Labor Day Dance Away

POSTPONED to September 1 – 4, 2023


Labor Day Dance Away and COVID-19

We have reluctantly decided to postpone Labor Day Dance Away 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The good news is that we have reserved the camp for Labor Day weekend 2023 (Sept. 1 – 4, 2023). We have not yet confirmed the talent so stay tuned for more details.


Labor Day Dance Away 2020

Join us for an ALL-INCLUSIVE weekend of dancing and music at beautiful Camp Cedar Glen, in the mountains near the historic town of Julian, east of San Diego, California! Arrive, park, relax, and enjoy! No hotels, no restaurants . . . just clean mountain air and starry nights . . .

TalentAbout CampRegistration, Cost, &
General Info FoodHousing
Public DancesWorkshopsSchedule
RaffleLocation &
Ride Share
ContactPhotosTalent History


Contra Sutra

Dave Bartley, Julie Bennett,
Marni Rachmiel, Brandon Vance

Dave Bartley plays guitar, mandolin, cittern, and several other stringed instruments. He’s played many styles of music over the years, continues to range over several genres, and has performed throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as in England, Australia, France, and Greece. It’s hard to keep count of the bands he plays in.

Dave has composed over 300 dance tunes. A waltz he wrote, “The Clock Stopped,” was recorded by the Seattle band KGB and is used to teach cross-step waltz in much of the U.S. and other parts of the world. His reel “Vladi on the Trans-Siberian” seems to be popping up at dances and jam sessions all over the place, including on five recordings.

Julie Bennett began playing drums in grade school, continued in concert band, played throughout high school, then spent many years playing drum kit in rock and folk bands.

In 1990 she found Celtic music, and went on to learn the bodhran (an Irish drum) and other forms of hand percussion, finding ways of incorporating percussion into various styles of Celtic music.

Julie is now very busy with a number of bands that focus on contra dances (Contra Quartet, Olympia Volunteer String Band, Au Contraire), Quebecois (Les Gens du Chutes), Irish music (Curlew’s Call), and folk-rock (Humor & Heart). One of her most memorable experiences was playing with the Chieftains in Olympia, Washington.

Marni Rachmiel plays flute, piccolo, and saxophone in a number of configurations, mainly for contra and English country dancing—and every now and then might do some singing or play keyboards or an English concertina. Marni has written a bunch of tunes, and is the dance coordinator and a board member for the FAR-West Regional Folk Alliance conference.

Brandon Vance, internationally acclaimed Scottish fiddler and violinist, is the recipient of Scotland’s 2017 Royal National Mòd Sutherland Cup in Scottish Fiddle, and was twice, in 1999 and 2001, the youngest player to win the U.S. National Open Scottish Fiddling Championship.

Brandon has performed and taught internationally, served as a guest lecturer at the University of Limerick’s Irish World Academy, appeared as guest artist for the 50th Anniversary of the Armagh Piper’s Club at the William Kennedy Piping Festival, and was selected as a featured soloist for the 2017 Scottish Royal National Mòd, in Fort William, Scotland.

With a master’s in music from the Cleveland Institute of Music, one of the continent’s most distinguished conservatories, Brandon performs with Seattle-based Pacific Music Works, Early Music Vancouver, Northwest Sinfonietta, mandolinist John Reischman, vocalist Nadia Tarnawsky, cimbalom player Alex Fedoriouk, uilleann piper Eliot Grasso, and composer Stephen Rice.

In addition to being a founding member of the Celtic ensemble Dréos and the world-music ensemble Alchymeia, Brandon Vance is a composer with a distinctive melodic and harmonic vocabulary. He gave the world premiere of his original composition Gael Storm for fiddle and orchestra, with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra at Cleveland’s Severance Hall.

Drive Train

Stuart Kenney, Ed Howe,
Edith Gawler, Bennett Konesni

Born into a musical family, Ed Howe began playing fiddle at age four, learning Suzuki method. His musical interests cover a wide spectrum, from bluegrass to Celtic and beyond, and he has been a regular instructor at Maine Fiddle Camp since 2003. Ed also has an extensive background in electronics, and has taken an interest in the electric violin. He plays a five-string NS Design electronic violin, and is a featured artist on NS Design’s NS Artists webpage. Ed makes extensive use of the Boss RC-50 Loop Station to layer and orchestrate a variety of sounds from his instrument—watching him play while operating complex electronic gear with his bare feet is a sight to behold. (Check out this video of him playing solo.) With John Coté, Ed cofounded the renowned contra dance band Perpetual eMotion.

Ed says this about himself and his music: “Fiddler, maestro of improv, I exceedingly enjoy weaving in and out of tunes, building energy and resolving tension. Drawing from New England, Acadian, bluegrass, contemporary folk, house, or electronica, my palette is wide. My love for the art is deep. Music is a feeling, not a sound; it should be felt in the soul, from me to you, a gift that I’m honored, humbled, and very pleased to offer you.”

Stuart Kenney is one of the most in-demand double-bass and five-string banjo players on the contra dance circuit. His musical interests range from New England contra dance to Cajun, blues, Acadian, and Quebecois. The inclusion of French Canadian music in the living tradition of New England contra dance music caught his attention early on, and drew him into a collaboration with several other musicians in the band Tidal Wave.

Stuart’s flexibility and personality have allowed him to play with many successful dance bands, and he has a long history with them, including as a founding member of Airdance, Greenfield Dance Band, The Sevens, Tidal Wave, and Undertoe. He spent 14 years touring with the legendary contra dance band Wild Asparagus. Stuart is also much in demand as a studio musician, with over 50 recordings to his credit.

Although Stuart’s music has taken him from coast to coast, his musical home is the Guiding Star Grange, in Greenfield, Massachusetts, where he plays for and hosts many dances. He and his wife, Alice, host the TopHill Music series of contra dance parties at the Grange on the second and fourth Saturday nights of each month.

Stuart offers instruction in double bass for dance musicians, and in northern-style five-string banjo.

Edith Gawler grew up in Maine as a member of the legendary Gawler Family Band. She plays fiddle, banjo, and double bass, and belts out songs in a rich, sonorous alto. The Gawler family, and the trio The Gawler Sisters, are known as a fun-loving, fiddle-playing family from the heart of Maine. Formerly trained in the field of architecture, Edith is an integral part of the other family business, Gawler & Daughters Sheer Metal Co., which designs and installs custom architectural sheet metal and roofing on the coast of Maine. She also works as a freelance designer, and continues to contribute her skills at GO Lab, a wood-fiber insulation startup, and OPAL, the parent architecture firm in Belfast, Maine, focusing on passivehaus design.

Also raised in Maine, Bennett Konesni runs Duckback Farm, where he grows and sells gourmet garlic with the help of family and community around him. A bluegrass guitar picker from an early age, Bennett is internationally known for his use of worksongs: music that transforms labor into something between work and play. He envisions a world in which farmers, cooks, and eaters once again sing in fields, kitchens, and at the table. He runs, where he shares his 20 years of worksong research and development in over a dozen countries.

Bennett also cofounded Sylvester Manor, a 243-acre educational farm on Shelter Island, New York, on a piece of land that has been in his family since 1652. His roles there include teaching work songs to the farm crew and directing the annual fall festival, Plant & Sing, which brings the community to the farm to complete two weeks’ worth of garlic shucking and planting in a single morning, all while singing work songs.

Bennett recently toured Mongolia and Ukraine with the string band Old Grey Goose, and separately, with Edith Gawler, as musical ambassadors for the U.S. Department of State.

Calling by:

Deb Comly

Deb Comly (AZ) was bitten by the contra bug in 1994, took off dancing across the country, and never looked back. Passionate about the dance, she brings her upbeat manner and community spirit to all she does.

An avid dancer, organizer, and occasional musician, Deb knows what she values, and strives to bring these things to the dances she calls. She believes in efficient and clear walk-throughs, dances that flow, interesting and varied programs tailored to each situation, and knowing when to stand back and let the music take dancers to the next level.

A longtime favorite in her Southwestern community, Deb has also called on both coasts. Known for her bright, clear teaching and her smooth contralto calls, she brings a sultry, fresh-scrubbed playfulness to her dances. From her beaming smile to her happy feet, Deb’s energy is contagious.


Jacqui Grennan

Jacqui Grennan (CA) is a dance caller and choreographer who lives in Los Angeles, CA. She’s been contra dancing since 2010, and travels extensively for fun, dancing, and calling. She’s known for her sense of building community in contra dancing by choosing dances and a teaching style that are suitable for the dancers on the floor. Jacqui teaches ukulele, and also dabbles in playing many other musical instruments.

Sound by:

Victor Garza


Our annual Labor Day Dance Away is held on Labor Day weekend at the beautiful Camp Cedar Glen, just above the historic town of Julian. Come early or stay late to visit Julian, “Apple Capital of California.” Celebrate the end of summer with all your friends as you dance, dance, dance the long weekend away!

Camp Cedar Glen is at an elevation of about 4,500 feet in the Cuyamaca Mountains. Shaded by cedars and oaks, the camp is usually a bit cooler than the valley below. The lovely, solar-heated swimming pool always proves popular on warm afternoons.

Camerer Hall, where we share family-style meals and dance on the beautiful maple dance floor, is the camp’s main building. It has a lovely front porch where people congregate to chat, jam, play games, or hang out between dances.

There are lots of opportunities to share musical talents! Jams, both organized and spontaneous, happen all around camp. The Gazebo is a favorite singing spot. Sometimes, staff musicians offer private or small-group lessons to campers.


  • The all-inclusive cost of the weekend is $395. However, register before July 4 and pay only $355. Furthermore, if you’re a first-time attendee, a full-time student, or under age 33, register anytime for only $325.
  • Non-dancing friends or partners are welcome at a discounted rate of $275. They can hike, read, or play games on the front porch, and enjoy the non-dance activities and meals, as well as bask in the beautiful setting.
  • Youth under age 18 register for $225, and local residents (meals only, no housing) for $260.
  • Register early, hold a spot with a $50 deposit, and pay the balance by August 15, 2020.
  • Scholarships: For those in need, there are a very limited number of work scholarships, with a discounted registration fee. E-mail Larry at with scholarship requests. Requests must be made and approved prior to registering.
  • Donations to the Scholarship Fund are gratefully accepted to help make participation possible for those with financial hardships. You may donate when registering.
  • Cancellations: Receive a full refund until August 21. After August 21, no refund, except (at our discretion) when cancellation is due to an emergency. Note: The usual $25 cancellation fee has been waived due to the public health emergency.
  • Optional costs: Friday Dinner at 6:30 p.m. ($12), Private Room ($65 per person, double occupancy only), Bedding & Linen Set ($25). Please order these on the registration form.



To Pay by CHECK:

Make check payable to California Dance Cooperative or “CDC” and send to:

LDDA Registrar
P.O. Box 601041
San Diego, CA 92160

Questions: Please contact our registrar, Larry Fine, at
(619) 738-4155 between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Pacific Time,
or e-mail him at


  • We strive to create a camp community that is welcoming, inclusive, and safe for all dancers.
  • LDDA is a non–gender-balanced event. The general rule is “Dance with who’s coming at you.” Although most calling is “Gents” and “Ladies,” we encourage campers to dance any role, with any partner they choose.
  • Our goal is to foster an environment where dancers are comfortable both in asking for a dance and in declining one. Ask partners kindly, and accept their answers graciously.
  • For the sake of those who are sensitive to chemicals, please leave perfume, cologne, and scented lotions at home.
  • Please wear dance footwear that won’t damage the wooden dance floor — generally soft soles and no spiked heels.
  • No pets or emotional support animals are allowed at camp. Service animals (as defined by law) are welcome. If you are bringing a service animal, please advise the registrar in advance so that we can make proper accommodation.
  • No alcohol or recreational drugs are permitted at camp.
  • Bring musical instruments (along with a music stand) if you have them. Take advantage of the opportunities to jam and learn.


Evening Dances (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) will be OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, at $25 each evening.


All meals from Saturday breakfast through Monday lunch are included with your registration. Friday dinner, at 6:30 p.m., is available for $12.00 additional per person. Please order Friday dinner in advance when registering.

Meals include meat, poultry, and dairy products. Protein-rich vegetarian alternatives will be available for all meals. Please indicate vegetarian preference when registering.

Dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan options are provided for those who specify these preferences at time of registration. If you have more specialized needs, there is some refrigerator space available for you to store food brought from home.

Healthy, yummy, high-energy snacks will be available throughout much of the weekend.


Most participants are housed in cabins, which are pre-assigned based on the preferences they indicate when registering. Same and opposite gendered, non-gendered, couple, and family options are available. Each cabin has a bathroom and a shower.

A limited number of private rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis for an extra $130 per couple ($65 per registration) — DOUBLE-OCCUPANCY ONLY! You can choose this option when registering.

There is also space on the property for tents and for RV parking. Both come with bathroom and shower privileges in a nearby cabin. You can choose this option when registering.

Please bring your own bedding, towels, and fragrance-free toiletries. For those dancers who are flying in, a limited number of bedding and linen sets are available to rent. The cost is $25 per set (towel, wash cloth, sheets, pillow, blanket, etc.). Request when registering.

(subject to change)

  • Apple Pie Making
  • Board Games
  • Callers Workshop & Round-tables
  • Camper Band & Monday Morning Waltz Session
  • Dance Producers Round-tables
  • Dance Workshop (Reverse Rotation Swing)
  • Fiber Arts Fellowship
  • Fiddle Workshop
  • Guitar Workshop
  • Hambo Dance Workshops
  • Hiking
  • Jamming
  • Mandolin Workshop
  • Musicians Workshop with Each Band
  • Musical Improvisation Workshop
  • Puzzles
  • Raffle
  • Relaxing
  • Schottische Workshop
  • Shimmy Workshop
  • Singing
  • Swimming
  • Tune Writing Workshop
  • Ukulele Workshops
  • Wolf Education Project & Talk
  • Yoga Sessions

(2020 coming soon)

* Music Workshops led by our Talent!

4:30Registration Opens 
8:00 – 9:15Contra Dance – Will w/ Audacious 
9:30 – 11:00Contra Dance – Frannie w/ Dam Beavers 
7:00 – 8:00Yoga with Sarah 
9:15 – 9:45Morning Waltzes – Audacious
9:45 – 11:00 Contra Dance – Frannie w/ Audacious
10:45 – 12:00* Caller Workshop – Will
11:00 – 12:00Camper Led Singing 
11:15 – 12:00Hambo Workshop – John Chittum & Dori Lehner
w/ Dam Beavers
11:15 – 12:00* Improv Musical Workshop – Casey Murray
(Callers Round-table w/ Frannie )
(Dance Producers Round-table [Session 1] – Carl Morgan
1:25 – 1:40Shimmy Workshop – Dawit Tegegne w/ Dam Beavers 
1:25 – 1:40Reverse Rotation Swing Workshop – Jerry Robin & Toban
1:45 – 3:00Contra Dance – Will w/ Dam Beavers 
1:45 – 3:00* Fiddle Workshop – Audrey Knuth
2:00 – 5:00POOL OPEN
3:15 – 4:15Schottische Workshop – w/ Audacious 
3:15 – 4:15Ukulele Workshop #1 – Jacqui Grennan 
3:15 – 4:15Camper Waltz Band – Kim Spalding
4:30 – 5:30* Musician Workshop – Dam Beavers & YOU 
4:30 – 5:30Yoga with Sarah
4:30 – 5:30Contra Dance  – Frannie w/ Audacious 
6:45Wolf Talk
7:15 – 7:45Concert by Dam Beavers
8:00 – 9:30Evening Contra Dance – Frannie w/ Dam Beavers 
10:00 – 11:30Evening Contra Dance – Will w/ Audacious 
7:00 – 8:00Yoga with Sarah 
(Sign-Up for Apple Pie Making)
9:00Wolf Talk 
9:15 – 9:45Morning Waltzes – Dam Beavers 
9:30 – 10:30* Guitar Workshop – Larry Unger 
9:45 – 11:00Contra Dance – Will w/ Dam Beavers 
10:45 – 12:00* Tune Writing Workshop – Larry Unger
11:00 – 12:00Camper Led Singing 
11:15 – 12:00Hambo Workshop – John Chittum & Dori Lehner
w/ Audacious
(Callers Round-table w/ Will)
(Dance Producers’ Round-table [Session 2] – Carl Morgan
1:15 – 1:30Group photo on front porch of Main Hall
1:45 – 3:00Contra Dance – 40 min.
Medley followed by Contras –
Frannie w/ Audacious 
1:45 – 3:00Camper Waltz Band – Kim Spalding
2:00 – 5:00POOL OPEN
3:15 – 4:15Contra Dance – Frannie w/ Dam Beavers 
3:15 – 4:15Camper Led Singing 
3:15 – 4:15Ukulele Workshop #2 – Jacqui Grennan 
3:15 – 4:15Apple Pie Making – Brenda Goodwin 
3:15 – 4:15* Mandolin Workshop – Glen Loper
4:30 – 5:30* Musician Workshop – Audacious & YOU 
4:30 – 5:30Yoga with Sarah 
4:30 – 5:30Contra Dance – Will w/ Dam Beavers 
6:15Raffle Winners (Announcement & Posting)
7:15 – 7:45Concert by Audacious
8:00 – 9:30Evening Contra Dance – Will w/ Audacious 
9:30 – 10:00 Extended Break ~ Apple Pie Social
10:00 – 11:30Evening Contra Dance – Frannie w/ Dam Beavers 
7:30 – 8:30Yoga with Sarah 
9:30 – 10:00Camper Band Waltzes led by Kim Spalding 
10:15 – 11:00Farewell Dance – Frannie w/ Audacious 
11:15 – 12:00Farewell Dance – Will w/ Dam Beavers 
12:10 – 12:40Both Callers w/ Both Bands 
12:40Dance ends – pack a sack LUNCH to go home
1:30All campers must be out of camp, unless you would like tohelp clean up!


Raffle proceeds support this wonderful dance weekend. Popular raffle items include handicrafts or artwork, musical instruments, jewelry, dance shoes and accessories, new CDs, homemade foodstuff, gift baskets, discount admission for another dance weekend, etc.

We need YOUR help to make it a success.  Please think about what you might have that others may want to win.

If you have questions or plan to bring a raffle item, please contact the raffle organizer, Brenda, at


Camp Cedar Glen
743 Farmer Road, Julian, CA 92036


  • In Julian, go west on Main St. and continue to the stop sign at Wynola Rd. (Note that Main St changes to Farmer Rd.)
  • Turn east (right) on Wynola Rd.
  • In about a 1/2 block, turn left onto a continuation of Farmer Rd.
  • Continue north 3/4 of a mile to the bottom of the hill.
  • Turn right through a cattle gate and proceed to the end of the 1/2-mile long drive to the camp.
  • Park in the lot in front of the main building, Camerer Hall, and check in to get your housing assignment and other information.


If you NEED a ride or can OFFER a ride, please contact our carpool coordinator Louise at

For information on other carpools available, visit our Facebook Group Labor Day Dance Away (LDDA) and post a request.

If you are flying in, San Diego (SAN) is the closest airport. Dancers arriving around the same time often arrange carpools from the airport. Alternative airports are Los Angeles (LAX) and Ontario (ONT).


Larry Fine
(619) 738-4155 between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. PT. or

Louise Nixon or

Larry Wilson



2005 Reckless RamblersMary Keith Cornett
  KGB Dan Pearl
2006Latter Day LizardsCis Hinkle
  Hillbillies from MarsScott Higgs
2007Big Bandemonium Joseph Pimental
 (an 8-member band)Beth Molaro
2008Wild AsparagusGeorge Marshall
 Great Bear TrioSusan Petrick
2009Notorious Robert Cromartie
 Tidal Wave Lynn Ackerson
2010The Syncopaths Seth Tepfer
 Footloose Jeremy Korr
2011Elixir Nils Fredland
 Dr. Groove Susan Michaels
2012Latter Day Lizards Bob Isaacs
 Avant Gardeners Lisa Greenleaf
2013Wild Asparagus George Marshall
 Crowfoot Erik Weberg
2014Notorious Susan Petrick
 KGB Laura Me’ Smith
2015Stringrays Susan Petrick
 Uncle Farmer Linda Leslie
2016Notorious Susan Petrick
 Triple A Sarah VanNorstrand
2017Rhythm Raptors Bob Isaacs
 Uncle Farmer Lynn Ackerson
2018Toss the Possum Seth Tepfer
 George Paul, Ashley Broder,
Ben Schreiber, Christa Burch
Terry Doyle
2019AudaciousWill Mentor
The Dam BeaversFrannie Marr
2020Contra SutraDeb Comly
Drive TrainJacqui Grennan