Biography

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Michael has been dancing for nearly 50 years and calling for almost as long. He has danced with London Folk (the EFDSS national dance company), London Pride Morris Men (Cotswold), Manley Traditional Morris Men (NorthWest) and founded/directed the Queen Anne Dance Company. He was also a Folk Camp leader for many years. In 2008 he emigrated to the USA and now lives in the Phoenix metro area with his American wife.

He came across ‘country dancing’ at elementary school in England, but it was not until he went to a Barn Dance when he was 17 that he became hooked. He started calling in 1969 as the resident caller at Haystack Folk Club, the weekly London University folk dance and song club. Until work and family pressures dictated an early retirement in 1991, he had called at most of the major folk festivals in the UK and was the caller with the acclaimed electric folk-rock band Pyewackett for 10 years. From 1991 he called only occasionally until 2002 when he decided that he couldn’t keep away and started calling regularly again.

Since then he has called at many UK festivals including Bromyard (‘02), Whitby (‘03,’04), Eastbourne (‘03,’05,’07), Lichfield (‘04,’05) and Sidmouth (‘06,’07,'10 and '17). He has also run a monthly zesty contra series in Newbury and five ‘sell-out’ zesty contra weekends at Halsway Manor. He has been heard calling on TV and radio in the UK. He is considered an authority on the authentic performance of 17th and 18th century English country dance. He was a member of the Dance Research Advisory Group of the Institute of Teachers of Dance (ISTD) and has served on the council of the Society for Dance Research. He has had papers published in the Folk Music Journal and Traditional Dance and presented a lecture/workshop at the Dolmetsch Historical Dance Society 2001 Conference on his new interpretation of Newcastle.

He now calls contra and ECD regularly in the USA. As well as calling for local and regional dances he has called for 3 dance weekends in Minneapolis, 4 dance camps in California, a dance camp in Florida and had appearances at NEFFA in 2007 (contra), 2008 (ECD) and 2009 (ceilidh and contra medley). He was on the Friday Night Dancers (Glen Echo) Board and responsible for booking bands there from 2010-2014. He is now on the Board of Phoenix Traditional Music and Dance and calls and dances regularly at all the contra dances in AZ.

He brings together his talents as a high energy ceilidh caller with his experience of dancing (and calling) contras and English Country Dance, both in the UK and the USA.


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