Callers and Sessions

Seth Tepfer 

Seth Tepfer is "Atlanta's Dance Magician," calling dances for adults and children like
you've never seen before. Seth has choreographed contra-dancing in the most
recent Hunger Games film.

Known for his infectious energy, his short walk-through's, and his 'hash-contras',
Seth's warm enthusiasm is contagious; he makes sure everyone is having a great
time. Whether squares, contras, Playford-style or other folk dances, you can be
certain that all involved - novices and experienced dancers alike - will amble away
happy and eager to dance more!

Seth has been calling since 1997. In that time he has called over 500 gigs and
delighted dancers from 5 to 95 across the USA. This is his second Lichfield Folk
Festival, and he has done UK tours, and has also been booked in Canada, the
Caribbean, and Costa Rica.

His sessions this weekend include ingenious squares, contras where you seem to
lose your partner, but they magically reappear, and a contra workshop with the
intriguing title of ‘Color outside the lines’. Clearly the latter is very American – I
proposed adding in a letter to make it appropriate for the UK, colour, and was
corrected; we cannot remove the Yankee flavo/flavour!





Colin Hume

Colin Hume is best known as a dance caller and composer. He appears regularly
at Halsway Manor, Folk Camps, Folk Festivals such as May Heydays (formerly
Eastbourne), Chippenham, Lichfield, Sidmouth, Broadstairs, Morland,
Southam and Whitby, plus dance weeks in the States run by the Country Dance and
Song Society and the Bay Area Country Dance Society.

On Friday night his dance will be mixed, though predominantly Playford-style, to
compliment Ivan’s bias towards American in Bader Hall. On Saturday night, well,
with this combination of band and caller, absolutely anything can happen!

On Saturday morning Colin has some good dances to demonstrate tips on keeping
straight in seemingly confusing formations.

The word "Playford" means so many different things these days, so on Sunday he
says ’Let's dance some dances actually published by John or Henry Playford.’








Ivan Aitken

Ivan Aitken, from Reading is a caller with many years’ of experience. He calls at
many local clubs, and festival appearances include Broadstairs, Bromyard,
Chippenham, Eastbourne and Sidmouth. His extensive repertoire includes 'old
favourites', modern dances and everything in between. He has a very clear way of
explaining even the most complicated moves and is equally at ease calling for
experienced dancers or beginners.

Ivan is also becoming well-known for his dance creations, which quickly spread
through the dancing community, and we hope he will soon publish his dances.

Ivan was one of the first callers to work with the then newly-formed family Dewhurst
band, which is why we have recreated the line-up for this special Birthday dance
(see 3D text). He is very versatile; his Saturday afternoon session covers English
dances written by modern day composers from both sides of the Atlantic, whilst later
in the day his exploration of American squares through the ages will be a treat. Sadly
he can’t stay into Sunday





Christine Dodd

Christine and her husband Stephen were latecomers to Folk dancing. They started in
2007 when a former caller from Lichfield Folk dance club, Michael Platt, started a
beginners' class at their church. They went along just to try it out and were hooked
straight away.

Michael then introduced Christine and Stephen to local clubs and they soon found
themselves dancing three times a week. They joined the committee at Walsall club
and were asked to try calling a couple of dances. Christine tried calling and found
she enjoyed it, so went from there to calling regularly at Walsall, Lichfield and other
clubs. She was fortunate to have Geof Owen as her mentor and received a lot of
help from many other callers including Colin Hume.

You’ll find Christine a capable and courteous caller, whether teaching the dances of
Gary Roodman (Sunday morning), calling the Tea Dance, or exploring dances from
choreographers with a connection to the Festival (Sunday lunchtime).





Brian Stanton

Brian started dancing and calling at barn dances and ceilidhs in his teens and came
to folk dancing via ballroom dancing. He regularly guest-calls at a number of folk
dance clubs around the Midlands, has hosted events at Halsway Manor and has
called at Eastbourne and Chippenham Festivals.

He has also been Dancing Master at a number of period balls around the UK and is
a keen member of his club’s Playford display team which regularly performs in period
costume at local events and historic buildings. His Saturday evening dance this
weekend will focus on Playford and modern English.

As a caller he likes to share his enthusiasm with fellow dancers and to help them to
get the most from a dance by encouraging them to think of the two big Ts – Timing
and Technique.

His sessions this weekend are:
Sat 09:30 - Thomson's Tunes (Dances set to tunes by Charlene Thomson)
Sat 13:00 - Period Pieces (Dances from 17th and 18th centuries)
Sun 11:15 - Callens' Corkers (Dances from the pen of Philippe Callens)




Bernie Culkin

Bernie is a dance teacher and caller based in Cheshire in the UK, who particularly
loves the dances of Playford as well as modern choreographies in the Playford style.
She is known for her clear calling style and calls at evening dances and weekends
across the UK.

During the pandemic, Bernie was quick to move her calling onto Zoom and hosted
regular virtual ECD dance sessions for her own and local clubs, attracting dancers
from across the UK and US.

As a dance teacher, she wants all dancers to dance to the best of their ability by
encouraging good technique, timing and teamwork. Her ‘Being Aware’ session this
weekend is all about noticing the other dancers around you, and making dancing
more enjoyable as a result. Perhaps you already do all that? Then come and help
others; it will improve dancing for everyone.

So, what is in the Tasty Treats workshop? Well, let’s just say it is very tempting…..






Neil Stuart

Neil started calling for the occasional ceilidh about 30 years ago, but on moving to
North Derbyshire nearly 25 years ago, started to call more often and now calls
regularly for dance clubs and evening dances (and still the occasional ceilidh). He
calls most types of dance – especially Playford, English, and some American-style
contras – including some of his own compositions (he has to date published ten
books of his dances).

Neil runs the Spire Folk Dance Club in Chesterfield, and has called at Casterton
dance weekend and Morland dance week, as well as (Folk in South Yorkshire) FISY
dances and workshops.

His American workshop on Sunday morning will look at contras from this side of the
Atlantic, such as penned by Ken Bonner, a much missed local-to-Lichfield
choreographer. Later that day he moves across the Pond, and comes bang up-todate exploring the latest Green Jay collection by Joseph Pimental (which you can
buy from Folk Sales at the Festival).