Staff Bios CDW 2017






Wendy Graham Settle
Self-described "dance maniac" Wendy Graham (Durango, CO) is thrilled to be on staff at Cumberland  Dance week. She leads dance throughout the U.S. and abroad, as far away as Alaska, England and Denmark -- and can now add Tennessee to the list! She’s been involved with music, song and dance for 25 years and proudly served on the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS) board.  Find out where in the world Wendy is at www.perkypantsdance.com




Ben Schreiber
Ben is a contra dance fiddler and tune-writer, native to St Louis but currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area. He plays fiddle with the dynamic contra dance duo, Uncle Farmer, known for their driving energy and lyrical stylings. Ben began playing the violin at the age of three and was classically trained. Around the age of twelve, he shifted his focus to folk music. After a brief foray into the world of competitive bluegrass, Ben became drawn towards the contra dance community, and eventually formed several local Midwest bands. In addition to contra dance music, he also plays for English Country Dancing, and was a member of the klezmer band, Yidn.








Drake Meadow
Drake's first real experience with dancing came as an undergraduate, through international folk dancing; the feeling of being able to dance was ecstatically, exquisitely beautiful, and the soulful quality of Eastern European and Near Eastern music spoke deeply to him. As a dance caller and leader, he always wants to enable dancers to feel this ease, grace and joy. He graduated from Michigan State University’s Master Gardener course in 2006, and teaches Middle School Life Science and Permaculture in Ann Arbor, Michigan.




 



Julia Weatherford

Growing up in Berea, KY, Julia was well steeped in folk dancing, traditional old time music, morris dancing, puppetry and handcrafts.  She studied cello from the age of 10, sang in harmony vocal groups, performed and sang in summer theater and puppetry theater, and folk danced her way through high school and college. Julia settled at the family home place near Black Mountain, NC., and played cello with the Asheville Symphony for 13 seasons, meanwhile moonlighting as a traditional dance fiddler.  She was the artistic director of the legendary Black Mountain Festival from 1986-1995. Among her performance and teaching venues:  the LEAF, the Black Mountain Festival,  Berea Country Dance School, Pinewoods,  Moondance, The Gypsy Meltdown,  the CDSS Centennial Tour.  Julia currently plays with StrathSpan, Sugar High, Firefly, and The Free Range Ensemble. She is the logistics director at the Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College and the coordinator of Fiddle Week for that same event.






Ellie Grace 

Ellie was born into a deep musical tradition and began her life-long love affair with Appalachian clogging at the ripe old age of five. She has spent her life performing professionally as a singer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and dancer, first as a young member of her family band and now as an independent artist. She has toured internationally with her sister duo (Leela & Ellie Grace), the Dirk Powell Band, the all-female old-time trio Blue Eyed Girl, and several percussive dance companies. Ellie is an experienced and dynamic teacher, having taught at camps, schools, and festivals across the country for well over twenty years. In 2015, Ellie was the first Appalachian clogger to graduate from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts with an MFA in Dance. Ellie has recently had the joy of teaching at Smith College and Mount Holyoke College, busily infecting the undergrads with her ridiculous love of traditional music and dance.




Nathan Wilson 

Nathan is a veteran of over 30 years in country dance music. He plays the fiddle, mandolin, tenor banjo, double bass, electric bass guitar, and piano. Currently, Nathan plays with The Morrison Brothers Band, Elise Melrood, Footbridge, Intellectual Property, Websters Edition-Jazz, Paw Paw Pickers, and the Lexington Community Orchestra. His greatest thrill, however, is making music with his daughters Adéla and Anna in their band, Dreamdance. Nathan brings his love for music to others through teaching and mentoring orchestra students in the Kentucky public schools, and as music director at his church in Lexington. He is also, without a doubt, one of the world’s most under-appreciated random storytellers.




Kendall Rogers

Kendall is a piano player with bodhrán, piano accordion, whistle and DADGAD guitar habits. A native Kentuckian, he grew up amid the rich folk music and dance traditions there, with folk influences from the British Isles, Denmark, and North America. He also studied classical piano, played clarinet through high school and played jazz piano in high school and college, with each new thing leaving an indelible mark on his own music. Since college, Kendall has focused on playing for folk dance and music events across the US, and has led various folk dance band and piano workshops. Currently living in Houston, TX, Kendall enjoys playing Celtic festivals around the southern U.S. and cultivating the folk dance communities of Houston and South Louisiana.






Jim Pfitzer
Best known for his one man play Aldo Leopold - A Standard of Change about the famed author of A Sand County Almanac, Jim Pfitzer also writes and tells nature-based personal tales ranging from too-close-for-comfort black bear encounters, to the significance of sweet tea in southern society. A backcountry and wilderness enthusiast, Pfitzer says he would rather paddle a canoe than drive a car and prefers watching birds to watching television. Pfitzer lives on a small farm in northwest Georgia where he keeps bees, grows mushrooms, and tries to live simply. Pfitzer is currently working on a new show set in Southern Appalachia that explores the effects of the American chestnut blight during an era when times were tough and white lightning was king. Pfitzer has been called “avant-garde and old fashioned at the same time.”







Meg Dedolph 
Meg plays guitar and drums for the Cosmic Otters and is a dance caller in the Chicago area. She also teaches parent-child music classes for the Old Town School of Folk Music’s Wiggleworms program.



                                                                    






Sarah Jo Jacobs
Sarah Jo is a recent graduate of Eastern Kentucky University with her Degree in Theater and English. Before completing her degree she spent year teaching at a nonprofit after school theatre program in Austin Texas and is thrilled to be back in Kentucky and starting her professional career. SJ has studied play-writing, acting, folk lore and puppetry. She has designed puppets for shows like Little Shop of Horrors, Avenue Q, and The Little Prince. She has also participated in numerous productions and festivals including The 24 Hour Play Festival (Director), CCDS Mummers Play (Director), Our Town (Emily Webb), The Tempest (Antonio), and Godspell (Chorus), ​SJ is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with her folk dance community once more.






Jonathan Whitall
Jonathan is an avid dance fiddler, pianist, and melodeon player. Drawing from a variety of British Isle-based traditions, he regularly performs for contras, squares, Irish sets, and English country dances. He is also a dancer and musician for both Pullman Morris and Sword and Fox Valley Morris. Being a dancer himself, he brings intricate, energetic and tasteful music to his performances. His current musical endeavors include the Cosmic Otters (founding member), Chicago Reel, and I Am Ireland (a nationally touring show featuring the personality of Paddy Homan)







Darrell Webb
Darrell is a long time CDW camper and past director from Georgia. He first started playing hand drums at camp eight years ago and currently plays Djembe and other percussion in two contra dance bands (the Atlanta Open Band and Airplay) and snare drum in a street performance band (the Seed and Feed Marching Abominable).










Hazel Jodock

Hazel brings to CDW her lifetime of folk dance experience and several years of teaching folk songs and dances to young children. She has a passion for engaging the youngest members of our dance community and enfolding them gently into the world of traditional song and dance.











Katie Zukof
Katie is a dancer, caller, bakery owner and mother of two girls ages 2 and 5.  She has been English country dancing since age 8, contra and square dancing since age 15 and clogging for the past 9 years. She dances with the clogging troupe, the Foot Squad, in Bloomington, IN with whom she also performs rapper and longsword.  She is excited to be working with her favorite age group, the 9-12's!





Laurie White
Laurie has been teaching since middle school - music, crafts, Sunday school, nature, outdoor adventure. Currently, Laurie is working for an organic vegetable farm while homeschooling her children and caring for all the critters at her own homestead farm in Berea, Kentucky. Laurie is an active member of the Berea folk music and dance community and the Red Cedar Learning Cooperative. This is Laurie's third year as a cub scout leader. Laurie also teaches at River City Players Theatre Camp and helps to facilitate Christmas Country Dance School. 










Nancy Meadow
Mom extraordinaire of twin seven-year-olds, daughter of a famous artist, lover of art, music, dance & nature.  It is with this wealth of life experience Nancy will be leading our young in artistic expression/craft, stories, songs, and activities engaging with the wonder of the world around them.




Jenna Holmes Zimmerman
Jenna lives in Berea, KY, mother of Sadie (6) and Maisie (2) and wife to wild-haired home-brewing/fermenting Appalachian-Viking writer, Jereme Zimmerman. She grew up immersed in folk music from birth and played a variety of instruments, but didn’t actively start folk-dancing till college being just too shy. Boy did dancing in the Berea College Country Dancers help her get over that! After dancing in the group for 4 years as a student, she eventually went on to teach and lead the Country Dancers for 6 years, and has traveled with them extensively on performance tours both inside and outside the U.S. in both capacities. Many performances and workshops were held and taught in public schools, from kindergarten to high school. Jenna is so very excited to bring her own Reveler and a bunch of fun country dances to Cumberland!






Tim James

Tim started singing in choirs when he was 8 and started dancing at 10 in a group started by Kirby Todd, a student of Dr. Shaw. In high school he became involved with theatre productions as both a performer and part of the crew. While attending a dance where the sound system went down, he happened to have a fuse that fixed it and has been manning the sound board for dances since. He also runs sound for other dance forms, dance weekends, music festivals and churches. He finds that you always learn things as a dedicated listener, even what happens when you cross a pig and a centipede.





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