Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend ~ Informational Articles
Supplementary Information I: Weekend & Web Site Highlights & Overview of the Articles

Online Host: New Hampshire Old-Time Country Dance Web Site
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George Hodgson calling at the 2005 Weekend. He was there almost every year, generally called a couple sets of squares, and always had a great time. George was one of our strongest links to old-time contra and square dancing and was a great guy! Sadly he died in February 2007. He’d called a great square dance only a couple weeks before.

Photo from Patrick Stevens.


The Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend is held annually in Durham, NH at the University of New Hampshire in January on the weekend that ends with Martin Luther King Day. Look below for a description of the weekend, and why I and so many other people think it’s such a marvelous weekend of music and dance.

Weekend & Web Site Highlights

The Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend is a celebration of the traditional music and dance of New England: contras, squares and more. As it’s a living tradition, we dance both the traditional dances and some of the more modern dances. We generally have the best music available, encourage people to dance their best, and to have a great time!

It’s hard to explain just why many of us are so fond of the weekend, but I’ll try here, with help from articles written by Chrissy Fowler, John McIntire, Jeremy Korr, Liz Faiella and me, comments from evaluation forms, and by presenting some photos of the weekend.

What Makes the Weekend so Great?

I’ll present some summaries of articles, and links to the full text.

First, the Links. If you want to skip the introduction you can click on these links and go directly to the articles. See below for descriptions.

  1. RPDLW Articles from the Seacoast Country Dance Newsletter.
    Two articles by Chrissy Fowler.
    Articles by John McIntire & Jeremy Korr.
    An Article by Elizabeth Faiella.

From the Evaluation Forms. Before describing those articles, here’s something that’s included in its entirety on this page. When we’ve looked at the evaluation forms, we frequently get comments reflecting the “bests” mentioned a few paragraphs ago. It’s been called “Dance Nirvana”. Other comments include the following:

  1. The atmosphere - friendly - warm - non-competitive - the Best!

  2. Friendliness, sincerity and politeness of people.

  3. Fantastic muusic and calling; fun and informative workshops!

  4. Sound quality was incredibly good, thanks to those sound guys!

  5. Liked the ability to learn from the New England traditional masters and also dance to some of the hottest newer band combos like Lissa and Airdance in the evenings.

  6. The quality and level of welcome of the other dancers was great as usual.

  7. The best contradancing in the world.

Those are the sorts of comments we see all the time!

RPDLW Articles from the Seacoast Country Dance Newsletter.

Looking over articles I’ve written in the Seacoast Country Dance Newsletter before and after the Weekend over the years, the following themes show up repeatedly; they’re mostly reflected in those comments.

  1. Excellence of the Staff (Callers, Musicians)

  2. Quality of the dancing and the dancers

  3. Style and Variety of the Dancing

  4. Outstanding Daytime Activities (Music, Dance and Calling Workshops)

  5. Excellent Social Atmosphere

Click on the title of this section to go to a page with articles and excerpts from the Newsletter illustrating all these themes with examples from previous weekends, and of course, a discussion of Money Musk - a dance rarely done in most places but often the dance that gets the most enthusiastic applause of the entire weekend. Click on the link above to find out why!

What Others Have to Say!

You might want to hear from someone other than me concerning the weekend; here are some articles written for other publications and as reports for scholarships from the Ralph Page Weekend.

Look for the following:

  1. Two articles by Chrissy Fowler. One is from the NEFFA News, one from the CDSS News.

  2. Articles by John McIntire & Jeremy Korr. John’s article is from the DEFFA Newsletter, of course. Jeremy’s is a scholarship report.

  3. An Article by Elizabeth Faiella. Another scholarship report; don’t miss this one!

Many of you know Chrissy; she got started calling at the First Thursday dance in Dover, and I’m happy to say that I encouraged her when she first started. Chrissy is full of energy and enthusiasm, and her writing reflects her cheerful style. I can’t imagine reading what she wrote and not wanting to check out the Weekend.

John edited the DEFFA Newsletter for many years and is talking about why he likes to go to the Weekend and why others might too.

Jeremy is discussing his personal experience of the weekend, and like Chrissy, refers to dancing the Moneymusk.

Elizabeth was a high school senior but happens to be both an excellent fiddler and an excellent writer. Her article is probably the best overall account I’ve read of what it’s like to attend the weekend. It’s well written and fun to read.

All are reprinted with all appropriate permissions of course. If you’re not convinced yet, it’s hard to imagine you could read them and remain unconvinced!

There’s information about each contributor on the page containing his/her article.

Photos & Reports.

Don’t forget the photo pages and reports on recent weekends: look to the left for details and links. These give a great account of what the weekend is really like. Click on the links from the main page or the site navigation center.