Posted Online: Sept. 04, 2013, 3:00 pm

2013-2014 Illowa Folk Dance Series

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Press release submitted by Drew Nagle

Contra Dance, Friday, September 6, at Singing Bird Nature Center, Black Hawk State Historic Site, Rock Island from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. "Lost in the Weeds" by donation, more information 309-788-8986,

For over twenty years the Illowa Community Folk Dance Series has brought together fine live music with aerobic exercise while folks enjoy traditional social dance. The music of the fiddle gets people moving in the traditional patterns of contras, squares and circles. Many of dances show their British heritage in both the dance patterns and the music. This is the dancing that has continued from the 1650's in kitchen junket, grange hall, barns, etc.

The dances are held on first Fridays from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at Singing Bird Nature Center in Black Hawk State Historic Site, Rock Island, IL. Each dance is taught with talk and walk through. It is said "if you know your right and left and you can walk" you can do these dances. Participants in the dance range from two year olds through 90 year olds. Participants in the dance include those who come frequently, those who come occasionally and those who come for the first time. Though most of dances call for partners, you do not need to come with a partner. There is much changing of partners built into the dance and the evening.
Drew Nagle teaches and calls the dances to the music of several area bands. The bands and musicians in do change each year. Most nights it's American Contras from colonial days to new contras written in the old style. Each season there are a few themed evenings that lift up a deeper heritage from British and Celtic sources. We are also welcome to dances from other cultures and traditions. Contact Drew Nagle to add to the mix.

Illowa Community Dance Series: 2013-2014
Contras, Squares & Circles
First Fridays - September through June
7:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
Singing Bird Nature Center, Black Hawk State Historic Site
15th St. Off of Black Hawk Rd., Rock Island, IL
September 6, 2013 October 4, 2013 November 1, 2013 December 6, 2013
January 3, 2014 February 7, 2014- March 7, 2014 April1 4, 2014
May 2, 2014 June 6, 2014
Tentative List of Bands (The schedule may change, band members may change as the year goes forward):
Lost in the Weeds - Joe Nobiling and Pat Walke on many instruments, primarily fiddle and banjo
The Barley House Band - "Our motto is 'Irish roots, American branches,' " Keith Hentrich (guitar) ; Amy Klutho (violin); Michael Romkey (mandolin, fiddle and guitar); Bob Rosensteil (upright bass); and Kristi Ruud (bodhran, whistle, recorder and harp)
Goosetown String Band – A great old time string band featuring Brian Gotwals (banjo) and Marc Janssen(mandolin) and David Mehaffey (fiddle) and Melissa Moreton on washtub bass
Band Ynys Craig Twmpath Dawns – for this occasion various local musicians join forces to play the Welsh and Cornish dance tunes. The name means Rock Island Folk Dance Band.
RIMSD Folkdance Band – students from the Rock Island/Milan School District
Fire In The Belly - Ken Kessler on upright bass or Joyce Spidle on electric bass guitar, Howard Hilliard or John Kinser on bodhran, and Joe Nobiling on fiddle
Fiddlers of the Apocalypse – Michael Romkey, Amy Klutho, Matthew Manweiler, all on fiddle
Dancers Delight – Carolyn McGuire on violin and Fiona McGrath Nagle on cello
Yet to Be Named – Joe Nobiling (fiddle, mandolin, banjo, guitar), Pat Walke (banjo, fiddle); Pat Oliver (fiddle, guitar), Howard Hilliard (bodhran), Joyce Spidle (electric bass guitar)
All dances taught: no partners necessary (the dances are usually danced in couples, but we change partners frequently); children welcome with adult participation; come once, come often.
Cost: Donation to cover costs for Bands, hall and publicity
For information: Drew & Maura McGrath Nagle, dance leaders at 788-8986 or 788-5143 E-mail