From the Mic

From the Mic is a podcast about North American social dance calling

Through conversations with callers across the continent host Mary Wesley will explore the world of square, contra, and community dance callers. Why do they do it? How did they learn? What is their role, on stage and off, in shaping our dance communities? What can they tell us about the particular corner of the dance world that they know, and love, the best?

Each episode we’ll hear from a different caller, but they all have something in common –  a spark, a desire to lead, to share joy, to invite movement, to stand in that special place between the band and a room full of dancers (or people who don’t yet know that they’re dancers), and from the mic say “find a partner, let’s dance!”


From the Mic Episode 25 – Maia McCormick

Calling feels like a puzzle to solve and a skill to build, and something that can be constantly honed. I’m never going to be done developing as a caller. ~Maia McCormick Maia McCormick is a contradance caller and choreographer based in New York City, and has gigged at festivals, weekends, and dance camps from coast...

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From the Mic Episode 24 – Rick Mohr

Rick Mohr's calling and choreography have delighted dancers for decades, from local barn dances to dance weeks and weekends across North America. Many of Rick's contra dances are coast-to-coast favorites, which he attributes to persistence in reworking an idea (for days or years) until any imperfections are smoothed out. In the wider world of traditional music and dance Rick...

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From the Mic Episode 23 – Cis Hinkle

I tell new people out on the floor, “If you’re having a good time, that’s fine, it isn’t all about doing it right.” And I finally heard what I said, and I realized that it might apply to me, too! ~ Cis Hinkle Cis Hinkle has delighted contra and square dancers since 1985 with her...

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From the Mic Episode 22 – David Millstone

David Millstone started contra dancing with Dudley Laufman in the early 1970s and has been calling dances for forty-five years: contras old and new, squares from different regional traditions, English country dances, and plenty of family friendly events. He’s been on staff at dance weekends, festivals and weeklong camps from Alaska and Hawaii, Maine to...

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From the Mic Episode 21 – Penn Fix

Dancing is magical. And if you’re willing to dance with someone you don’t know, then good things can happen I think. And you put it in the context that you’re dancing not just with a partner, but you’re dancing with a whole community of people who are very supportive and joyous and having fun, that...

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From the Mic Episode 20 – Susan Kevra

I think the caller ideally should be part of the band. Not to upstage the band, but that there should be an effort to think about what you’re doing musically. ~ Susan Kevra Mary’s guest this month is Susan Kevra, a dance caller, musician, and singer who makes her home in Nashville, Tennessee. Dancers on...

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