POTD2 Session Leaders
Below is a list of all our incredible presenters … thanks so much for time and expertise!
Emily Addison (Ottawa ON) has in her mission to make Ottawa more Vermont. What does that mean? More contra dancing for one! She enjoys a bit of calling, leads the local community band, but most of all loves organizing and building heartfelt community that is so ingrained in contra.
Julia Bennett is a Toronto seamstress, mom, beginner fiddler and journalist who now realizes how well field producing equips you to organize dances. She went to her first ECD a decade ago to shake work stress and was hooked, taking her daughters annually to camps. She just started a monthly neighbourhood dance, instructs Basics regularly for the Toronto Country Dancers, where she serves on the advisory group, and is researching the neuroscience of mental health and dance. Privately, she suspects that all great dancers, like all great basketball players, have flat feet like her and Audrey Hepburn.
Danielle Boudreau is a dancer, caller, and closet singer from southern Vermont. When she is not organizing dance events she is preparing for graduate school in midwifery and volunteering as a doula. She dances in Capezio jazz shoes, usually with duct-tape on the holes.
Adam Broome is a touring musician and co-director of Ooh La La Dance Weekend, now in its ninth year. He served as vice-president of the Downeast Country Dance Festival for four years. Born and raised in rural England, he now resides in the Townships of Quebec with his wife and musical partner, Jaige Trudel.
An alumnus of many bands including Ecosse, Matapat, Tüq, Jiig, Glen Road, Shindigo and The Shiners, Greg is originally from Newfoundland, and cut his musical teeth on the tunes of Rufus Guinchard and Emile Benoit under the guidance of current Newfoundland fiddle great Christina Smith. Since moving to the capital region, he makes his living as a professional musician, music teacher, and sound engineer with his company, Prentice Boy Music.
Delia Clark’s work life focuses on building community sustainability through facilitation and place-based education, and she has been thrilled to find ways to apply these skills to the cause of building community through dance. As a caller and occasional organizer, her sweet spot is working with children, families, and new dancers, where she loves to focus on fun. She is especially happy calling to the music of her husband and children, on the rare occasions they are all together.
A. Rima Dael
A. Rima Dael is a mom, wife, arts advocate, and 20-year nonprofit professional. She is the executive director of Country Dance & Song Society since 2012. Rima learned English Country Dance through cotillion in Hong Kong and contra dancing at summer camp in NH. Her home dance is the Fiddler’s Green Dance in Amherst, MA.
Chris Deephouse has danced at least weekly for over 20 years. He enjoys waltz, swing, tango, vintage, Cajun, zydeco, contact improv, English country dance, Irish sets, contra dancing, and more. Since 2001, he has danced around the country with his wife, caller Donna Hunt. Off the dance floor, he leads software teams and serves as treasurer for non-profit organizations.
Luke Donforth is a caller, choreographer, organizer, and dancer (who wears simple character shoes). He is based in Burlington, VT; where he helps run the Mad Robin Callers Collective. He travels extensively (over a quarter of the states so far, plus internationally) to share the joy of community dance.
Sophia Donforth is a singer, dancer, host-er of potlucks and community organizer. She started contradancing in college in Ithaca, NY and in the years since has danced in at least 12 states. A founding member of the Mad Robin Caller’s Collective, she lives with her husband and 9 month old daughter in Burlington, VT, and serves on the board of both local contradances. She used to dance barefoot, until a waltzing accident. Now she prefers to keep her toes covered.
Chrissy Fowler first contra danced at a cousin’s recommendation and has since danced with her siblings, parents, son, and various cousins, aunts & uncles. For footwear, Chrissy cherishes her Belfast Flying Shoes (a.k.a. the thriving Maine dance series she founded with her brother & sister-in-law, and her child’s godmother.) Belfast’s vibrant contra scene engages dancers of all ages, many of whom bring the whole famdamily.
Stephen Gabe has been a member of the Ottawa Contra Dance community for about 10 years. He is a member of the Ottawa Contra Dance board, the outreach committee and the Hey Fever dance weekend committee. Stephen is happiest when dancing up a storm at a dance weekend, the faster the dance the better!
Patty Giavara is a member of the Contra Dance Umbrella, the volunteer group that organizes the Montpelier VT contra dance series, and is the president of the Friends of the Capital City Grange Hall. Patty is an engineer and consultant specializing in helping manufacturers and other organizations innovate and grow.
Adina Gordon has served on committees and boards for the Country Dance and Song Society, Queen City Contras (Burlington, VT), and the Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend. She calls English country dances, squares, and contras. Adina lives in Burlington, VT.
Linda Henry (Amherst, MA) has been organizing and playing piano for contra dances from NC to New England for 30+ years. She currently co-organizes the Fiddlers Green Contra Dance and especially enjoys encouraging sit-in musicians. As the CDSS Outreach Manager, Linda offers grants, scholarships and support for conferences like POTD2 across the continent. Favorite dance footwear: Capezzio jazz shoes (with duct tape).
Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Abigail Hobart is a final-semester student at Hampshire College, in Amherst, MA, where she studies folk music, ethnomusicology, and community. An avid contra dancer / dance organizer, she is currently in the process of producing her first folk festival, and is loving every second of it!
Michael Kerman is currently president of Toronto Country Dancers. He joined this group and started to dance about seven years ago. For the first few years he silently watched the leadership of TCD was happy to dance and volunteer occasionally. Then with some prodding he joined the board. Michael has travelled extensively for contra dancing. He has a bag packed and ready to go. He has great admiration for the Ottawa dance community too! When and if he grows up he would like to be a Dance Gypsy. (As a child he told his parents he wanted to be a butterfly.)
Late bloomer to the dance world, loves contra, irish set dancing and English country dancing. Founding member of Toronto English Country Dance Assembly. Dance gypsy, retired physiotherapist
Will Loving is the founder of the weekly Downtown Amherst (MA) contra dance, the 4th Friday Greenfield Challenging Contra series and ContraEvolution. Will created the Caller’s Companion database used by over 80 callers and is committed to sharing the joys of community dance in a safe, respectful, consent based environment.
David Millstone started contra dancing in the early 1970s and has been calling nearly that long–contras and squares, dances in odd formations, English country dances and one night stands. He is currently president of Country Dance and Song Society. Shoes? He prefers dance sneakers for contras, Capezio jazz shoes for ECD.
Cedar Stanistreet is actively involved in dance communities as a musician, dancer, and organizer. He currently plays for dances with Nor’easter, Cardinal Direction, and the Agnostic Fiddle Insurgency, and helps organize the Brattleboro Dawn Dance as well as the Swinging Star 2nd friday series in Greenfield MA.
Jaige Trudel is a full-time professional musician, performing and giving workshops internationally. She is also a co-producer of the Ooh La La dance weekend. Currently training to teach the Alexander Technique, she has a particular interest in offering assistance to musicians, dancers and artists. She enjoys organic gardening and giving astrological readings.
Nancy Turner is a non-profit grant writer who began to learn the craft as a volunteer Board member. Currently, Nancy supports the Montpelier Vermont Grange Hall and its dance community through grant writing.