Look through our calendar below to find both in person and online events.
The FSGW Calendar can be viewed two ways:
Linda Mansdorf will lead, teach and organize the request dancing.
No experience or partner necessary.
Lessons 8:00 - 8:30pm
Request dancing 8:30-9:30pm.
More information: International Folk Dancing (Greenbelt)
Contra dance in the Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo Park, Glen Echo, MD. Co-sponsored by Friday Night Dancers and FSGW.
Caller: Caroline Barnes
Caroline not only a local caller and organizer, she is also the vice-president of FSGW! She believes wholeheartedly that participatory dance is a social good, and she is committed to facilitating a joyful synthesis of music, movement, and community from the microphone. When she is not putting together a social dance, you can find Caroline dancing with her rapper team, Sligo Creek Sword.
Band: Charlie Pilzer, Rebecca Weiss and Rose Jackson
Rose, Rebecca, and Charlie represent a confluence of the rivers of contra dance music of New England and the mid-Atlantic. Rose hails from Western Massachusetts, Charlie from Maryland, and Rebecca from both. Together, they bring sparkling jigs like the stars on a clear winter evening, driving reels like maple sap running in the spring, waltzes like porch sitting in the hot summer, and twin fiddle harmonies bright as the colors in autumn. Hang on for new twists on old tunes and old twists on new tunes!
Also, Charlie Pilzer is the FSGW President!
All dances will be taught.
Lesson at 7:30pm
COVID Policy: This is an FSGW Tier 1 event, which means -
More info on FSGW's Covid response here
Potomac River Shape Note Singing Convention!
Saturday April 1, 2023, 10am-3:30pm
Potluck Dinner on the Grounds, 12:30pm, social to follow
Lacey Woods Park (rear picnic shelter)
1200 N George Mason Dr, Arlington, VA 22205
Plenty of street parking
Site info: Restrooms, children’s playground, and public water fountain on site (50-yard walk on paved path). No electricity.
Drop off: https://goo.gl/maps/buo6tATsmXnJmccx9 (or enter other end of park to avoid stairs)
We'll sing from the Shenandoah Harmony & the Sacred Harp (1991)
Covid Precautions: Same-day negative covid test expected. Masks welcomed, but optional. This event will take place outdoors.
Please bring a folding chair if you have one, books if you have them (Loaners available)
The convention is free and open to the public. All are welcome---no experience necessary!
Shape note singing is an American a cappella tradition with roots in the Colonial period. Characterized by open 4-part harmonies and a powerful sound, shape note singing is music designed primarily for participation, rather than for performance. For more information about The Sacred Harp, The Shenandoah Harmony, or shape note singing, visit fasola.org or shenandoahharmony.com
Family dance in the Glen Echo Annex at Glen Echo Park, Glen Echo, MD.
Caller: Lucia Schaefer
Music: Charlie Pilzer, Rebecca Weiss and Rose Jackson
Covid Info: Masks required. Proof of vaccination required for dancers 12 years and older. Vaccination highly encouraged for children 11 years and younger.
Tickets will be sold at the door.
Note: This dance has been moved to the first Sunday this month to avoid meeting on Easter
General information on our Family Dance web page
NOTE: To avoid meeting on Easter and to take advantage of Daylight Saving Time, the April Gospel Sing will meet on April 2nd in the late afternoon. Group singing will take place for two hours, from 4 - 6 pm. Hymnals provided. Everyone is welcome, but be sure you are vaccinated and symptom-free, and please bring your mask with you. The Sing will take place in the back garden of Arthur & Barbara Karpas in Takoma Park MD, only two blocks from the Takoma Metro Station on the Red Line. RSVP/directions: email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, or call 301-270-4239.
General information about Gospel Sings
On Tuesday, April 4th, 2023, the FSGW Board will meet from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. in a video conference meeting. Please contact the FGSW President via this link or the FSGW WebMaster via this link to get the video conference information if you wish to attend.
Board meetings are open to members. If you have agenda items you wish to have considered, please contact the FSGW President at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mostly Balkan international folk dance instruction for all levels at 8 pm. Request dancing beginning at 9 pm. To register, please send a photo of your vax card showing proof of booster, your email and phone number (for contact tracing) to Jamie at email@example.com.
See the website for more information: dancingplanetproductions.com/folkdance
April Blum calls to the playing of Robin Wilson (flute), Mari Carlson (fiddle), and Melissa Running (piano)
In-person dancing at Glen Echo Town Hall
The dance is held in the upstairs room of the Glen Echo Town Hall.
General information on our English Country Dance (in-person) web page
As per Fred Stollnitz's suggestion, we will go with with no topic and no announced host.
Topic: None, a truly OPEN Sing!
***Only those wishing to sing need to register.***
Registration will be open til Noon on 4/7/23.
Zoom Link will be sent to the Open Sing Mailing List, if you're not a member, sign up at https://groups.io/g/FSGWOpenSings
Larry Weinerwill lead an
Oldies but Goodies Night
all request evening featuring recorded music international folk dance favorites
- many easy dances to just follow along -
Request dancing 8:00-9:30pm.
Contra dance in the Bumper Car Pavilion at Glen Echo Park, Glen Echo, MD. Co-sponsored by Friday Night Dancers and FSGW.
Caller: Perry Shafran
Band: Dead Sea Squirrels (Cathy Mason on fiddle, Craig Edwards on fiddle, and Henry Yoshimura on guitar)
FSGW and Voices in the Glen invite storytellers and listeners to an evening of shared stories. Anyone is welcome to tell a tale; no one ever has to. Event details and Zoom link here.
General information on Story Swaps
Our featured tellers this month are the foundational Linda Goss and the surprising Claire Hennessy!
Please register FOR FREE. You will get an email with the necessary Zoom information. We ask for donations to support our tellers, suggested $15 per person. Donations can be made online before, during, or after the event.
The Grapevine is spoken word performance for adults and teens, celebrating the timeless art of the story, hosted by storytellers Renée Brachfeld and Tim Livengood.
ABOUT OUR TELLERS:
Linda Goss is a tradition bearer, a premier contributor to the art of storytelling, and a co-founder of the National Association of Black Storytellers. “Mama” Linda grew in the tradition from listening at the feet of her Grandaddy Murphy and on the knee of her Uncle Buster in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in Alcoa, Tennessee. She is the author of seven books and she has two albums of storytelling with Smithsonian Folkways. In 2019, she was named an NEA National Heritage Fellow.
More about Linda
British-born Claire Hennessy is a storyteller, podcaster (The Bonkers Brit) and author. She performs funny, true and often embarrassing stories about her husband and kids around the San Francisco Bay Area. She has been published in numerous award-winning anthologies and is hoping to find an agent for her humorous memoir before she is too old to go on a book tour.
More about Claire. Catch her podcast here
For more information go to The Grapevine (Storytelling)
Melissa Running leads the dancing while Tina Chancey (fiddle), Paul Oorts (mandolin and accordion), and Francine Krasowska (piano) play
The 10th anniversary of the Thursday Silver Spring Contra Dance!
In the Great Hall (wood floor) at the Silver Spring Civic Building.
Please note: There is no longer free parking at the Civic Center Parking Garage
Caller: Janine Smith
Band: Charm City Junction (Brad Kolodner, Alex Lacquement, Sean McComiskey, and Patrick McAvinue)
Calling Terms: Larks and Robins
Lesson at 7:00pm, Dance is from 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Click on this link to view the FSGW COVID-19 Response policy
The monthly Schweinhaut Song Circle provides a daytime opportunity to enjoy delightful songs, old or new, humorous or serious, timeless or topical. Free!
Everyone is welcome, regardless of experience. Come for informal group singing or just to listen, in person or via Zoom.
In observance of Earth Day (April 22) and springtime, bring or request your favorite Spring songs, or songs about the environment, or any other songs! We'll go around the room as many times as we can, giving everyone a chance to lead or request a song (or just pass) during each round.
If you wish to request particular songs, it helps to keep the singing going if you let us know in advance using the registration form linked below.
Susan McNelis will lead songs with guitar accompaniment, and any participant may lead any song, a cappella or self-accompanied.
The in-person session will be held under FSGW's COVID-19 Policy Tier 2 guidelines: Participants are encouraged, but not required,
to pre-register (see below),
to show proof of having completed a full course of a COVID-19 vaccine (including boosters if eligible) before March 31,
to wear a mask except while leading a song.
If you can't come in person, you can join us on Zoom with any Internet-connected device--computer, tablet, or smartphone--or you can join by dialing a phone number.
If this will be your first use of Zoom, go to https://zoom.us, click on " Sign Up Free " and follow the prompts. Do this ahead of time so that you'll be all set to "join the meeting" when it's time to do so. Information about getting started with Zoom is at https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/categories/200101697.
Before you join a Zoom session, if you installed Zoom on your computer before March 20, go to zoom.us/download to download and install the current version (5.14.0) of Zoom Client for Meetings. For a smartphone or tablet, update the Zoom app from your App Store or equivalent source.
Join us on April 14 in person or via Zoom. Especially if you're just getting started with Zoom, please try to join the Zoom session 5 or 10 minutes before 1:30 p.m. so that we can help with any technical issues before the singing begins.
For more information see the Song Circles page.
Caller: David Giusti
Band: Jumping Sharks (Emily Aubrey, Robin Wilson, and Michael Raitzyk)
Click on this link to view the FSGW COVID-19 Response policy
Ben Hole will lead, teach and organize the request dancing.
Request dancing 8:30 - 9:30pm.
A special co-sponsored Afternoon/Evening* with Archy Fisher
Online • Saturday, April 15, 2023 • 4 pm (Eastern US time)
Streamed live from Falcon Audio Visual Arts Studio, Whitby, UK, via YouTube
(*afternoon in the US, evening in the UK)
Archie Fisher is a legendary figure in the Scottish folk music world. Born into a family of musicians he learned to play guitar as a child, later forming a duo with his siblings, as well as performing as The Fisher Family. Since then he has been a songwriter and solo artist.
Click on the registration button to get the link!
Cost to register: free; Suggested donation: A give-what-you-can donation ($10 per person suggested; more always welcome) goes directly to the artist.
As per usual with concerts of this kind, the proverbial tip jar will be available for those who wish to make an additional contribution to the artist. It will scroll along the bottom of the computer screen: paypal.me/tulip0852 (you don’t have to have a PayPal account for this; just click on the link and follow the instruction, which include how to pay with a credit card). Or just click here:
Donate to the Performer [N.B.: Rob van Sante of Falcon Audio Visual Arts Studio is collecting the money for the artists]
Note that this event is on the YouTube platform rather than our usual Zoom platform. And it originates on a Saturday afternoon.
Caller: Janine Smith
Band: Faux Paws (Noah VanNorstrand, Chris Miller, and Owen Morrison)
Larry Weiner will lead, teach and organize the request dancing.
April 22, in person concert with The Faux Paws. Seekers Church, 276 Carroll St NW, Washington, DC. Steps from Takoma Metro! Doors open at 7:00 pm, Concert starts at 7:30.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS -
The Faux Paws' contagious groove and feel-good sound have been honed over ten years of playing together. It's the sound of brothers and close friends playing raging fiddle tunes, hot saxophone solos, songs of unrequited love, and a melting pot of other folk music. Brothers Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand grew up playing contra dance music with their musician mother in the band Great Bear. Chris Miller grew up in Florida; he was enamored with bluegrass and studied jazz before going on to play with GRAMMY nominated Cajun-country band The Revelers. Since meeting in 2012, the trio have toured across North America several times, sometimes under the name The Faux Paws. They spent that time learning about different styles of music from one another, and finding where their interests and skills could create unexpected and exciting new sounds. They'll be playing the contra dance at Glen Echo on April 21st and following it up with this concert on April 22nd!
More about The Faux Paws
This is an FSGW Tier 1 event:
Join us online for an evening of English Country Dancing. Our caller this month will be Melissa Running.
Our talented caller has put together a program of dances adapted for one or two dancers.
We will be using Zoom video conference. To get details on how to attend, visit the English Country Dance (online) page
Each month we will be collecting contributions to the caller (turns out it is more work to prepare an evening of dances for people dancing solo, or in pairs, in their homes). To contribute to this month's caller, please use the link below:
Online ECD caller contribution
Caller: April Blum
Band: Carl Friedman, Ralph Barthine, and Janine O'Brien
On Tuesday, May 2nd, 2023, the FSGW Board will meet from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. in a video conference meeting. Please contact the FGSW President via this link or the FSGW WebMaster via this link to get the video conference information if you wish to attend.
Band: Trio Con Brio
Come join us for a fabulous time! Doors open at 7:00 pm. Dancing starts at 7:30.
Music will be provided by Terpsichore: Elke Baker (fiddle), Liz Donaldson (piano), and Ralph Gordon (cello).
A dance program put together by April Blum and Melissa Running will be prompted by our local callers.
Please visit the 37th Annual Washington Spring Ball page for additional details.
Caller: Julian Blechner
Band: Glen Echo Open Band
Calling all musicians! The Glen Echo Open Band is scheduled to play for the May 12th contra dance (organized by Friday Night Dancers and FSGW), which will take place in the Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo Park from 8-11pm. If you are interested in helping to provide exciting, high-energy live music for contra dancers, please join us! Musicians of all ages and skill levels are welcome to participate.
If you would like to be paid after playing the dance, please complete a W-9 form and either submit it electronically at this link to FSGW or present a physical copy to the check-in table at the dance.
Click here for more info about the open band, or here for a tune list.
Please note that all are strongly encouraged to preregister (which can be done here) and must abide by the following policies during the dance:
COVID Policy: This is an FSGW Tier 1 event, which means -
Caller: Jack Mitchell
Band: The Rhythamajigs (Patti Reum on flutes and whistles, Jack Maus on keyboard and Michael Giardano on fiddle and mandolin)
The Rhythmajigs are a contra dance band, specializing in New England, Celtic and French Canadian syle tunes, but they also enjoy playing waltzes, and some Southern style, circle and square dances.
Band: Sligo Creek Stompers (Chris Ousley, Sarah Foard, and Adrian "Clamp"Erlinger)
The Sligo Creek Stompers play a raucous but refined blend of traditional roots music, which includes Appalachian and Midwestern old time and bluegrass, New Orleans ragtime and traditional jazz, haunted Irish fiddle tunes, classic country, and Texas and gypsy swing.
Band: Are We There Yet? (Susan Brandt - flute, Tom Wright - 10 string mandolin, Tina Chancey - fiddle, Charlie Pilzer - piano)
Collectively, over 200 years of musical experience!
The Washington Folk Festival at historic Glen Echo Park is back for its 41st year. This free festival will run from 12 noon to 7 pm rain-or-shine on Saturday and Sunday, June 3 and 4.
The Festival is a celebration of the many cultural traditions that are a part of our Greater Washington community. The Festival also features music, dance and song from the many international cultures represented in the DMV area
More information is available at washingtonfolkfestival.org. The Washington Folk Festival is produced by the Folklore Society of Greater Washington and the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture, in partnership with the National Park Service and Montgomery County, Maryland.
On Tuesday, June 6th, 2023, the FSGW Board will meet from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. in a video conference meeting. Please contact the FGSW President via this link or the FSGW WebMaster via this link to get the video conference information if you wish to attend.
Caller: Penelope Weinberger
Band: Squirrel's Chair (Nathalie Levine on fiddle, Nathan Bishop on fiddle, Judy Minot on keyboard)
Caller: Will Mentor and Frannie Marr
Band: Stomp Rocket
Lesson at 7:30pm, Dance is at 8:00pm.
Join us Saturday and Sunday, July 1st - 2nd, for #Dance Weekend to continue the fun! Register for #Dance here (#Dance is a Tier 2 Covid Policy event)
#Dance weekend returns!
Come dance in the famous Bumper Car Pavilion and Friday night in the Spanish Ballroom, to the calling of Will Mentor and Frannie Marr with music from the Mean Lids (Ben Smith, Miriam Larson, and Matt Turino) and Stomp Rocket (Bethany Waickman, Dave Langford, and Glen Loper).
Our callers for the weekend plus Stomp Rocket will also be playing the Friday Night Dance at Glen Echo on June 30th, an event adjacent to the weekend and with separate registration. Learn more or register here.
Volunteering: Full-weekend volunteers will be assigned 3 hours of work. Partial-weekend volunteers will be assigned 1 hour of work
#Dance Weekend is an ultra challenging urban dance weekend featuring mind bending figures, non-gendered calling, and phenomenal music. Two days of amazing workshops, dancing, community, fun, and food in the fabulous open air, covered Bumper Car Pavilion; workshops throughout Glen Echo Park, Glen Echo, MD
Covid Protocols -
If covid transmission rates are low in Maryland, DC, and Virginia at the time of the event, this will be an FSGW Tier 2 event, which means:
About the Artists -
Stomp Rocket is a New England based trio that delivers high energy foot-stomping dance music for Contra dancing! The band consists of fiddler extraordinaire Dave Langford (The Latter Day Lizards, Supertrad), DADGAD guitar monster and pianist Bethany Waickman (Anadama, Eloise & Co.), and tenor banjo and mandolin wild man Glen Loper (Frigate, Riptide). They’ve played for Contras throughout New England, and at dance weekends from Alaska to Tennessee, and Quebec to Florida. Occasionally they can also be tempted into playing for English Country Dance
Mean Lids are only as mean as they need to be to keep the grit in their tones and the edge on their tunes, they are never seen without their signature cranial apparel. Spot them by their hats, their long lonesome sounds, and the @$$ kicking "chin-cello" grooves emanating from their mean, mean fiddle fingers.
Will Mentor is a contra and square dance caller from Northern Vermont known for his clear teaching, upbeat wit, and relaxed stage presence. He loves to choreograph evenings with a variety of dances and tempos that at times surprise and always delight. As he once said, “I usually have a great time calling. Between the demographics of the dancers, the band, the hall, the temperature, etc. — every evening of contra dances has its own identity.” And always, he keeps intact his guiding principle as a caller: “It’s about the dancers!”
Frannie Marr is a caller and dance organizer residing in Southern California. After being dragged to a contra dance by her sister, Frannie fell so in love with dancing that she began teaching contra dances to her elementary school students. Shortly after a successful (though intimidating) calling debut at an open mike night, Frannie called her first full night when a friend asked her to cover on short notice. She’s been calling regularly ever since!
Design for #Dance Weekend 2023 T-Shirts -