Cis Hinkle Cis Hinkle has delighted contra and square dancers since 1985 with her skilled teaching, welcoming manner, playful enthusiasm, and masterful selection of dances. She is in great demand at music and dance festivals all over the US, England, and Denmark.  When not on the road, Cis teaches tai chi classes in her native Atlanta, Georgia.

Riptide Riptide is one of the most energetic contra dance bands on the scene today, playing a mix of Irish, Old-Time, New England, and Quebecois tunes.   The band features Glen Loper on mandolin, Alden Robinson on fiddle, Owen Marshall on guitar, and the legendary Mark "Pokey" Hellenberg on percussion. The band is based in Maine, but travels to dance weekends throughout the U.S. 
American fiddle and dance music. Only in their fourth year as a band, the Lids have been taking the national dance scene by storm, and are currently one of the most in-demand young Contra-dance groups!

Reminiscent of Nightingale and Crow Foot, with a bit of Wild Asparagus funkiness blended in, a diversity of influences can be heard in their eclectic mix of compositions and tunes. The fiddle and guitar of Ben Smith and Matt Turino is suggestive of Liz Carroll and John Doyle mixed with a healthy portion of Stephane Grappelli and Ani DiFranco. Miriam Larson’s brilliantly lyrical flute melodies and soaring harmonies “capture joy and sorrow in perfect counterpoint,” lifting and propelling the band. When the night heats up, the virtuosic twin fiddles of Ben and Matt take over and drive the freight train along, chugging over Miriam’s pulsing jaw harp, as the Horse Flies meet Crooked Still on the flat land express!

Changing hats is second nature to this band as a professor of music, a librarian, and an organic farmer meet at the nexus of their love for live music and dance. Ben’s musical studies in Ireland and New England, Matt’s life as an old-time musician in the Midwest and South, and Miriam’s classical expertise shine through as the band switches genres at the drop of a hat, embracing and embodying a variety of current and traditional musical styles.

Mean Lids

Mix one part smooth Irish session, one part spicy Cajun-zydeco, one part hot western swing, with two parts driving southern old-time and take it down to the local dance hall. That’s where you’ll find the Mean Lids, a young, energetic acoustic trio hailing from central Illinois. Playing a mix of original and traditional tunes, the Mean Lids have an exciting, unique sound born from the living traditions of
Susan Petrick Susan lives in Redwood City, CA, calls for dances up and down the West Coast, and travels throughout the country to call for dance weekends and camps.  Dancers praise her confident and efficient teaching of interesting dances, and her expert pacing and gracious manner make even complex dances accessible to all.  Susan also enjoys teaching couple dances.  By profession she is a cognitive psychologist who manages a group of user experience researchers at Google.

The Talent - 2017