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Contra Dance Across the Pond


24th SEPTEMBER - 4th OCTOBER 2004

As a result of "Dance Across the Pond" in 2002, several people told us that they would like to go on a similar tour but they wanted to contra dance instead.

Here is the brochure describing the trip we are organising for the Autumn of 2004:

There isa growing desire amongst British dancers to experience the Contra dance form on its home ground, the U.S.A. In the fall of 2004 we are planning an eleven day dance trip to the U.S. We will be based primarily in the Boston area & upstate Massachussetts, but will spend the second weekend at Lake George in upstate New York at the Adirondack Dance Weekend.

Henry (an American who has danced for twenty plus years in the U.S.) and Jacqui (a Brit who has made many forays into the American dance community) will be your host & hostess throughout this trip. We are retired and divide our time between England and the U.S.

What I am about to outline is the basic structure of the eleven day trip. You can see photographs of a Fall 2002 English Country Dance tour to the U.S. here.   We plan to visit some of the same places this time.

We expect you will leave England late Thursday, September 23rd & arrive in Boston before 3 p.m. Friday September 24th. However, people on several of our previous tours chose to arrive several days earlier & (or) leave several days later. Scheduling the flight is up to you - only PLEASE double check with me BEFORE you pay for the flight. We will pick you up at Logan International Airport Friday and take you to our hotel in upstate Massachussetts.

Friday Sept 24. Friday night we will travel to Greenfield, Massachusetts for a Contra Dance which begins at 8 p.m.

Saturday Sept 25. During the day we will travel to a beautifully preserved Shaker Village in New Lebanon, New York. It will take a whole day to tour this wonderful site. The round barn alone is worth the visit. You can learn more about this Shaker Village by visiting http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/travel/shaker/mou.htm.

Our contra dance that night will be in Amherst, Massachussetts.

Sunday Sept 26. After breakfast we will travel to the Milner Hotel, serendipitously situated in the very heart of the theatre district in downtown Boston. It is half a block away from an inexpensive "Food Court" that contains a whole range of restaurants that were used every evening by our previous dance tour group. Our trip will be a leisurely trip as we seek out fall colors & generally visit the sites in and around Amherst. Sunday night’s Contra Dance is in the Concord Scout House in Boston.

Monday Sept 27. At 10am a bus will be waiting outside our hotel to give us a two hour guided tour of Boston. Your tour ticket will allow you on & off the bus, as many times as you wish, over a two day period. Part of the tour, which you can take this afternoon or tomorrow afternoon, is an hour long boat ride in Boston Harbor. Monday night we will, once again, dance contras at the regularly scheduled Monday night Concord Scout House dance.

Tuesday Sept 28. During the day you can continue your tour of Boston. There is much to see in Boston, almost all of it within easy walking distance of our beautifully situated downtown hotel. At night we will dance contras with a small group of dancers in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Wednesday Sept 29. Our day- and night-time destination is Salem, Massachusetts, a wonderfully historic town about three quarters of an hour away. Early in the day we will take a guided "trolley tour" of Salem. In the afternoon you are free to sight see on your own, and there is much to see. At a pre-arranged time we will meet for dinner & then decide whether to stay in Salem to sight see some more or go back to our hotel in Boston.

Thursday Sept 30. During the day we will offer you a choice of several possible tours in Boston. You choose one of them (we pay), and of course, you need not go as a group. At night we will attend the most famous (and most crowded) Contra Dance in Boston, the VFW Hall dance in Cambridge.

Friday Oct 1 - Sunday Oct 4. We leave Milner Hotel, Boston and travel (three hours?) to Lake George, New York for the Adirondack Dance Weekend which begins with dinner at 6 p.m., and dance at 8 p.m. The weekend ends Sunday at 4 p.m. Food & Lodging is paid for from Friday dinner to Sunday lunch.

Dance weekends in America are magical, and this one has every chance of being one of the best ever. The lineup of bands & callers is terrific:

Airdance (Rodney Miller, MaryCay Brass, Stuart Kenney, David Surrette, Sam Zucchini)

Beverwyck (Britany Orlebeke, Peter Siegel, Kristen Hislop)

Spare Parts (Liz Stell, Bill Matthiesen)

Alan Thomson’s Little Big Band (Alan Thomson, + . . . )

Kathy Anderson (caller of contras/squares)

David Kaynor (not yet confirmed)

Karen Meyers (swing instructor)

Peter Stix (caller of contras/English)

Everyone lives & eats on site. There is always a choice of several possible workshops in any given time slot, and you can skip any slot you want to skip & just veg out or stroll around or even swim (if the weather is warm enough.)

Sunday Oct 3 (or Mon Oct 4). We will drive to Logan International Airport & stay at a motel there. We could stay Sunday night at the Lodge where the weekend takes place, but that can only be done if everyone has a flight that leaves late in the afternoon Monday, October 4. If the members of the dance group wish (and we can discuss this once the group of twelve is set), we can extend the trip by one day (though that would cost a bit more.) We can attend the Monday night dance at the Scout House in Concord, Boston. At this point, the dance tour is scheduled to end Monday day, October 4, 2004.

Monday Oct 4 (or Tues Oct 5). You will board your plane to return to the U.K. If you plan to stay longer I will help you find lodging, if you’d like me to.


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