Contra Dances and English Country Dances called by Linda Leslie and Chris Ricciotti
First time campers get $25 off their registration fee! Think of it as our "Fresh feet" campaign.
Dates and Fees
Early – by April 8
Late – April 9 – 29
At Door – after April 29
Regular: $280, $300, $325
Student: $190, $200, $225
Work Exchange: $170, $180, $205
Cancellation: full refund if by Apr 8, after $100 for regular/$50 for WE/Student, Cancellation fee can be credited to a camp in this or the next year.
Scholarship: available for WorkExchange people, minimum payment is $50.
Children are welcome. Inquire about rates and housing.
Students should enclose a photocopy of their student ID or show it when registering at camp.
Fees include housing, food and snacks.
· Enclose a
check for the Total
enclosed amount and make
payments to LCFD.
· You will receive confirmation, camp information and directions via email.
· If you prefer notification by mail, please include a self-addressed, stamped business-size envelope (9½" wide). You will receive a printed letter with conformation, etc., about two weeks before camp.
· Mail these registration materials to:
Attn: Dance Camp Registration
28 West 3rd Street #1305
South Orange, NJ 07079
After April 30, please call first so we know how to get directions to you in time.
About the Staff:
Linda Leslie is known for her resonant voice, clear teaching, and most especially for her enthusiasm. She has called all over the U.S., and has been in Denmark and the UK for Festivals and dances there. She is skilled at guiding and encouraging dancers of all levels, and has been calling for over 25 years. Linda is appreciated by dance organizers for her dance programming, which pleases dancers of all levels. Her repertoire includes contras, squares, English Country Dance, barn dances, and wheel chair dances. Her goals are to provide an experience that emphasizes success, fosters a sense of community and encourages an appreciation for our rich musical heritage and the artistry of the musicians.
Chris Ricciotti has been calling and nurturing gender-free dance communities from coast to coast for more than 25 years. Though his focus has been Contra & Square dancing, he also enjoys leading and dancing English & Scottish Country dancing, International folk dancing, Scandinavian turning couple dances, and occasionally playing the melodeon for Morris, Contra & English Country dancing. He also loves to experiment with pop, techno and alternative music and use them in contra dancing. Chris continues to be an organizer, programmer, dance leader and archivist/historian for Lavender Country and Folk Dancers (LCFD) and its associated groups. Outside of his work in the dance community, he enjoys organic vegetable gardening & composting, preserving and canning food. He is married to a wonderful life and dance partner, John Burrows.
Amy Richardson Larkin is a traditional fiddler for all occasions: jigs, reels, waltzes and polkas in various styles including Irish, Quebecois,Old-Timey, Cape Breton Cajun, and New England. A few old swing tunes, too. She performs with BAD, Free Association, Locomojo, Mr. Spanky, Naked Ambition, Spank Me, Uncle Gizmo, Heyday.
Jacqueline Schwab has performed and recorded with many traditional and folk musicians, among them: Scottish fiddler Laura Risk, singer Jean Redpath (on A Prairie Home Companion), fiddler Alasdair Fraser, cellist Abby Newton, glass armonica player Dean Shostak, fiddler Andrea Hoag, singer-songwriter Dillon Bustin, and singer Jeanne Morrill. For her work with Ken Burns, she has also collaborated with fiddler Jay Ungar, bassist and guitarist Molly Mason, fiddler Matt Glaser, whistle player L.E. McCullough and others.
“[She] brings more feeling and intensity to music than anyone I know. Her playing is insistent,
physical, heartfelt and … unusually moving.” – Ken Burns
Max Newman has been surrounded by traditional music and dance from an early age, often traveling with his dad to local contra dances, Irish music sessions, and folk festivals in his home state of Alaska, before relocating to the Northeast. His dynamic mandolin playing provides lyrical counterpoint and improvisatory punch, and his guitar playing is rich, powerful, and nuanced. Max performs with Nor’easter and The Stringrays.
Gender free dancing is the theme of LCFD dance camps. Our main focus is Contra dancing, but we regularly supplement the program with English Country dancing and occasionally have some other form of folk dancing. Dancing usually begins Friday at 7:30pm and wraps up on Sunday at 3:30pm. Please arrive no earlier than 5:00pm Friday, unless you are doing Work Exchange and are designated for early arrival.
You don't need to bring a partner: don't be shy, just ask someone to dance. We mainly attract lesbian/gay/bi/trans/queer folks, but we welcome and get anyone who wants to dance without reference to gender roles.
The final schedule isn’t known until close to the last minute, but you can view last year’s camp schedule here.
Dancing is pretty much non-stop, with meal and sleeping breaks. The program is organized as a single main track, with part time alternate tracks on Saturday. We have a variety show after dinner on Saturday, followed by the major dance, styled as a costume ball. For the variety show, anyone can do a skit, song, poem, story, comedy other performance.
The contra dances are at all levels. There is usually a Saturday workshop for beginners to polish up a bit, though each contra dance is usually taught in a walk-through at the beginning.
We may also have non-dancing breakout-room events: it is largely up to the campers to propose and lead these. Past events have included shape-note and round singing, twelve-step groups, music jam sessions, and more. You can propose (and lead) an event after you get to camp, or write to Jim Babcock to make your suggestion or have programming questions answered. Socializing with old and newly met friends is always part of camp.
Campsite & Housing
Camp Woodstock is in Northeastern Connecticut. This is a YMCA camp that hosts groups throughout the year. Our main dance hall overlooks a lovely undeveloped lake. The dining hall has a small side room for dancing, and there is a fun and comfortable yurt for more dancing. Accommodations are dorm style with bunk beds, in heated buildings and unheated cabins. We offer options for men, women, and all genders. You can view the housing options and a map of the camp here.
New this camp: we invite everyone to make requests about housing when you register (location, whom with, etc.); we’ll do our best to accommodate, in order by time of registration (including deposit). Requests based on medical needs get priority—let us know about that when you make the request.
For those who are flying in from out of town, we can supply you with the bedding basics (sheets, pillow, blanket, towel, washcloth) if needed. Mark this on your registration form.
Six meals, and snacks, are included in all registrations. Meals will accommodate both vegetarians and omnivores. We have been working with our camp cooks for years to help plan menus. Mark any special dietary needs on the registration form and we will do our best to accommodate.
Camp begins with a dinner buffet on Friday, since not everyone arrives at once. The last meal is lunch on Sunday.
We Are Fragrance-Free
Don’t bring scented products (deodorants, soaps, perfumes, etc.). People have varying levels of chemical sensitivity, and in close quarters these scents will make some dancers ill. Unscented products win the day.
Campers need rides. Some fly in, others are naturally footpowered. Please be a kind soul and mark on your registration form your willingness to drive. We publish a list of people offering and needing rides, so that the riders can contact drivers. Riders will call you in plenty of time to arrange the favor.
A camp directory is published with the contact information of other campers; you can also indicate if you are willing to host out-of-town dancers coming to a local dance. The directory is not published or allowed to be distributed elsewhere. If you want to be left out of the directory, mark that on your registration form; if you want only some information printed, please indicate that.
Donations & Scholarships
LCFD is a nonprofit organization under the umbrella of the Country Dance and Song Society's (CDSS) 501(c)(3) status, and is able to offer scholarships funded by contributions by other members. The generosity of our friends has helped keep camp solvent. You can make a donation by entering an amount on the registration form.
Scholarships are limited and are available on a ﬁrst-come-ﬁrst-served basis. Please pay as much as you can, and register for work exchange. We don’t want to turn anyone away from camp for lack of funds. If you have questions, please contact our treasurer, John Gintell.
As an incentive to bring in new campers, we offer the chance to win an original Mark Galipeau wooden bowl. For each new camper that registers, your name is entered into a raffle drawing held during Sunday lunch. Refer three people? Get three chances!
Here’s a video from a past camp, courtesy of Mark Galipeau. David Millstone calling, Tidal Wave musicing.