March 7th, 2016

Hello everyone!


We hope you’ve been enjoying a wonderful winter!  Here’s something we hope will tickle you pink – the Youth Dance Weekend winter news!  Sunny fall days and crisp apples may seem far away right now, but the YDW Committee has been working on putting together another great program. Read on for exciting updates and as always, you can find out more at our website:



YDW 2016 will happen Sept. 23 – 25, 2016 at Kinhaven in Weston, Vermont.

Sign-up will open May 14th, 2016 and close on June 4th at midnight anywhere on earth, 2016.

If we need to hold a lottery we will announce results by June 6th, 2016.

Mark your calendars.


2016 Performers

We are psyched to announce our 2016 performers. They are:


  • Callers
  • Michael Karcher calls captivating contras
  • Miriam Newman calls enchanting English
  • Bands
  • Pete’s Posse (Pete Sutherland, Tristan Henderson and Oliver Scanlon)
  • Aaron Marcus
  • Emily Rush joins us to put on a late night RUSHFEST! (Alternative music contra)




Sign-up opens May 14th, 2016. (That’s Saturday!) If we reach capacity before June 4th we will hold a lottery to determine who will attend YDW. You can read the details here on the way the lottery works. The lottery will give some preference to groups with first-timers and folks who were not accepted in the lottery last year.  We’ve also modified our group-sign-up process so you may now sign up in parties of up to four people.


New Committee Members:

We are so happy to welcome THREE new committee members to the YDW dream team this year.  Here’s a little intro:


Matt Willner is a dancer, circus artist, and graduate student living in Somerville, MA. He was first introduced to contra dancing at Oberlin College, and quickly fell in love with traditional song and dance. In his spare time, Matthew likes to talk about climate change and urban planning, and is capable of baking some of the best bagels outside of New York.


Sarah VanNorstrand is a dance caller, dancer, and farmer from Cazenovia, NY. After falling in love with YDW as a camper, she’s excited to join forces with such wonderful people to help create another amazing Youth Dance Weekend experience! And she really, really loves gingerbread cake.


Coral Breuer is a dancer, organizer and farmer living in Belfast, Maine. What she lacks in height she makes up in her gigantic enthusiasm for Scandi dances.  She loves the way traditional dance and music brings people together, and thinks YDW is the bee’s knees. When it comes to table topics, you will probably find her discussing environmental stewardship, school gardens, restorative justice, and the amazingness of Hanabi.


Documentary Update

At YDW 2015 we started working on a group documentary – a way to showcase all the individual voices and perspectives at YDW in a way they may be accessible to the broader dance community.  We filmed lots of beautiful scenes throughout the weekend and interviewed a lot of YDW-ers about the stuff they think about.  The end goal is to produce a short video about the weekend to share with the world!  Production is underway.  The Doc team (Mary Wesley, Lauren Lamont and Wren Droege) had a great weekend of reviewing footage at the end of January and some of you have helped us out with the task of transcribing interviews, which has been majorly helpful!  We have a few more to go.  If you’re up for doing a transcription or two, e-mail Mary ( and she’ll send you some details.  We’ll hope to release the video before YDW 2016!


Keep in touch!

As always, if you have concerns, comments, or thoughts or ideas about YDW, we want to hear from you! Email us at if you have anything to share.  If you haven’t already, join the YDW Facebook Group.


Lastly, a little present

The committee had a great in person retreat in Vermont at the beginning of February.  We took a little time to do some follow-up interviews with the committee to add to the documentar.  Here’s a little clip from Max!


We’ll see you on the dance floor soon!


The YDW Committee