2018 Contra Dance Camp

May 31 – June 4, 2018 at Camp Denali

Join us for the 2018 Camp Denali Dance Camp!

Reservations: Call our office at (907) 683-2290

Available to dancers only - space still available!

Contra dancing started in France and England during the late 1600's, and became popular in America during the late 1700's. Its revival began in the 1960s, when it was "discovered" by boomers and back-to-the-land people as a community dance, open to all, free for all. Contra dancing is similar to square dancing but is danced in long lines of couples. The dance is led by a caller who teaches the steps of the dance before the music starts. Contra dancing is considered a social dance that may be attended with or without a partner, but is danced in pairs. During the course of the dance couples progress up and down the lines, dancing with each other couple in the line.

The Band: The Great Bear Trio

The Great Bear Trio is one of the most popular and influential contra dance bands in the United States. They have traveled from coast-to-coast setting the standard for modern contra dance music. Multi-instrumentalist brothers, Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand, are accompanied by their mother, Kim, on the piano and Andrew’s wife, Sarah, as the caller. Their driving rhythm and uniquely rocking style have given them a loyal following of all ages. Check out their music at www.greatbearmusic.com for videos of past dances.

The Caller: Sarah VanNorstrand

Sarah VanNorstrand has been calling, organizing and teaching contra, square, and family/community dances for ten years. She has a clear and engaging teaching style and a great repertoire of dances to share. Instantly hooked from her first contra dance as a teen, Sarah’s love of the dance and her joy in sharing it with all who will is evident and infectious. Above all, her goal as a caller is to make sure the dancers are having as much fun as she is! More infomation at sarahcallsdances.com.

The Sound: Lucy Peckham

Lucy Peckham lives in Anchorage, Alaska, and is a composer/arranger, field recordist, and sound designer as well as live engineer. She has worked with theatres from Anchorage to San Diego, and Kathmandu to New York. As a dance engineer, Lucy is proud to have mixed dances for the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend Washington for over ten years, as well as over twenty years for the Anchorage Folk Festival, the Alaska Folk Festival, and the Dancing Bears Dance Camp. Lucy has recorded, mixed, and engineered music on three continents, but Alaska is her aural home.  www.both-ears.com


Schedule Overview

May 31: Meet our buses at 12:30 p.m. for the bus tour through Denali National Park to Camp Denali. Learn about the Park's natural history from one of our professional guides, and enjoy a picnic dinner along the way.

June 1/2/3: Each day will offer a combination of dancing and opportunities to explore Denali's wilderness on your own or as part of a guided hike. There will also be time to simply relax and enjoy your beautiful surroundings. The contra dances will be hosted by the Great Bear Trio. Camp Denali is able to accommodate 40 dancers for this event.

June 4:  Depart early in the morning to arrive back to the Park's entrance at 11:45 a.m.

Make your Alaskan dance adventure complete by also joining the contra dance camp hosted by Dancing Bears in Wasilla, AK. Scheduled for Memorial weekend just prior to your stay at Camp Denali - http://www.thedancingbears.com/Dance-Camp.html.