Mt Baldy Jam, Square Dance & Potluck

Calling All People


On Saturday, June 1st, 2013, from 2-7p, Belinda & Robbie will host a jam, square dance & potluck at their cabin near Mt Baldy Village, nestled among the pines at 5000 ft in the Angeles National Forest (about 1hr NE of LA). Our address isn’t in Google, so be sure to print out a physical copy of this map if you decide to come, as we live off a dirt driveway and cell reception is virtually nonexistant. This event is held outside, so decent weather is a prerequisite (feel free to email or call before coming if conditions warrant it; these contacts are listed in the above flier).



As shown on the map linked to above, our house has 2 dirt driveways. Once you turn off of Mt Baldy Road onto one of these, you can park anywhere you like without a parking permit. The main thing we ask is that you do not block others’ ability to enter and exit … pull off to the side, park head-long when possible, etc. If folks are creative, there should be ample parking. If you’d like some help parking, feel free to temporarily park in the turnout on Mt Baldy Road right above our house (the 1st 180-degree switchback); you can then walk down to our cabin and talk to us or get a lay of the land before heading in.


The jam runs from 2-4p. Bring your instruments, beverages or snacks, and a folding chair if you have one. This is an informal, mostly old-time jam that aims to be accessible, friendly, and fun (for more info, the format described here comes close to our aims). At the same time, we’ve played with African drummers, harmonicists, pianists, cellists, and the like … experimentation is encouraged! Besides, there’s plenty of space for multiple jams and this forest thrives on more than just old-time (i.e. swing, bluegrass, honky-tonk, cowboy tunes, and bluegrass come to mind :-)).


The first square dance set runs from 4-5p. We dance outside, amidst the pines and a nearby creek, to live Applachian string band music. The square dance caller teaches each dance beforehand, so beginners and experts alike can participate. Susan Michaels will be calling this time, a treat not to be missed.

dancing on pad1

live music

From 5-6p we break for a potluck dinner. We’ll provide condiments and paperware, you bring various entrees, snacks, desserts, and drinks.

dancing on pad

The second dance set runs from 6-7p, with opportunities to jam amidst the trees following afterward.

Who **ME** square dance?!?

In the past, I’ve heard that some folks don’t come because they’re pretty sure they’re not up for dancing. First of all: being a spectator is fine — the band, caller, and the dancers love an audience! Second, square dancing is not difficult — there’s typically 10 or so straight forward moves (like “swing your partner” or “do-si-do”) that occur in various sequences — all directed by the caller throughout. Beginners are welcome and encouraged at anytime during the dance set, provided you start at the beginning, when a particular dance is being taught, and that you stay through the end of the dance, as each square needs 8 dancers to function. Efforts to have knowledgable dancers in each square are also made — folks who are enthusiastic enough about dancing that they’re delighted to help  less experienced in the square as needed throughout the dance.

We love kids and families

We encourage families with kids to come. There’s a sandbox and shallow creek nearby and we’ve got our own 4 year old, so there’ll be plenty to keep your youngin’s busy. (Besides the more parents who show up, the more that can tag-team kid watching, enbabling other parents to dance.) Children of age 6 or so can even participate and family dances can be offered if there’s enough interest.

kids welcome1 jamming w kids


We want everyone to be able to participate. At the same time, its nice to be able to compensate the band and caller for their efforts and travel expenses. For this reason, we suggest a $0 to $10 donation. There will be a hat to collect these donations on the premises. For those so inclined, Modal Tease String Band CDs will also be on sale.

Coming prepared

Our cabin is at 5000 feet, in the mountains. Please bring a sun hat, bug dope, comfortable shoes, water, and layers. There’s access to great hiking right from our front door, and there’s plenty of free parking available on our property.

The Main Point Afterall

In such a frenetic world, this event is near and dear to our hearts. The goal is to nurture a community of music lovers, dancers, musicians, friends, kids, and neighbors, taking us beyond our hectic, digital lives into the present, physical moment for awhile. Please come and help make this day extra special!


About bthom

Fiddle-crazed domestic engineer and computer scientist.
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