Twelfth Bundanoon DanceFest 2023
The DanceFest happened in Bundanoon over the June long weekend. The weather was kind, the music was excellent and the dancing was fantastic, enjoyed by all who turned up. Dancers and musicians travel great distances to attend this festival of social dance, Melbourne and Brisbane and many places in between. We had Bush, Bavarian Ballroom/New Vogue, Colonial, Contra, English Country, Estonian, Scottish, Scandinavian, Irish. The Festival is a favourite of many experienced dancers and the standard of dancing is high. This allows callers to chance their reputations by calling new and often quite complex sequences. Some fell apart but most succeeded, often spectacularly. A memorable moment for me was to witness Peter Foster call a complex dance sequence with six quadrille sets in close formation. I don’t remember what Peter called it so I shall call it Foster’s Ratchet. In this sequence dancers perform a number of movements within their sets and then at the end of the sequence dancers turn their backs on their set and exchange places with dancers in adjacent sets. Yep, there are dancers on the edge who do a meanwhile before dancing on. Thus are the sets repopulated and the sequence repeated. Extraordinary stuff!
The callers for 2023 were:
Paul & Leslie Carr, David Potter, Roger & Christine Gifford, Keith Wood, Madis & Tiina Alvre, Norm Ellis, Margaret & Bill Winnett, Caroline & Duncan Barrell, Arthur Kingsland, Colin Towns, Anthony Northey, Bruce Lemin, Jim Williams, Katherine Tammaro, Cathy Grylls, Peter Foster, Don Richmond
Lead musicians were:
Sarah Bull, Ian Hayden, Denise Hibbs & Robert Stephens, Dave Johnson, Bob McInnes, Ray Mulligan, Kathy Potter, Ralph Pride, and Helen Strutt.
Eleventh Bundanoon DanceFest 2019
Hope you had a good time, I did. Another great weekend shared with many friends - full of outstanding music and dance and reflected in the warmth of smiles. Bundanoon DanceFest - it is something special. Your organisers value the DanceFest, and the joy it affords the community of dancers and musicians who turn up.
I hope you've recovered from the Dance Fest - thanks so much for organising things, it was a great event.
Thanks, also, for giving me the opportunity to present the research at the Dancefest. It's one of the few places where this is possible, other than academically, and abroad where we have the advantage of being curiosities.
Once again we had a most enjoyable weekend. Bundanoon has been top of our social calendar for a few years now. We are already looking forward to the next one with the proviso that at our age we are still vertical and compos mentos.
Yvonne Kath Monty
The callers for 2019 were:
Don Richmond, Mark Simmons, Margaret & Bill Winnett, Sally Leslie, Jim & Ingrid Rehle-Williams, Heather Clarke, David Potter, Keith Wood, Norm Ellis, Bruce Lemin, Arthur Kingsland, Roger & Christine Gifford, Colin Towns & June Staunton, Madis & Tiina Alvre, Kira Dowling
Lead musicians were:
Ralph Pride, Sarah Bull, Ian Hayden, Helen Strutt, Ian Baxter, Dave Johnson, Bob McInnes, Ray Mulligan, Denise Hibbs, Robert Stephens, Kathy Potter, Stuart Leslie, Margaret Anderson, and Roland Clarke.
Tenth Bundanoon DanceFest 2018
As one patron put it "A huge thank you for all your amazing efforts towards another wonderful Bundanoon DanceFest. Great music, dancing and comradeship."
The photo shows that special group of stalwarts that have been to every one of the ten years. They are left to right:
Ralph Pride, Helen Strutt, Ray Mulligan, Julie Bishop, Alex Bishop, Denise Hibbs, Mike Young, Roz Young, Don Richmond, Dave Johnson, Suzanne Kingston, Peter Cape, Trecialee Wood, Roger Green, Sandra Nixon, Allen Bills, and (Keith Wood behind the camera)
The callers for 2018 were:
Alan McCulloch, Mark Simmons, Don Richmond, Simon Wall, Arthur Kingsland, Norm Ellis, Keith Wood, Madis Alvre, Colin Towns, Cathy Richmond, Bruce Lemin, June Staunton, Margaret and Bill Winnett, Nina Kharakoz , Niamh Kyriacou, Fran Robertson, Jim and Ingrid Rehle-Williams, and Nesa Simon David
Lead musicians were:
Bob McInnes, Ray Mulligan, Dave Johnson, Rita Sosich, Helen Strutt, Ralph Pride, Sarah Bull, Beck Richmond, Mariamma Mitchell, Ian Hayden, Nina Kharakoz, Denise Hibbs, Madeleine Johnson, Phil Horneman, and Tony Stuart.
Ninth Bundanoon DanceFest 2017
was held at Bundanoon in the Southern Highlands of NSW on the Long Weekend in June 2017.
It rained and fogged and then the sun shone. But regardless; the weekend was judged a success by the attendees, with the limited size of the third venue being the only serious problem.
A special tribute dance was written for Peter Ellis by Tony Northey with music by Bob McInnes.
This weekend of dance with live music was possible because of the fine dance callers and lead musicians and support musicians who came to the DanceFest.
The callers for 2017 were:
Norm Ellis, Arthur Kingsland, Jeanette Mill, Don Richmond, Simon Wall, Tony Northey, Heather Clarke, Roger Gifford & Christine Ridgway, Bruce Hamilton, Nesa Simon David, June Staunton, Ian Bull, Paul & Leslie Carr, Mark Simmons, Madis & Tiina Alvre, Bruce Lemin, Colin Towns, Cathy Richmond, Chris Taylor, and Keith Wood.
Lead musicians were:
Ray Mulligan, Ian Hayden, Miche Baker-Harvey, Dave Johnson, Rita Sosic, Bob McInnes, Roland Clarke, Helen Strutt, Ian Bull, Mariamma Mitchell, Sarah Bull, Margaret Anderson, Denise Hibbs & Robert Stephens, Beck Richmond, George Bolliger, and Ralph Pride.
Dancefest is a brilliant concept which I hope keeps developing and
improving. Full marks to you, Dave and the other organisers behind the
scenes. It's a great relaxed setting to meet up with musos and dancers
from interstate and get to know each other a bit over the years. I've
made lots of connections with other like-minded folkies since I
started coming to Bunders - it was at Dancefest that I met Peter Ellis
and I'm glad I had some enlightening conversations with him when I had
Thank you all for another fantastic weekend. I think the full dance floors and smiling faces portray clearly that everyone had a wonderful time.
I had a fabulous weekend! Hadn't been since 2013 and I loved every minute of it - great music, dance, venues, callers and company. Didn't mind the weather either! So many thanks for all your hard work.
Eighth Bundanoon DanceFest 2016
was held at Bundanoon in the Southern Highlands of NSW on the Long Weekend in June 2016. The weather was crisp around the edges but glorious and sunny for most of the days. Dancers and musicians reported a good time and (though it is not overly important) the numbers were pleasing and so the financial side was secure.
The callers were:
Don Richmond, Paul Carr, Margaret & Bill Winnett, Keith Wood, Roger Gifford & Christine Ridgway, Bruce Lemin, Mark Simmons, Tony Northey, Jim & Ingrid Rehle-Williams, Norm Ellis, Julie Bishop, Caroline Barrell, Colin Towns & June Staunton, Fran Robertson, Tiina and Madis Alvre and Cathy Richmond
And their lead musicians were:
Ray Mulligan, Helen Strutt, Bob McInnes, Beck Richmond, Tony Stuart, George Bolliger, Denise Hibbs, Stuart Simms, Ralph Pride, Ian Hayden, Dave Johnson, Alex Bishop and Phil Horneman
Some pictures from Adam Stone
and one from Dave Johnson
Thanks to those who were able to stay and give input to a feedback session on Monday afternoon.
The main feedback was "It ain't broke, don't fix it!"
Other points made included:
- several suggestions for improving the Sunday supper
- inclusion of a "minority dance feature" eg rapper sword dance to provide some extra variation
- earlier selection of dance callers and lead musicians and earlier posting of the music
- local publicity for local involvement
And emailed comments:
- Having competent high quality musicians and their willingness to participate and also join in the dancing helps to make the atmosphere that makes Bunders the special weekend that it has become! Ros Young
- Thank you to you and the committee for organising such a wonderful dance festival. I didn't mean to spend the whole weekend there but I was enjoying myself so much I had to keep coming back. George Lemann
- We are greatly enjoying our first dance weekend at Bundanoon (we are up from Melbourne). John McGregor
- Thanks once again for the fabulous weekend. Colin Towns
- Many thanks for another great Bundanoon DanceFest. As usual it was great fun and a good time to learn new things. It is always a good time to be able to play some tunes with friends and the mob who go to Bundanoon have become good friends. I am looking forward to the next Bunders. Helen Strutt
Seventh Bundanoon DanceFest 2015
A rough count is 80 - lots of travellers had to leave early - not these dedicated dances and musicians!
Sixth Bundanoon DanceFest 2014
Fifth Bundanoon DanceFest 2013
June saw the fifth DanceFest at Bundanoon where dancers, callers and musicians assembled for a weekend of "unsurpassed dancing bliss".
A photo gallery shows the fun had by all.
- Loved the music as much as the dancing! I could have just sat and listened to the music and been equally as happy.
I was raised on 600 acres in what I call country but have never seen anything like what I saw this weekend. It was amazing. It was fabulous!
Many thanks to one and all Ray, fabulous couple of days for me and the people, just beautiful people.
- I'd just like to say how much I enjoyed the Bundanoon weekend. It was a great privilege to run a workshop and do some calling, especially with such a good group of dancers. I was also delighted to be working with the Strutts for the music and they have offered to work with me in the future which is a great honour. I realise that people like you do have to put in a lot of hard work in order for these things to function - it is appreciated.
- Hi Ray and Dave,
Well I enjoyed myself and thanks for all your hard work.
- Thanks for inviting us to be part of another outstanding Bundanoon
DanceFest. Like a top shelf wine it just keeps on improving. Truly the
"Penfold's Grange" of dance events.
Paul and Leslie Carr
- Gene and I had a great time at Bundanoon. Thank you very much for all the organisational work. I'm sure that the various volunteers got a round of appreciation but in my opinion, never enough!
- Well what a great weekend that was. Good to see so many new faces and younger ones getting into it too. When I was playing along with Bob McInnes for the Scottish section he came up with a few of my long forgotten favourites from away back.
Mont (Bill Montgomery)
- It was a lovely weekend, I had a great time with the Craft Circle & their friends & relatives at the front door! And, as always it was a pleasure to watch the workshops & dances.
2012 The Fourth Bundanoon DanceFest
2011 The Third Bundanoon DanceFest
- Thank you so much for another magical weekend of music and dance. By the way, our Scottish friends who came are working on a return trip to Australia which will include your weekend. They were sooooooooooooo impressed! Thanks again for the best dance festival in this country! Margaret & Bill Winnett
- Thank you very much for all your work preparing and running the dancefest last weekend. Chantal and I had a fine time – the dancing and music were great, the glowworms were glowing, even the weather was conducive to being indoors and dancing. Geoff Lau
- Thank you Dave for arranging a great weekend at Bundanoon. My friend & I travelled down from the Blue Mouontains & enjoyed the whole weekend. Robyn & Connie
- Thanks for another fantastic Bunders. I was very glad we could make it. In fact, we had such a great time, Cam and I decided, while we were there, to get married. We didn't tell anyone at the time because the idea was still sinking in, but now we are letting people know. Jeanette Mill
- Thank you, and congratulations on another wonderful long weekend of dance. It was simply fabulous and Richard and I both loved it.
Do the musicians realise how much they are appreciated by the dancers? Probably not. They are amazing! And the interaction between musicians and dancers is - as Margaret Winnett said - very special and quite wonderful. Just as the musicians were packing up after the ball, a couple of dancers set off on a silent waltz around the hall. Bob McInnes pulled out his fiddle again and played for them. How good is that! A triumph! Our thanks, again. Robyn and Richard Graylin
- Greetings from Zargrab.
So glad Bunders was another great sucess. Barbara and Lance Court
- Just a wee quick email to say how much we enjoyed the weekend. We came as Irish Set dancers and went home with more skills and dances than we could believe possible. It was wonderful and the atmosphere was fantastic. I have not smiled so much in a long time. Ian and Audrey McLaren, Paisley, Scotland
- Just a quick note to say thank you for another awesome weekend.
Leslie and I clocked up 28 hours of dancing and I suspect it will take longer to wipe the smiles off our faces than it will for our aching calf muscles to recover. Paul and Leslie Carr
- Thank you so much much for you efforts over the dance weekend. I enjoyed playing guitar for the Primary school dance.You engaged the kids beautifully. I enjoyed playing for the ball and accompanying the wonderful musical leaders. Ray Martin
- THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to all the musicians, callers and organisers for a wonderful weekend. Don't change a thing! It's a perfect way to spend a weekend enjoying dance, music and each other's enthusiasm, talent & company. Fran Robertson
- We had a fantastic long weekend focussed on playing a variety of dance music for enthusiastic dancers, and we enjoyed some great dancing too. Look forward to participating again next year. Roz & Shayne Kerr
- Well, that was another great weekend.
Even learned a few new tunes from yourself and Bob McInnes. We also educated a few of the guests in the hotel lounge with the session there. Can't wait for the next gathering. Mont (Bill Montgomery)
- Thank you Dave Johnson and the bushtraditions work team for the great weekend at Bundanoon. It was most enjoyable with a great atmosphere of music, dance and fun. What a roll-up of enthusiastic musicians. All your prior preparation and attention to details over the weekend was evident and made the weekend flow smoothly.Gwen and Norm Burke
- Thanks for a great weekend again. We are looking forward to next year. We were talking with Madis and Tiina and we all hope that you would like some more Estonian dancing next year at Bunders. We all had a lot of fun. Thanks again. Helen and Greg Strutt
- Congratulations on another great dancing weekend. John Short
- Many thanks for another great music and dance festival. I think the highlight in the Australian festival calendar. Please pass on my thanks again to the musicians for the huge input into the weekend. As a dance teacher it is rewarding to see the enthusiasm at the workshops. It is noticeable the skill and confidence of the dancers increases over the weekend and this is all done with a smile. Great to see some of the musicians on the floor dancing. Anthony Simon
2010 The Second Weekend of Bush Dancing at Bundanoon
- The weekend was beyond expectations from our perspective and I think you only had to look at people's faces throughout the weekend to see that it was for them too. Margaret & Bill Winnett
- A great weekend, in all ways. The whole weekend is a brilliant concept. Many thanks! Julie Bishop
- The other workshops we attended were well organised, superbly supported by the musical accompaniment, and were inclusive of both experienced and beginner dancers. Julia Smith & Arthur Kingsland
- Am I interested next year? Absolutely! John Short
- I would naturally be delighted to be involved in future years events. Paul Carr
- I would certainly be thrilled to be involved again. Jeanette Mill
- It was a wonderful weekend and I would be delighted to be a part of it again. Jim Williams
- Big thanks
and congratulations for great weekend. John & Aylwen Garden
- By the way, it was a fantastic weekend. Andrew Smart
- Great weekend, the workshops,the music, the dances,the people, the supper...Caroline Barrell
- Fantastic weekend of dancing, great music and great company. I had withdrawal symptoms when I got home. Jacqui Bogue
- I just had a ball and will make it a permanent booking for every June to come. Everything was first rate, but you really would have to go a long way to find a better line up of musicians. Virginia Carter
- For me, there is nothing in the world better (musically that is) than playing for a room full of enthusiastic dancers. Peter Logue
- The whole weekend's events had a relaxed and welcome feel and we are looking forward to next year. Helen and Greg Strutt
- Great fun! Thanks, Dave Rose Moffatt
- Great weekend again Stuart Leslie
- Great to attend an event that is aimed at
participants and not spectators! Five Stars. Denis McKay
- Well that was a bloody ripper. How about putting on another one next weekend! Mont
- Great weekend! Nice people.Thanks Judy Field
- As a first timer I was really surprised at the enthusiasm of the dancers and the variety of dances they displayed. Bob Smith
and some pictures
2009 The Bundanoon DanceFest
(Thanks to Lance Court for the photos)