The New England Traditional Music & Dance Community: Stories, Photos, History & Other Articles 

Including the Canadian and Scandinavian Traditions 

Online Host: New Hampshire Old-Time Country Dance Web Site
Peter Yarensky, Publisher, Designer  & Nearly Everything Else
NH Country Dance Table of Contents 

NH Old-Time Country Dance Web Site Home Page

Music & Dance: Community, History,  Stories & Photos

Music & Dance Weekends

  1. Ralph Page Weekend

  2. Star Hampshire Weekend

Music & Dance Community, History & Stories

  1. Photo Page Index

  2. Music & Dance Story
    General Index

  3. NE Contras & Squares Index

Dance Pages

  1. Country Dance Newsletter

  2. Dance Calendar Page

  3. Lamprey River Band

Music Pages

  1. Wednesday Jam, Durham

  2. Canterbury Fiddlers Picnic

  3. Fiddle Tunes - Index, abc

  4. The Tunes, PDF Format

  5. abc Musical Notation

  6. Peter’s abc Help File

  7. Links - Recorded Music Sites

Site Information

  1. Contact/Link Information

  2. Update Notes

  3. Feedback Page

NH Country Dance
Site Navigation

Section Home Pages are listed here; a few major Subpages may be as well.

A more detailed listing of each section may be found on each Section Home Page.

This section of the web site contains the following sorts of things:
  1. Stories and articles about our music and dance traditions and about events that have occurred over the years.

  2. Photos of dances and dancing.

  3. These represent the traditions of New England, English and French Canada, the British Isles and the Scandinavian countries, as they are represented in this country. Not all of those will be present from the beginning.

Some of these stories were originally published in the Seacoast Country Dance Newsletter; others were explicitly prepared for the web site, or exist here in more extended form.

To keep the main pages from getting out of hand they will include story/article summaries with links; to keep it from being too awkward I’ll put a few stories or articles on each page when appropriate.

I finally decided that the web site needs a section devoted to traditional New England contradancing and square dancing independent of any particular event or organization. I knew that all along, but I finally have a couple reasons to put it up: my recently completed article about why I started calling, and the one about to be published about the Bradford square dance. Both of them seem to have sufficient value not to be categorized as stories that will eventually move over into the archives. Eventually this page will contain historical information and related material, but now I don’t have time to assemble it. So I’ll simply include the sections I want to include for now. More to come when I can put it together!

Dancing in Deerfield, March 2012, and a Related Story. The March Deerfield dance was a really nice time, and a spontaneous set for Petronella, the tune the band played for the sound check, reminded me of Dudley’s 50 Years of Calling party. It’s the sort of thing that can happen around here but not really in all that many other places.

The Story of How and Why I Started Calling Dances. As it describes, this was inspired by someone else’s story that I read about in the CDSS News; it got me to think about how I started calling dances—here is the result.

Emerson School Christmas Dance, 1996. It’s now in the Contoocook Library; Woody (piano) and Royce (banjo) still play for the dance. Photo from Louise French, whose husband Wilfred (Frenchy) is the drummer in the photo.

The Bradford Square Dance Reunion Dance, Sat. October 20, 2007. Here’s a story about the Bradford square dance, and a reunion held last fall. It was a great time. But although many of you may be unaware of it, the Bradford dances, sometimes known as the dances at Frank Fortune’s Barn because that’s where they were held for quite some time, were an important part of our dance history. For many years hundreds of people went to the dance every weekend. It makes just about any current dance seem rather tiny!

The Local Community Contra & Square Dance. I wrote an article about the small-to-medium sized local dances around New Hampshire and my feeling that they play an important role in keeping the dance community going that’s often overlooked in favor of the more noticeable large urban dances, festivals, etc.; and describing some of the interesting variety they bring to the dance scene. Part of it was originally published in the March Seacoast Country Dance Newsletter.


Dancing  at Maine Fiddle Camp to what I guess you could say was an amazing combination of the Maine Country Dance Orchestra, the Canterbury Country Dance Orchestra, and other great musicians. (6/07)