We are slowly coming back from the pandemic and we are glad to not have to dance only on Zoom. It feels SO good to dance with live people and play live music! We’ve really missed you.
Note: Please double-check times and addresses with the hosting organization for last-minute changes.
Weekends, Festivals, and Tours
10-13 November 2022: Dance in the Desert in Oracle, AZ (Tucson) with Will Mentor and Frannie Marr
20 March 2021: Mid Missouri – Total Break Down Dance Weekend – ZOOM Dance
Zoom Dances 2020: 15 August: Lawrence, KS, 28 August: Phoenix, AZ, 25 September: Glen Echo, DC, 16 October: Atlanta, Georgia, Mid-Missouri 17 October: Gainsville, Florida, November 5: Seattle, Washington
13 June 2020: Albuquerque Folk Festival (virtual)
9 October 2020: CD release party (outdoor live and FB livestreamed)
16 September 2020: Walnut Valley Festival, Stage 11 (virtual)
28-29 February 2020: Arizona Dances, Phoenix, and Tucson, with Louise Siddons calling
6-8 December 2019: Albuquerque Tour, Dance, concert, and music jams
8-10 November 2019: Dance in the Desert, Tucson Arizona
1-3 November 2019: Tucson Celtic Festival
23-24 August 2019: Arizona Dances, Phoenix, Prescott
14-16 June 2019: Albuquerque Folk Festival, Stage sets, workshops, and playing for the dance
26-29 April 2019 : Bay area tour, Santa Cruz, Palo Alto, Hayward
5-6 April 2019: Big Muddy Festival, Boonville, MO. Cathy Barton and Dave Para always hire a mix of folk musicians who are either quirky, fun, skilled or all of the above. This 28th annual Big Muddy festival was special because of Cathy Barton. Cathy has been battling cancer. Cathy was a remarkable banjo player and a remarkable person. She and Dave put on a tremendous performance on Friday night and 12 days later, she was gone. If we get tears in our eyes, it’s probably because a tune or a song reminds us of Cathy. The problem is, everything reminds us of Cathy.
29-31 March 2019: Spring Meltdown, Jefferson City, MO featuring lots of great callers. This is the dance that used to be held in Columbia, MO. Jeff City is a great home for it!
8-10 February 2019: Cabin Fever, Knoxville, TN Featuring the calling of Seth Tepfer
9-11 June 2017: Flamingo Fling, Oklahoma City, OK
24-26 Feb 2017: Dancing with the Gods, Gainesville, FL
27-30 May 2016: FolkMADness, Socorro, NM with callers Mary Wesley and Frannie Marr
10 November 2013: Dance in the Desert, Oracle, AZ
2-3 November 2013: Celtic Festival, Tucson, AZ
May 2013: Catapult, Atlanta, GA contra dance showcase
Here are some more of our fun times …
Walnut Valley Festival, Winfield, Kansas! We spend most of every September hanging out playing tunes, being goofy – generally recharging our musical batteries. Come visit us there!
New York City! We loved the NYC dance scene – what a great bunch! Also, we did this tour with the inimitable Kathy Anderson calling the dances. This was one of her first times calling gender-neutral and her professionalism and skill really shined through. Ok – the traffic was a challenge for sure, but guess what, we found parking spaces right in front of the Manhattan dances both nights (crazy, right?). We loved exploring the Big Apple and comparing it to the Little Apple (Manhattan Kansas) where Alice and Robert live.
California! So fun to tour both north and south in the great contradance state of California. Playing the Bay area (San Francisco, Hayward, Palo Alto, Santa Rosa, and Santa Cruz) is super and we usually can fit in at least a bit of time in the big trees or by the sea. Dave grew up in Hayward and has countless stories of concerts at the Filmore, joy riding to find particular ice cream stores, sitting by the sea or wandering in the trees. Playing the southern tour (San Diego, Pasadena, Santa Barbara) is a favorite of ours. Claire lived in Santa Barbara for several years and fell in love with contradancing there, so coming back to play in the Carrillo Ballroom and seeing old friends in the area is such a treat. Also, any dance with Victor on sound is a total joyride- thank you Victor!
Coastal Northwest! Seattle to Ashland, OR – these tours we call “Livin’ the Dream”, but one year was especially crazy. Dave had to miss the tour because of a faulty gallbladder so Mike Black played mandolin however…remember the day that SouthWest Airlines computers went down? Yeah! Mike spent the night in LAX sleeping on a bench. He waited in line for 3 hours to book his next flight- WHICH WAS ALSO CANCELLED. He ended up going straight to Portland missing the Ashland dance. Our luck changed when Kevin Carr played the dance and hosted us superbly. Here is another fun story. Robert was living in his van about 10 miles south of Mt. St. Helens when it blew! The stories suggest that he is forever scarred by the thoughts of Ash and that he is happy to live in a house.
Colorado! How cool to play in the beautiful dance hall of Boulder Co., and then to toodle up to Fort Collins or play Denver. We like to call it our “Home Dance” since it is halfway between Tucson and Kansas! One year it snowed so much that although we were scheduled to stay in the mountains above Jamestown, we never would have made it there after the dance. Rodney Sauer and Nancy came to our rescue. Love to Sue, the sound guru at the Boulder, and to Pat Danscen who was the caller to Robert’s first dance…ever. Pat waltzed with him once just to make sure he hadn’t gotten any worse.
The Mountains of the South! Asheville, NC and Greenville, SC, Atlanta, GA, Jonesboro, and Knoxville Tennessee. WOW! Such great dancing and such great people. Claire grew up in Oak Ridge Tennessee, her sister lives in Ashville, and she has relatives near Jonesboro and in Atlanta. Yes, this is a dance AND family tour for us – actually Claire seems to have family or friends everywhere we go (not joking!). We really loved getting back there for the Knoxville Cabin Fever weekend and then to play the Knoxville dance and to visit with caller Tim Klein who Claire babysat when he was just a tot (yes really).
Upstate New York: We all wanted to say we played Woodstock and we did! What a precious memory being the first band to play for their newly renovated hall and to the delightful calling of Donna Hunt. Walking the streets, we looked like a walking tie-dye advertisement, ie we totally fit in!
New England! So much fun playing the contra mecca. We managed to book a tour that included the Scout House in Concord, Greenfield, MA, and Brattleboro, VT all on one trip. Loved to play with Mary Wesley calling and to meet Cecile who hosted us with wonderful baked treats and then drove all the way to our next dance to get more! Plus, Claire got to visit the Buttonbox and could have stayed there for many hours touring the workshop and playing all the boxes. We like New England. Especially in the summer.
Glen Echo, Philly, Baltimore, and more! We have played variations of the D.C. circuit many times, but always including the fabulous Glen Echo dances. One year we were bundled up in all our woollies to stave off the cold. The previous year, it had been one of the hottest days in summer (105 degrees in 2011). We liked to joke that if you average the two dances, it was downright comfy! Really enjoy playing Philly and Baltimore too and One year we played in the neighborhood where Robert grew up and left 40 years ago! We went to see the house and the current owner happened to be outside. She had bought the house from Robert’s mom 40 years prior, but remembered Robert’s family immediately and invited us in to visit. Great fun having Jim Kitch call some of these dances too.
Arizona and Kansas! We love playing our home region dances: Tucson, Phoenix, Prescott, Lawrence, Kansas City….. aren’t they all home? We have also played dance weekends in our home states (Dance in the Desert and Pilgrim’s Progression), both an honor and a joy!
These are just a few of the stories from our tours – and there are so many more that we could include. Touring has brought us such joy and we try to do a few of these each year to get to know communities, support local dances, meet amazing people. Drop us a line if you would like for us to tour in your area.