Read your Tutor Profiles for: Vickie Dean; Judy Jones; Nathan Ballard & Amanda Lim
JUDY JONES – Dance Caller and Banjo Tutor
Judy Jones is an experienced dance caller, who has been calling dances for more than three decades. She is also an award-winning banjo player (in the USA and Australia) who has been playing old-time stringband music for nearly 40 years, featuring the traditional tunes from the Appalachian mountains in the USA in the style that is so perfectly designed for Southern traditional square dancing.
Judy has played and called dances for children, teenagers, all ages of adults, and older people, tailoring each dance to the age, experience and energy of the dancers. Along the way, she has also taught dancers some basic clogging and flatfooting steps.
When Judy is calling, she teaches the moves and figures before each dance – by explaining, demonstrating and walking them through. No prior experience is necessary. The greatest satisfaction is seeing the smiles on people’s faces while they dance. Her main aim is for people to have fun!
She has called the Saturday night dances at the Yarra Junction Fiddlers Convention in Victoria for the whole of its 34 years, and has been a regular caller for the family dance at the Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival each year.
Judy has attended square dance callers’ workshops at the Appalachian Stringband Music Festival in West Virginia, and has really enjoyed dancing to some of the best callers and musicians in the Southern social square dancing scene on her frequent trips to the USA.
She is looking forward to sharing her enjoyment, enthusiasm and years of experience with you as you dance your way through the weekend.
Amanda Lim - Dance Tutor
Amanda has been clogging for 7 years and is an accredited instructor with the Australian Clogging Association (ACA).
In recent years she has assisted with teaching at various Brisbane locations and has also taught at many regional workshops around Australia.
Amanda taught at her first National Convention in 2015 after her choreography won the ACA's inaugural choreography competition.
She has also had the chance to clog in the USA, competing in the NCHC’s Dollywood Clogging Classic 2016 in Pigeon Force, Tennessee.
Lindsay Mar - Rhythm Guitar Tutor
Lindsay Mar has been the rhythm guitar player for the My-T-Fine Stringband for more than 20 years, playing for dances and concerts both in Australia and the United States. While on US visits he has enjoyed the opportunity to play backup guitar for fiddlers such as Paul David Smith, Bobby Taylor, Joe Dobbs, Hiram Stamper Jr, and many other musicians such as from the Stoneman and Chapman families. Lindsay has taken a special interest in the culture of the Southern Appalachians and it's relationship with the music, spending much time at the homes and families of the same musicians. Lindsay is also a Bluegrass and Old-Time music radio presenter currently of more than 17 years on 2RRR's Chicken Hot Rod Show (Sydney) and has been a regular columnist and CD reviewer for Trad&Now Magazine since 2003. Professionally, Lindsay was an acoustics engineer for 21 years. This combination of experiences has provided him with a unique take on explaining the role of the rhythm guitar in terms of tone, timing, pulse, groove, and the rhythm guitar's role in Appalachian style bands.
Nathan Ballard - Dance Tutor
Nathan has been clogging for 13 years and teaching for the last 6 years. He started clogging in Brisbane and has been able to share his talents with many parts of the word. Nathan has taught at most workshops around Australia.
In 2014 Nathan spent 12 months in the USA to develop his technique and overall knowledge of clogging. During this time he was given the chance to teach at most major workshops around the country. He also travelled to Europe with a group of American instructors to teach at workshops in Germany and the Czech Republic.
Nathan returns to America often to follow in his competitive pursuits with clogging, most recently returning to Knoxville Tennessee January 2017 for the Clogging Champions of America national competition. Nathan now teaches classes and workshops for East Coast Precision Clogging, based out of Brisbane, Queensland
Harold von Finster - Double Bass Tutor
My original instrument is Guitar, as it is for most folk musicians, at least it was in the years before the current Ukulele frenzy.
I have played double bass for Rod and Judy Jones in the My-T-Fine string band for about 8 years, at club gatherings and festivals in NSW and Victoria. I have also played in a Newcastle band called Oz Amigos who played Latin and Jazz standards, as well was some country swing for about 5 years.
Vickie Dean - Dance Caller and Dance Tutor
Vickie Dean has been the leader of the Hillbillies Cloggers since 1988.She first saw clogging in 1985 when it was demonstrated at a square dance in Victoria. As part of the Certified Clogging Instructor Course (CCI) in the US Vickie had a chance to attend a number of workshops on the history and traditions of clogging presented by Bill Nichols.
As a modern square dance caller since 1980, as well as a clogging teacher the meshing of the two dance forms in traditional clogging was of great interest. Vickie attended a Swannanoa gathering, a traditional music and dance workshop in the US and experienced the joy of a traditional hoedown as well as ‘calling’ whilst participating in a traditional clogging demonstration at the 1st World Clogging Festival in Canada.
Vickie is a Life Member of the ACA (Australian Clogging Association) and has attended and taught at every ACA National Convention
Rod Jones - Fiddle Tutor
Rod Jones has been playing fiddle for many years. He is well-known in Australia and the USA for his love of traditional country music and bluegrass, and old-time fiddle playing skills. In 2016, he gained a place in old-time fiddle at the Galax Old Fiddlers Convention in Virginia, USA, one of the largest and oldest of such conventions in the world.
Rod has years of experience playing fiddle in bands for dancers, including with Possum Trot School Exhibition, Hotfoot String Band and the My-T-Fine Stringband.
He also plays mandolin and guitar and sings. Rod and Judy Jones have placed three times in Duet Singing at the Johnson City Old-Time Fiddlers
Convention in Tennessee.
Rod is always happy to share fiddle-playing hints and to help other fiddlers understand the critical differences between fiddle styles for listening and for dancing.
Various members of the Bluegrass and Traditional Country Music Society of Australia
We are proud to say that Members of the Bluegrass and Traditional Country Music Society of Australia will be attending Heeler's Hoedown and will be providing specific workshops with various instruments and styles of music. Some of these Tutors will be Judy (Banjo & Guitar) & Rod Jones (Fiddle), Lindsay Mar (Rhythm Guitar) and Harold von Finster (Double Bass)