Dance History Projects

Sannella Stories

Ted Sannella was an internationally-known caller, choreographer, author, and mentor for many in the traditional square and contra dance community. He published more than 170 dances, including 41 of Ted’s Triplets, a three-couple dance form adapted from English country dance. David Smukler and I have collected stories and photographs from people who knew Ted and plan to …

Sannella Stories Read More »


Contra Dance Disapora

Contra Dance diaspora: A collection of stories about the spread of contra dancing

altHow this collection came to be: My work on the Bob McQuillen documentary, Paid To Eat Ice Cream, helped me realize how many stories of the previous generations of dancers had been lost. The New England Folk Festival one year held a “Remembering Ralph Page” session that attracted fewer than two dozen participants. Some potential participants were committed to other workshops at that same time, to be sure, but many of the people who had danced to Ralph Page simply were no longer alive. As I continued to search for photographs and films and stories from earlier eras of traditional squares and contras, I resolved that no matter what I was able to locate, at least I could ensure that more recent generations left a better record of their involvement.