Emily is a caller, trad musician, and dance organizer with a deep passion for building community, creating connections, and bringing joy to others in whatever role she is playing.
As the caller at this year’s AlgomaTrad Camp, Emily will be weaving in lots of fantastic contra dances, some hot traditional squares, and a smattering of other related dance forms to create really fun evenings of dance. With a careful eye on programming, a keen attention to teaching, and an engaging approach on the stage, dancers of all levels are sure to have a grand time! Emily will also be leading a daily callers session, creating a space for all levels of callers (brand new and experienced) to hone their practice and learn from each other — and she’ll bring in some tips she’s learned from some of the master trad callers throughout North America. While Emily has been calling for a decade, this is her first time calling a full week of dance. She is keen to learn from you too so share your thoughts … we’re all lifelong learners! 🙂
Emily began exploring traditional music at a young age through playing the highland bagpipes. As a teenager, she travelled to Cape Breton and fell in love with the square dance scene not only because of the amazing music and dancing but also the close knit intergenerational community. After about ten years taking a deep dive into the Cape Breton tradition through step dance, piano accompaniment, and a bit of fiddle, she branched out to accompanying other styles of trad music. This eventually led Emily to lead both a community contra dance band an open dance band as well as join Les Quatres Coins as their pianist.
In addition to calling and playing music, Emily is passionate about dance organizing – supporting communities both locally and throughout Canada & the US. As an organizer with the Ottawa Contra Dances, Emily led promotion/communication and programming for many years. She has also helped organize other dance events such as the Maberly Quarterly and OhLaLa dance weekend. In 2014, Emily chaired Puttin’ On the Dance 2, a conference for traditional dance leaders in Eastern Canada and the North-Eastern US. She also worked as a consultant for the Country Dance Song Society for a number of years, conducting both surveys of, and creating supports for, organizers of traditional dance, music, and song.
Ironically, Emily is an introvert so you might see her off recharging her batteries on occasion. Come chat her up anyway – she loves to talk about all things dance! Also with Emily at camp this year is her husband Brent(o) and her kiddo Calum.
Looking forward to dancing with you!