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FF weather forecast: Partly cloudy skies for full moon; lows in upper 60s, highs in lower 80s.
Sunny on Saturday; partly cloudy on Sunday; chance of showers.

We have room for partial weekend participation 
but you must bring your own food as of today, Friday, Apr. 6.
Donation for single evening dances is $15 and $8 for 1/2 days Sat/Sun.
You must make a reservation to attend; call 706/539-2485 and leave message if no answer;
we will call you back to confirm.
You can pay be check, cash, or by credit card at the STF web store (link below).
Reminder:  No street shoes on dance floor; only clean, non-marking shoes allowed.

We wish you a Happy Fool's Fest, Sid Hetzler  10 a.m., Friday, Apr. 6

The true voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands
 but in seeing with new eyes". -- Marcel Proust (from Rudy Rodriguez, Asheville)

Split Tree General Information   Maps, Directions   Lodging  Chattanooga Weather
   Link to  Adobe PDF file for printing one page FF flyers for copying/ distribution

  foolart.gif (6828 bytes)12th Fool's Fest 2485penquin.gif (1809 bytes)

Dance  Weekend

a Special "Raise the Roof" Fun/Fund-raiser

Play the Fool Card The Fool Card April 6-8    
at the
   Split Tree Farm Studio    wpe1.gif (702043 bytes)
in the northwest Georgia mountains two hours north of Atlanta near Chattanooga


Mostly Dancing 
but expect the unexpected from fine musical fools

 featuring Atomic City Rhythm Rascals
--Contra fools David Lovett, Evan Carawan, Chris McMahon, Tim Worman--
master fool contra callers
Chris Bischoff, Keith Cornett, Janet Shepherd

plus Asheville's hot swing vocalist/guitarist Bruce Lang
with his new "Beatles" CD Release Party/Sing-A-Long/Dancing
Hear "Brand New Fool" (MP3)

 & the Split Tree Ensemble musical jesters
Dan Bowles, trumpet; Alan Dynin, piano,
 Jeff Hersk, bass; 

& the world famous Split Tree Zydeco/Cajun Chamber Ensemble
playing Cajun, Zydeco, blues with
 Tomas Valenti, fiddle & more;
Ivan "Z"* , piano accordion & more;
Keith Cornett, washboard;
and other motley musicians and performers

& teaching jesters Bart Ruark and Karen Dolin, partnering/Lindy;
 Jim Bird and Bonnie Mitchell, salsa;
Joel Domoe and Melanie Meyers, "Big Apple"/Lindy performance;
Magdalena Zigova, close embrace tango;
Alex Spencer, ballroom basics;
Heitzso, contact improvisation; "Dancing Man" Performance
Nancy Harden, Awareness through Movement (r);
Sid Hetzler, contact improv waltz
and guests
 with Motley Kitchen Crew Chef Becky Forster
 and Catherine Hannah, Anne Horgan, David Ayers and Friends

Fool's Fest is a wild and happy collection of contra, waltz, ballroom, Cajun/Zydeco, tango, blues, swing dancing,  and other foolishness.  Expect serious and not-so-serious dancing all weekend. This being a festival of fools, beginners are needed to offset the habits of experienced dancers. We will, though, upon request set aside some time and space for both new and old dance fools to learn social dance basics.

Welcome letter to Inductees into the Year 2485 Split Tree Society of Fools

Schedule  (subject to changes; some performances listed below; expect the unexpected)
                    "Life's so mysterious.  Don't take it serious."  Anon.

Friday:        (Times subject to slight modification)
12- 8 pm     Come early; registration, tent setup and potluck dinner ($3 for Leah's soup pot)
7-8              For Beginning Dancers:  
                   Partner Dance Survival School 101, Bart Ruark, Dance Vortex creator, with Karen Dolin
8-11 (chng) Fully Foolish Contras & Waltzes, mostly Chris Bischoff  with Keith Cornett 
                           calling with Atomic City Rhythm Rascals
11-1 am      Premier of  STF Zydeco Ensemble and a variety of a little late night music couples dancing
                                 --acoustic after midnight    

Saturday:  Dance Survival School Day Schedule
8-9              Breakfast buffet
9-9:30         Contact Improvisation Survival School 100 Warm-up w/Heitzso  (exercise/tights clothing recm'd)
9:30-11       Lindy Hop Survival School 102 with Bart Ruark and Karen Dolin  
11-12          Swing/Lindy dance to live or recorded music; possible move swaps
12-12:40     Chill down with Nancy Harden in "Awareness through Movement" (r) session* 
12-1            Buffet Lunch
1-2              Salsa Survival School 103/Dancing with Jim Bird and Bonnie Mitchell
2-3              Close Embrace Tango Hike 104 w/Magdalena Zigova and partner
3-4              Ballroom Survival School 105 with Alex Spencer and partner
4-5              General  Dancing for Shoeless Survivors/Walking Wounded/Dazed Dancers
5-6              Sunset Concert at Back Pasture Pond with Bruce Lang's new CD release party:
                   "Beatle Songs", which had a huge influence on his music, and continues to inspire him.
                    From Bruce:  "Now that I live in a recording studio, I wanted to record some of my favorite
                    songs from the "Fab Four". Check out the progress, including 2 complete songs to download
                    and enjoy at music samples."   Bruce will also play and sing at the Fool's Ball and more.

Saturday Night:  Dance Survival School Award Ceremony and Fool's Ball
7-8              Feast of Fools 
(Dress for Saturday Fool's Ball is funky double retro 21st century (i.e., use your imagination);
                                                          take it to the edge and win the man or woman's door prize for most foolish costume.

9-1 am            Fully Formal Fool's Ball  (mixed dances & some contras w/ACRR members, Bruce Lang, 
                       the STF Zydeco Ensemble, Split Tree Ensemble)
  Special:  Learn the "Big Apple" w/Joel and Melanie and see their hot  Lindy performance  
                    Performance  of "The Dancing Man" by Dan Bowles to accompaniment w/dancers
                 Presentation of Split Tree Fool of the Decade

1 am until real late   Full Moon Lunacy--waltzing, swing, blues, tango, etc--Bruce Lang, STF Zydeco Chamber Players, ACRR  players,  Bowles, Dynin,  Hersk, Valenti, Ivan Zl & friends.   
8:30-10        Breakfast buffet
9-9:45          Contact Improvisation Survival 200 Warm-up with Heitzso  (exercise clothing/tights recm'd)
9:45-10:00   Contact Improv Waltz Theory & Practice123 with Sid Hetzler & partner (beginner's mind prerequisite)
10-11          Sweet Waltzing to Motley Fool Ensemble (Lang, Bowles, Dynin, Hersk, Valenti, Newell & more)
    Good Gospel Sing/Swing Dance, the "Augmented Flats & Sharps Trio+ (MFE enhanced)
12-1            Fairly Light Lunch Buffet
1-3              Farewell Contras:  Janet Shepherd with Atomic City Rhythm Rascals/
                                 STF Wall of Sound Ensemble
3-4              Last Waltzes to classical/contemporary recorded music of Bejurin Cassady, Seattle's Waltzetcetera founder
                          Final Hugs & Serious Porching, rest before driving home
6                 Dutch treat dinner at Canyon Grill on Lookout Mtn for weekend survivors

*In an Awareness Through Movement (r) class you will be verbally guided through a series of gentle, slow movements.  Improvements in posture, breathing and flexibility are achieved through becoming aware of how your body works.  Reduce stress, experience enhanced performance of your favorite activities, and move with greater freedom.--Nancy Harden, Gainesville, GA  (Nancy, and husband Heitzso--long time STF supporter--met at the 1998 Fool's Fest)
*Ivan "Z" will offer massage by appointment and accidental encounter

Split Tree Farm is located 20 miles south of Chattanooga, TN and 100 miles NW of Atlanta in the NW Georgia mountains.  Click on map page.

The Particulars

Please help us "raise the roof" with the most fun Fool's Fest ever and bring your best fool's cap and costume for the Saturday night colorful Fool's Ball.  This special "Raise the Roof" FF will be a fund&fun-raiser to earn enough dollars to finish the studio for summer use by adding foam insulation and a new roof.  Your variable (go for the high end if at all possible) ticket cost of  $50-100 includes all music, instruction, food and sleeping space in the house, studio, floor, barn or pasture tenting.  It can be made tax-deductible (see registration form).  Or you can donate two full days at one of two roof work weekends this spring with a minimum $20 weekend payment plus $15 for 5 meals.  Our last fund-raiser weekend in Nov. 1999 generated $12,000, thanks to a $5,000 challenge grant from dancer Phillip Garrison in Berkeley, Calif. under the leadership of Stanford dancemaster Richard Powers. 

We are inviting musicians, callers, performers, artists, teachers to contribute their talents for this now traditional weekend of a variety of dance genres that have changed each year from FF's 1990 premier near Split Tree studio but that will include traditional contra, swing/Lindy, salsa, unstrictly ballroom, live or  recorded Cajun/Zydeco, waltz, contact improvisation, etc.  And expect surprise musical and dance combinations in our various Split Tree ensembles and also special performances.  

We invite artistic, kitchen, production, publicity volunteers to make this special FF a success.  Email:  sid [@]

Link to previous FF/ other STF weekends.       Link to photo page with ff99 and ff00.

Link to New Electronic Registration Form      History of the Fool's Fest        Email Text page

Photos of Fool's Hall of Fame for $250+ contributors  

   Link to  Adobe PDF file for printing one page FF flyers for copying/ distribution

A word of explanation about the variable tuition contribution option:  The $100 donation can be paid in any amount between 100 and 50 dollars for those unable to afford the full amount, which we've never offered before.  We of course need the full amount or even more because the artists, cooks, and Split Tree are donating talent and services to raise funds for the roof insulation.   The optional, and extremely low, $15 weekend food charge cannot be discounted.  But we recognize students and some on limited budgets need assistance and we do not want money, or lack of it, to be a reason for not participating in Fool's Fest 2485.  This is the first, and last, Fool's Fest that is set aside to raise funds for the studio so please join us at this special gathering.   --Sid Hetzler, Split Tree Farm, 3/7/01

Single dance tickets are available: $15/evenings; $8/half days;  food optional but registration needed by 4/3/01 if meals desired;  single meals $5 each.
Smart Fools will register electronically now or email registration now to save a space.  Paired registration very strongly encouraged but you may sign up as a single dancer.   
Link to New Electronic Registration Form, or you can email the registration form below with a check to follow or send in the flyer with check.  Or call us at 706/539-2485 and give the information and send a check.   Just come and join the fun and help "raise the roof".

More info: For registration/housing information:  email Bart Ruark at registrationff2485 [@]  General information: 706.539.2485.  Please use new electronic registration form if possible.

Cost:  Total weekend adult donation: from $100 to $50; give as much as you can or more to "raise the roof" for studio, dancing, music, calling, instruction, farm lodging.  Children under 12 donate $20 for the weekend plus $10/food) for weekend; must be supervised.   Tax-deductible checks can be made to Southern Pitch, Inc, an IRS-approved non-profit arts support organization which nurtures organizations like Split Tree Participatory Arts Center.  Or you can donate two full days at one of two roof work weekends this spring with a minimum $20 weekend payment plus $15 for 5 meals; email Bart Ruark at registrationff2485 [@]  for more on this option.  Musician volunteers needed for these work weekends.
Join the Split Tree Fool's Hall of Fame by contributing $250 or more--see current HF Fool photos 

Weekend Food: (optional) is a low-budget $15 per person for the weekend, includes five meals Sat/Sun. Children under 12 pay $8 for food.  Food is the only optional cost.  Single dance tickets are available: $15/evenings; $8/half days; food optional but registration needed by 4/3/01 if meals desired; single meals $5 each with advance notice or potluck without notice.   Several work exchange dancers are needed for food preparation, serving and clean-up.  Email:  chefbecky [@] splittree.orgFor Friday night, bring your picnic or contribute $3 to Leah's  hot soup crockpot fund, this year offering beef/vegetable and vegetarian garlic potato soup.

Lodging:  Split Tree has limited house beds and house floor space but has ample studio floor space and also tent shelter in a large barn next to the studio.  For more privacy you can camp on 200 acres of woods and pasture in the NW Georgia mountains.  Bring usual camping supplies: bedding, towels, soap, flashlight, rain gear, etc.
Off-campus housing info:  The Key West Inn near LaFayette (10 miles, special STF price) and Hidden Hollow Inn (4 miles) are recommended.

General Considerations:  Dress for Saturday Fool's Ball is funky double retro 21st century (i.e., use your imagination).  Weekend pre-registration is required but last-minute dancers may call during the weekend to learn if space is available.  Paired (buddy) registration is very strongly encouraged for gender balance, but come anyway, with or without a partner.  Fair warning dancers:  Open registration means there may be, although not necessarily and not historically, more women than men and therefore, women, please recruit some of those "must dance with" or "shy but intriguing" guys to even things up--we'd offer a gender bounty for male fools but this is a fund raiser Fool's Fest and we need all who love or might love social dance.  Dancers are all asked to help preserve our beautiful hard wood floor by wearing clean non-street, non-marking, soft-sole shoes.    Children must be supervised at all times; no underage foolishness allowed for the safety of all concerned.  No pets or alcohol are allowed.  Avoid strong perfumes/fragrances.  We believe social dance may reduce or even stop nicotine addiction over time, and so smoking is allowed for humanitarian reasons for the addicted but only away from all non-smokers and buildings--no ifs, ands or butts. 

Directions: Detailed directions available from web site, or call 706/539-2485 if no web access.
Split Tree General Information   Maps, Directions  Lodging  Chattanooga Weather

Link to New Electronic Registration Form

Receive a free "live at the studio" Split Tree "Waltzes" CD with $100 tuition donation; 
more info at
Split Tree Web Store 

Print/Email Registration form (Please use new electronic registration form above or, only if it's easier for you, select/print and paste/email Bart Ruark at registrationff2485 [@] or mail this portion w/check to address below):    Date:____________________
Name/s:  ________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________(age if under 12)

Street Address _________________________________________________________

City_________________________ State__________   Zip ___________________

Phone: ______________________  Email:_______________________________

Note:  The FF weekend tuition donation is priced at a $100 contribution unless you simply can't afford that much and need to pay less down even to the minimum $50 to be able to come and donate what you can for the fund drive for the roof insulation.  We will have wasted much exceptional and generous volunteer talent if all register at the $50 minimum and will be short of our roof insulation goal of $3-5,000.  So please contribute as much as you can.  Sid

Join the Split Tree Fool's Hall of Fame by contributing $250 or more--see current HF Fool photos 

Please note:  For your and our convenience, please click on the new electronic registration form and pay by mailing a check or pay by going to the credit card Split Tree web store link on that form.  Of, if you prefer, you may complete the form below or on the printed flyer and mail w/check.  Or you may complete the form below and select, copy and paste into an email to us at the address given in the next paragraph and then put a check in the mail.  You may pay for as many persons on the form below as you wish (up to four on the electronic form).  We will send an email confirming your registration or will call with confirmation.
(Or, you can call Bart or Sid at 706/539-1222 and register by phone.  Or come register in person.  Just come.)

Adults Tuition:** #_______ [@] $100+ (to 50) each   =    $____ (tax-deductible?**  Y___N___)
Adult Meals:*       #_______ [@] $15/person     =    $_______ (5 wknd meals)
Child Tuition: **   #_______ [@] $20 each    =    $_______  (under 12 years)
Child Meals: *       #_______ [@] $8/person    =    $_______ (5 wknd meals) (under 12 years)
Adult Work Wknd: #______ [@] $20 each  =    $________
Reserve a "Waltzes" CD for me   yes _____  no ______ (with minimum $100 tuition donation)
Note:  Children must be supervised at all times and we do not have child-care at this time.  We welcome children yet we ask parents to use good judgment in allowing children to dance in contra lines.  If requested, we can set aside one or two contras for beginners and families if enough experienced dancers will assist.

Total $ Enclosed: (STF) ___________(Tax-Ded.)_____________  Number persons:________
*   Make check payable to Fool's Fest 2485/Split Tree Farm.
**   If tax-deductible, make check payable to:  Southern Pitch, Inc./Split Tree Fund.  Meals not tax-deductible.
Online credit card payment is available:  Split Tree Web Store, but first register electronically.

Lodging plans (indicate # beside each choice):   
_____ Barn space (a mattress of wood shavings)
_____ Pasture tenting
_____ Motel/BnB, see housing page below
_____ House (beds now all reserved for artists/staff)
_____Studio/house floor space (ample room)
_____ Other?______________
     Nearby Lodgings

Make checks payable to and mail to:  Split Tree Farm/FF2485, Split Tree Farm, 597 W. Cove Road, Chickamauga, GA 30707.   (Or payable to Southern Pitch, Inc/Split Tree Fund if tax-deductible; use same mailing address). 

We welcome your registration by Link to New Electronic Registration Form or you can email or fax (770.216.1596) but checks must be received within 7 days for registration to be confirmed.  Confirmations will be made by email or phone.  No refunds after 3/30/01 (tuition credit only after confirmation).  Email: registrationff2485 [@]   Single dance tickets are available: $15/evenings; $8/half days; food optional but registration needed by 4/3/01 if meals desired; single meals $5 each.

FLIGHT INFO:  Nearest public airport is Chattanooga (45 minutes); Atlanta, Birmingham, Nashville, Knoxville airports are about 2-3 hours and usually some rides can be found with the help of dancers in nearby cities. 

History of the Fool's Fest and First 1990 Fool's Fest Dawn Dance Flyers

a Fool's History of How Contra Dancing Got Its Name

"All I Really Need to Know I Learned at Contra Dancing," by Ginger Pyron

Split Tree is supported in part by Southern Pitch, Inc. and other generous supporters of the social and participatory arts.

Thanks to Bart Ruark, creator of Dance Vortex, for designing the new electronic registration form and updating our email mailing lists.

Split Tree announcements are made by email only to those who are interested and anyone receiving emails who does not want them should notify:  sid [@] with the word REMOVE in the subject line.  STF prefers to pay musicians and teachers rather than the post office.  We use small dance lists sent to us and also names of people who have asked to be on our general mailing list.  We also depend on friends to pass on our news to others in a variety of formats.

Guest Book     Sign Up for STF Email Lists

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