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Augusta center to present spring dance

ELKINS — An evening of high-energy family fun is in store as the Mountain Dance Trail, a heritage tourism project of Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College, hosts the monthly square dance on Friday in the Creative Commons in Myles Center for the Arts. Live old-time music will be provided by Bob Smakula and Red Run with calling by Hannah Johnson.

Red Run is made up of a rotating cast of Elkins old-time musicians, with Smakula on fiddle and Denice Reese on piano at the root of the all-star band. Johnson recently shifted her talent from old-time musician to square dance caller when she received an offer from the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship program to work with Ellen and Eugene Ratcliffe. Since then she has been an in-demand caller throughout the region, calling at dances in Kentucky, Baltimore and Virginia.

“Red Run and Hannah Johnson have been playing music and calling dances in this region for years and their friendship is reflected in the close-knit sound of the music and dance,” said Augusta Heritage Center Events Coordinator Becky Hill. “This dance is guaranteed to get you to laugh, holler and dance. This is a high-energy, family-friendly evening not to be missed, and is a great vibe for beginners.”

The dance starts at 8 p.m., with a beginners workshop at 7:45 p.m. All dances are beginner- and family-friendly. Participants don’t have to come with a dance partner and listeners are welcome. There is an admission charge.

Elkins is part of the Mountain Dance Trail, a heritage tourism project of Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College. The project preserves and promotes 15 local community square dances from the Virginia line to the Ohio border. The Mountain Dance Trail hosts a square dance almost every weekend somewhere in West Virginia. The next Augusta Heritage Center Dance, featuring music by Tessa Dillon, is scheduled for May 4 as part of First Fridays in downtown Elkins. The 2018 Mountain Dance Trail schedule is available online at www.mountaindancetrail.org.

For more information, call the Augusta Heritage Center at 304-637-1209.

Programs offered by the Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College are presented with financial support from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the National Endowment for the Arts with approval from the WV Commission on the Arts.

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