2020 Talent


After hitting the scene hard several years ago, the Ripples quickly became a go-to band for dancers wanting to find that magical mix of high energy, flow, inspiration, and sweet sweet heart-string-pulling music. They are well know in the Dance Weekend circuit, having lit up the stage and the dance floor at ContraStock, Youth Dance Weekend, Whitewater Whirl, Hashdance, Footfall, and Cabin Fever to name a few. We are pleased to have them joining us this year, four amazing musicians:

  • Christopher Wood on Guitar and Bass
  • Gabrielle Lanza on Percussion
  • Kristen Planeaux on Flute, Piano
  • Andrew Taylor on Fiddle

More on their website here: http://theripplesband.com

JWalk is one of the hottest new up and coming duo’s in the Contradance scene. “I love JWalk” said Will Mentor (nationally renowned caller) recently. At our local dance, when we had to announce that Buddy System is unable to join us this year, there were audible sounds of sadness. When people heard that JWalk is coming instead, the room erupted in cheers. JWalk is:

Jakob Raitzyk (of The Organic Family Band): fiddle & foot percussion
Jared Kirkpatrick: keyboard, fiddle, mandolin & percussion

We are SUPER Excited to have them join us this year. If you have been on the fence about coming, they are the reason you need to come. Years from now, you’ll be able to say, “I was there when JWalk played their first weekend.”

Jared and Jacob playing in Carrboro, NC in June 2019:

Jakob playing with the Organic Family Band:

Beth Molaro

Dancers from coast to coast will tell you that Beth Molaro is GREAT and when she calls, the dance is always a party! Her enthusiasm is contagious and she makes any dance more energetic and exciting.  Since 1994, Beth has called hundreds of dances from coast to coast as well as Denmark and Canada.

Beth’s vocal style is unique in the dance world. Her ability to sing the calls makes for an exciting blending of music and calls which she accomplishes with both clarity and musical integrity. You will hear elements of the blues and jazz in her voice as she sings you from one figure to the next, weaving together the various elements of dance, music and dancers into a positively charged room of inspired enthusiasm.

Read and learn more at Beth’s website: https://www.bethmolaro.com

Dana Parkinson

vibrant | inclusive | creative

Do you see that smile? It’s contagious. And when Dana calls, you can hear it and feel it, and soon everyone is smiling. The room gets brighter. She has a real gift for choosing dances that are super fun, and then succinctly teaching them with clarity and charm. Easy to say…difficult to do. She’s a true natural.

Dana started contra dancing in 2009 in Tampa, Florida with the Tampa Friends of Old-Time Dance. Through support from her local community and dancing like crazy at dozens of dance weekends, Dana found herself at the Contra Calling Workshop with Cis Hinkle at Augusta Dance Week in Elkins, WV. In no time at all she was calling local dances. She called her first dance weekend in Gainesville, Florida in 2012 and has called for dance weekends across the country (to the delight of everyone who had the good fortune to hear her).

Read and learn more at Dana’s website: http://www.danadancecaller.com


Will be provided by the illustrious Jamie Platt or Dancing Planet Productions. They say the sign of a good sound man is that you hardly even know they’re there. That’s Jamie. He has been making amazing musicians sound their best for many years now, and we are thrilled he will be back this year!

Learn more at: www.dancingplanetproductions.com/