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Mr. Jim McKinney

Photo of Mr. Jim McKinney
Home Dexter MI 48130 USA Home Phone: 734-753-8863 Website:

Jim McKinney is based in southeast Michigan and specializes in teaching a variety of easy square dances, circle dances and longways set dances to people who have little or no dance experience. His friendly, easy-going style and clear explanations get everybody moving quickly and ensure everyone has a lot of fun. Jim’s fee includes a professional quality sound system and recorded music. He can also provide a live band for an additional fee. House parties, graduations, barn dances, hoedowns, hay rides, school groups, church groups, scout groups, wedding receptions and historic events are all great places to include old-time dancing.

Clients can expect a variety of dances beginning with the easiest and increasing to slightly less easy. All dances are selected with the intention that guests will succeed at them and have fun. Most dances can be danced by any combination of persons; gent/lady couples are not a requirement. The ability to tell left hands from right hands IS a requirement. All figures of every dance are explained with directions in plain English and a minimum of “dance lingo.” Jim McKinney is professional in appearance and demeanor. He arrives in time to set up his equipment without interfering with other events that may be on the program.

Insured through CALLERLAB. ASCAP and BMI rights to recorded music secured through CALLERLAB.

Jim McKinney started playing guitar in 1978, fiddle in 1987 and started dancing in 1988. He started playing for dances in 1992 and started teaching squares, circles, longways sets, contras and old-time dances in 2007. Jim enjoys and excels at teaching non-dancers how to dance. He teaches beginners what to do using plain English with a minimum of “dance lingo.” Jim can provide a sound system and recorded music or a live band, whichever best suits the client’s needs. Jim can dress in a suit and tie, “business casual” attire, Western wear or Civil War era historic clothing. Clients enjoy working with Jim because he recognizes that he is there to insure their event is a success and works to accommodate their needs.


Rich Sbardella

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Home 37 Hampden Rd Stafford Springs CT 06076-3104 USA Home Phone: 860-684-3466 Website: Facebook

I began calling live music traditional squares and contras in 2011 after calling club squares for twenty years. I always called club squares on phrase, so the transition to contra was smooth. I also organize a regular, live music barn dance, in Stafford, CT that includes many forms of traditional dance. As a dancer at Old Sturbrige Village, a living Museum in Massachusetts, I have learned to appreciate the rich heritage of contra dancing, and as a frequent New England contra dancer, I also appreciate the vitality of the modern dance scene. Whether it’s “Haste to the Wedding”, traditional, or “Hokus Pokus”, a more modern dance by Lisa Grrenleaf, expect to be spellbound by an exciting evening of contra dancing.