Group photo 2

A Night to Remember

Wow! What an evening THAT was!

Northern Spy finished our monthly series with a gala 35th anniversary party on November 14, 2015. Tracy Hall was packed on Saturday night, as a large crowd turned out to celebrate the end of our dances. Included in the mix were eight former members of the band, and many, many dancers from years gone by. Spurred in part by the great publicity given the event by the Valley News, we also had a good number of beginners present.

The evening started with a potluck supper attended by more than 75 people, with entertainment provided by the Revels Teens from Revels North. Dancing began promptly at 7:30 PM, half an hour earlier to make it possible a) to squeeze more dances into the evening and b) to have plenty of time for the dessert break. (Yum! Thanks for all who brought goodies.)

We should have thought of taking a photo at the peak of the evening, but we didn’t until after the break, by which point the crowd had thinned out a great deal. Still, here are some of the folks who remained, with others cleaning up the food downstairs.    Download hi-res – 2483 x 1845 pixels – 3.6 MB image here.

Group photo 2

Last spring, when Cuckoo’s Nest announced the end of its dances and when Northern Spy decided that it, too, was tired or organizing its own series, we were concerned that this might spell the end of Norwich dances. As we had hoped, though, many community members stepped forward and the dancing will go forward. There’s now a new website promoting dances on 2nd and 4th Saturdays, as well as an active Facebook page. The organizers are interested in presenting a mix of programs, some featuring local musicians and callers and some the bigger-name traveling bands and callers. I’ll still be calling locally from time to time, including some summer dances at the Pavilion, and the various musicians from Northern Spy may appear in different configurations. In the meantime, support your local dances!

Thank you, everyone, for making the evening such an uplifting experience. Saturday night’s program included a number of dances written by Ted Sannella, since that month marked the 20th anniversary of his death. Dances marked with an asterisk are shown in this video sampler from the evening. Here’s what we danced:

Scout House Reel (Ted Sannella, contra)
To Turn a Phrase (Bob Isaacs, contra)
Ted’s Solo Mixer (Ted Sannella, scatter mixer)
* Ted’s Triplet #3 (Ted Sannella, triplet)
Young at Heart (Steve Zakon-Anderson, contra, written on the occasion of Bob McQuillen’s 63rd birthday)
* Deep in the Heart of Texas (from the calling of Ralph Sweet, singing square)
* Whatchagonnado? (Erik Weberg, contra)
* Scatter Threesome (Ted Sannella, mixer)
Birdie in the Cage and Seven Hands Round (square, traditional)
Rock the Cradle Joe (Ridge Kennedy)

— break —

Ramsay Chase (Joseph Pimentel, contra)
* Fiddleheads (Ted Sannella, contra)
* The Devil’s Backbone (William Watson, 4 face 4)
Chorus Jig (traditional, contra)