January Dance

 

Community Contra Dance
January 27th, 7-10pm
With the Brier Hill Band
And Caller Eric Rolnick

At the Wolfeboro Town Hall

The Community Contra Dance Series hosted by Global Awareness Local Action (G.A.L.A.) kicks off 2018 on Saturday, January 27th, at the Wolfeboro Town Hall’s “Great Hall”.  Dances runs from 7:00 to 10:00pm, with the first half hour dedicated to a brief overview of the basic steps of New England contra dance.  Dances are a fun and energizing night out for all ages and abilities, even if you simply prefer to cheer the dancers on from the sidelines.

The headline band for January’s dance is Brier Hill Band. Brier Hill has been playing local farmer’s markets and dances in the Wolfeboro/Ossipee area for the last four years. Named for one of the roads in Canaan Valley where they started playing, the band serves up standard New England dance tunes drawn from the French Canadian and British fiddle traditions that make up most of the contra dance repertoire. Brier Hill is comprised of Lane and Scott Evans, Patrick O’Hagin, Michael Haeger and Tim Morrison. Eric Rolnick will be calling the dance with the Brier Hill.  Eric is from Conway, has called many G.A.L.A. dances, and has also performed at many Wolfeboro First Night events with the Caribbean steel band, Mango Groove.

The name “Contra Dance” refers to partnered folk dance styles, where couples dance in two facing lines. Contra dance is a hybrid of English country dances and French court dances. At the end of the 17th century, French dancers began to incorporate the English country dances with steps from their own court dances and in turn called these dances contra-dance, or contredanse. Many of the moves called out during the dance originate from the French terminology.

The contra dance was very popular throughout America from the 1700’s well into the 1800’s, but with the arrival of the square dance, waltz, swing, and other forms of dance it’s popularity was mostly confined to rural areas. It is interesting to note that before the contra dance’s revival it was not known to be called a night of “Contra Dancing.” Rather it had other names such as: Barn Dance, Kitchen Junket, Old Timers Ball, and The Dance. These dances were held in church halls, grange halls, town halls, barns, and even places like kitchens and living rooms. There was a time in New England when contra dances were so popular that one band might be booked 6 nights in a single week!

There are a lot of reason to enjoy dancing, but here’s another fun fact – dancing is one of the more impressive ways to increase our brain’s cognitive reserve, something good for the brain at every age, but a particularly valuable protective force for maintaining cognition into old age.  In a New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) study, dancing was found to reduce risk of dementia more than any other physical or mental activity studied. Bicycling and swimming, for instance, while excellent for the cardiovascular system, reduced the risk of dementia by 0%, as did playing golf. Reading reduced the risk by 35% and puzzling out crosswords at least 4 days a week, 47%. Frequent dancing, however, reduced the risk of dementia by 76%!  

What does contra dancing have to do with G.A.L.A.’s commitment to sustainability?  Well, aside from strengthening community relations, warding off cabin fever, and keeping the blood moving to stay healthy, G.A.L.A. is known to claim contra dancing as, “the most sustainable way to stay warm on a cold winters night”!  

Dance admission fees are as follows:  $8.00 for adults, $5.00 for 6yr-18yr olds, and 5yr and under free.  Anyone experiencing financial hardship is invited to pay what they can and no one will be turned away for financial reasons.  In an effort to protect the newly refinished wood floor in the Great Hall participants are encouraged to bring an extra pair of shoes for dancing that do not have a black sole.  If you are unable to bring extra shoes there will be a brush at the door for you to remove dirt and snow before entering. G.A.L.A. is also looking to fill a few volunteer shifts for the dances this year if you are interested.  For more information about this event or to sign up to volunteer visit their website at www.galacommunity.org, call the office at 603-539-6460, or email josh@galacommunity.org

First 2018 Re-skill-ience Workshop

Visible Mending

With Juno Lamb
Thursday, February 1st
6-8pm
At G.A.L.A.’s Makerspace

 

Local organization Global Awareness Local Action (G.A.L.A.) is excited to announce the first feature in their 2018 NH Re-skill-ience Workshop Series, hands-on workshops focusing on homesteading, sustainable living, and traditional bushcraft skills. Workshops are designed to help participants develop skills and knowledge that strengthen personal and community resilience.  The first workshop of the year, Visible Mending, takes place on Thursday, February 1st from 6-8pm at the G.A.L.A. Makerspace building at 23 Bay St in Wolfeboro, NH.

Juno Lamb, lifelong mender and maker, is leading this workshop on Visible Mending. Come learn creative mending techniques and get inspired to mend and care for your clothes. Visible mending is an art to extend the life of clothing. It uses diverse fabrics and stitching techniques from several cultures to embellish clothing as you mend it, deepening the garment’s history and sense of story, and extending its usefulness.

Holes in blue jeans are a great place to start practicing. Please bring a pair of jeans or some other fabric garment with holes or tears to the workshop for mending. Participants are also welcome to  work on a sample patch. Materials will be provided for the visible mending, but please also feel free to bring your own special fabrics. Lovingly mended clothing also makes a romantic Valentine’s Day gift for a special someone – wink, wink! Search #visiblemending on instagram for more examples.

There is another dimension of significance when it comes to repairing clothing. The fashion industry has made it easy and cheap to buy new clothing. Yet this industry is littered with corruption, toxins, and injustice. If you are interested, watch The True Cost for free on YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime or iTunes to learn about the human and environmental costs of global fast fashion, and why we might want to buy fewer new clothes and take better care of the ones we have, as every generation for most of human history has done.

This workshop takes place from 6-8pm at the G.A.L.A. Makerspace at 23 Bay St. in Wolfeboro, NH. The cost to participate in the workshop is $18. Pre-registration is specifically requested for this event to be sure enough supplies will be provided. Please register HERE or by calling 603-539-6460.

Let Us Make a Toast

Thank you for being a part of our work.

2017 was transformative for G.A.L.A.
As we move into the next year
We are thankful for the instigators of change in our community.

A New Year brings New Workshops:

 

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