From Fiddler Rhys Jones following the Inaugural October 12, 2006 dance:
Congratulations to Dave Harvey for putting together an incredibly successful barn dance at Hungarian House on Thursday night. We just got back from there, and couldn't be happier with how it turned out. There was an enormous attendance - a smashing success by any measure, and truly remarkable considering it was the first Barn Dance. The space is great...in fact, it was hard to believe we were in Manhattan. Dave arranged the dance, booked the hall, got musicians, bought an entire sound system(!!!), and even brought Hungarian pastries, beer, and wine. Did I mention it was a square dance with beer and wine? And how!
Circle dances, square dances, contra dances and waltzes were done all evening, and in the tradition of the great callers he began the evening simply to introduce concepts to newer dancers. By the end of the night, they were doing full fledged (and somewhat complicated) contra and square dances. For those of you who are coming in the future, remember that the easier dances happen earlier, so come at the beginning if you are looking to pick up skills.
There was a perfect gender balance, and a perfect age balance as
well. Strong showings by the twenty-somethings, all the way through
We had a few other musicians drop in (Marty and Andy Cartoum), and they pulled up a chair and played some with us as well. In the future, Dave would like to encourage folks to bring their instruments if they feel like playing a few with whatever band is doing the dance - the microphone is a 360-degree deal, so you'll actually be heard by the dancers.
Finally, there was an awesome clogging/flatfooting showcase by Megan Downes. She is a fantastic Irish step dancer, and has been doing Appalachian-style flatfooting and clogging for many years with the Footworks dance ensemble. If there is enough interest, we'd like to start some group classes in clogging, so get in touch if that strikes your fancy, and we'll woo her into returning on a regular basis to do some workshops.
If you couldn't make it, you missed out - catch it next month. Again, everyone should be very, very grateful to Dave for all the work he did over the last several months to make this happen. This is exactly what we were missing in NYC: great dancing to go with all of our great music. Don't forget, this is dance music!