This is an archive of the 2012 Mad Robin Ball web site. To learn about the upcoming Mad Robin Ball, see our current ball page.


Give yourself up . . . to these wonderful teachers and musicians!

Our Dancing Master:

Sam Weiler

Sam was introduced to English and contra dancing at Swarthmore College by friends who insisted on dragging him to a ball with no preparation at all. He’s taught at many festivals and camps, and is currently the programmer and a caller for the BACDS Spring Fever Dance Weekend. He is known for his lively, energetic dances, as well as his efficient teaching in a variety of dance traditions. Many of our dancers recall Sam's excellent programs at our Sebastopol dance before he moved away from California a few years ago, so we look forward to welcoming him back.

Sam Weiler photo


Charlie Hancock

Pianist and accordion player Charlie Hancock is a star in the Bay Area English and contra dance scenes, and more. From jazz to swing to Irish music, Charlie plays with brilliance, drive, and clarity. Charlie has played for BACDS dances, camps, and balls for more than 15 years, with occasional gigs further afield, including Pinewoods and the Portland (OR) English ball. He also plays in the Bay Area folk ensemble Euphonia, and has recorded with Sylvia Herold, Holly Tannen, and Cathie Whitesides. Charlie rescued Mad Robin at the very start when he attended our first ball as a dancer, only to be pressed into service when our pianist took ill. He returned to Mad Robin in 2003 as a featured musician. His infusion of high energy and equal facility in accompanying English Country, Scottish, contra, and ritual dancing, make him one of our favorites. He also suffers from being an incredible friendly and nice guy.

Wayne Hankin

Many of our local dance gypsies know Wayne from his instrumental and vocal work at BACDS and CDSS dance camps, and can attest that the rest of us are in for a rare treat. Wayne Hankin is a leading artist of period woodwinds - instruments dating before 1750. He has performed over 4000 concerts in North America, Europe, and around the world, including nearly 5 years performing on tour with Cirque du Soleil. It is impossible to anticipate what new sounds Wayne will bring to Hermann Sons Hall, as he can choose from an arsenal of over 400 different instruments. Will he pull out a bagpipe? a crumhorn? a basanello? a rauspfeiffe? Will he get them all through airport security? The only way to find out is to come to Mad Robin!

Shira Kammen

Multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Shira Kammen has spent well over half her life exploring the worlds of early and traditional music. A member for many years of the early music Ensembles Alcatraz and Project Ars Nova, and Medieval Strings, she has worked also with Sequentia, Hesperion XX, the Boston Camerata, the Balkan group Kitka, the Oregon, California and San Francisco Shakespeare Festivals, and is the founder of Class V Music, an ensemble dedicated to performance on river rafting trips. Shira has performed and taught all over the world, and in addition to playing exquisite English country dance music, currently performs with the medieval ensemble Fortune's Wheel; a new music group, Ephemeros; an eclectic ethnic band, Panacea; and Trouz Bras, which specializes in dance music of Celtic Brittany. The strangest place Shira has played in is the elephant pit of the Jerusalem Zoo. Her website is

Last modified 2/12/12 by MRB webmaster