ErikaThis is part one of a special double-header with Erik today. As those of you who attended his events last year know, Erik is a great dancer, master teacher and dance innovator. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to expand your waltz repertoire. Here’s an excerpt from Erik’s website:

I’d heard about the west coast cross-step phenomenon, danced the follow role with a couple California leads at dance camps, and dreamily watched YouTube videos over the previous couple years.  At last, my moment arrived with the arrival of Richard Powers and Angela Amarillas from Stanford University to Albuquerque to teach a cross-step waltz workshop the weekend of October 12th, 2012, hosted by the Albuquerque International Folk Dance Foundation.  Cross-step immediately became my favorite dance form!  Soon after, Gary approached me to co-teach a class with him.  Because Gary knows all the fancy moves and I connect well with beginners, we play well together and offer something for everyone.  We welcome beginners and experienced dancers, alike.”

For a lovely online preview, search for “Richard Powers Cross-Step Waltz” to find his social dance page including an uncut three-minute video sequence with many of flowing variations and a generous description of the dance, its history, and hundreds of variations (in active development).  Next, of course, come cross-step with us (especially gents)!

Waltz workshop cost: $15,                  25yrs and under $10
Evening Techno dance: $10,                 25yrs and under $5
Or workshop & techno: $20

First United Methodist Church
915 4th Street (near Park Ave.)
Tucson, Az.  Map
Free parking for dancers in the church parking lot at the corner of 4th & Tyndall, (parking is usually free at the U of A Tyndall Street parking garage across the street).


Three lines and a full hall!

If you haven’t been to a contradance in a while you’re missing out. Come on! Join the great energy and enthusiasm that is Tucson contradancing. We are seeing 100+ dancers on the floor and we’d love to see you too. October is membership signup and renewal month.

Bring an extra $5 and in return receive:
TFTM membership button
$1 discount off the regular $10 admission
Discounted tickets to InConcert! performances
Eligibility for a work scholarship to our dance camp

Reminder… We still need your raffle contributions for Dance in the Desert… bring them to the evening dance or contact Liz Healy.

Our Contra Community

Dear Dancers,

What a great month of dancing… it was so excellent to see the hall filling up with all those happy feet!

You may have noticed that TFTM planning has shifted into high gear in recent months.  Dances across the nation are growing as traditional music and dance gains popularity among all ages and we plan to ride the wave.  Read more to find out easy ways you can help and about all  the awesome dances you can get on your calendar!
To give you the big picture, here is our dance growth plan and we hope you will help make it happen – easy ideas for helping are listed at the bottom of this email. Dances will be held 1st, 3rd and 5th Saturdays and email reminders will be sent out the Monday before the dances.  The purpose of this email is to give you insight into our dance growth strategies and how you can be part of them.
***Fall 2014 – With our Great Bear Trio event, we are making a major push in dancer recruitment, starting  by reaching out to the University.  We are running advertisements in the Wildcat and on line and reaching out to clubs and to dancers of other genres. Click this LINK to see and download our ad and flyer for the event. Please pass it on to anyone, especially the under 30 set, whom we are targeting.  Our hope is that we will attract a new generation of contra dancers to the September 6 Great Bear Trio/Tavi Merrill dance with high energy music and approachable dances for all.   Experienced dancers… come and share your skill and joy of dance with newcomers – you hold the key to making the night a success, but also know that we have plans in the works to satisfy your love of complex and challenging dances at a future date.
** To keep the energy flowing all fall, we have planned additional special dances. The Harvest dance on October 4th will include outreach to local food groups and will be benefit the Tucson Community Food Bank.   Later in the season (Nov 1), we will have a ghoulish Zombie Dance for Halloween. And of course, we have our Nationally renowned Dance in the Desert (Nov 7-9) right in Oracle Arizona – sooooo fun!

**  Having great dances is not just about bringing in more dancers.  TFTM is also investing time and energy into growing new callers, supporting bands and the open band, and in building our network of committed volunteers so that we can do even more cool things and make sure we don’t burn out the current organizing team.  We are excited to be holding a new-callers introduction workshop this coming Saturday, August 23 (2-4 pm), led by Claire Zucker.  If you have interest in leading the beginners teach, calling dances, or just want to know more about how calling works, come to Claire and Steve’s house.  Email Claire at clairezu247 (at)  for directions and the address.

*** Winter 2015 –  We will continue our outreach, and will also be adding a strong focus on dancer retention.  We plan to offer workshops and special dances focusing on technique and raising the level of dance. 
*** Spring 2015 – This is big – really big!  April 25- May 1st, Tucson will be visited by National level musicians and a caller as part of the Country Dance and Song Society Centennial Tour.  We have a team developing the schedule and concept for the tour stop and we are coordinating with Phoenix and Flagstaff to make sure all our Arizona communities benefit from this unique opportunity. 
You can get involved and make a difference:
Contribute at the dances: 
  • Show up early – help fill up the hall so newcomers feel they are coming to an exciting and well attended event. 
  • If you are sitting out a dance, why not sit at the door and give the dance Manager a spin around the floor  – its easy and its fun to greet people when they come in. 
  • Dancer retention is about personal connection –  make an effort to welcome beginners, ask them to dance.
  • Bring a treat to share with other dancers at the break.  Refreshments help make for a welcoming experience.
  • Participate in the introductory teach – even if you have only been to a few dances, you can help the beginners get the hang of the moves.
  • Help with set up and break down – the dance Manager will really appreciate it.
  • Go out for a snack after the dance and get to know your dance community.
Contribute your ideas
  • We have quarterly Dance Growth Meetings to generate ideas and plan all these cool things listed above that help build our dances!   Better yet, we combine the meetings with a yummy potluck brunch.
  • If you can’t make the meetings, send your ideas to Claire at clairezu247(at)
We welcome you to play a critical role in making the dances better, bigger, and even more fun. 
  • Call –  Are you intrigued by the symmetry or flow of dances?  Would you like to try a hand at calling or teach the beginners teach?  Come to the Callers workshop, August 23, 2-4  email Claire at clairezu247 (at)

  • Play – The TFTM Mighty Open Band is a great place to get a start playing for dances.  There is a practice the Wednesday before the dance and there is always a highly skilled anchor to ensure musicians are supported in the open band setting. Contact Russ to find out more  barriobarri (at)
  • Organize – Maybe you have skills like planning events, but maybe you would be happy making buttons, sitting at the door occasionally, or organizing a mailing list….Why not contribute a bit of time to TFTM?  E-mail Donna, our TFTM president, to find out about upcoming opportunities email: donna.fulton (at)
  • Social media – we have an ongoing need for social media outreach and development. You could help by posting to our Facebook group, connecting through our Meet Up group, or starting some TFTM twittering.
Thanks for taking the time to learn more about TFTM and your Tucson contra dances!

TFTM’s June Newsletter

Hello Friends, 
I am a bit late on this month’s comments from the Tucson Friends of Traditional Music (TFTM) Board, but I am committed to communicating regularly with you all and hope to hear back from you with comments, questions, suggestions and offers of help!  The Board is a dedicated, competent group of people with whom I am privileged to work.  We are doing our best to provide the best dance experience each and every time we dance.  
Summer Schedule Begins
The summer season begins with a Barn Dance hosted by Neal Schlein (details on the calendar) and the next TFTM sponsored dance is coming up on June 21.  Remember the summer schedule means a monthly dance on the third Saturday in June and July.  We begin the first and fifth Saturdays and the third Friday in August.  Exciting news we have not told you yet, is that we have invited The GREAT BEAR TRIO, one of our favorite nationally known contra bands,  to spice up our regular season on Saturday, September 6, 2014.  SAVE THE DATE!!! More on that later in the summer.
The last dance of the regular season on May 31 dance sure was fun and well attended!  The music provided by Traditional Blend and Claire Zucker’s enthusiastic calling made the evening an zesty experience for both new and experienced dancers.  What rings clear is when the caller progresses new people through increasingly complex dances in a way that makes sense to them, everyone is really rocking within an hour of the lesson!  Claire does that so well!  Thank you, Claire.  We have a special thank you to Claire for also doing the sound, multitasking not for the weak minded.
Speaking of doing things well, we are developing an evaluation tool to help dancers voice suggestions for callers, bands and dance managers, so that TFTM can help our “staff” to continuous self improvement and providing the very best experience for our dancers.  More on this in the coming regular season.
Call for Participation 
This brings me to a call for interested parties to identify themselves.  TFTM wants to encourage people who can be helpful to some portion of a successful dance to step forward.  We will invest in your training if you are someone who wants to learn sound or desires to be mentored as a caller.  A successful dance requires a band, a caller, a sound person, dancers, volunteers to set up/tear down and some food!  Please contact if you want to help do any of these things to help our community succeed in hosting great dances.  We will make a list of willing people and rotate through with requests so nobody is overwhelmed.
The Mighty Open Band also welcomes anyone who wants to jam with them.  TFTM offers opportunities to the Mighty Open Band as well as to set bands to play for contra dances.  Contact Russ Healy,
Country Dance and Song Society Centennial Tour Stop -TUCSON!
The planning for Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS) Centennial Tour 2015 goes on with groups of us working in outreach to Phoenix and northern Arizona.  We are collaborating with the Tucson Kitchen Musicians to tie in the end of the Tour to the very successful Tucson Folk Festival and will have more on those efforts as they solidify.
CDSS posted this on their website recently and I thought you would like to see this article about the Tour coming to Tucson first.

Dance in the Desert, 2014  
Registration is open and filling fast.  This is an opportunity you do not want to miss.  See the website for details.
Thank you all for reading and for your interest in supporting the dance…it wouldn’t be the same without you.