New Hampshire Old-Time Country Dance Web Site

Dancing in the Seacoast Region of New Hampshire

Rule

About Dancing in the Seacoast Region

This section looks at dancing in the Seacoast region of New Hampshire. The focus is on the period in which I’ve been dancing, starting in the late 1970s. Below is a table of contents for the section, followed by a brief description of each page.

In This Section & On This Page

  • On This Page: After a brief discussion of the relationship between Seacoast and Monadnock dancing, there is brief discussion of the Lamprey River Band and the Seacoast Country Dance Newsletter.
  • My Musical Background. As there’s a lot of discussion of music here, you should know my background and qualifications.
  • Learning to Dance: My Story. This was part of a series published in the Dance Gypsy in 1994.
  • The Story of How & Why I Started Calling Dances. Sarah Mason and I learned to call at the same time, and the story includes the early history of the Lamprey River Band.
  • Phil Johnson, Square Dance Caller. Phil Johnson was a square dance caller from Lebanon ME who called quite a bit in the Seacoast area. I learned a goodly amount about dancing 50-75 years ago in Dover and surrounding towns from Phil.
  • When the Caller is Unnecessary. I present examples of dancing Petronella and Money Musk without the caller, and discuss why people from elsewhere might find that of interest.

Introduction

This section looks at dancing in the Seacoast region of New Hampshire. The focus is on the period in which I’ve been dancing, starting in the late 1970s. I start with a couple pages introducing myself: my musical background and how I learned to dance. I feel it’s important for anyone looking at a website like this one to know something about the person who wrote most of the material,

When people think about contradancing in New Hampshire it seems like they most likely think about dancing in Nelson, Peterborough and in general the Monadnock region. It’s the home of Ralph Page, it’s where Duke Miller called in New Hampshire, and it’s where Dudley Laufman called many dances when he was at his peak of popularity. It’s where the dancing never stopped when in the rest of the country people were too tied to their televisions to care about old time country dance. When I started dancing all the Seacoast area dances were on Friday nights so we could go to the Monadnock dances on Saturday night.

But over the years we built up the Seacoast dances. The Seacoast Country Dance Newsletter was an important influence because it provided monthly communication with dancers. Also I included quite a few articles that probably gave many dancers a broader perspective on contradancing than they might have had otherwise. These articles form the core of this web site.

The Lamprey River Band dances were important as well. For many years they were the biggest dance in the area, and at times probably in the state. We did (and still do) a good combination of traditional and more modern dances, tried to establish a friendly atmosphere for the dance, and encouraged sit-in musicians and guest callers.

Other factors contributed like the presence of the Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend in Durham, and the efforts of Patrick Stevens and others made a difference too; this will be seen in some of the articles on the website. For quite a few years I’ve found that our dances are good enough and friendly enough that I’m no longer motivated to travel to a dance unless it’s a special occasion.

Many of the stories and articles here are originally from the Seacoast Country Dance Newsletter.

Useful Classes from Site Styles

Other Useful Information

Relative URLs

  • Sample Directory
    • Home
      • RPDLW
      • Living Trad
        • Passing On
        • Evolving

Relative URL assumes the first part of the URL is the same as the current location so only put path or URL relative to where you are in the folder structure

  • To get back to the root folder use slash (/)
    • To link to Home from any page: Home `

  • If the link is in the same directory as the page from which it's being linked, just give the name of the page being linked to:
    • To link to Passing on Traditions from Evolving Chestnuts: <a href="passing-on-tradition-I/"> Passing On I</a>

  • If the link is in a subdirectory of the page from which it's being linked, give just the name of the page being linked to:
    • To link to Petronella from Evolving Chestnuts: <a href="petronella/"> Petronella</a>

  • If the link is in a higher directory than the page from which it's being linked, use "../" which means go up a directory:
    • To link to Living Tradition from Evolving Chestnuts: <a href="../dance/"> Dance </a>
    • To link to RPDLW from Evolving Chestnuts: <a href="../../ralph-page-dance-legacy-weekend/"> RPDLW</a>

  • If the link is at the same level under a different directory than the page from which it's being linked, use "../" and the name of the directory:
    • To link to RPDLW from Passing on Living Tradition: <a href="../ralph-page-dance-legacy-weekend/"> RPDLW</a>