Callers: the bridge between the music and the dance

Every contra dance is a journey, and no journey is complete without a guide. Callers provide directions for the dancers and suggestions to the musicians to provide the optimal atmosphere, harmonizing between the choreography of the dance and the tempo and grace of the music. The table below highlights the local callers of New Mexico by region.

To call a FolkMADS dance, see the contact page.

To learn how to call or mentor new callers check out the NM Callers Collective.

All callers have these responsibilities. If you feel like a caller is not meeting their responsibilities please contact one of the dance committee chair persons or any board member.


 New Mexico Callers

Listed by region, but many will travel!

Albuquerque Area
Caller_img_BenBean_tn Benjamin Bean started dancing in 2009 and can’t remember a week since that he hasn’t danced. He calls contra dances in a double effort to contribute back to his community and learn more about the dance he loves so much. He began calling with the Albuquerque Callers Collective in 2013 with lots of great help from Erik Erhardt, Merri Rudd, and many others. Since then Ben has called split nights with a few Albuquerque callers and started a weekly contra dance at his university in Socorro, where he will be graduating soon but will continue dancing wherever he goes.
Ben Werner Calling Ben Werner started calling in 2013 after moving down to Albuquerque. He grew up contra dancing in upstate New York, and wanted to learn how to call for a number of years. The Callers Collective provided the perfect environement to learn the basics and begin to hone his skills. He is excited to begin calling more dances in the area. 
Bill “Doc” Litchman

Erik Barry Erhardt   Website
Prof Erik Erhardt (Abq, NM) calls contra and English, instructs couples dance, and organizes dance in New Mexico, traveling widely for dancing and community building. In his engaging and entertaining manner, Erik’s teaching is encouraging, clear, and detailed giving all an opportunity to gain a sense of mastery at each person’s level while having something to gain for everyone.

Jessie Parker
Kit French has loved English Country Dance since his first encounter with it at Pinewoods Camp on Cape Cod at age eleven. He is delighted to nourish the Albuquerque dance community by calling, organizing the Second Sunday ECD/Zesty Contra series and the annual ECD Ball, and by collaborating with the Mad Robin Fourth Friday ECD series. Do come!
Kris Jensen:   Website

Lauren Soherr-Hadwiger
Lauren Soherr is an eighth grader who has been calling dances in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico since she was 10. Lauren became interested in calling dances after attending a workshop led by Erik Weberg at the 2010 FOLKMADS dance camp in Socorro, New Mexico. Her interest in contra dance calling has been nurtured by Erik Erhardt, Nils Fredland, Doc Litchman, Noralyn Parsons, Merri Rudd, Donna Bauer and others, and she has found a home in a new generation of callers from the Albuquerque area.

Maddy Mullany
Marie Milne
Marj Mullany
Martina Mesmer
Merri Rudd:    Website
Merri Rudd, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, is a well-known dancer and caller in the Southwest. She has called dance weekends around the west, as well as many local gigs. Merri’s repertoire includes contras, English country, and an occasional square. Her dances are often replete with literary quotes, funny quips, and lots of fast swings, gypsies, and medleys. Merri’s gentle, relaxed style puts everyone at ease. Her contagiously enthusiastic calling and high-energy dances leave you connected to the music, clamoring for more. She especially loves working with the band to make a tune and dance collide in joy.
Nate Puffer
Noralyn Parsons
Sherilyn Urben currently teaches music and dance to 550 students a week in grades K-6. In addition, she teaches private students of violin, cello, piano, voice and guitar. She performs regularly with the dance band, Mad Robin, who sponsors their own English Country dance on the 4th Fridays and also plays for Folkmads dances. As a caller, she has called English Country, contra and family dances in Oklahoma, Texas, Kentucky, New Mexico, and will be calling in Colorado later this spring. You can reach her via email or call 505-604-4631.
Santa Fe/Los Alamos
Katherine Bueler  (505-316-1476)
Katherine Bueler, as a caller, loves being a catalyst for dancers’ good times, and tries to be responsive to the energy and desires of the dancers and the musicians to whom these events truly belong. Katherine has been calling contra and community dances for about 10 years, and looks forward to many more. She is inspired by and feels an allegiance to the warm and welcoming spirit that has imbued New Mexico’s contradances since their inception. She owes an eternal debt and gratitude especially to Richard Wilson for his inspiration and mentorship, but also to New Mexico’s many other fine and caring and fun and committed dancers, callers, and musicians.

Will McDonald
“Through the ’80’s I contra danced several times a week living in Boston.  When I moved to Santa Fe in 1989 I helped start the dance here.  As a caller I try to encourage fun and community with gratitude to all who have danced and played in this joyful tradition.  We share a treasure.”

Taos/Las Vegas/Northern NM

Rebecca Hall: from Taos, teaches English Country Dance, which she learned at Pinewoods Camp.

“I hope the Key to the Cellar, keeps the Bee in Your Bonnet, fixes the Hole in the Wall and pays the Jovial Beggar.”

Durango, CO
Wendy Graham is a self-described “dance maniac” who serves up delicious and nutritious dances for all with infectious enthusiasm and a smile. Wendy hosts regular folk and social dances (including Latin, Swing, Blues, Country Western Two Step, and Waltz) in Durango, Colorado. She also calls community dances, dance weekends, and dance weeks throughout the U.S. and abroad. She has been involved with folk music, song and dance for over twenty years. Find out where in the world Wendy is at
Las Cruces/Southern NM
(Southern New Mexico Music and Dance Society)
Lewis Land (575-932-9912)
Lonnie Ludeman

New Mexico Folk Music and Dance Society