Heather learned traditional ceilidh dance while she was growing up in Scotland and studied classical piano for thirteen years before also taking up mandolin, so she had an instrument she could carry to sessions!
She cut her teeth as a caller and dance musician in and around the South East of England in her early twenties, discovering balfolk and contra dance traditions along the way. As well as working as a freelance musician and caller, Heather plays with three-piece Understory and is part of the Brighton Ceilidh Collective, hosting regular public ceilidh events.
In her other life Heather works as a data scientist.
A note on gender-free calling
I am committed to providing a space in which everyone feels they can dance* – and with anyone else – inclusive of all gender identities and expressions, and sexuality. In my experience, omitting historically gendered roles from social folk dance goes a long way towards this. Unless otherwise requested, I will lead an event without using gendered terms during both dances and the event at large. I call ceilidh dances using positional calling (i.e. in terms of where you are in relation to other dancers), and contra dances using Larks and Robins roles (larks are on the left and robins on the right).
*This of course includes people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds too.
with Elizabeth Ketudat
with James David Smith
with Dave Wasserman