Welcome to the CDSS celebration of "Local Heroes!" These are people who quietly *make things happen* for everyone else. And we want to give every community in our dance/music/song universe the opportunity to recognize and thank them, publicly, with joyful gratitude. Scroll down to read the wonderful stories and testimonies that have been coming in from all over the place - the locations of the local heroes are shown in the map on the right. Click here for a larger version of the map
We hope you're inspired to recognize someone in your own community. Share a story about your own local hero here!
Local Hero: Theresa Lowder
Theresa has led a performing folk dance group made up of teens from our local community, for nearly 30 years. Through their practices, performances, and amazing trips (Spain, Fiji, Denmark, etc,) she has taught them much more than how to dance well - she has taught them how to live well.
Local Hero: Bob Nicholson
Bob Nicholson has been an anchor and inspiration for the Syracuse Country Dancers for many, many years. He was one of the first people I met when I started dancing and his kindness, easy-going nature, and enthusiasm for traditional dance and music has impressed me more and more every year since. At practically every event, he's there to call or dance, set up sound or close up the hall at the end of the evening. And in addition, he manages to help the new people and veterans alike have a wonderful time.
Local Hero: Bob Pasquarello
Bob Pasquarello is probably the most important single thread that weaves through the southeastern PA and central/southeastern NJ dance communities. He has been a dance organizer, musician, musical leader, musical mentor, tune writer, and promoter and supporter of traditional dance for over 30 years.
Local Heroes: Carol Barry and Kevin Barrett
Oklahoma's contra and English dance organization, Scissortail Traditional Dance Society, would like to formally thank, with joyful gratitude, our long-term members, Carol Barry and Kevin Barrett, for their generous, consistent, and ongoing contributions to our dance community.
Carol started dancing with a local international folk dance group in 1984. Together with Noel Osborn, John Rapp, and Jean Hill, she helped to establish the first core group of contra dance callers in Oklahoma in the late 1980s. Carol also fell in love with ECD and started Oklahoma's first ECD group in 1998, which succeeded and has been meeting twice a month since around 2000. In 2006, she invited some local musicians to form an ECD ensemble for a special weekend event. This group soon evolved into a regional favorite, the Ladies at Play.
Local Hero: Sharon Green
Sharon has been dedicated for many years to build the Bay Area Country Dance Society through her frequent personal emails about local dances, her thoughtful and gentle dance teaching and calling, and her cheerful warm personality. She is the glue that holds us all together!
Local Hero: Mary Luckhardt
Mary Luckhardt invariably does what it takes to make English Country dancing happen in the Bay Area. Most recently, as dance manager of our Berkeley Wednesday ECDs, she's been coping with a sticky floor problem by arriving at the church early to spot mop and buff the floor, occasionally spreading cornmeal or cornstarch to alleviate the stickiness, after which she teaches the beginners' introduction to English dance.
Local Hero: Michel Landry
*We are sad to say that this posting came in shortly before Michael passed away and is another testament to his legacy of good work and community support."
After decades teaching international dance, Michel Landry, assisted by his wife Arduina Alonzo, began teaching English Country Dance in Montreal in 2002. Undaunted by lingering anti-anglo prejudice amongst some francophones, they have introduced many to the pleasures of ECD, and continue to do so.
Local Hero: Craig Tinney
For new musicians hoping to hone their skills enough to play for dances, approaching a circle of well-established musicians can feel intimidating. I've had that experience while toting an accordion, an instrument not always fondly regarded among traditional musicians of a certain stripe. Accordionists are not unique in being greeted with well-worn jokes about our instruments, and if aspiring musicians feel intimidated already, those jokes, though perhaps well-meaning, can add to the feeling of nervous self-consciousness.