3.19.18: Ooh La La 2018 is FULL – Registration is now closed.
If you would like to be placed on the waiting list please email: email@example.com
One Exceptional Dance Weekend Where Two Cultures Meet
Just north of the Vermont border in the eastern townships of Québec, Ooh La La offers a rich summer dance weekend experience with a warm community spirit. Nationally renowned bands and callers, a fabulous sprung wood floor, locally grown organic food prepared by our own chefs, and plenty of dancing, workshops, and singing have made Ooh La La an annual pilgrimage for many.
You can expect nothing but the finest, most festive bands and callers at Ooh La La.
Our 2018 talent:
Callers Steve Zakon-Anderson, Adina Gordon and Mary Wesley are sure to delight!
Along with our amazing “house band”, Maivish, we are happy to welcome “Stomp Rocket” to the Ooh La La stage this year. Bethany Waickman, Dave Langford and Glen Loper will lift your spirits and your dancing feet!
We are Stomp Rocket – Dave Langford on fiddle, Glen Loper on mandolin and tenor banjo, Bethany Waickman on guitar… and very occasionally piano.
Raised in the cradle of Vermont’s Green Mountains, Mary Wesley found her way to a Burlington contra dance in the fall of 2005 and was immediately hooked. She was later happy to learn that the tradition is in her DNA – she is the granddaughter of two square dance callers!
It wasn’t long before she took to the mic herself. She started calling in 2008 and keeps a full schedule, which includes gigs up and down both coasts. Mary loves to share her infectious joy for traditional dancing with dancers of all ages and she has something to offer every crowd. After unearthing her grandparents’ collection of dance records she was inspired to start practicing patter and add some squares to her arsenal. She calls family and community dances with great joy and finds “chestnuts” absolutely irresistible.
Adina Gordon finds an outlet for her loves of travel, music, dance and silliness by calling and dancing throughout the US and Canada, creating joy and minor chaos wherever she goes. Combining a voice that makes you want to do what she says with a commitment to using that power for good and not evil, Adina calls contra, English and squares both old and new that cause spontaneous eruptions of joy on dance floors.
Based in Burlington, VT, Adina has called dances in 37 US states spanning all six American time zones, as well as 3 Canadian provinces and Israel. Dancers frequently remark on Adina’s energy and joy, which is both highly evident and highly contagious. She believes that when it comes to dance, If you’re laughing and smiling, you’re doing it right.
Adina’s goal is to get you dancing and get out of the way. She says more, with fewer words, to maximize dancing and minimize talking.
Steve has been calling contras, leading workshops for callers and teaching couples dance for over 25 years. He has performed at dance camps and festivals in 36 states, including Pinewoods, Ogontz, Buffalo Gap, Lady of the Lake, Augusta, and Brasstown. His own dance compositions are well known to dancers and other callers. Steve’s clear teaching, energetic calling, and sense of humor have made him a favorite of dancers of all ages and abilities.
Maivish will be the house band again for this year’s Ooh La La Dance Weekend. Appearing as a quartet, Jaige, Adam and Matthew will be joined by Cedar Stanistreet from the band Nor’easter, on fiddle.
Maivish is a collaboration between American fiddler Jaige Trudel, British born guitarist Adam Broome and Virginia native Mathew Olwell on flutes, percussion and step dance.
Jaige and Adam have been performing together since 2001 for dances, festivals and concerts throughout North America and abroad, predominantly with the band Crowfoot. Matthew has been performing and teaching as a dancer and percussionist at festivals and theatres across North America and Europe since 1996. These three musicians have joined together to explore and cultivate traditional and original music for dancing and the concert stage. Their sound has been described as mercurial, powerful, uplifting, and eminently danceable. The name Maivish comes from an English colloquial term for the Song Thrush.
We are thrilled to welcome Yaëlle Azoulay, Everest Witman, and Richard Forest to Ooh La La this year to lead a session of Quebecois dancing! Read their bios below.
Yaëlle Azoulay is a professional dancer/choreographer specialized in Quebecois traditional dancing and percussive dance (jig). She started dancing as a kid with folk ensembles from Laval and Montreal. She then explored new ways of performing and choreographing by joining the professional dance company [ZØGMA] in 2003 and becoming a part of the contemporary jig community (Fuxi Club, BIGICO) in 2005. Through a musical approach, she’s been actively developing stepdancing teaching methods for all ages and levels. Yaëlle is also a dance caller, passing on Quebecois traditional dances in various contexts of animation, Despite her young age, she has been teaching stepdancing and calling social dances for the past 15 years all over North America and abroad, which has given her a recognition as one of the best in her field on the Quebec scene.
Everest Witman’s guitar playing is energetic and full of life. Heavily influenced by the playing of his former teacher Keith Murphy, he provides a compelling and driving backup guitar style. He found the traditional music scene in his early teens growing up in Brattleboro, VT and quickly fell in love with music and dancing. Everest plays in the DADGAD tuning and draws from a variety of musical traditions, especially Irish, to create a versatile and satisfying sound. Everest normally tours with the renowned contradance group Nova.
A veteran of traditional music of Quebec, Richard has graced Quebec stages and animated traditional dancers for more than 30 years. He was first inspired by fiddlers in his own family from Lanaudiere but only took up the fiddle in his late teens. He is recognized not only for the energizing ‘swing’ of his bowing style but also credited, particularly in the earlier years, for discovering and reviving tunes that were all but lost. Also an accomplished composer, he has created timeless pieces of music that remain popular in countless jam sessions.
He is the composer of Valse de Bois, Reel de Mattawa, and the Reel de Montebello, acclaimed tunes that find themselves within the repertoire of other folk musicians and that are repeatedly included on the many CDs. He has recorded with various Quebecois groups and musicians including Tradi-Son, Bardi, Barda, Domino, Le grande chaine, Rapetipetam. Richard is a source of inspiration for all musicians and his style and repertoire make him ever-popular in Quebec and everywhere his amazing music is pl
An important part of the overall vision for Ooh La La is to encourage and support youth participation by providing opportunities to explore connections with traditional music and dance forms. We attempt to achieve this goal in a variety of ways:
This outreach gives participants a chance to network and to hone their skills in a dance weekend setting, provides exposure to an extended dance community, and offers committed young talent an opportunity to meet and work with experienced staff.
Ooh La La takes place at the “Centre Ste-Famille” in the charming town of Richmond, Québec. The dance hall is bright, spacious, and has a fantastic sprung floor!
Find directions on Google: 155 Rue Craig, Richmond, Québec
Dancers are responsible for their own lodging during the weekend. Motels and B&Bs are available in the area as well as some beautiful camping areas. Stay an extra night – explore Québec’s Eastern Townships!
Check out the 2017 schedule to get an idea of how the weekend works.
Registrants will receive the 2018 schedule via email sometime in June!
Please note: as of 2.21.18 all volunteer slots have been filled for OLL 2018!
We ask for approximately six hours of volunteer time during the weekend; most tasks occur outside of dancing time. Activities include: dish washing, kitchen work and food preparation, floor sweeping, setting up tables, helping with snacks and final clean up on Sunday. Chatting, singing and friend-making encouraged while volunteering! Volunteers attend at a reduced rate ($105 CAD/$85 USD).
In an effort to encourage and enable youth participation at Ooh La La! we are reserving a certain number of these volunteer slots exclusively for young people. Even though we’re all young at heart, for the purposes of these positions, we will consider “youth” to include folks who are 35 or under. If you qualify, please let us know on your registration form and we will follow up with you.
Please contact our volunteer coordinator, Mary Wesley, with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Sharon Schenkel
3.19.18: Ooh La La 2018 is FULL – Registration is now closed. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list please email: email@example.com
Already registered and still need to pay?
As of 2.21.18 all volunteer slots have been filled for OLL 2018 and registration is full!
Learn more about volunteering. Please contact our volunteer coordinator, Mary Wesley, to join the waitlist or if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ooh La La is organized by a devoted group of volunteers spread across borders. Adam Broome, Jaige Trudel, & Mary Wesley comprise the core committee, working throughout the year to prepare for the big weekend! Our faithful ‘Super Volunteers’ this year include Marjolène Forest, who is helping with translations, registrations and more, as well as Eugene Lawrence who is ready to jump in at that critical time when everything must happen at once.
If you have ANY questions about our dance weekend, please don’t hesitate to get in touch! Email us at: email@example.com
You can also keep up with Ooh La La news on our Facebook Page