All About the Mad Robin Ball:

What is it?

Schedule of Events

Frequently Asked Questions

Links to Other Dance Sites

What is the Mad Robin Ball?

The Mad Robin Ball, established in 2002, exists to strengthen the Sebastopol English Country dance group and serve as a bridge to the larger Bay Area dance community. We hope that many dancers from the Sebastopol group will be encouraged to attend this special event and consider attending other balls, dance weekends, and dance camps of the Bay Area group, and that Bay Area dancers will be enticed to participate in more North Bay CDS activities

For those of you familar with the BACDS Fall Ball in San Mateo, the Mad Robin Ball is similar. At the afternoon workshop, all dances on the evening program are taught. After the workshop there is a dinner break; you are on your own to do as you wish. Many people choose to go to dinner together at one of the local restaurants.

The doors open again at 7:00 to allow time to change into evening attire for the Ball. Separate dressing rooms for men and women are available. Singing begins at 7:30 to set the mood for the dance, which starts at 8:00 with a Grand March. Everyone finds a partner and the callers lead the procession around the room. The rest of the evening is devoted to the dance program, with a break for refreshments midway. Dancing ends at 11:00.

Out of town folks and locals alike may wish to make it a weekend. Check our "make it a weekend page" for suggestions of places to stay and sights worth seeing in Sonoma County before and after the ball. On Sunday morning, you are invited to a nearby home in Sebastopol for a potluck brunch followed by an informal house dance.

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Schedule of Events

Saturday June 10, 2006

Sunday June11, 2006

2:00 - 5:00 Workshop
5:00 - 7:00 Dinner break
7:00 Hall reopens
7:30 Singing
8:00 Grand March
8:10 Dance program begins
9:30 Break - potluck buffet
9:50 Dance program continues
11:00 Dance ends with closing song.

10:30 - 1:00 Potluck brunch in Sebastopol at the home of Jim and Celine Passage,

2:00-4:30 Special Sebastopol Dance with Andrew Shaw at Wischemann Hall

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Frequently Asked Questions

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I've never attended a ball! How much experience do I need?

You're not alone. Many dancers in the Sebastopol group started English country dance since the last Mad Robin Ball. If you've attended several dances and are comfortable with the basic figures (siding, back-to-back, set and turn single), then the in-depth teaching at the afternoon workshop will make the evening dances feel like old friends. PLUS you'll get a quick walk-through before each dance . . . AND you'll receive a ball program with instructions for each dance so you can study ahead! Need someone to talk to? Contact Tom Colton (ph. 510-528-7953) or any other committee member.

Do I need a partner?

No. As at all of our dances, the norm is to switch partners for every dance, whether you came with a partner or not.

What about shoes?

We recommend comfortable low-heeled rubber- or leather-soled shoes. Please carry in clean dance shoes and change from your street shoes in the hall to prevent wear on the fine wood floor.

What about kids?

We welcome kids who wish to dance with us, even providing a special rate (only $10) for those under 12 years old. We have no suitable play area for non-dancing children off the dance floor, so ask that you make other arrangements for non-dancing children.

What kind of food should I bring to the potluck?

Please bring finger foods, either savory or sweet, to share at the evening break. Punch and water will be provided during the evening. A Whole Foods market in downtown Sebastopol is a convenient stop to pick something up at the last minute. Here are some popular food suggestions:

deviled eggs
veggies & non-drippy dips
cheese and fruit platters

shrimp or cubed meat platters
small drop or bar cookies
mini quiches

Questions about food? Contact Tom Spittler (707-829-0168)

Can I bring my non-dancing partner or friends?

Sure! We offer a special gallery ticket ($10) for those who wish to enjoy the music, spectacle, refreshments, and friendly company without venturing onto the dance floor. And if your guests are inspired, the regular Sebastopol dance is the perfect place to start preparing to attend next year's ball as a dancer!

What does fragrance-free mean?

Some dancers are sensitive to chemicals found in many perfumes, cleaning products, and personal hygiene products. We ask that you refrain from using these products on this special day so that all dancers may enjoy the atmosphere as well as the dance. This policy is common at many Bay Area dance events. For more information, see the Playford Ball or Mendocino English Week web sites.

Where can I get dinner?

There are many restaurants in downtown Petaluma, 5 minutes away by car. Menus will be available at the afternoon workshop.

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Links to Other Dance Sites

North Bay Country Dance Society (NBCDS) -news, dance calendars, and locations of all North Bay events, including the Sebastopol English Country Dance.

Sebastopol English Country Dance - A NBCDS-sponsored English country dance group meeting on first and third Sunday afternoons in Sebastopol. Download a flier in pdf format with details and directions.

Bay Area Country Dance Society (BACDS) - information about regular dances and special events in the San Francisco Bay Area (another "unofficial" BACDS site is worth checking as well).

Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS) - the national organization promoting English and American country dancing, with information about regular dances and special events all over the country. CDSS supported the first Mad Robin Ball with a generous grant from its May Gadd/Phil Merrill Endowment Fund.

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Last modified 3/9/06 by MRB webmaster