Winter Dance Weekend 2016

Feb. 18-21, 2016

Larry-Karina, by Victor Garza-watercolor
With Karina Wilson on fiddle from Santa Fe, Larry Unger on guitar/banjo from Concord, MA, and Wendy Graham-Settle, caller from Durango, CO. All this takes place at the Pioneer Park Dance Hall.

In a Nutshell
Winter Dance Weekend kicks off with a house concert by the musicians on the evening of Thursday, February 18th (location TBA), followed by an evening contra dance on Friday, and workshops, a potluck and another evening dance on Saturday. The weekend wraps up with a final set of dance workshops on Sunday afternoon. All events except the house concert are held at the Pioneer Park dance hall.

The Talent

Larry Unger
Chances are, if you don’t know Larry Unger, you’ve heard or danced to some of the hundreds of tunes he has composed. One of his waltzes, “Two Rivers” is featured in the Ken Burns National Park television series. Larry Unger

Larry is a master of guitar and banjo, based in the Boston area. He plays more than a hundred dances a year with premiere contra dance bands in the northeast, among them Uncle Gizmo and the Reckless Ramblers. His music has taken him on the road for more than 30 years, performing and teaching workshops nationally and abroad. Well-known fiddlers Rodney Miller, Alasdair Fraser and Matt Glaser have all benefitted from his skilled accompaniment. Larry was last heard in Fairbanks playing with Notorious, his longstanding collaboration with fiddler Eden Macadam-Somers. Here is a link to an CDSS interview with Larry by erstwhile Fairbanksan and contra-musician in his own right Max Newman.

Besides playing for dances, Larry is a gifted instrumentalist, adept at fingerstyle blues, slide guitar, and old-time banjo. He performs music from diverse acoustic genres – Blues to Swing, Klezmer to Celtic and Old-Time to Jazz.

Karina Wilson
Karina, one of our favorite innovative fiddlers, returns by popular demand to the Fairbanks Winter Dance Weekend.

Like Larry, Karina is accomplished in a variety of genres, from hot, rhythmic swing fiddle to more “proper”, flowing, English country dance tunes. She has been a fixture at English and contradances in the southwestern states since a young age. Her impeccable timing and creative improvisations are enhanced by the technical precision she acquired through years of classical violin training. Karina
An up and coming young talent, Karina has played national events in the past year such as Merlefest bluegrass festival (N.C.) and she was on staff as a featured musician at the Centennial Tour of the Contra Dance and Song Society (CDSS) in West Virginia and at Lady of the Lake Family Camp in northern Idaho. In 2016 she will perform again in Ireland, as well as the UK, California and New England. Although she does not have a website, she has an internet presence and can be found on Facebook.

Wendy Graham
The dynamo linking these talented musicians at Winter Dance Weekend to their audience is caller Wendy Graham, from Durango, CO. Wendy GrahamShe has been in the folk music, song and dance scene for over 20 years. A self-described “dance maniac”, reviews attest to her skill at guiding dancers, helping them maintain connection through dance moves, and imparting community spirit with her infectious enthusiasm. She leads workshops in a diverse array of dance, from traditional contra and English country to blues-y swing, country two-step, “crossover” contras and more. Other workshops she leads include calling, dance writing and community building. Be prepared for a wacky good time!

Event pricing

Event Adult Student
Thursday house concert $15 suggested donation $15 suggested donation
Dances, each (Fri, Sat pm.) $15 $10
Any dance workshop $10 $7
3 Sat dance workshops bundle $25 $15
3 Sun dance workshops bundle $25 $15
Fri-Sun all dance event pass $75 $45
Sat morning musician workshop $15 $10
Sat morning caller workshop free free

Events Schedule

Thu. Feb. 18, 2016 7:00 pm – 8:15 p.m. House concert followed by 45 min jam, location TBA

Dance Dates: Fri. Feb. 19, 2016 – Sun. Feb. 21, 2016
All events to be held at Pioneer Park Dance Hall

Fri. Feb. 19, 2016

  • 7:15 pm – 7:30 p.m. Waltz with Larry
  • 7:30 pm -10:30 p.m. Contradance
    Before the final waltz, there will be a 12-minute contra medley (no walk-thru, quick change with each tune a new dance)

    Sat, Feb. 20, 2016

  • 10:30 a.m. – noon Caller/Band workshops
    Noon – 1 p.m. Community chili lunch ~

  • 12:30 pm – 1:30 p.m. Ben the Balloon Guy -multigenerational
  • 1:00 – 2:15 p.m. Crossover-contras (incorporates other dance moves/tunes eg. can-can, Salsa)
  • 2:30 – 3:15 p.m. Waltz 10-15 min lesson, 30 mins freestyle
  • 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. Challenging contras


  • 6:00 pm – 7:15 p.m. Community POTLUCK at dance hall
  • 7:15 pm – 7:30 p.m. Waltz with Larry
  • 7:30 pm – 10:30 p.m Contradance
    Before the final waltz, there will be a 12-minute contra medley (no walk-thru, quick change with each tune a new dance)

  • 10:45 p.m. – midnight Technocontra: two, 20-30 minute sets with short break.

    Sun. Feb. 21, 2016

  • Noon – 1 p.m. Community lunch
  • 1:00 pm – 2:15 p.m. English country dance
  • 2:30 pm – 3:45 pm. English-inspired contras (modern contras inspired by English Country moves)
  • 4:00 pm – 5:15 pm. swing and blues workshop

    For more info, please call Maria at 907-474-0724 or email