Raised in the cradle of Vermont’s Green Mountains, Mary Wesley found her way to a Burlington contra dance in the fall of 2005 and was immediately hooked. She was later happy to learn that the tradition is in her DNA – she is the granddaughter of two square dance callers! It wasn’t long before she took to the mic herself. Mary has been calling since 2008 and (pandemic aside!) keeps a full schedule, which includes gigs up and down both coasts. Mary loves to share her infectious joy for traditional dancing with dancers of all ages and she has something to offer every crowd.
Mary is proud to be a founding member of the Mad Robin Callers Collective – an innovative consortium of dance callers who work together to provide peer support and create opportunities for callers of all experience levels. She also helped found Burlington’s “On the Border Morris,” Vermont’s only Border side, and served as their Fore-woman for five years. When not calling, Mary works for the Vermont Folklife Center and is an amateur oral historian and podcast producer.
Anna Rain’s calling centers the dancing experience on the communion of dancers with themselves, with each other, and with the music; she teaches clearly and efficiently, and then gets out of the way! She is committed to positional calling and to crafting programs that offer ease for new dancers, challenge for those with more experience, and delight for all. In alternative realities, Anna plays recorder for English Country Dance and teaches Iyengar yoga.
From hot Irish fiddle tunes to driving old-time cello, from crisp trumpet fanfares to cheerful piano backup and groovy, tasteful drumbeats, Cloud Ten sweeps dancers up into an ever-changing but always compelling sound.
- Cedar Stanistreet, fiddle
- Arthur Davis, piano, banjo, and trumpet
- Donal Sheets, cello and guitar
- Ness Smith-Savedoff, drums
Anna Patton plays clarinet with great verve, clarity, and harmonic whim, drawing on a richly eclectic musical background of jazz, classical, traditional, and world music. Based in Brattleboro, VT, she performs full time for dances and concerts, composes and arranges music, and teaches ear training and swing harmony singing. Anna’s current projects include playing dance music with bands such as Elixir and The Figments, string-band and vocal swing with Housetop, Brazilian and gypsy jazz gigs with The Will Patton Ensemble, and improvisatory Balkan/ African/ South American influenced originals with the As Yet Quintet. Her solo album, Isadore’s Breakfast – featuring her work on clarinet and vocals along with many of Vermont’s finest musicians – is a mix of French-influenced swing and fiddle tunes.
Kristen Planeaux began playing piano at the tender age of eight and continued on until she found her true calling—traditional dance musician—at 23. Ever since, she has brought her own flavor of bold rhythm and warm, imaginative harmony to the English and American scenes. She is a retired member of The Ripples and a current member of Silver Sail with Kelsey Wells and Miriam Larsen. When away from camp, you can find her teaching music to children and wandering down the country lanes of Western Massachusetts.
Fiddler Ethan Hazzard-Watkins performs traditional and original music with infectious energy, passion, and grace. Ethan’s fiddling combines expressive subtlety, playfulness, and compelling rhythmic power born out of more than two decades of experience as a dance musician. A versatile and inspiring performer, Ethan is equally at home digging into an Irish, Quebecois, or New England fiddle tune, improvising on a classic blues, swing, or honky-tonk song, or interpreting a lyrical waltz or English Country Dance melody. Based in Brattleboro, Vermont, Ethan has toured extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad, playing for dances, festivals, camps, concerts, weddings, and other events with his bands Elixir and The Figments.
Max hails from Alaska and now resides in New England, where he has made his living as a practitioner of traditional music for the past decade and half. Music has taken him many wonderful places, made him countless friends, and provided him with many memorable experiences. He has played across the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom. He has played large festivals, tiny New England grange halls, the dusty streets of Burning Man, and performed for the President of Ireland. He has placed a particular emphasis on playing dance music. He is fascinated by the marriage of music and dance. A significant part of his musical career has been dedicated to exploring those connections, which he hopes shines through both at a dance and in concert. Max is a former member of the Swing into Summer Committee and longtime teacher of the “You too can Uke!” class at the weekend.