Humboldt Folklife Festival - Barn Dance

Again, trusty Wikipedia describes a Barn Dance as: any kind of dance involving traditional or folk music with traditional dancing, occasionally held in a barn, but, these days, much more likely to be in any suitable building.

The term “barn dance” is usually associated with family-oriented or community-oriented events, usually for people who do not normally dance. The caller will, therefore, generally use easy dances so that everyone can join in.

Barn Dance - Fern & Fog

This Barn Dance was hosted as part of the Humboldt Folklife Festival but is typically a monthly gathering. 

When I entered the picturesque Arcata Veterans Hall friends, families and neighbors stood together in circles learning dances. Some people looked nervous, but mostly there was a lot of energized smiles. Everyone was ready to learn the next dance or help teach the next move. 

Did I mention there was a live band? Think fiddle, stand-up bass, guitar and banjo. Also, an experience caller to help novice dancers with the next instruction.

I loved watching the kids trying to dance or awaiting anxiously for their turn. The sweetest moment: a toddler dancing confidently with her mother, unaware that she was stealing the show.

As I started taking pictures I realized: these dances are fast.

People are gracefully pushed, pulled and tugged through the footwork of the dance. If you don't know the moves hopefully you have a strong partner who can literally pull you through it.

 This little one was ready to jump right in.

This little one was ready to jump right in.

square dancers - Fern & Fog
Square dancing
square dancers  - Fern & Fog
 A caller and the band.

A caller and the band.

 Thinking about joining in.

Thinking about joining in.

I think I'll be joining in next time.

How about you? Will you be heading to your next community barn dance?