Bio

My home base is in old town Greenwood IN, which borders on the south side of Indianapolis. My lovely wife Carole and I fixed up historic old home there, and enjoy a walking life style. We are within an hour of our three adult children and eight grandkids, and an hour west of my alma mater, Earlham College. 

As a dance gypsy for over 25 years I have danced in about 30 states and called in almost as many.  I bring my passion and energy for the dance to my calling. I get lots of compliments on the dances I call, my quick and efficient teaching, and the programs I put together. I've called about 250 times, with lots of return engagements, gigs in new cities with strong dance traditions, and a number of private events.

I've had the pleasure of calling to many great midwestern musicians and groups. Last spring I did a fourth tour with Entwyned, a great duo from Bloomington IN. I've worked with the Coffee Zombies, the Emily Ann Thompson Band, Iron Curtain Meltdown and Troika (all including Indy's own Dianna Davis). In previous years I've called with the Appleknockers, the Hot Club of Derbytown, the Cosmic Otters, the Mean Lids, and Fiddlefire (the Panning family), and the Vigortones (St. Louis and Wisconsin). I called a contra in Ireland in 2011 with Indy's own Hogeye Navvy. I've called several times with the Cocks of the North (with Claudio Buchwald,  Sam Bartlett, and Eric Shedler). I did a tour with the fabulous Nashville Ceili Band-- one of whom is a regular with the Grand Old Opry!

Major groups from the east I have worked within years past include Atlantic Crossing (Vermont) and Tempest of New York. I've called with Devine Comedy, which includes Steve Hickman. I've called twice with the Dead Sea Squirrels (New England), and with Coracree (from the Philadelphia area), an amazing four piece group that is big and getting bigger. I went west in 2011 and called a special dance with Joyride (with Erik Weberg) from Oregon, and called in Seattle with Bob McQuillen in the band. I've called single dances at weekends with the Avant Gardeners, Contrazz, and others. I recently called with String Fire, a really hot California group. 

I’ve  led workshops at dance weekends, including beginning and intermediate waltz, Cajun and Zydeco, and an advanced contra workshop. In 2013 I did three workshops at Dance Camp North, in Alaska, including one on squares and one on dances of Bob Isaacs and Cary Ravitz. I'd be glad to do swing workshop,  a session of shadow dances, English Country Dances, Ceili dances, or whatever. That same year my wife Carole and I taught Cajun dance at the River Roots Music Festival  in Madison Indiana. Festival headliners included Balfa Tourjous and the Carolina Chocolate Drops!

I've done several stints in schools and churches, teaching dancing to young people from preschool to high school, including at the International High School and Herron High School, a nationally ranked charter school in Indianapolis.  I have also done several sessions with the Discovery Clubs at two different elementary Indianapolis Public Schools.  I recently called a Father-Daughter dance at an elementary school on Indy's south side. I have also taught English Country for OASIS several times. I've been booked multiple times at historic reenactment weekends.

Contact me at 317-750-7892, or more directly at ken@kenthecaller.com when you put together future schedules. My wife Carole and I like to travel, and would be happy to build a trip around calling for your dance group.

I've called in about 31 states.  By region:

Near home:

Indiana: I’ve called the weekly dance in Indianapolis several times a year since 2008. I also call in Bloomington multiple times each year. I've called the Ft. Wayne, Goshen and Valparaiso dances several times. I called in Richmond, and have done open calling at Sugar Hill and similar weekends.  I've done several workshops in these communities, including multiple waltz  workshops with my wife at the fabulous (now defunct) Celebration weekend dance. In 2012 I conducted a well attended callers workshop in Indianapolis (and one in Memphis), and got lots of compliments on my presentation and handout. I've called twice at the Feast of the Hunter's Moon, a reenactment weekend near W. Lafayette, IN.

        Michigan: I've called in Ann Arbor, Traverse City, Holland, Midland, and Flint.  I've
        called a few dances as one of the "local" callers and have lead workshops at several
        Michigan Dance Heritage and Trillium Twirl weekends.

Kentucky: I've called numerous times both in Lexington and Louisville, as well as in Somerset and Berea.

Ohio: I’ve called about half a dozen times in Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati.

Illinois: I’ve called half a dozen times in Urbana and Chicago.

Missouri: I’ve called in St. Louis, Columbia, Kansas City and Cape Girardeau multiple times.

Wisconsin and Minnesota: I've called twice in Madison (with Carol Ormand in the band), and at Tapestry in Minneapolis.

Further west:
Kansas: I've called in Lawrence twice--once at an advanced “blue moon" dance  and once at the Stoney Point Barn, which my wife's grandparents owned a hundred years ago.

Oklahoma: I have three dates for contra and English in March.

New Mexico: I have called in both Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

Washington: I have called in Seattle and Olympia.

Oregon: I've called in Portland at the annual Dance til You're Done (til 1am) event.

Alaska: I led several workshops at the 2013 Dance Camp North weekend in Fairbanks. 

Texas: I called in Houston, Austin, and San Marcos in 2015.   

Colorado: I called there in October, 2015.

California: I called the Berkeley dance in November, 2015 with the fabulous
String Fire band.

Further south and east:

Tennessee: My first weekend as headline caller was at Memfest X in 2012. I've called several times in Nashville and Knoxville, as well as Jonesborough and Chattanooga.

North Carolina: I've called at the Asheville Old Farmer's Ball twice, with hundreds of young dancers. I closed out Saturday night at the Splashdance weekend a couple years ago with my often copied dance Joy to the Twirled, by special request from Diane Silver. I've called several times at River Falls, plus Winston-Salem, Clemmons, Greensboro and Charlotte.

Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Louisiana: I called once or twice to the large dance communities in Atlanta GA and in Huntsville AL, Charleston SC,, and at the new dance near Lafayette LA as well.

Florida:  I've called in Gainesville, Tallahassee, Cocoa Beach, Pinellas Park, Boca Raton, and Davie.

Pennsylvania: I called in Pittsburgh three times. I also called twice in Harrisburg, and at an open stage in Philadelphia as well.

Virginia: I've called in Charlottesville, Richmond, Greenwood, Harrisonburg and Dayton.

West Virginia: I've called in both Charleston and Shepherdstown.  I called a couple dances (not an entire evening) at the Augusta Heritage Center in 2010, to the music of Elixir.

Maryland: I've called three times at Glen Echo, which is one of the most revered dance communities in the country, just outside of Washington D.C.  I've also called several times in Baltimore.  

New York: I've called at Binghamton, Rochester, Ithaca, and at Kellish Farms in Manlius.

Delaware and New Jersey: I called in Arden DE and Princeton NJ, and for the Swinging Tern dance in E. Hanover, NJ.

Ontario: I called contra in Toronto twice, and also called English there to a good crowd.

 

Here are some references from calling dates in the last few years.  I called in Toronto ON for the second time.  (Mike Kerman  president@tcdancers.org). I had a great evening in Rochester NY (for the third time) with Tempest, a really hot band led by caller/musician Chuck Abell who frequently works Glen Echo and tours with the likes of Bob Isaacs. (chuckabell@hotmail.com or timothy.ball.violin@gmail.com or organizer Bob Fabinski, bobfab@aol.com).  I had a fabulous night in Berkeley CA with SpitFire. Erik Hoffman, a CDSS board member, is the organizer, and Patti Cobb is the pianist (erik@erikhoffman.com or pkcobb@pacbell.net).

Many well known callers, including the people like Diane Silver, Susan Kevra, Kathy Anderson, Cary Ravitz, Bryan Hamshar, and Bob Isaacs,  have been at dances I have called