Ooh La La! Dance Weekend with Crowfoot

I love when holiday’s fall on Friday’s. When they do, I get a nice three day weekend (I am fortunate enough not to have to work on Saturdays or Sundays). Such was the case for the Fourth of July, so one of my friend’s and I drove up to Canada for a festival called “Ooh La La! Dance Weekend”. Ooh La La Dance Weekend was formed and is run by a contra dance caller named Jackie Hall, who is a wonderful woman. I had wanted to go to Ooh La La! last year (which was the first year it was held), but it didn’t work out. I was glad to make it this year, and my friend and I both had a great time. The festival is held in the community hall of a little town in Quebec called Ways Mills. It took us about five hours to get there, maybe a little over, but we had a lovely drive up (we went by way of Vermont). The location of the festival was gorgeous! The perfect setting for a relaxing weekend of fun dancing, great music, and delicious food. All meals were included in the price of the weekend, and the food was hearty, healthy, and tasted great. Perfect fuel for all the dancing that was being done!

Crowfoot , my favorite band to contra dance to in the entire world, was playing all weekend. That was the main draw for me, not to take anything away from the other musicians who were playing (Mike Ayles and Joanne Garton). Crowfoot has a huge fan base among contra dancers worldwide. They actually just got back from a tour of England, playing at what we in the US (and Canada) call “contra dancing,” but what over in England is known as “American dancing.” Whatever you call it, wherever you are, it is a LOT of fun! And Crowfoot is such a fantastic band… With Nicholas Williams on flutes, accordion, piano, and vocals, Jaige Trudel on fiddle, cello, and vocals, and Adam Broome on guitar, cittern, and vocals, they create a powerfully energetic force, both onstage and off. It’s physically impossible to feel tired when dancing to their music… Your limbs may be heavy as lead before each tune starts and you might collapse onto the floor in a crumpled heap after (although hopefully not), but in the glorious minutes in between, the power of Crowfoot’s playing makes you dance your heart out, and you never want to stop. The band members write a lot of their own tunes, in addition to arranging and playing traditional ones. They currently have two CD’s out, with a third and fourth due for release sometime in the fall. One of the new ones is going to be all waltzes, while the other is going to hold more concert material type stuff.

I know I mentioned that it took us about five hours to get to Ooh La La! which some people might consider pretty long, but this was actually a relatively close trip. A relatively close trip considering I’ve traveled seven hours to see Crowfoot before, that is… Yep, seven hours. Crowfoot holds the record for the farthest I’ve ever traveled to see a band. That seven hour trip was taken with two other people when we went to another dance festival, one called Spring Thaw , which is held in Toronto every April. That was a great festival too, and well worth every gosh darn mile (or as they say in Canada, kilometer). I love Crowfoot, and as long as someone else is game to go with me, I’ll travel anywhere to see them! As a matter of fact, I would have gone to England if I had known beforehand that Crowfoot was going to be playing there! Just kidding. Or am I????

Watch video’s of them playing The Swift/The Swallow and The Cheshire Rolling Hornpipe


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