Project Thank-A-Dancer

Is there someone in your contra dance community that has had a big impact on your life? This is your chance to raise that person up.

Perhaps there is someone who showed you kindness at a time when the world was not being particularly kind to you. Perhaps you know someone who has quietly been volunteering for years with little recognition. Or maybe there is a particular musician who took you under her wing and helped you learn the finer points of your instrument.

The purpose of project Thank-A-Dancer is to collect those expressions of gratitude so that the people who are appreciated can know just what an impact they’ve had. They might not even realize that someone is so grateful to them. The other purpose of the project is for us as a community to see all the ways in which our acts make a difference.

It might be that the person to whom you are thankful is no longer living. That’s fine. They are still a part of our community. And it’s possible that you are thankful to something that is not a person. That’s okay, too. The most important thing is to be specific. Say exactly what you are thankful for and how it affected your life.

I’ll start.


I would like to thank Jack Mitchell of the Triangle Country Dancers. For years Jack has been a reliable source of positive energy for the dance community in North Carolina. In recent times he’s gained notice as a caller of repute. But it’s the consistency of his many acts of goodwill that I truly appreciate. He’s learned the craft of doing sound (goodness knows we need more folks like that), he organizes caller workshops, he welcomes beginners, and he teaches essential and new skills. Thanks, Jack, for all you do!


Please record your own thanks in the comments below.

Collard Greens

I am consistently asked to bring collard greens to family gatherings because folks seem to like the way I prepare them. So I am sharing the secret with you. Let me know how it works out.

  • 2 bunches of collard greens
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 T of olive oil
  • 1/3 c of soy sauce
  • red pepper flakes

Wash, remove stems, and roughly chop the collards. Sauté the onions, garlic, and pepper flakes in oil in a large pot for 5 minutes. Add collards and soy sauce. Cover, then reduce heat, allowing the greens to steam until done (15-20 minutes). Stir to distribute onions with greens before serving.

This dish can be made to travel well for holiday gatherings. Simply toss the onions, garlic, and pepper flakes in the oil to coat them and leave them in the bottom of the pot. Add the greens on top and cover for transportation. When you arrive, add the soy sauce and cook on med-low for 25-30 minutes. You’ll have hot greens but you’ll be able to stay out of the kitchen (mostly) and you’ll only use one burner on the stove top.