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 9 – Sue Rosen

I think my favorite gigs are those for total non-dancers because the look on their faces when they’re having such a blast, it’s just so rewarding to see people get into it. ~ Sue Rosen A leading caller of contras, squares, English country dance and family dance programs, Sue Rosen has been actively calling for...

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From the Mic Episode 9 – Sue Rosen

From the Mic Episode 8 – Chris Ricciotti

There’s no greater love than bringing new people into a dance and having them smile and say, I love this, I want to come back. That gives me the biggest thrill and the biggest feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction and joy. ~ Chris Ricciotti Meet Chris: I fell in love with dancing as a young...

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From the Mic Episode 8 – Chris Ricciotti

From the Mic Episode 7 – Chris Page

This episode, Mary talks with caller and choreographer Chris Page, who has called contras and English country dance in San Diego for about 15 years. When calling, his main concern is being serious about dancers not taking themselves too seriously. Along with Michael Dyck, he's turned his obsession with the history of contra dance choreography into something productive through...

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From the Mic Episode 7 – Chris Page

From the Mic Episode 6 – Sue Hulsether

This episode, we talk with Sue Hulsether, a dance caller, teaching artist, clogger, and musician hailing from Wisconsin. Since 2003, she has travelled from coast to coast to lead dances in dance halls, schools, barns, and community centers. Dancing with thousands of school children each year, her artist-in-residence career has risen out of the skills she gained from over...

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From the Mic Episode 6 – Sue Hulsether

From the Mic Episode 5 – Gaye Fifer

…we’re part of creating something that’s unique and unusual where nobody’s worrying about tomorrow or feeling bad about what happened yesterday. We’re just in this experience totally together. I love that feeling. ~ Gaye Fifer Gaye Fifer is an accomplished caller from Pittsburgh, PA. An active dancer herself, Gaye understands the subtleties of making dances particularly...

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From the Mic Episode 5 – Gaye Fifer

From the Mic Episode 4 – Tony Parkes

In this episode Mary interviews Boston based caller Tony Parkes. Tony is an encyclopedia of square and contra dance history, full of vivid recollections of the many mentors and sources of inspiration that have made him the caller, dance leader, and person that he is today. From his beginnings as a 14-year-old stepping up to the mic at Farm...

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From the Mic Episode 4 – Tony Parkes