Project Thank-A-Dancer

Posted by on Nov 23, 2015 in Dance, The Dancing Pen | 4 Comments
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 […]

Poetry & Celtic Music at McIntyre’s Books

Posted by on Jan 5, 2015 in Dance, Music, The Dancing Pen, Writing | 4 Comments
Poetry & Celtic Music at McIntyre’s Books

Come to McIntyre’s Books for a reading by three outstanding local poets and enjoy live Celtic music and dance. This year’s kickoff reading sponsored by the North Carolina Poetry Society is sure to be 2015’s most lively literary event. January 25, 2015 at 1:45pm   David Manning David Manning is the author of eight books of poetry. Twice nominated […]

Gaelic Festival at Johnny’s

Posted by on Oct 1, 2014 in Dance, Music, The Dancing Pen | No Comments
Gaelic Festival at Johnny’s

Celebrate the Celtic New Year at Johnny’s in Carrboro on November 1, 2014. Gaelic Song Workshop It all starts around 5pm when Cape Breton stepdancer Stephanie Johnston holds a workshop on Gaelic songs. If you love group singing this will be a real treat. She’ll teach the words to several simple work songs. No previous […]

Dance Writing Contest Winner – Spring 2014

Posted by on Jul 17, 2014 in Dance, The Dancing Pen | No Comments
Dance Writing Contest Winner – Spring 2014

Congratulations to Elizabeth Bloom Albert, the winner of the Spring 2014 Dance Writing Contest. Elizabeth took on the challenge of writing dances to match two tunes from the dance adventure Tales from the Red Book of Tunes. Her dance “A Carriage Works” was selected by Tyler Johnson and a group of experienced callers as the […]

Fear of Dancing

Posted by on Jun 27, 2014 in Dance, The Dancing Pen | 2 Comments
Fear of Dancing

I accidentally learned how to dance. I was trying really hard for this not to happen. Here’s what happened. I had just moved to Richmond, Virginia. I was living in a beautiful old farmhouse in Goochland, past rolling pastures along the James River. I didn’t know many people from the area and I was hoping to […]

Stephanie Johnston | Cape Breton Stepdancer

Posted by on Mar 27, 2014 in Dance, The Dancing Pen | No Comments
Stephanie Johnston | Cape Breton Stepdancer

Tell us a little about your music and dance career. Where have you lived and danced? I’ve lived in England, Tennessee, Arizona, North Carolina, and Nova Scotia (and I became a Canadian citizen three days ago!). I’ve been playing Celtic music since high school, but didn’t begin step dancing until I was nearly thirty. I […]

Why I Irish Dance

Posted by on Mar 7, 2014 in Dance, Music, The Dancing Pen | One Comment

Alice Osborn is a dynamic poet, editor, and writing coach in Raleigh, North Carolina. What I recently learned is that she also has the Irish fiddle and dance bug. Bad. In my never-ending quest to understand why we dance, I reached out to her to find out just what it was that was drawing her […]

Contra Dance & Book Release Party

Posted by on Jan 31, 2014 in Dance, Music, The Dancing Pen, Writing | One Comment

Calling by Louie Cromartie Music by Rip the Calico Location: Pleasant Green Community Center Date: March 23, 2014 Dance: 7-10pm Beginner Lesson: 6:30pm Admission: $10 Come celebrate the release of Tales from the Red Book of Tunes, the new book by author Tyler Johnson that takes you from a modern contra dance back to the murky […]

Spring Dance Romance 2013

Posted by on Apr 30, 2013 in Dance, Music, The Dancing Pen | 3 Comments

If you had special glasses you would see that as the dancers weave across the floor their souls entwine like vapor trails in the rafters. It makes a kind of spiritual soup with all of the burdens and joys in the dancers’ hearts intermingling like flavors: strong, sweet, and bitter. Whether it’s compost, the river […]

One Armed Dancing

Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Dance, The Dancing Pen | 4 Comments

OK. I need some advice. I love to waltz. But I have an injury to my right shoulder. How do I lead? For you non-dancers (and you are really missing out on one of life’s most exquisite activities here), it goes like this. The man takes his partner’s hand in his left, extending them out […]