Diane Silver
Calling for contra, square and other set dancing; couples dance and other social dances.
I can't believe this much fun is legal!
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Diane Silver - Contra Dance Calling
What Others Have to Say ...

Many thanks to all the dancers who have sent such nice messages.
I was hesitant to post them here, but friends insisted, so here is a sampling of comments from dancers, bands, and organizers.

(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! "

--Noralyn from Albuquerque, 2018

"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...."

--Randy from Pittsburgh, 2010

"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!"

-- Sally Bown, 2009

"Diane was AMAZING. Her teaching and her calling were so effortless they seemed almost transparent."

-- Thank you message to organizers of the 2010 Pigtown Fling

"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 work!"

-- Jim Winkle, from Squirrel Moon, 2010

"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.

-- 2009, Kimbi Hagan, Atlanta's booker

"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."

-- Greg Rohde, 2009

"Awesome, Diane! This is the best preparation I've ever seen. Looking forward to a looooong-overdue dance gig together!!!!!!."

-- Jamie Laval, champion fiddler, 2009

"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."

--Erik Erhardt

"That was an amazing presentation you made at the annual meeting. It's incredible the stuff that got done under your tenure."

-- Dennis Merritt, fellow Old Farmer's Ball Board Member, 2009

"Between you and me, you always know how to say it! Wish you could have been president forever."

--from a fellow Old Farmer's Ball Board Member, 2010, regarding organizational leadership.

"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."

-- Cindy Richards, 2009

"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."

-- Kerri Vantreese, 2010

"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."

--Gaye Fifer, 2010

"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."

--Karen Jackson, 2010

"They were ecstatic about you.... Professional, fun, energetic, skilled... rave upon rave. "

--from a dancer who missed the Squirrel Moon Weekend, in Madison, 2010, but got reports afterwards

"Ugh. I missed Diane calling? I LOVE HER! The ONE day in months I can't come..."

--Tracy Wilkins, Facebook post, commenting on photos from the local OFB dance, 2009

"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."

-- David Wiley, organizer, avid dancer.

"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."

-- Barbara Groh, fellow caller, 2009.

"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."

-- Elana Kann, Asheville Dancer, Family Dance parent, 2007.

"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!"

-- Note by Bob McQuillen, August 2003, for Dance #96, The Solid Silver Jig, in Book 12 of Bob's Note Books.

"I have a pretty strict rule about not spending more time in the car than on the dance floor. After 23 yrs of dancing, I've violated it once. My motivation: One of my favorite bands paired with Diane Silver's calling. It was well worth the 15 hour round-trip drive."

-- Greg Rohde, St. Louis organizer extraordinaire, April, 2009, after the Berea Dance Weekend

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.

-- ContraCarolina promotion for Davidson College Green Ball

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.

-- Comment from Board Member of the Jonesborough Historic Dance Society, to Board President David Wiley

"I loved your variety.  You called dances and moves I've never seen before."

-- Asheville dancer.

"... the energy and attitude were right where they needed to be -- good and positive.  Thanks!"

-- Celo dancer

"The things we love about (Diane's) calling:
-- Hilarie Burhans, Hotpoint String Band

"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! "

-- Jane Weaver, Musician, Marathon Medley Contra Dance

"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. "

-- Sarojani Rohan, Organizer & Music Teacher, Mt. Madonna School, Watsonville, CA, 2005
(The great band was Changeling).

"Your enthusiasm and ability to articulate what our feet needed to do was wonderful, not to mention your talent."

-- Lisa Waggoner, Student, Clogging Workshop, John C. Campbell Folk School, 2006

"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). "

-- Ed Park, Chattanooga

"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!"

-- Don Burger, Organizer, Brevard Contra Dance

"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."

-- New Dancer, Jonesborough, TN

"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."

-- Paul Sullivan, Winter Warm-Up, 2006

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.