Andy Wilson, Barn Dance Caller
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic threat to public health, I canceled all dances and events from March 2020 to April 2021. I am now fully vaccinated against Covid-19, as are many of the musicians and bands I work with, and we look forward to joining you for joyful celebrations as soon as you are ready to make it happen in compliance with local public health directives. Please get in touch about your event, and let's talk about how to make it safe and memorably fun to barn dance together with friends and family.
I look forward to working with you to make your event the best possible. Please get in touch at your convenience.
FYI -- Pie Ranch Barn Dance Caller
Effective March 16, 2019, I have parted company with Pie Ranch, and no longer have any involvement with any dances that take place there. I had a great time calling the dance there for over 12 years to thousands of happy dancers, but the time came to move on to other pursuits. I wish them all the best.
Welcome to Andy Wilson's dance site. Yes, you found me! I was the original, regular house dance caller for the wildly popular monthly Pie Ranch Barn Dances for over 12 years. The dances I call people variously call "barn dance," "square dance," "contra dance," "country dance" or "community dance," but everyone calls "FUN!" I do these dances for groups of all sizes, ages, and abilities, and am available for hire throughout California and beyond, though I do most of my work in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Learn more about me by reading this article about Andy Wilson's dance calling that Julia Scott wrote on the front page of the San Mateo County Times and in the San Jose Mercury News on December 5, 2010, or check out page 9 of the January 2011 edition of of the La Honda Voice for an excerpt. Here's a really sweet blog from Frog Mom about their experience at one of my dances. Kelly at "A Side of Sweet" wrote enthusiastically about a trip down from San Francisco to my February 2015 public Pie barn dance. If you'd like to see what one of my dances looks like, take a look at these video montages from dances I have called over the years:
I organize dances for groups of all shapes and sizes and experience levels. I've done dances for school groups ranging from elementary school, right up through high school, college groups, and graduate students. I've done dances for groups of professionals, community groups, churches, corporate parties, and non-profits. I commonly put on dances for wedding receptions, birthday parties, and community celebrations. One of my favorite things to do is put together dance parties for people. Would you like to know about my upcoming dance schedule?
People have parties to get people together and have a good time. Dance allows people to have a great time mingling with long-time friends and new friends alike, while moving through simple, fun dance figures, all to delightful, traditional, acoustic music. One of the beautiful aspects of these dances is that they allow shy people to interact with others without having to think of something witty and clever to say. It gives people a chance to meet and make new friends and enjoy old ones in a low-stress environment.
I believe, until told otherwise, that people ask me to lead dances at their events to have a party, not a workshop or lesson, so I focus on dances that people can do and enjoy right away, and don't worry too much about doing dances to challenge them.
Wedding Reception Dances
[Picture used by permission from Michael James Photography.]
I have done dances for wedding receptions all over California and beyond, from Little River, along the Mendocino County coast, to the Ahwanee Hotel in Yosemite Valley, to destination venues in Colorado and Wyoming, to neighborhood street parties near Seattle, to a city park in Los Angeles, to people's back yards in the San Francisco Bay area. Chico, Sacramento, Markleeville, Sonoma, Walnut Creek, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Salinas -- wherever you are, I will travel. People ask me, "How far will you travel?" My answer is always that it's only 12,500 miles to the middle of the Indian Ocean and I'd be willing to travel there for the right event. Everywhere else is closer than that. Whatever the size of your reception, I can bring a dance party to you, wherever you are! Your guests will never forget the wonderful experience they had dancing with you and your friends and family on your wedding day! Write me to inquire!
Want to entertain your clients? Celebrate your group's latest successful year? Trumpet your latest product roll-out? I've done dances for Google, Zynga, PayPal, and start-ups you've never heard of. Companies in high-tech, biotech, agriculture, education, and equipment supply. Whatever your business, I can help your people come together with smiles on their faces. They will return to work with a different attitude than they had before our time dancing together.
Do you have an employee group of 20 to 300 that you want to WOW with a really fun and surprising reward? Let me do a barn dance for them! They'll have a ball dancing together, and it will give them an opportunity to bond with their colleagues differently than their usual work relationships. If you want to reward them by inviting spouses or significant others to a dinner, followed by a dance, that would work fantastically. Otherwise, we can do a program just for your employees. It doesn't really matter with the dances I do whether you have an equal number of men and women, because anyone can dance with anyone else and have a big smile on their faces.
Shareholder Meetings/Employee Meetings
Do you need a way to break up an otherwise long, sedentary meeting with something to get their blood flowing, minds and bodies engaged, and smiles beaming? Let me lead them through some barn dances! It's well established that a little physical activity dramatically increases people's ability to focus and process information for some time after the activity stops. You'll get more accomplished in your meeting AND you'll all have fun doing it! Everyone wins when you have me get them dancing. No experience necessary -- I work with beginners all the time, and our motto really is true: "Everyone can dance!"
Think dancing is just about having fun? (Well, it's that, too, but read on!) Dance teaches about culture and civilization. These dances don't work unless we work together cooperatively. We'll learn about the etiquette of asking someone to dance, accepting an invitation, thanking someone for spending time with us AND we'll have a great time doing it. I work with all levels from elementary up through post-graduate.
Live Acoustic Music
I almost always work with live bands -- it adds an intangible element to the dance experience that people love. Besides, in this mass-media culture, people need to see real people making dance music. It is one of my great joys that I get to work with so many different talented musicians. I work with Old-Time bands, French-Canadian bands, New England-style bands, Irish bands, bluegrass bands, and more! If you have a preference for a particular style of music for your event, feel free to ask for it. I know and work with a wide variety of musicians.
If you're interested in finding out more about the types of dance that I do, or how to put together a dance for your event, please write me, call me, or attend one of the dances that I'll be calling soon. Thanks for your interest! I look forward to hearing from you.
Copyright © 2004 - 2021, Andy Wilson. All rights reserved. Please write me if you find any typographic errors or broken links on this page.