Category Archives: Fun

Book Published: All Join Hands: Dances and stories

Richard Wilson book page includes purchasing details. Six and a half years ago we called for contributions.  Now we contribute this book back to the FolkMADS community.

Introduction to the first edition

This book is the fruit of an old idea, a long fallow period, and a final burst of enthusiastic commitment. The idea was to provide Richard with a meaningful focus and contribution during his last year of life. He wrote and wrote, filling notebooks; Lauren transcribed what she could. We photocopied all his cards that could be found in October 2010; Katherine provided an initial transcription. This book has taken many forms in its many revisions and reimaginings: experimenting with different paper sizes, interleaving the stories from other people in with his own story, modifying the dance formats, and finally returning to this fairly simple format. The long lull, after much compilation and redrafting, was partly due to my grieving after Richard passed; with Richard gone the urgency of the project had passed, since my primary commitment was to him. Then I allowed other projects to take over, including the trials of earning tenure as faculty at UNM. Finally, after almost six years, it is done. While I may not have been able to realize the book I envisioned, this is it. I’m heartened by a thoughtful and generous community to whom I present this gift and tribute. Five years since Richard’s passing, I still feel his spirit and gentleness as I teach new dancers and callers, just as he taught me, feeling how each foot lifted is as important as how each is set upon. Erik Barry Erhardt Albuquerque, NM October 2016
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Albuquerque The Magazine, Thumbs Up for FolkMADS

Albuquerque The Magazine gave me the opportunity to say what I love and don’t about Albuquerque. Thumbs Up: FolkMADS. I love contributing to and connecting to the living traditions of community-centered American and Western European folk music and dance in New Mexico, from the English influences from the late 1600s, to the local Rocky Mountain squares from the 1820s, through to the current Modern Urban Contra dances we enjoy each week. Thumbs Down: Goatheads. I’m optimistic for Albuquerque‘s Parks and Rec department’s strategy to plant native grass along a portion of the city’s 170 miles of trails to squeeze out the goatheads and their spiny little seeds.  Here’s another option:  host-specific, puncturevine eating weevils. [caption id="attachment_2715" align="aligncenter" width="408"]201511_AlbuquerqueTheMagazine_EBErhardt_FolkMADS_TUTD_p35 Albuquerque The Magazine, November 2015, p. 35[/caption]
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Pinewoods Swing into Summer, 2012, a better Hambo workshop

I’ve been lucky! I was invited to teach couples dance at five of the six dance and music camps in my summer schedule (AZ, NM, MA, CA, MA, AZ) and was invited to give a day-long waltz workshop in Tucson, AZ!  I can hardly believe it.  To Eric Black and Diane Zingale, who both believed in me to lead couples dance at AmWeek 2011 and got me started (and invited me back for AmWeek 2012), I have much gratitude!  Thanks also to all the organizers (Deb Comly, Lisa Bertelli, Chuck Gordon, and Eric Black) who trusted me to create a fun and engaging learning experience.

A better Hambo workshop

Chuck Gordon invited me to teach Hambo with Heather Carmichael at Pinewoods, Swing into Summer. The two one-hour sessions, and the support of several dance angels (experienced hambo-ers), absolutely helped the success of the workshop. My experience is that a single one-hour workshop (or even 1:15) isn’t quite enough to get the dance into the feet of the dancers.  But one hour to get solid on the components and their synthesis (Dreyfus model levels 2 or 3, advanced beginner or competency), a night of rest and maybe practicing the turn in free moments, then a second day of dancing over and over with many dancers gives enough time and thought to ascend to level 4 (proficiency).  I think even two 45-minute session are preferable to one 1:30 workshop or even a single 2-hour workshop. From the experience, I still feel engaged, joyful, and inspired because of the direct and special way I could connect in the community, watch the dancers grow in the two hours, and facilitate the mutual nurturing and compassion between the dancers as many went from “what’s hambo?” to, “let’s dance”! Heather and I thank Emily Troll, Mary Lea, and Julie Vallimont who played a series of lovely tunes as we all got to dance as a mixer for a solid 40 minutes of the second hour — my most successful hambo workshop!
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Contra dance: Las Cruces Stomp

Las Cruces Stomp Erik Erhardt Type: Contra Formation: Duple-Improper Level: Easy A1 ———– (16) Neighbor balance and swing A2 ———– (8) Circle Left 3/4 (8) Partner swing B1 ———– (8) Balance the ring and spin to the right (petronella) (8) Balance the ring and spin to the right (petronella) B2 ———– (8) Right and left through (8) Ladies Chain Other Notes: Written on the spot 3/16/2012 for the dancers in Las Cruces, who I heard enjoyed balanced and petronella spins, the night I shared a night of calling there.
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Contra dance: Fair trade

Fair trade Erik Erhardt & Cora McCold Type: Contra Formation: Duple-Improper Progression: Double Level: Int A1 ———– (8) 1s reverse 1/2 Figure 8 down outside and crossing up between 2s (8) Star Right A2 ———– (16) 1s balance and swing WHILE 2s cross set, up outside one place, cross set back (walking around 1s) B1 ———– (8) 2s reverse 1/2 Figure 8 up outside and crossing down between 1s (8) Star Right B2 ———– (16) 2s balance and swing WHILE 1s cross set, down outside one place, cross set back (walking around 2s) Notes: A1, B1 – In Figure 8, as soon as active couple crosses through, every put their right hands in to star. Other Notes: Cowritten with Cora at Stellar Days and Nights, 2/25/2012.
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Contra dance: Lucia’s square through

Lucia’s square through Erik Erhardt Type: Contra Formation: Becket-CW Level: Int A1 ———– (4) Neighbor across Balance (4) Square through 2 (pull by right across, then up/down left with Partner) end facing up/down (8) Next Neighbor Swing A2 ———– (4) Other Neighbor across Balance (4) Square through 2 (pull by right across, then down/up left with Neighbor you swung) end facing down/up (8) Partner swing at home B1 ———– (8) On Left Diagonal, Ladies Chain (8) Star Left 3/4 B2 ———– (4) Partner allemande Right 1X (4) Circle Left 1/2 with new Neighbors (8) Star Right 1X Other Notes: Written for Lucia Thomas at Stellar Days and Nights, 2/25/2012.
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Contra dance: Precket for Kara, #1

Precket for Kara, #1 Erik Erhardt Type: Contra Formation: Duple-Proper Level: Int A1 ———– PRECKET FORMATION (16) Gents (Ladies) Contra Corners A2 ———– (4) Gents (Ladies) Balance (12) Partner balance and swing B1 ———– (8) Left diagonal, ladies start 1/2 Hey by right shoulders (8) Across set continue 1/2 Hey B2 ———– (8) 1s 1/2 Figure eight across, 2s separate and come together (8) Long lines, forward and back Notes: Starting: Precket, Proper Becket — start proper, hands four, circle left 1/4 for starting position G2 G1 top L2 L1 bottom B2 – yes, 1/2 Figure 8 across the set
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Contra dance: Stars on van Vliet Street

Stars on van Vliet Street Erik Erhardt Type: Contra Formation: Duple-Improper Level: Easy-Int A1 ———– (4) Gents allemande Left 1/2 (4) 1st Gents Right-hand star with Nbr Lady in front 1/2 (4) Ladies drop out across set and cast over Left shoulder WHILE Gents continue Right-hand star 1/2 (4) Original Neighbor Gents allemande Left 1-1/2 A2 ———– (4) (cont) (4) 2nd Gents Right-hand star with Old Nbr Lady in front 1/2 (4) Ladies drop out on original side and cast over Left shoulder WHILE Gents continue Right-hand star 1/2 (4) Original Neighbor Gents Left forearm grip push to piroette to partner B1 ———– (16) Partner balance and swing B2 ———– (4) Ladies allemande Right 1/2, scoop up Neighbor Gent (4) Star promenade to Lady’s side (8) Neighbor swing Notes: A1 – start facing across. Gents look on far left diagonal for 1st gent, look on near right diagonal for 2nd gent. Ladies prepare for star as gents allemande to start. Stars are hands-across. A2 – alternatively, can Gents can ricochet push off with two hands to piroette in place. B2 – on star promenade, lady’s arm is high to flow into swing Teach stars by having the Gents do the pattern without the Ladies, first. Then have the Ladies join to show that the Ladies simply cross the set Other Notes: Written for Josh van Vliet for the Saratoga Springs Dance Flurry 2/16/2012
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