If you’re a contra dance caller, maybe you’ve dabbled in Larks & Robins, but have you tried positional calling? If you’re used to using gendered calls, but want to meet the needs of your changing community or other dances where you hope to get gigs, have you experimented with other role terms? While there is no one way of calling or set of terms that is right for every dance community, join moderator Ben Sachs-Hamilton and panelists Lindsey Dono, Michael Karcher, and Seth Tepfer as they explore the topic of gender-neutral calling in the contra world and their own personal journeys to this new calling language.

Ben Sachs-HamiltonBen Sachs-Hamilton started contra dancing at 12 and started teaching dances at 15. Since then he has called and organized for dances across the northeast, with a focus on LGBTQ and gender-role-free dance communities. He fosters a welcoming and inclusive space for diverse groups of new and experienced dancers, adding tips on style and safety into his teaching. Ben currently lives in Western Massachusetts.

Lindsey DonoWashington-based Lindsey Dono is a serene and sunny caller for contra and other social dance. Passionate about the user experience, Lindsey leverages a background in cognitive science and a career in tech to continually hone teaching skills. When not at the mic, Lindsey can be found mentoring up-and-coming callers, geeking out over choreography, and working on dance floorcraft.

Michael KarcherNewly returned to the east coast, Michael Karcher has been having the time of his life calling dances and weekends around North America since 2011. He has honed a warm and concise style of teaching and calling, to the delight of dancers across the continent.

Seth TepferSeth Tepfer calls dances for adults and children like you’ve never seen before. Known for his infectious energy, his short walk-throughs, and his “hash-contras,” Seth’s warm enthusiasm is contagious, and gets everyone moving, smiling, and having a great time. Whether squares, contras, English, waltzes, Zweifachers, Cajun, swing, or community or dances, you can be certain that all involved—novices and experienced dancers alike—will amble away happy and eager to dance more!

This event was co-sponsored by LCFD, the Lavender Country and Folk Dancers.