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Louise Siddons, Dance Caller

I am a contra and English Country dance caller, currently based in the UK. I began calling English in 2008 and I've been calling contras since 2010.

You can see me calling contra and English -- including a 40-minute DIY solo ECD for the 2020 Lichfield Folk Festival -- on Youtube.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the Historical Tea and Dance Society of Pasadena, California, organized talks with major figures in the social folk dance world, titled "5 Things in the Dancing Mind of..." I was honored to be their guest on September 15, 2020. You can watch it here.

As a caller and dance instructor, I strive to create a dance experience and atmosphere that is welcoming, fun, and at an appropriate skill level for the dancers present. My stage presence is low-key and light-hearted.

I believe that one of the greatest strengths of traditional dance is its adaptability and responsiveness to the needs of those dancing. Since 2017, I have primarily been using positional calling, and although I defer to organizers, I prefer gender-free calling. I favor descriptive terminology over jargon, and respect contemporary international sensibilities regarding language choice.

In 2011, I helped found the Stillwater contradance, which was produced by the Oklahoma State University student group A Contra Affair, an affiliate of the Scissortail Traditional Dance Society, on whose board I served for many years. I am currently on the board of the Friends of English Dance in London, England.