Workshops and Special Sessions

Here are the descriptions for workshops and special sessions.  For times and locations, see the event schedule on the schedule page.

Photographers' Discussion Session with Mac McKeever

macEveryone with a camera at a dance has probably wondered what they can do to improve and how some photographers get those great shots.  If you are interested in improving your dance images or would just like to share some of your secrets - this workshop is designed to do that.  We will have a projector - so bring your images from other dances - or, even better, from Friday night at MMISL. We can talk about both technical and creative techniques that have worked and those that have left us with less than satisfying results.  Bring your camera, images (on thumb drive or SD card), or just show up and join the discussion.

Funky FLindsey Donoormations and Quirky Contras - Lindsey Dono

A selection of dances in unusual formations mixed in with unusual contras.

Walk-Through Wizardry (Callers' Workshop) - Lindsey Dono

Skillful walk-throughs are key to establishing a crowd’s trust. We’ll practice teaching transitions that I’ve selected or dances that participants bring to workshop. I’ll likely sneak in a couple of concepts from my background in behavioral neuroscience.

Caller workshop participants will get first "dibs" at the open mic session.

Swing Dance - Emilie Richard

Emilie RichardsEmilie has always loved music, and since she started swing and blues dancing, her love, appreciation and passion for jazz and blues has been set on fire! She is a fun, sassy and energetic spirit, which clearly shows in the music that she plays. Emilie has been Djing every chance she gets in St. Louis, MO and is a regular DJ for the lindy and blues scene. Not only does she play in St. Louis, but she has been traveling throughout the Midwest (and some on the East Coast) to help make the people dance! She loves to bring versatility and new music to the table but the old classics are dear to her heart. Her music is sure to get you inspired to move your body, while challenging your dancing and musicality. She is ready and excited to play at Meet Me in St. Louis!

Workshops with Lauren Peckman

Lauren PeckmanLauren Peckman began contra dancing in Winston-Salem, NC, at the age of 18. More than a decade later, she enjoys banging drums, twanging jaw harps, singing, dancing, teaching, and calling across the USA. She led her first workshop at Kimmswick, 2011, and is SO happy to be part of St. Louis' continuing tradition!

Yoga for Dancers - Lauren Peckman

We have a wonderful, long weekend of dance ahead of us! Let's start Saturday with some yoga to prepare us for all the fun. Get your body ready, avoid injury, and start the weekend off right!

Contra Games & Shenanigans - Lauren Peckman

Up your game! Time to goof around and gain a greater mastery of the dance! You've got to know the rules before your can break 'em - so let's do that!  There might be props. Just sayin'. Maybe.

Sunday Morning Sing - Lauren Peckman

It's good for you, body and soul!

Follow Your Flow - Dance flourishes - Lauren Peckman

Why does that work there, and how does it feel for your partner? Sprinkle some seasoning into your dance flow to challenge yourself, please your neighbors, and give your muscles some more options!


Lenny SharletBlues I - Lenny Sharlet and Sarah Kaiser

An introduction to Blues basics with a focus on partner connection and communication. How to be an active listener and create a dance where both partners contribute.

Lenny Sharlet has been Contra Dancing since he was 6 years old. He discovered swing dance in high school and grew up dancing in the Honky Tonks on Broadway in Nashville. When he discovered Blues dance three years ago he fell in love and it has become his second dance home after Contra.

Blues II - Lenny Sharlet and Sarah Kaiser

An introduction to the steps and style of each major vintage Blues variety. Jukin', Struttin', Ballroomin', and Slow Drag. Attendance at Blues I is not required, though some Blues experience is recommended.

Beautiful Basics - Lenny Sharlet and Sarah Kaiser

Music: Roger Netherton (and friends)
Explore and play with the essentials of contra. Elevate your dancing with timing, connection, mindfulness, and flow. Called dances with a focus on one or two elements each dance.


Pam PaulsonDance Organizers' Discussion - Pam Paulson

Are you a dance organizer and wish you could talk to other organizers about..... well here's your chance. We will be brainstorming ideas, solutions, helpful hints for a variety of topics that keep organizers up at night. We'll spend a bit of time deciding on the topics that we'll work with and then get to work on them. Topics could include things like Attendance: finding new dancers, keeping new dancers, Finances: what to charge, what to pay talent, expenses, Organizers & Volunteers: developing leadership/organizers, more volunteers, Talent and Sound: paying talent, developing talent. Come with your ideas to share and be ready to take some home.


Missy ReisenleiterEnglish Country Dancing - Missy Reisenleiter, Mark Rice and Bob Green

English Country Dancing - the Great-Grandfather/mother of Contra Dancing, is sometimes elegant, sometimes boistrous, and always fun! Local St Louis English callers Missy (shown at left), Mark and Bob have planned a wide range of English dances for you to try, some by modern choreographers, some by dance masters from long ago.  Come see why English Country Dance is so delightful!

Music will be provided by Wild Rumpus - don't miss it!