TAADA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging the practice and promotion of traditional, historical and folk dance, with special emphasis on American and English traditions.
Our primary purpose is to teach dance (and promote dance teaching and knowledge) by facilitating dancing opportunities for the greater Austin Metropolitan Area dance community.
2019 TAADA Board
Pamela Weems (President)
My love of dancing began when as a child I traveled with my family to other countries and experienced the music and language of other cultures. I have enjoyed International, Israeli, Contra, and English Country dancing. In the past five years I have renewed my interest in piano and, when I am not on the dance floor, you will find me at the keyboard making a joyful noise with other musicians for dancers' pleasure. Both retired teachers, my husband Craig and I enjoy traveling and participating in dance and music workshops.
Bert Godkin (Vice President)
Marie Edwards brought me to contra dance on a Wednesday night at Hancock Rec Center in 1991, and I liked it immediately. I learned to square dance at age 9 in third grade. I enjoy going to Houston and Dallas for the regional contra dances. I hope I can help pass on this activity to younger people to enjoy.
Brian McMinn (Treasurer)
I tried a beginner’s class in a traditional dance form several decades ago and quit the first "lesson" when the instructor demonstrated something that looked like a video on fast forward and then directed the group to repeat it. Finding contra, where people described it as "if you're having fun you're doing it right," gave me an entry point I could actually use.
May Plumb (Secretary)
I've been contra dancing as long as I can remember (my family started dancing regularly when I was about 5 years old). I grew up dancing in Midcoast Maine, where my family helps organize the DownEast Country Dance Festival. I recently moved to Austin for graduate school, and I was overjoyed to find an active contra community here. I enjoy many types of dance, but I love contra for it's inclusivity and accessbility - and the lovely music!
Melinda Carter (At-Large)
I started contra dancing in 1989 when my sister, an Austinite, invited me to an outdoor informal dance in Austin. It was so much fun and such a good cardio workout for me! I love contra dancing because where else can you be in the arms of a different man every few minutes without being hit on, no alcohol, no smoking!! Honestly, contra dancers are so welcoming and fun that I'm glad I continued all these years!
Chuck Cross (At-Large)
A refugee from the big hair, shoulder pads, and terrible pop music of the early 1980s, I became a folkie and started contra dancing in 1982 while in graduate school in Pittsburgh. My wife Elaine and I met contra dancing and playing old-time music together back then, and we have danced in every place we’ve lived. Decades later I can barely imagine life without contra. I travel to a contra dance weekend or two almost every month and see the familiar faces of other dancers who are doing the same thing. Back in the day we were a roomful of sweaty 24-year-olds, and we dance as if that were still the case as we welcome new generations of dancers.
Nana Lopez (At-Large)
I have been dancing my whole life and my favorite type of dance is Contra which I discovered in 1991. Contra is my favorite due to its inclusivity, ease of learning and fact that a partner is not needed. I dance other dances, with Swing and Zydeco being close seconds. I had organized and run the Austin First Friday Contra Dance from 2004-2010 then moved to Florida for a while. Now I am back after spending a bit of time organizing and calling dances in the Florida Keys and a while as a Dance Gypsy traveling the East and Northeast of the US finding dance communities and spending time with many of them. I would like to help build up the dance community in the Austin area so that more people can experience the joy I have found through dance.
Susan Powell (At-Large)
I rekindled my love of dancing a couple of years ago and contra is a favorite. The Austin contra group is inclusive, fun, and I love to twirl and spin to the live music. I appreciate the contra culture of diversity and changing partners each dance. Dancing contra feels like flowing with the river current as you progress downstream weaving and turning, active and meditative all at the same time.