Star Hampshire Dance Weekend | Star Island NH

Dance Master: Sue Rosen – Contras & squares.
Music By: Pete Sutherland, fiddle;
Mark Roberts, banjo and flute; Bruce Rosen, piano

Chair: Peggy Martin, (603) 726-3033, pmartin03223 at yahoo dot com [usual substitutions]

Registrar: Chrissy Fowler, (207) 338-0979, ktaadn_me at hotmail dot com

Program coordinator: David Millstone, (603) 448-2950, david dot millstone at valley dot net [same]

Star Island: Star Island is part of the Isles of Shoals, several miles off the coast of New Hampshire. As our coastline is only 18 miles long it’s not hard to find. Transportation is by boat.

What Happens: Star Hampshire is a relatively small weekend of music and dancing, with a relaxed schedule and a friendly social atmosphere. There’s lots of good dancing, but there’s also time to walk around, explore, socialize, hang out on the rocking chairs, and take advantage of the other possibilities associated with the island.

Music & Dance. The staff is chosen for its ability to present an excellent, varied program. The emphasis is on New England contras and squares. Depending on the skills and interests of the staff, we have included a variety of additional programming such as singing, English country dance and Balkan dancing.

The Program. The weekend features evening dance parties, daytime workshops, staff concerts, and more depending on the staff. Sometimes we can take advantage of activities of other conferences (e.g. singing, yoga) and sometimes they join us for dancing; all by permission of course. There are jam sessions, workshops, and there’s a waltz session before breakfast.

Dancing! Did I mention that already? There are generally between 50 and the maximum of 80 dancers each year. The dancing is fun, tending to be on the traditional side but with some modern dancing, and some unusual dances thrown in since it’s possible to get away with that with people who have been dancing all weekend! The final dance on Sunday is on the hotel porch; what a nice place for a final dance party! We do sometimes have members of other conferences join us; and we invite the Pelicans (Star staff) to join us for the evening dance. What they lack in polish the more than make up for with enthusiasm!

Nondance events include the chapel, singing sessions, jam sessions, social hour, staff concerts and more. Here’s a description of the chapel from David Millstone; many consider it to be one of the highlights of the weekend. “You can participate in a memorable camper-organized non-denominational chapel service by climbing in silence to the historic stone meeting house and sitting in candle lantern light as dancers and musicians share tunes, songs, stories, and poems.” And of course don’t forget hanging out on the wonderful porch in a rocking chair by the ocean as one of the more enjoyable experiences in life.