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.

4 Replies to “Project Thank-A-Dancer”

  1. I would like to thank Michelle Perry of Harrisonburg. Michelle established the weekly dance in our friendly city. Not only has Michelle created the Harrisonburg dance, but she’s also working hard to keep the Dayton dance going, and is running our local dance weekend for the third year in a row. Thank you so much Michelle for all the sacrifice, blood, sweat, and tears. It doesn’t go unnoticed!!

  2. I nominate Chris Youngblood of Floyd, Virginia. A one-time member of the Hoorah Cloggers out of Blacksburg, she taught me to clog about forty years ago on the front porch of an ancient farmhouse up some hollow near Blacksburg where I was visiting. I took my new-found talent back to my home in Annapolis, Maryland and sought out clogging lessons from Eileen Carson-Schatz of the famous Fiddle Puppets (Eileen now heads up Footworks). Eileen encouraged our class of newbie cloggers to attend a contra dance on Maryland’s Eastern Shore where, she promised, folks would be clogging around the edges and at the break. We went, they were, and that lead to a lifetime love of contra dancing and Pinewoods and dance weekends and dawn dances and all the rest of it. I helped start the contra dance in Annapolis, and now dance in my new hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee. And it’s all thanks to Chris, who now runs the contra dance in Floyd, Virginia, lining up callers and musicians and even finding a new space to dance this year when the first venue became unavailable. One of the smartest , hard-working, and generous folks I know. Many thanks, Chris, for your labors of love for contra dancing!

    1. Thanks Matt, what a nice thing to say. And I’m happy to say that I think Rip The Calico will be playing our dance in the spring.

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