA. The caller is Will Mentor from Vermont. Admission for the dance is $8 for all comers.

The evening will begin at 5:30pm with a potluck dinner and a concert by Morgantown, VA based fiddler Rachel Eddy. Admission to the concert is $5-10 suggested donation. Rachel Eddy is a well-traveled singer, songwriter and teacher who just recently released a CD called “Nothing But Corn”. She is currently living in Morgantown, teaching Appalachian music at WVU. She lived, toured and taught in Sweden/Europe 2009-2014 while playing fiddle, banjo, guitar and singing.

The NOVA Trio consists of Kathleen Fownes on fiddle, Everest Witman on guitar and Guillaume Sparrow-Pepin on piano and accordion.

Fiddler Kathleen Fownes plays with a fire and versatility that shows her deep passion for the music. Beginning as a child, Kathleen studied both folk and classical playing. Her lyrical playing, coupled with her fearless improvisation, create a powerful and dynamic musical range which make her one of the most sought after young fiddlers on the scene. Besides playing in Nova, Kathleen also plays in a duo, with her father Jim Fownes, called Light Reaction.

Everest Witman’s guitar playing is energetic and full of life. Heavily influenced by the playing of his former teacher Keith Murphy, he provides a compelling and driving backup guitar style. After finding the folk music scene in his early teens, he quickly fell in love with music and dancing. Everest plays in the DADGAD tuning and draws from the styles of New England, Québécois and Irish guitar playing to create a versatile and satisfying sound. Everest plays in a variety of other bands besides Nova and also teaches guitar lessons.

Guillaume Sparrow-Pepin draws on jazz, traditional, and world music to play with an expressive and dynamic style melding the worlds of accompaniment and melody. A singer and pianist, he picked up the accordion in 2012 and, under the tutelage of Jeremiah McLane, found his way to the folk music scene. He studied computer science and music at the University of Vermont and currently works as a musician and freelance web designer.

“These three young musicians are taking the country by storm. They just recently headlined at the annual Great Bear Groove in Oswego, NY, and will be touring this area all week long. We are so excited to showcase their talent here as they have already been booked for our annual Jonesborough Dance Weekend, Mountain Madness, to be held October 9-11, 2015.” Added event organizer, David Wiley, HJDS President.

Will Mentor, art professor at St. Michael’s College in Colchester, VT, will teach a contra class for beginners at 7:00 PM and the dance will run from 7:30-10:30 PM with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm. No partner is necessary. It is customary at contra dances to change partners after each dance. As always, our dances are smoke, alcohol and fragrance free.

Posted by: David Wiley on June 7, 2015

Next Event: Contra Dance Saturday June 6, 2015

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a dance on Saturday June 6, 2015 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street at 7:00pm featuring the Asheville band “Boom Chuck” with Lauren Kriel calling the dance. Admission is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A class for newcomer contra dances will run from 7:00-7:30pm. The dance will go from 7:30-10:30pm.

Posted by: David Wiley on May 29, 2015

Contrathon XVII


Thank you!

Posted by: David Wiley on April 28, 2015

Next Event: Contra Dance & Workshop Saturday May 2

Contra Dance & Free Workshop in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, May 2, 2015 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A family package allows parents to bring all of their own children for a total of $15. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. No partner is necessary. Families and children are welcome! A half hour contra dance workshop will be offered at 7pm.

At the 9:00pm waltz break, Klondike Ice Cream Bars, the official frozen treat of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society, will be offered to all dancers courtesy of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society.

The evening will begin with a free two-hour workshop at 4:00pm called “Beyond the Beginners’ Workshop; How to Become Everyone’s Favorite Dance Partner” led by caller/teacher Charley Harvey. This workshop is for dancers of any level designed to make your evening of dance more pleasurable for you and others on the dance floor. The goal of the workshop for is for everyone to come away with new skills and techniques that make them a better dancer.

A better dancer is able to take good care of their partner by better understanding the flow of the dance. A better dancer is on time for every move during the dance because they understand the timing of the dance moves. That means you are in the right place at the right time. Once a dancer understands the basics, then they are free to play with Twirls and Embellishments and non-verbal communication between partners.

The final segment of the afternoon class will teach basic rotary waltz, how to add swing dance embellishments and achieving flow.

Performing for this event will be the band Hot Sonata from Asheville, NC. Charley Harvey will also call the evening dance from 7:30-10:30pm.

For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-534-8879 or visit

Posted by: David Wiley on April 23, 2015

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