New Years Fest Dances
On Dec. 31, 2022, DFO sponsored a full day/night of dancing in partnership with Saratoga New Years Fest, bringing seasoned dancers and new participants together for a joyous New Years celebration. Read about it at https://www.danceflurry.org/event/new-years-fest/ and find videos from the event here.
Community Outreach Dance
On October 2, 2022 the DFO sponsored a Mini Contra at the Upper Madison Street Fair in Albany. Four sets of veteran dancers and some new dancers enjoyed two dances called by Melanie Axel-Lute, with lively tunes by George Wilson, Mark Badgon, Vonnie Estes, and David Barnert. Lots of attendees stopped by to chat, pick up flyers, and share in our excitement around the resumption of our Albany events.
St. Rose Wellness Fair Outreach
DanceFlurry Outreach visited the St. Rose college’s annual Wellness Fair on April 4, 2022, to share information about the health benefits of dance and our local events with student and faculty visitors. The Jazz Cats Trio provided swing music, and some dancers taught some swing moves. We have participated in past wellness fairs as well, both in person and in 2021 online.
Socially-Distanced Swing Concert
On July 28, 2021, DFO presented The Sheiks of Third Street, featuring Zach Cohen on Guitar, Mike Jenkins on Bass and Vocals, and Pete Vombaco on Drums, at the pavilion at Shaker Heritage Society in Albany.
You can view the video of the concert at https://fb.watch/gwbFTTZ38v/ and https://fb.watch/gwbJk5-cSv/
The Revolutionary History of Blues, Soul, and Funk
Planned in collaboration with June Bischoff, who has been organizing Albany Lindy and Blues events in collaboration with the DFO, the purpose of this January 27, 2021 program was to expand our understanding about a range of traditional music and dance genres. The program was presented by Kenneth Shipp, the Event Advisor & Executive Director for the Ujima Blues Foundation. He notes: Every genre of Black music, intrinsic to the growth of American popular music, informs the next generation of music listeners and performers about the black experience. From the way it sounds, to the way you move with it, and the way it continuously challenges the black social issues of today and yesteryear, Black music cannot be separated from its roots of oppression and celebration. There are key threads of Black history that link the blues, soul, and funk genres together and form the basis for future genres of Black music.
When Can We Safely Dance Again?
On August 12, 2020, DFO hosted an online panel about the impact of COVID-19 on our traditional dance communities, and the complex questions around when and how we might safely resume dancing. The conversation was moderated by caller and dance organizer Claire Takemori, and included discussion with:
Will Mentor, contra and square dance caller
Dr. Elizabeth Whalen, Albany County Public Health Commissioner
Dr. Mary Applegate, Clinical Professor in Social Behavior and Community Health at the University at Albany School of Public Health
Professor Linda Breslin, Instructor and Ethics Consultant with Alden March Bioethics Institute at Albany Medical College
Katy German, Executive Director of CDSS (Country Dance and Song Society)
Troy Victorian Stroll Outreach Dances
The DFO-Affiliated Capital English Country Dance, followed by the DFO-Sponsored Troy Barn Dance Experience, held free participatory dances for all experience levels during the 2019 Troy Victorian Stroll. English Dances were called by Nancy Yule, with music by Alan Thomson and friends, and Barn Dances were called by Paul Rosenberg.
Department of Transportation Health Fair
DFO has participated in multiple health fairs for NY State employees, including at the Department of Labor and SUNY Albany, to showcase activities beneficial to the health and well-being of state workers. On November 13, 2019, Outreach visited the Department of Transportation health fair. DFO visits are a favorite among exhibitors and attendees, bringing the energy of live music to the hall!
English Country Outreach at Farmer’s Market
On October 26, 2019, Capital English Country Dancers held an outreach event at the Troy Waterfront Farmer’s Market, with fiddle music by George Wilson.
2019 Independence Day Celebration
Thanks to a DFO Outreach grant, participants gathered on the Nassau, NY Town Common for this free event. Melanie Axel-Lute called the community dance, with music provided by George Wilson and the DFO-sponsored Capital District Megaband.
Two Left Feet Series at Proctors Theater
So you think you can’t dance? YES, YOU CAN! Participants at Proctors in Schenectady, NY enjoyed a night of community dancing, in association with the DanceFlurry Organization and the Old Songs Organization. Circle, square and contra dancing…attendees learned them all and had a great time!
- On November 10, 2018, the series premiered as Paul Rosenberg called the figures with live music by George Wilson and Peter Davis.
- On April 16, 2019, students learned how to move to the music from Paul Rosenberg, with tunes by John Kirk, Trish Miller and Joel Rosenberger.
Flurry Warm Up Contra Dance
This free DFO sponsored event on February 2, 2019 was held at the Hubbard Hall Center for the Arts and Education. Fern Bradley called, and members of the Hubbard Hall Tune Jam Band provided the music for this mixed experience workshop. Participants started with the basics, and learned new steps with each dance. By the end of the evening, the group was in fine Flurry form! A potluck followed the dance for those wishing to bring a dish, to feature the bounty of local gardens and farm markets.
English Country Dance Demo
In December of 2018, the Capital English Country Dancers demonstrated dances from the time of Jane Austen, for the Capital Repertory Theater’s holiday performance of the play Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley.
English Country Dance Outreach
On October 5, 2018, participants enjoyed an English Country dance with live music by Steve Fry and members of HeartsEase, and calling by Don Bell. Held at the Saratoga County History Center with support of the Brookside Museum and the DFO, dancers of all skill levels enjoyed the chance to attend this free event, and delve into a ball straight out of the pages of a Jane Austen novel!
Free Contra Dance at Freedom Park
On August 11, 2018 caller Melanie Axel-Lute, George Wilson & the Capital District Megaband performed at Freedom Park, Scotia, NY. This free Contra Dance outreach event was co-sponsored by the DanceFlurry Organization & Jumpin’ Jack’s. Participants defied the terrible weather forecast and shared the dry stage area during the evening. Photos provided by Susan Duchnycz (hostess for the event), and Carolyn Sanford (member of the band).
English Country Dance at the Rensselaer County Historical Society
On the Troy Night Out of July 27, 2018, participants escaped the frenzy of 21st century life, and enjoyed an evening of English Country Dance. This free event featured live music by HeartsEase, and caller Don Bell. Attendees enjoyed music ranging from classical 18th century tunes of Handel and Vivaldi, to more recent Jazzy assortments. The event was made possible by the support of the DFO.
Shaker Dance Workshop
A workshop on Shaker dance May 12, 2018 at Albany’s 1848 Shaker Meeting House in Albany, NY. led by Dr. K. Michelle Arthur Education Coordinator, Shaker Heritage Society. The workshop was supported by the DanceFlurry Organization, the Shaker Heritage Society and an Outreach Grant from the Country Dance & Song Society.
Hannaford Kidz Expo Outreach Booth and Dance
On March 6, 2017, DFO staffed an outreach booth at the annual Kidz Expo in Albany, and sponsored a community dance as part of the day’s activities. Children and families from the Albany area who had never been exposed to traditional dance experienced simple dances to live music, and were introduced to another type of healthy activity!
DFO has held many outreach events at farmer’s markets over the years. Here, George Wilson and Colin McCoy play at the Troy Waterfront Farmer’s Market in October 2010.
Photos by Don Bell