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I Played My First Square Dance Today

Posted by bj on Saturday, July 11, 2009

What FUN! Keith Brintzenhoff of Kutztown, the caller, is a real hoot. I've never heard so many bad jokes coming from one mouth. This was at Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm and was the topper on their fabulous day of Music In The Valley.

And this was a perfect kickoff to playing dances, since it was mostly beginning Square Dancers, and though we played at a fairly good clip, Betty Druckenmiller said it wasn't as fast as it would have been for experienced dancers. Since Keith was teaching the beginners there was a lot of laughing going on, since they routinely got tangled up during the teaching walk through. It also didn't last all that long, we played for the dancers for only a couple hours. Talk about getting zenned out on a tune, I don't think we played more than five tunes in that time.

There were three squares for most of the dances. And we had four fiddlers, a hammer dulcimer, two guitars, two clawhammer banjos and an acoustic bass guitar for the unofficial Quiet Valley Historic String Band. Geez, I've been in two bands in just the last few weeks, what an amazing thing!

I have to get up to speed, because I for sure want to do this again. This October I'll be playing another dance most likely, and the caller will be Carl Burd, with my friend Sophie backing him up. Carl has been calling dances since the 1950's and is supposed to be one of the best around.

Looks like I have some woodshedding to look forward to . . .

9 comments on “I Played My First Square Dance Today”

brya31 Says:
Saturday, July 11, 2009 @7:18:49 PM

Woohoo good for you BJ!!!

bj Says:
Saturday, July 11, 2009 @7:25:55 PM

You're next, Rob . . .

M-D Says:
Saturday, July 11, 2009 @9:49:24 PM

Way to go, BJ! You'll be up to speed in no time! :o)

Rene Says:
Sunday, July 12, 2009 @4:33:22 AM

There you go again, doing something I'd like to do. What songs did you play?

Fiddler Says:
Sunday, July 12, 2009 @5:33:09 AM

Now you know what playing fiddling is all about! There is nothing like playing for a dance and watching folks move to your music.

bj Says:
Sunday, July 12, 2009 @6:42:04 AM

More like stumble and act silly to the music!

We played Soldier's Joy, Angeline the Baker, Susannah Gal, and Rock the Cradle Joe, all of which we knew well. Then the caller asked us to play Marching Through Georgia (which a couple of us knew (and I wasn't one of them, though I was finally getting the hang of it by the time he gave us the cutoff signal) and Little Brown Jug (which he asked us to play in C since he sang this one-- and none of us had done that before!)

ChickenMan Says:
Sunday, July 12, 2009 @10:31:17 AM

Yay! I am a little envious as your band was an actual old time band as opposed to my bluegrass pickers TRYING to be old time. :-)

bj Says:
Sunday, July 12, 2009 @10:39:57 AM

Yah, well, you got paid when you played for dancers. We didn't. So don't go being TOO envious . . .

Though in all fairness it's a great cause. That living history farm is without a doubt one of my favorite places in the whole world, and its continued existence "as is" is worth fighting for (or playing for, in this instance.)

ViolaFiddler Says:
Sunday, July 12, 2009 @1:08:06 PM

Wish I was there! To dance and maybe some harmony viola fiddlin.
It's ALL wonderful music!!!

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