Captain Fiddle Music

Ryan and Brennish

Thomson

Balance and Swim, West

Virginia

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Balance and Swim

By Ryan Thomson

I'll start off by saying that I've had more fun dancing at this little summer festival, than any

other I've ever attended. The event is the brain child of Rich and Charlotte Cobos, whom I

met years ago at Augusta Heritage Center, also in West Virginia. The festival actually takes

place on their property, and includes a camping field, portable toilets, showers, a pond for

swimming, dance hall, group food preparation, eating area, and lots of good folks.

The live music and calling is excellent, and is contributed by fine dance musicians and

callers from all over the US. I've helped out a bit myself, playing some fiddle, piano,

accordion, and one year, a snare drum. Much as I like to play dance music though, the

dancing itself is top-notch and I find it hard to stay off of the dance floor. Dance styles

include couple dancing, contras, squares, tango, country swing, cajun, tongue in cheek

dance contests, and other dance inventions. Dancing is almost continuous, and finally

peters out in the wee hours when folks become sleepy. One year I played for the cajun

dance which started around 2 am. After playing till about 3, I retired to my camper to rest,

and fell asleep to the sound of music being played as more dancers showed up to do other

styles of dancing.

Balance and Swim is a weekend event in July with a Friday night potluck dinner, 4 provided

meals, everyone chips in with music, calling, food preparation, and clean up. There are also

music workshops, open jams, and a night time bonfire.The cost is very modest, $35.00 last

year(1995) because everyone helps out. Non-dancing children are free, but pay for food,

child care is available with advance notice, pre-registration is necessary.

note from Ryan - This festival is no longer an annual event, but reunions are held from time

to time.

Written by Ryan Thomson, 1995