Augusta Square Dance
January 19 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm$7
Augusta Heritage Center Square Dances Start Their 2019 Season on January 18th.
ELKINS – The Mountain Dance Trail of Augusta Heritage Center is kicked off its 7th season of community square dances across West Virginia this January. On Friday, January 18th an evening of high-energy family fun is in store as Emily Miller and friends provide live old-time music, as Mike Miller calls contras and square dances for the Augusta monthly square dance in Elkins. The dance will be held in the Creative Commons in the Myles Center for the Arts on Davis & Elkins College Campus.
Emily Miller hails from Valley Bend. She performs regularly with the Sweetback Sisters, Jesse Milnes, Val Mindel, and the Starry Mountain Singers. Emily is the musical director for the Davis & Elkins College Appalachian Ensemble. She will be playing fiddle and singing a few two-step classic country songs for this dance. She will be accompanied by Gerry Milnes and Jesse Milnes.
Gerry Milnes, a WV State Fiddle Champion, has also won the old-time banjo championship at Clifftop, recorded Gandydancer and Emily Miller and Jesse Milnes. A distinguished authority on Appalachian culture, Gerry has written three highly acclaimed books about West Virginia folklore and calls Elkins home.
Jesse Milnes is widely known as a fiddle player and skilled harmony singer. He has developed a personal style of fingerpicking guitar, drawing on influences from blues to bluegrass to country and lives in Valley Bend.
Mike Miller has been calling square and contra dances for more than 30 years and has called dances in nine states and seven different countries. He and his wife, Val Mindel, started a popular monthly dance series in Hong Kong, and he has also called in several other Asian countries. You can also find him playing old-time music with Gerry Milnes, Chirp Smith and many others.
The Davis & Elkins Appalachian Ensemble will host this dance. The Ensemble is a student performance group that is dedicated to bringing live Appalachian music and dance to audiences around the region. The students will be selling baked goods to raise money to purchase team jackets and other equipment.
The dance starts at 8 p.m., with a beginning workshop at 7:45 p.m. All dances are beginner and family friendly. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for students and AmeriCorps members, and free to Davis & Elkins students, faculty, and staff. Participants don’t have to come with a dance partner and listeners are welcome. Please bring a pair of shoes to change into out of your winter boots.
“These dances are a wonderful way to get out and kick off the winter blues. The dances are simple to learn and is a wonderful family friendly activity. Great for beginners of all ages,” stated Augusta Events Coordinator, Becky Hill.
Elkins is part of the Mountain Dance Trail, a heritage tourism project of Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College. The project preserves and promotes local community square dances from the Virginia line to the Ohio border. The Mountain Dance Trail hosts a square dance almost every weekend somewhere in West Virginia. The next Augusta Heritage Center Dance is scheduled for February 8th with Tessa Dillon playing music and Sean Fen calling square dances. The 2019 Mountain Dance Trail schedule is available online at www.mountaindancetrail.org. For more information or a brochure, call the Augusta Heritage Center at 304-636-1209.
Programs offered by the Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College are presented with financial support from the WV Division of Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the WV Commission on the Arts. Local support is provided by the Randolph County Commission.
Related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Davis & Elkins College is located in Elkins, 2 hours east of Charleston, 3 hours south of Pittsburgh and 4 hours west of Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit the College website at www.dewv.edu or call 304-637-1243.