We recently had the pure pleasure of attending the Chehalis Dance weekend in the Fraser Valley. Two extraordinary callers (Bev Bernbaum and Lindsey Dono) led us through a great selection of contra dances accompanied by the fabulous music of Peach Jam (James Stephens, Paul Hawtin, and Duncan Gillis) and the Dam Beavers (Ben Schreiber, Scotty Leach, and Ness Smith Savedoff). We had our hands full learning the dance steps, and we learned a lot both from the callers and from the gracious dancers who guided us on the floor. We also learned a great deal about HOW to fiddle for dancers. The tempo of each tune was slower than we usually play (somewhere around 112-15 instead of 120) and the result was a stronger sense of swing and a much more relaxed-looking dance floor. So … tomorrow night at our first Nanaimo dance of the season, listen for a more relaxed tempo from the band. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

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