Family Week Staff – 2017
Jeff Spero, Ryan McKasson and Karina Wilson
Jeff Spero is an energetic and creative dance pianist as well as a contradance caller from southern California. Jeff is a core member of some fantastic Contra and English Country dance bands including The Syncopaths, Rhythm Raptors, Chopped Liver, and Jax. Jeff has played with a long list of talented musicians and will bring a wealth of experience and music to liven up our dance floor and to pass on to the music class.
Ryan McKasson is the dynamic, Scottish-styled fiddler of The Syncopaths and as well as of Contra Sutra. The energy and soulfulness of his music will keep you swinging through the dances. Ryan is a regular instructor at Alasdair Fraser’s Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School, which often overlaps with Lady of the Lake’s Family Week, but once again we are earlier this year, so we are lucky to get him. Ryan has also put down some fantastic tracks as a part of The McKassons. You should check out his CDs when he’s here.
Karina Wilson is a Southwestern favorite fiddler, hailing from Santa Fe, New Mexico. The daughter of a noted caller and organizer, Karina has been playing fiddle and going to dances since age five. Starting with classical violin, she has mastered Zimbabwean marimba on her way to swing dance fiddling, with a hot rhythmic style that rocks and rips at your heart strings at the same sweet time. Karina has teamed up with Jeff on various occasions and will add a whole other flavor to the music.
The heart and soul of Lady of the Lake return with their magic. Greg and Jere make our family gatherings a celebration of community and more. These identical twins from Seattle sing and play into your hearts. Goofy songs, leading our children to bed, hammering out old time music, playing swing tunes late at night, and even mastering card games – these two do it all at Lady of the Lake.
Susan is back to teach the early morning contra class for adults and teens. They are always fun, even when you are half awake! Susan is a long-time dance caller from Los Angeles where she has been calling dances for more than 20 years! She will also be our storyteller, delighting us with her heart-warming and wacky stories.
Sue returns to teach our children dances from the country dance tradition and to lead the evening community dances. These include squares, reels, contras, and play party dances. Hailing from Wisconsin, Sue has a true knack for engaging folks of any age. She also loves to flat foot clog. See her Facebook photo page for pictures of the fun times she’s catalyzed.
Walter Dill and Monica Uhl
Walter and Monica bring playful energy to dance, taking special delight working with families and kids. They have each danced for decades – doing so together for the past 4 years. Walter has taught non-competitive social partner dance for 34 years. He co-created Living Traditions Dance in Seattle (1999-2004) which brought dance to over 14,000 people. For over a decade post Living Traditions, he had a glorious time teaching dance with his daughters, starting when they were 9 and 12 years old. Monica recently extracted herself from the corporate world to dedicate herself, alongside her partner Walter, to their life’s purpose: inspire people to move creatively and harmoniously through life with joy. They are currently developing new dance and learning experiences to fulfill this dream.
Nellie Lutzwolf and Kami Omodt.
Mel has worn many hats while on staff at Lady of the Lake. This year she will help organize the program for the “wee little ones” and lead the teen and adult singing. Mel lives in Spokane, where she heads up a young children’s program and directs the Spokane Community Choir.