Session Leadership

The SWROC Program Committee has now confirmed the following session leaders. This skilled and enthusiastic team will be offering sessions on a wide variety of relevant topics. Click on names to see bios and photos.


Annie Laskey (CA)
David Wiley (TN)
Doc Litchman (NM)
Eric Black (CA)
Erik Erhardt (NM)
Glenn Manuel (TX)
Jeff Spero (CA)
Karina Wilson (NM)
Laura Gorrin (CA)
Leda Shapiro (CA)
Linda Henry (MA)
Lisa Bertelli (NM)
Michael Barraclaugh (AZ)
Ron Nieman (AZ)
Teri Rasmusson (CO)
Tyler (T-Claw) Crawford (CO)
Wendy Graham (CO)
Yoyo Zhou (CA)

 

Annie Laskey(CA)

Annie_LaskeyAnnie Laskey (Los Angeles, CA) first danced English at Renaissance Faire in Southern California in 1979. After rediscovering the dancing about fifteen years ago, she became active in the ECD community as a dancer, caller, dance producer (Culver City English Country Dance), and board member (sitting on the local board for ECD & Contra, and also serving four years on the board of CDSS). In her ‘day job’ she manages a volunteer-based tour program for an architecture advocacy nonprofit.
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David Wiley (TN)

David WileyDavid Wiley (Jonesborough, TN) grew up in Memphis, TN. The heart of Memphis music was and still is rock and roll, rhythm and blues and soul. It wasn’t until moving to East Tennessee in 2000 that traditional music and dance even came on to the entertainment radar. David discovered contra dance while attending the Lake Eden Arts Festival in 2001 but did not experience the joy of contra dance until April of 2005 at Merlefest, a tribute music festival in Wilkesboro, NC. Back to LEAF that May and subsequently traveling to Asheville twice a week for contra dancing, David dreamed of bringing contra dance to his new home, Jonesborough, TN, the home of the National Storytelling Center and Festival. From many years of sales and marketing experience, David took his skill set to the task of building community using traditional music and dance as the vehicle and thus started the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society in the Fall of 2005. The first dance was January 6, 2006. The rest is history. Nine years later, with the help of many experienced musicians, callers and dancers from the Southern Appalachian region, David has established a presence in the community and a destination for dancers of all ages.
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Doc Litchman (NM)

Doc LitchmanBeginning with squares in 1957, Dr William M Litchman (Albuquerque, NM), has progressed through many other forms of community dancing in his work as a leader and teacher in dancing. Bill (also known as “Doc”) has organized clubs, and taught callers and dancers for over 55 years in most states of the US and several European countries. While serving as professor of chemistry at the University of New Mexico, he also taught square and folk dancing in the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Department of the University. He has served as president of the Lloyd Shaw Foundation and currently serves on their board of directors. He has published articles on dance history, square and contra dancing and his book, “Rocky Mountain Caller” outlines the skills necessary to call western squares in the traditional style.
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Eric Black (CA)

Eric BlackEric Black (La Honda, CA) began contra and square dancing in the mid-1970s while a student at MIT, and after moving to California started calling dances in 1982 in the New England style. Now, after more than 30 years calling, his style is more “California”, with a touch of Japanese. Eric has been on the Board of the Bay Area Country Dance Society (BACDS) for most of its 32 year history. He also founded the Berkeley Wednesday contra in 1982, was the organizer, programmer, and main caller of the Palo Alto contra from 1983-2009, and has co-managed the American Dance & Music Week for 5 years.
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Erik Erhardt (NM)

Erik ErhardtProf Erik Erhardt (Albuquerque, NM) calls contra, squares, and English, instructs couples dance, mentors new callers, enables youth leadership, and organizes dance in New Mexico, traveling widely for dancing and community building.
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Glenn Manuel (TX)

Glenn-Manuel-500pxGlenn Manuel (Richardson/Dallas TX) started contra dancing in the early 1980’s, and is a charter member of the North Texas Traditional Dance Society (NTTDS). He has held several officer positions, and is currently the Vice President and the webmaster. He is also one of the sound technicians, and attended a Sound Operator’s Course led by Warren Argo at Pinewoods in 2007 during American and English week.
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Jeff Spero (CA)

Jeff_SperoJeffrey Spero (Santa Monica, CA) has become one of the premiere dance pianists on the west coast.  Known for his energetic style and creative arrangements, Jeff has brought his talents to dances and festivals throughout the nation. Through performances with The Syncopaths, The Rhythm Raptors, Flutatious and others,  Jeff’s reputation as a highly sought after pianist has been well established. In addition to his musical talents, Jeff is also in high demand as a contradance caller and composer.  He is co-editor of “(southern) California Twirls,” a book that chronicles the history of contradancing in southern California, and he produced the First Saturday contradance series for the California Dance Cooperative for seven years.
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Karina Wilson (NM)

karinaFiddler Karina Wilson (Glorieta, NM) is a Southwestern favorite, hailing from Santa Fe, New Mexico. The daughter of a noted caller and organizer, Karina has been playing fiddle and going to dances since age 5.
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Laura Gorrin (CA)

Laura_GorrinLaura Gorrin (Berkeley, CA) has been contra dancing for eight years, but has been in the dance community since she was that baby in the backpack. Laura is one of the founders of Circle Left, where she does publicity and hosts arm band sewing parties. She also coordinates work trade for Spring Fever and Queer Contra Camp. Laura enjoys gender switching and shadow play (formerly known as chaos,) which she does just to confuse you, personally. When she is not contra dancing, or Scandinavian dancing, or Irish Ceili dancing, or waltzing, or blues dancing, Laura works at a high school.
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Leda Shapiro (CA)

Leda Shapiro (Sherman Oaks, CA) is a dance caller, dancer, and organizer who has over 30 years of experience in non-profit arts management, event production, and financial management. In the 1980’s she founded the California Dance Co-operative, which promotes folk dance and music, including dance series, concerts, and festivals.  Leda has served as primary organizer and treasurer of that group.  In 2000, she initiated FolkWorks, an organization promoting folk and traditional arts. FolkWorks publishes a newsletter that is distributed to over 15,000 people bi-monthly, and has produced numerous concerts and dance festivals throughout the greater Los Angeles area. Leda handles FolkWorks’ publishing, finances, and membership responsibilities. FolkWorks is available as an e-zine at www.folkworks.org.
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Linda Henry (MA)

Linda HenryLinda Henry (Amherst, MA) first stepped into playing piano for contras at the original Old Farmers Ball near Asheville, NC in the early 80s. She also organized a local dance for several years until her love of contra dancing drew her to New England. In Northampton, MA she ran a family dance for five years, then realized that many families (including her own) were ready to graduate to contras. So she passed the torch and started a new series called the Fiddlers Green dance. She continues to play piano and especially enjoys creating a welcoming sit-in scene for musicians.

Beyond her local dance organizing efforts, Linda has also been on staff at the Country Dance and Song Society for 20+ years. In her current role as Outreach Manager she offers CDSS grants and scholarships,  and she helps conferences like SWROC happen throughout the U.S. and Canada.
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Lisa Bertelli (NM)

Lisa Bertelli (Santa Fe, NM) has directed NM Folkmadness annual Contra Dance and Music camp since 2000. She is an active Oddfellow, raising money for music in the Santa Fe school systems, and on the board of the SF Community Orchestra. Lisa is currently the HR Director at La Fonda and has been with the hotel over 30 years.
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Michael Barraclough (AZ)

Michael BarracloughMichael Barraclough (Phoenix, AZ) has been dancing for four decades and calling for almost as long. He has danced with London Folk, London Pride Morris Men, Manley Traditional Morris Men and founded the Queen Anne Dance Company. Michael was a Folk Camp leader for many years, has called at most of the major folk festivals in the UK. He is considered an authority on 17th & 18th century English country dance, has served on the council of the Society for Dance Research has had papers published in the Folk Music Journal.

In 2008 Michael emigrated with his American wife to Northern Virginia and since 2014 lives in the Phoenix metro area. He calls contra and ECD regularly in the USA, has been on staff at 8 USA dance camps including NEFFA . Michael brings together his talents as a high energy English ceilidh caller with his experience of dancing (and calling) contras and English Country Dance, both in the UK and the USA.
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Teri Rasmusson (CO)

Teri RasmussenTeri Rasmusson (Niwot, CO) is active in bringing music and dance to folks in Colorado and elsewhere. She has founded contra, English and Family dances in the Boulder area. She started the group (first called “All Hands Around (Ah Ha)”) with dances at the Niwot Grange and helped found dances in around Denver and Boulder County. She is a co-founder an original organizer of Colorado Friends of Old time Music and Dance (CFOOTMAD), which sponsors dances and special events in Boulder and Denver. CFOOTMAD also supports dances throughout the Front Range and Colorado. Teri grew up with “Barn Dances” & Ceilidhs, in a tradition of musicians in her family and neighborhoods, and studied Music Therapy and performance in college in the Bay Area. Teri has worked as a fire fighter and youth crew leader, painting historic houses, and in schools around the United States and Canada as an Artist in Residence. She creates educational programs with children’s music, song writing and dance, and in Senior Centers using music popular with senior citizens. Teri ran a double set of children’s choirs called Hullabaloo in Boulder County for about 6 years, and has been in a jazz band, Celtic touring bands, children’s music bands and contra dance bands throughout the years. Teri is married to a Scottish Highland piper/ carpenter. She is a published composer (Waltz Book and Session Books), and her composition “Aly’s Waltz” will be in a docu-drama movie in the UK through the BBC called “Shetland”.
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Tyler (T-Claw) Crawford (CO)

T-ClawT-Claw Crawford (Denver, CO) grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, playing punk, jazz, and metal. Spurred by his hometown fiddlin’ friends and the need to get away from the law, T moved to the Pacific Northwest and fell into a vibrant old time music community. Calling came intuitively after years of playing and community organizing. T-Claw is frequently witnessed motivating all variety of folks to have a grand ol’ time where one may least expect it.

Over the last few years, T.C. Law & Associates have steadfastly toured the United States to play and call dances. Aside from calling at most of the country’s currently active dances, he’s called at festivals including Dare to Be Square, Morehead, Clifftop, Augusta, Cooper’s Glen, Urbana Folk Fest, Seattle Folklife, Portland Gathering, and The Black Fly Ball. T calls for beginners and well seasoned dancers. T-Claw Calling strives to keep the moves accessible for a mixed crowd, and entertains with ferocious fervor. Claw focuses on traditional mountain styles but has many other tricks to employ. Hold Fast, Never Let Go!
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Wendy Graham (CO)

Wendy GrahamWendy Graham (Durango, CO) is a self-described “dance maniac.” She leads dances, dance weekends, and dance weeks throughout the U.S. and abroad, including England and Denmark. She has been involved with music, song and dance for over 23 years. She served on the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS) board for 5 years. Wendy also teaches social dances, including Latin, Swing, Blues, Country Western Two Step, Waltz. Find out where in the world Wendy is at www.perkypantsdance.com.
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Yoyo Zhou (CA)

yoz_echo_summit_crop
Yoyo Zhou (San Francisco, CA) started contra dancing in eastern Massachusetts in 2007 and has been unable to help himself ever since. He started calling for contra dances in 2012, sometimes on a few minutes’ notice. As a caller, he delights in helping everyone realize their potential and get as much fun out of each dance as possible. He also is a member of the board of BACDS, and he helps organize for the Balance the Bay weekend, Circle Left, and the Hayward contra.
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Southwest Regional Organizers Conference, Sept 19-21, 2014, Albuquerque NM