FORM THE OCEAN
THE FUN OF DANCING WITH YOUR BEST GROUP OF FRIENDS,
THE JOY OF SELF-EXPRESSION
& THE GIFT OF MEANINGFUL CONVERSATIONS
EXPECT TO LEAVE FEELING BRIGHTER AND MORE BOLD.
At this weekend, you'll dance a lot.
Contra dance, a community social dance, is a key offering this weekend. We feature warm and playful, nationally-known contra dance talent as callers and music-makers. They'll host a few workshops, too.
You'll get to know your body in others ways, as well - intuitively moving, stretching and relaxing throughout the three days.
You'll also have space to make stuff - together.
Have a skill you want to learn or share? Or simply enjoy being in the presence of other women while you work on projects?
We do, too. So a big part of this weekend is open time for reflective creative work. You can bring a project or skills of your own, or you can come bask in the collective abundance - or both!
You'll also have time to consider and offer ideas.
You might be asking yourself questions about what it means to be you, be a part of your contra community, and be a part of your local neighborhood or nation.
Us, too. We'll have guided and open spaces for you to have dialogues in big groups, small groups and one-on-one about ideas and issues important to you.
Folks who hear “women’s retreat” and think, “Yeah, that’s a space for me.”
Folks who identify as female, non-binary, genderfluid, genderqueer, trans, and/or gender nonconforming.
Q: How incredible are our artists this year? A: Oh, hell ya!
Amy carries joy with her everywhere she goes - and this joy is apparent in her playing. She grew up in a musical family and started playing piano at the age of five. She discovered her passion for playing contra dances in 2010, and a dance hall is where you can enjoy her performances these days.
Another passion is education. After attending Brandeis to focus on Hispanic Studies, with a minor in Secondary Education, she became a certified teacher in MA and NY, teaching Spanish in middle and high school. Through these experiences, she discovered that she prefers the individual connection of private lessons.
Now settled in Seattle, Washington, Amy still performs piano regularly across the country. While she is at home, she offers Spanish tutoring and piano lessons.
Ashley’s myriad talents and musical accomplishments defy easy description or classification. Fluent on mandolin (both acoustic and electric), violin, and cello, she crafts melodies, sonic textures and haunting harmonies that distinguish her works easily from the norm.
Classically trained in violin as a child, Ashley discovered the mandolin at age eight, then took up the cello in college. Described as a "mandolin phenomenon" by the San Diego Tribune and highly sought after by a wide range of musicians needing to round out their sound, Broder has performed in folk clubs, festivals, bars, dance halls, orchestras, and recording studios. Her duo with accordionist Samantha Harvey, Sam ‘n Ash, was featured on the wildly popular podcast “Welcome to Night Vale,” and Hearth Music raved that The Syncopaths, an in-demand, nationally touring, folk quartet with whom she plays regularly, are "a helluva a band to imitate, and I doubt anyone could do justice to their virtuosic tunes."
There’s so much more to Ashley. And more on Ashley may be found at ashbroder.com
You know Audrey Knuth is performing if the room is buzzing at a higher level. Her fiddling, featured in bands including The Free Raisins, The Gaslight Tinkers, Audacious, and Wake Up Robin, has electrified dance and concert halls across the US and Europe.
Hailing from Honolulu and now living in California, she cut her folk teeth in the Boston area, attending Berklee College of Music and spending years exploring the thriving New England folk scene.
Audrey’s fiddle playing is rhythmically lively and spontaneous; she's guaranteed to get you up and dancing. She specializes in English dance, New England, Celtic, and Old Time tunes (and did we mention she’s also an audio engineer?!).
You might also have taken a workshop with Audrey, as she’s been on staff at various camps including CDSS English week at Pinewoods, Ashokan Northern Week, BACDS American week, and Halsway Manor.
For more on Audrey, visit her at audreyknuth.com
Sarah is an intuitive and graceful caller. Instantly hooked when introduced to contra dance as a teen, Sarah’s love of social dancing and her joy in sharing it is evident and infectious. Her calm, humble nature translates in the room as charming ease, and it’s clear that her primary goal is to ensure dancers of all levels have a wonderful time connecting with the music and each other.
Sarah has been calling, organizing and teaching contra, square, and family/community dances for over ten years. She has a clear and engaging teaching style and a great repertoire of dances to share. She will not only teach dances throughout the weekend, she'll also offer a workshop designed to increase our skills in being generous dancers.
Sarah lives in New York. You can discover more about Sarah here.
We’re hosted at the Ashokan Center in the Catskills region of New York. Ashokan’s bucolic 385-acre campus is comprised of fields, forests, trails and streams and features a number of historically significant structures. It’s beautiful, serene and rustic, yet has state of the art facilities ideal for reflection and celebration. Dancing outside under the stars, singing in the vaulted ceiling hall, sharing skills on the porch…
Ashokan offers options for camping, open lodge sleeping and semi-private rooms. All beds are bunks with thick mattresses. The cost of housing depends on the option you choose, and is added to base admission. All lodges are warm, cozy and modern equipped with electricity, bathrooms and showers.
Meals at Ashokan are always hot, healthy and delicious. A 24-hour tea and coffee service seals the deal. Excellent options are available for vegetarians, vegans, and others with limited diets. If you have dietary needs, simply let us know when you register and we'll be sure your needs are met.
The Ashokan Center
477 Beaverkill Rd
Olivebridge, NY 12461
+1 845 246-2121
Three days of nourishing play with a group of amazing folks from across North America
All food, snacks, and round-the-clock tea & coffee
Nationally-acclaimed contra dance talent stirring your spirit
Lots of dance and creative workshops to revive your spirit and enhance your ability to be creative in your communities - with all supplies provided
Special treats like self-care workshops, hiking, sauna time, and other activities to support you in unwinding
Take-home tools you can use to lead in your contra community and your life
Have questions or requests? Complete the form below and we'll respond within a few days.