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Community Barn Dance

Community Barn Dancing offers an opportunity to gather and socialize, listen to great music, and dance to those same musicians with a focus on simple traditional dances geared to all ages of participants; including singles, couples, families, teens, people with disabilities and the elderly.

“Community Dance” was a popular activity from the mid-18th century through the mid-20th century throughout the US. Types of community dance and music events you might recognize include square dances, hootenannies, and hoedowns. The idea of Community Dance is to get a group of people together with some musicians and a “caller” to teach and lead easy figures, and dance with a group of friends - and strangers who often become friends. It’s a grass roots activity in which the emphasis is on building community rather than becoming experts.  Examples of Community Dance:
I have designed the series to evoke a feeling of good old-fashioned fun, and I believe it is the most important project I have embarked upon since creating the Dance Flurry Festival in 1988. We are so connected digitally that we end up feeling somewhat isolated. There’s a need for people to reconnect face-to-face, and in an environment that allows for all ages, all outlooks on life, and all levels of dance experience.

Paul Rosenberg has been leading dances throughout the northeastern United States since 1986. In recent years, he has been one of the busiest callers in North America, working over 200 dance engagements a year. He is known for his gentle but energetic, encouraging style, concise teaching, and offbeat sense of humor.

The programs Paul presents consist of community dances from the Hudson Valley, United Kingdom, Appalachia, and New England, as well as international folk dances from more than 50 countries and African-American singing and playparty games. Paul loves teaching traditional dances to children (as a visiting arts educator) in elementary schools and leading novices in community dances at festivals, community celebrations, weddings, family reunions, birthday parties, family dances, Girl Scout dances, and other gatherings. He has called at contra dances and has performed at numerous major festivals and events around the Northeast. Paul plays recorder and fiddle.

Paul gets his greatest satisfaction from enabling people who have never danced—especially the dance phobic—to not only get up and dance, but also to have a great time doing it and come back for more! Someone once said of his teaching skill, “Paul can even teach a three-legged stool to dance.” His enthusiasm for dance and empathy with novices comes from his avoidance-at-all-costs and terror of dancing—until he discovered contra dancing at age 30.

The other hat he wears is as an organizer. He founded and organized the Dance Flurry Festival in Saratoga Springs, NY for eighteen years; Fiddlers’ Tour, a weekly fiddle tune jam session in the Albany area; and has been organizing a monthly family dance in Albany since 1994. He founded and served on the Board of Directors of DanceFlurry Organization, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to the preservation, study, teaching, enjoyment, and continuing evolution of traditional dance.

Paul has recorded two CDs, Peel the Banana and Dance the World Around — with his band “Peter, Paul & George” — and written companion instruction books which present a sequence of dances from school residencies, family dances, and community celebrations.

Earlier Event: July 3
Random Harvest Community Sing