"Thank you for the innovative dances!" - Robin Pope of Bonn, Germany (@ M.I.T., Cambridge, MA) "I really appreciated your calm, clear directions interspersed with great humor. You took great care of us dancers and led us on a merry chase." - Paul Lizotte of Manchester, NH (@ Peterborough Fall Ball) "I've been dancing since I was 10... and I've never come across a caller with a style like yours. It was such a breath of fresh air to dance to your smooth, fast, fun, unorthodox approach." - Wheeler Munroe, 30, AVL
In my late teens, just as i'd stumbled into trad fiddling, friends dragged me to a grange hall in the woods of central Maine. Contra stuck: Four years later, in 2005, i teamed up with pianist Karen Marysdaughter to start a dance series in Bangor. Under the gentle guidance of John McIntire and Nancy Rosalie, i took timid first steps as a caller in 2006. Since then, i've had the privilege of visiting flourishing communities across 16 states (map) and being part of communities in Boston, MA and Tucson, AZ. I still still enjoy making music with friends, more often on keys these days. With reassuring presence and rhythmic, lyrical style, i strive to be a good steward and capable interpreter all the uncommon courtesy and kinematic vorticity that is contradance. Any credit, and all gratitude, to the willing teachers, collegial peers, generous hosts, and generally joy-filled people who show me how.
Tavi Merrill digs contra dances from stately to stomptastic, simple and surprising. With reassuring presence and lyrical style he plays at cultivating courtesy and delighting dancers new and nomad alike.