December 26, 2019–January 1, 2020

Ring in the New Year at the Folk School! This popular year-end traditional dance and music celebration will feature American contras & squares and English country dancing with glorious live music. This lively week also offers rapper and long-sword dance workshops, group singing, jam sessions, and more. Winter Dance Week offers a unique combination of top-notch callers, teachers, and musicians. And, you’ll enjoy beautiful surroundings, good food, comfortable accommodations, and a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. A Gala New Year’s Eve Party and New Year’s morning breakfast will finish off the week.

Callers & Instructors: Susan Kevra, Joseph Pimentel, Greg & Jere Canote, Sarah Henry & Michael Gorin 
Musicians: Daron Douglas, Karen Axelrod, Rachel Bell, Eileen Nicholson Kalfass, Kristen Planeaux

Skill Level

Participants should have previous contra dance and/or English country dance experience (such as our Learn to Contra Dance weekend class, being offered November 22-24).


We are currently taking class registrations over the phone and in person. To register for a class over the phone, please call 1-800-365-5724. One of our friendly office staff members will be pleased to assist you. Prior to registering by phone, please read our General Information and Policies.


$398.00. A deposit of $150.00 will be due upon checkout to hold your seat in this class. Learn more.


Limited work exchange scholarships are available. Phone the office or email to request a scholarship application.

Susan Kevra

Susan is a musician, caller, and dancer from Nashville, TN. She burst onto the New England contra dance scene in the early ’90s and has spent the last 26 years teaching English country dancing, contras, squares, and French dancing across the country and the world. Her experience as an English country dance clarinetist gives her a keen appreciation of the link between the music and the figures, something she brings to her teaching. The music of bandmate Rachel Bell has inspired Susan to start choreographing English dances, including “Trip to Provence” and “Moonflower,” which are making their way onto dance floors nationwide. She is also a professor of French and American Studies at Vanderbilt, where she teaches “American Social History through Dance.” Visit website.

Joseph Pimentel

Joseph, a New Englander now happily settled in Texas, is a popular caller at dance events from Alaska to Florida. He draws on a broad repertoire of contra, English country, and community dances, all presented with crisp teaching, discriminating taste, respect for tradition, and high energy. Joseph has written many popular contra dances and has served on the board of directors of the Country Dance & Song Society. Learn more online at Visit website.

Greg & Jere Canote

Greg is the identical twin of Jere Canote. Jere is the identical twin of Greg Canote. Together they make up the Canote Brothers! Their music is all about having a good time, and their tune choices are steeped in vintage Americana –forgotten fiddle tunes, swing classics, and quirky novelty songs — but with their own twists. They are truly fabulous musicians, moving effortlessly among fiddle, guitar, banjo, and ukulele, and their genetically matched voices recall brother duets from the Blue Sky Boys to the Everlys. NPR listeners will remember the Canote Brothers as the affable sidekicks on “Sandy Bradley’s Potluck” for 13 years. Greg and Jere have lived in Seattle since 1981 and travel regularly, teaching at music and dance camps. Visit website.

Sarah Henry

Sarah Henry is a long-time member and leader of both Ring o’ Bells Morris and Half Moon Sword. Sarah has been a creative force behind lots of fun stuff at recent Campers’ Weeks — everything from rapper, English clog, longsword, and morris to ‘bacca pipes, string figures, giant puppets, and pysanky eggs. In “real” life, Dr. Sarah is a historian and museum curator and administrator.

Michael Gorin

Michael Gorin is a long-time fixture in the traditional music and dance community – morris dancer and musician with the Bouwerie Boys; Half Moon Sword’s fiddler; and founding member of Grand Picnic, NYC’s renowned high-energy contra dance band. He also performs with the rather less renowned Jansson Brothers Swedish Family Orchestra (From Sweden).

Daron Douglas

Daron of Foxfire, plays English country-dance fiddle with a background of a traditional Appalachian upbringing. She thanks her grandmother for the gift of her ballads and gardening preoccupation. She has played with the Knoxville Early Music Project, the Hominy Mamas, and the contra dance band Misbehavin’. Daron has been a regular at the Folk School’s spring and fall dance weekends and Winter Dance Week since 2003, and she has been on the staff of many Country Dance and Song Society dance camps. She now lives and plays music in New Orleans.

Karen Axelrod

Karen is highly regarded for her creative piano playing at English, American and Scottish dance events around the country and abroad. Karen plays accordion with 3rd String Trio, a band that plays old world cafe music. She also plays accordion for Orion Longsword. Although Karen has been playing numerous concerts lately, she still loves the interplay between dance and music and loves playing for dancers. Visit website.

Rachel Bell

Rachel Bell is an accordion player, tunesmith, and music teacher from the wilds of Pennsylvania. She is in demand throughout the United States and beyond for concerts, contra dances, English country dances, French dances, and workshops. Visit website.

Eileen Nicholson Kalfass

Eileen plays for both contra and English country dances throughout the United States and Canada. With Seaglass and New Brew, she also plays for French bal folk dancing.  She really enjoys playing for dancing at weddings and parties, too. Eileen’s classical technique and rich tone truly compliment her fiddle style.  She enjoys playing Northern, Quebecois, Scottish, Irish tunes and more.  Her energy, enthusiasm, and love of music combined really keep feet moving on the dance floor. Visit website.

Kristen Planeaux

Kristen Planeaux is an emerging pianist on the English and American dance scenes; she brings bold rhythm and warm, imaginative harmony to melodies both traditional and modern. She plays widely with her band The Ripples and has collaborated with a variety of folk musicians from Tennessee to New Hampshire. She also calls contra dances and co-organizes Form the Ocean, a new contra dance retreat for women. Kristen has made a living teaching music to children for almost a decade, but look out, she’ll sing and dance with folks of every age! Visit website.

Flavor & Flair:
The Next Step on Your Fiddling Journey

December 26, 2019–January 1, 2020
(in conjunction with Winter Dance Week)
Instructor: Laurie Fisher​
You’ve got some fiddle technique, you can find a scale, bow is working, and you want to go to the next level, yes? This patient class is for you. Learn some stylistic embellishments, as well as a bag full of tunes to take into 2020. We’ll have a blast, especially given the setting of Winter Dance Week at the Folk School, full of music and dance, morning to night!
Skill Level: Levels 2 & 3—for Continuing to Intermediate players comfortable with the fiddle. To register for this class, please call 1-800-365-5724.

Laurie Fisher (Music Class Instructor)

Laurie has been entertaining dancers and inspiring musicians full-time for the past 17 years. She can fiddle, play piano, call dances, and enthuse with the best of them, and she is a very patient and effective teacher. The Asheville contra dance scene has been passionately influenced by Laurie’s bands and music over the past 25 years. She is regionally well known as the fiddler for Boom Chuck, Fiddlewitch, Ants in the Pantry, and the String Beings. She also currently performs on keys with contra duo Windmill and bass in vintage swing band The Red Hot Sugar Babies. Visit website.

Enjoy a photo album of previous Winter Dance Weeks.
Click on any thumbnail to start the slideshow.