About Jacqueline

Great joy and music fill the halls as smiling dancers glide and step together … it is breathtaking to be part of such a scene.

For over thirty years Jacqueline has been playing fiddle for community social dancing. She calls out the traditional dance figures, such as do-si-do, swing your partner, or sashay as she plays the jigs and reels with her lively band of musicians.
At festivals, schools, town hall, weddings and family get-togethers throughout New England and beyond, she and her band share the rich tunes and dances brought here from the British Isles. Some years she has booked and performed over 250 engagements, nearly all being community dances.

Her prior work included being a school counselor and fiddle teacher. Always motivated to help others, Jacqueline co-created an educational publication to preserve the roots of traditional New England social dancing. This culminated in unique educational kit, Traditional Barn Dances with Calls & Fiddling, published by Human Kinetics (2001), featuring an extensive instructional book with two CDs and a DVD. Easy to use with calls on one track, followed by the next track having only music which encourages teachers and leaders to call the dances themselves to the lively music. This resource is used in schools and colleges and is available globally.

She served six years on the state level professional board as Vice-President of Dance for the NH Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. Through this organization, she received the NH Dance Teacher of the Year award in 2010.

Jacqueline is also a gifted watercolor artist, illustrator and project manager. She co-produced the 2016 recording of the Canterbury Country Dance Orchestra (16 musicians) which resulted in both an audio CD and a professional video documentary of that recording session, Welcome Here Again, shown on public television stations.

During the pandemic when all dances were cancelled, she put her publishing and educational talents to use again. Her beloved town of Canterbury now has a 66-page book she designed, co-edited and published with several others titled Canterbury Tales and Trails. She then envisioned and managed the production of a large, framed wall map of the town and trails that which now hangs in the library. Next up is a jigsaw puzzle of the town trail map which she will design and publish. She dearly misses playing for dances and hopes they will return soon.

About the dancing: Traditional dances include longways dances such as in the Virginia Reel (a favorite everywhere), circles, squares and contra dances. Most dances do not require any previous experience – dances are taught at the start of each dance which makes them fun for all! Other musicians invariably perform with her on piano, button accordion, fiddles, flute, fife, guitar, banjo or bass depending on the engagement. Their common repertoire of music are the lively, lilting jigs and reels that came over from Ireland, England, Scotland, and some from Quebec, along with a polkas, waltzes and schottisches for couple dancing.

For schools: Jacqueline gives lecture-demonstrations, workshops and fiddle lessons. She leads in-depth school residencies in dance and shorter school presentations for all grade levels. School programs can be tailored to address curriculum needs in the area of music, dance, social studies, New England history, and physical education. She plays for youth and family camps, weddings, Elderhostel programs, festivals and conference sessions.

PO Box 59
Canterbury, NH 03224

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