28th January 2023 with Ian and Charley Roberts, calling from Louise Siddons
Ian and Charley Roberts
Probably better known to regular contra dancers as one half of long-serving contra dance band Vertical Expression, Ian and Charley Roberts will be heading down from the Far North (well, Sheffield) armed with several melodeons, a piano, one or two guitars and a pair of tap shoes to provide some irresistibly danceable tuneage to accompany the dances.
Louise Siddons was born in the UK but moved to the United States as a child, where she grew up surrounded by folk music and song. Now back in the UK permanently, she is known on both sides of the Atlantic as a contra, English country dance, and ceilidh caller. Louise believes that we should invest in the evolution and sustainability of folk traditions and their ongoing relevance to contemporary culture. As a caller and dance teacher, she strives to create a fun and welcoming atmosphere with her low-key and light-hearted stage presence. She received the 2016 Mary Judson/Brad Foster Award for English Dance Teachers from the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS), and has been a committee member for the Friends of English Dance (UK) since 2018. In 2021, she received a diversity grant from the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) in support of her gender-free teaching and calling. In 2022, CDSS published her booklet on gender-free, positional calling, “Dancing the Whole Dance: Positional Calling for Contra.” This winter, she is starting Winchester's first-ever queer ceilidh series, WinQeilidh.