Welcome to High Tea

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High Tea 2017 was a Big Success!

Bruce Hamilton with the Ladies at Play
Bruce Hamilton with the Ladies at Play
(Miranda Arana, Shanda McDonald, Kathy Dagg, Martha Edwards)

Thank you to everyone who danced, called, and played at this year's High Tea weekend!  It was such a pleasure to look out over the hall and see so many smiling faces - and the beautiful patterns of the excellent dancing. Bruce Hamilton and the Ladies at Play outdid themselves at the dance on Friday, the workshops on Saturday and the English Ball on Saturday night  - and the dance organizers seemed to have thought of everything (special thanks to Missy Reisenleiter and Liz Lengyel). The sound crew (Carol Boyer, Wade Pearson) did a terrific job, and the brunch at Mary Schmidt's house was delightful as always. The folks who called at the Calling Party on Sunday did a great job, and the Contra Dance on Sunday night continued the party (many thanks to Andrea Nettleton, Bob Green and Jim Hemphill).

For callers wanting to know what dances we did, here's a link to The Dances of 2017.

A Bit of History

The High Tea Weekend started out life as a crossover weekend - originally called High Tea & Whiskey, it was half Contra, half English. It was English the way contra dancers like it - full of energy and joyous sponteneity, and contra the way English dancers like it - with spit and polish and interestingly varied  music.

A few years ago the whole weekend (except for Sunday night) became devoted to English Country Dancing. We still fancy high energy and sponteneity along with our spit and polish, but perhaps lean a bit more towards the graceful and elegant now.

Labor Day Weekend September 1-3, 2017

hamilton b 01 small

The Caller

Bruce Hamilton, quite possibly our very favorite English caller, will be coming to High Tea in September of 2017.

He's been a mentor to some of our other very favorite callers, notably Joseph Pimentel and Sharon Green, and visited St Louis on several occasions to great acclaim. He was President of the CDSS Board from 2006- 2012 (CDSS is the umbrella organization for Anglo-American dancing in North America) and wrote a callers' classic book, Notes on Teaching Country Dance.

Bruce began Scottish country dancing in1967, at college, and immediately fell in love with it. He is particularly fond of its power and elegance, and also its music. He was one of the founding teachers of the San Diego Branch, and moved to Mountain View in 1976.  Bruce also loves and teaches English dance -- country, morris, and sword. He is a founding member of the Deer Creek Morris Men, a regular participant in The Christmas Revels, founded the San Jose English dance and has taught English country dancing for over 30 years, all over the US and abroad.

Lately he’s been focusing on non-choreographic elements of ECD: moving well, musicality in dancing, how to recover from mistakes, how to be a good partner, body mechanics, and the social and mental aspects. He doesn’t focus on new or complex dances (claims he can’t remember them!) but rather on skills that apply across all dances. He carries this focus into his sought-after callers workshops. Learning to call and teach well takes years, but even in a workshop Bruce is able to point people in extremely useful directions.


Ladies at PlayThe Band

Once again, we're bringing one of our favorite bands back again - the wonderful, amazing Ladies at Play, joined by our own Martha Edwards on fiddle.  Miranda Arana will again bring her transcendant flute playing to the weekend, joined by her beloved band-mates, Kathy Dagg, master of all things horizontal and plucked (guitar, mandolin, etc.) and Shanda MacDonald, funky, bluesy fiddler and kick-ass keyboard player. Martha brings her classical training and years of melodic improv to the mix, and though you'd think she'd make them behave, she seems to be a fellow instigator.

The Schedule

Friday, September 1, 2017 at the Monday Club

  • 8-11 pm English Country Dance, calling by Bruce Hamilton

Saturday, September 2, 2017 at the Monday Club

  • 10 am-12 pm English workshop with Bruce Hamilton
  • 12-2 pm Lunch on your own
  • 2-4 pm English workshop with Bruce Hamilton
  • 4-8 pm Nap, dinner on your own, dress
  • 8-11 pm English Country Dance Ball (dressy attire)
  • 11 pm After Party at the Monday Club

Sunday morning-Afternoon, September 3, 2017

  • 11am-1:30pm Potluck Brunch at Mary Schmidt's house in Kirkwood
  • 2:30-4pm Callers Workshop at the Monday Club to recorded music - Callers bring your cards! Dancers bring your feet!
    Contact Bob Green at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to sign up to call.

Sunday evening, September 3, 2017 at the Monday Club

  • 7-10 pm Contra Dance - the regular Childgrove Country Dancers Sunday contra dance at the Monday Club ($7)
    While this dance is not, strictly speaking, a part of the weekend, there's a tradition that many weekend attendees also enjoy contra dancing, so they stay, and we all have a blast! Monday, September 4, 2017 is Labor Day - you can sleep in, and still make it back home before work on Tuesday.

music: Ladies at Play with Martha
caller: TBA

For additional information, contact: Bob Green at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.