Calling for contra, square and other set dancing; couples dance and other social dances.
I can't believe this much fun is legal!
Diane Silver - Contra Dance Calling
(To local organizer): "Just want to say thank you for putting together that mini-workshop with Diane Silver. I learned more in the 1 1/4 hrs I was able to be there, than I have in all the previous caller workshops Iíve ever attended. Iím more keyed into what my gaps are and what I need to work on to continue growing as a caller. Wow. Thanks! "
"I was in awe of your calling during the mega-medley at Pigtown Fling.
It was the first time I'd ever done one, and I couldn't stop smiling...."
"I just had to thank you for such a great weekend in Berea!
Your calling is just so outstanding - I love how you teach!
Many people shared with me this weekend how they also really, really like your wonderful
teaching style! You have a gift for it!"
"Diane was AMAZING. Her teaching and her calling were so effortless they seemed almost
"I just want to thank you for all the fun I had this
weekend. You are an AMAZING caller, probably mostly because your
personality is perfectly suited for it. You're patient, not bossy,
enthusiastic, and you have a sharp eye for spotting problems. I also
really enjoyed the unique dances that you called. Keep up the great
"I want to recommend Diane to you as a future (festival) caller. ...
As you can see from the number of times I call her, Iím quite the fan.
Iíve enjoyed her calling for years but in the past year or two she has really taken it up a notch
ó her dances are interesting, complex, and just plain fun; her energy is infectious;
her teaching is painless, effective, and efficient; and the bands she works with thinks
she walks on water ó just ask Kathie Aagaard;
(The band) was over the moon with the program she gave them in advance,
as it gave them a chance to think through a set list that meshed perfectly with her dances.
"OK, so here I am at Dance Trance and the Open Couples session is going quite nicely.
After a swing tune, the leader announces "The next dance will be a zweifacher."
Dance Trance always has at least 1 Zweifacher, but this year my confusion, fear, puzzlement,
and frustration was replaced by a calm confidence.
I can do this, I'm a graduate of the Diane Silver School of Zweifachering.
... Off we go -- waltz, waltz, pivot, pivot. Waltz, Waltz, Pivot, Pivot. I remember the finer points of the workshop -- 1 step on the waltz steps, balanced weight on the pivots, and adjusting the arm hold accordingly. My follower responds quite nicely and it's a lovely experience. Quite a contrast to previous years. The Ghost of Zweifachers past has been exorcised.
Diane, thanks for adding to the richness of my dance life."
"Awesome, Diane! This is the best preparation I've ever seen. Looking
forward to a looooong-overdue dance gig together!!!!!!."
"Thanks for a workshop on 'starting a dance' at SDLC (southeast dance leadership conference).
Of course, many of the items in your starting a dance worksheet is helpful even for a
dance that has been ongoing for decades. I'd like to use your outline as a basis for me
to help our organization (FolkMADS in New Mexico) fill in our specifics towards helping us
have more clarity on who does what roles, and finding more volunteers to spread the joy."
"That was an amazing presentation you made at the annual meeting.
It's incredible the stuff that got done under your tenure."
"Between you and me, you always know how to say it! Wish you could have been
"That was superb calling last night! It was a dance weekend level dance,
and what a treat to have that magically happen at River Falls!
Thank you for sharing your gift and giving us all such joy.
Many dancers commented to me that it was the best dance they had been to in a long time."
"Just want you to know that Dan and I decided to come up to Pigtown Fling because
I saw YOU were calling!!! SERIOUSLY!!! We have been (working) for two LONG years
now...RARELY dancing at all...but when Diane's energy calls...we dance!
I have been so outta the loop, I had never heard of the band...usually a major part of
the draw for us, but this time it was ALL you."
"I really enjoyed your calling and dance selection at Pigtown.
You have incredible stamina! I'd love to call your dance, Fast Hands,
if you wouldn't mind giving me the calls."
"I just had to share something with you, since you are part of what made a really fun event
possible for me...
I called my first "one night stand" dance last weekend.
It went *really,* really well. The bride and groom, the guests, and the bride's parents,
who hired me, were all really happy. What did I call?
ALL were dances from your hand out about dances for children and beginners.
I had missed your workshop, but (a fellow caller) had it, and copied it for me.
It turned out to be invaluable to me.
I carry almost the same debt to you for beginning to call.... I had the hand-out
from one of your calling workshops (I think from Pigtown a few years ago, maybe?),
that had lots of easy dances on it.
Those dances were nearly all that I called for the first several months of my start as a caller.
Thank you!! You give awesome workshops as it is, but to me the handouts are esp. helpful."
"They were ecstatic about you.... Professional, fun, energetic, skilled... rave upon rave. "
"Ugh. I missed Diane calling? I LOVE HER! The ONE day in months I can't come..."
"Last night's dance was the best combination of dances, your calling, music and energy I have ever experienced at a contra dance. I was high as a kite when I walked out. You were great!!! Thanks for a great dance."
"I recall that when watching you teach a beginner's lesson at Jonesborough,
I really loved how you taught the swing & giving weight in stages."
"As both an experienced life-long folk dancer and a parent, Iím thrilled
to find Dianeís monthly dances. She has a rare skill of bringing
together dancers of all ages and all levels of experience into one big
fun experience for everyoneówithout overly challenging the less
experienced and without ho-humming the highly experienced. Thereís
always something fresh and new. Under her enthusiastic leadership,
everyone just naturally helps each other and delights in each other, and
the evenings are full of magic."
"Solid Silver? Of Course! That's Diane Silver, and she's awesome! She's a real fine caller, and she used to be a regular at the Nelson dance until she moved down to North Carolina. Boy, are they lucky!"
Diane Silver is known nationally for her ability to take a room full of novice dancers up to full speed contra in the course of an evening while simultaneously delighting the experienced dancers in attendance.
Diane's great. She makes a dance more fun. She seems to intuitively know which dances will work best with the band and the crowd she's given on any particular night. She did a particularly wonderful job last night keeping it fun for the experienced dancers and not too challenging for that load of new dancers we had.
"I loved your variety. You called dances and moves I've never seen before."
"... the energy and attitude were right where they needed to be -- good and positive. Thanks!"
"I had to leave after the first half-hour of your calling yesterday, regrettably, but I wanted to register my appreciation and joy over how creatively, patiently, and skillfully you wove and choreographed the calling of the never-ending dance. The whole idea took on a new meaning and new challenge for me after that, one that other callers I saw didn't reach or even stretch out for. Gosh, it was really neat! "
"I just wanted to thank you for a most wonderful first ever family dance event at our school! You are fabulous! It was amazing to me to watch as you so skillfully directed our diverse and energetic crowd into a wonderful semblance of joyful movement! EVERYONE loved this event and was hoping that we could do more! For sure, they wanted to make it an annual event!
"So, please convey my gratitude and appreciation to your musician friends as well. They were GREAT, too! I look forward to using their CD in my music classes so that the students can make up some of their own dances.
"Again, I speak for all of us here at Mt. Madonna School and thank you for your wonderful work in this world bringing families together in joyful celebration. "
"Your enthusiasm and ability to articulate what our feet needed to do was wonderful, not to mention your talent."
"You are one of the best callers I have seen, and I cannot think of anyone better. I've attended some festivals where big name callers were featured, and I would rank you right up there, maybe a notch better. I was very impressed, and you made an ugly situation (poor attendance) nearly disappear. Your dances were great, and I do not think I had previously danced any of them (4 years dancing). "
"Diane, thank you so much for the dance! I especially appreciate your encouragement and spirit of collaboration. Folks are still talking about the clogging lesson!"
"I am the lady that came with my partner that had never been contra dancing before. We had a blast, the caller was excellent for 1st time dancers; she set the dances up very nicely and didn't have too many moves to remember. I am very happy that was (my Partner's) first dance experience."
"I was in your clogging and swing workshops this weekend.... I just want to tell you how much I enjoyed the workshops and the dances. I think the WWUp was one of the best weekends ever."
Contacts for references available upon request.
If you would like to add your testimonial to this page, please feel free to e-mail it to me. I'll be glad to post it.