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wpe5.gif (138265 bytes) Cancelled due to transportation problems, illnesses, and low registration.  Sept. 21-23, Heitzso and Nancy Harden's Contact Improvisation and Awareness Through Movement (tm) Weekend.    Info:  Heitzso,  xxh1 [@]     Flyer link.

Have a Blues Christmas & Winter Holiday Ball at Split Tree Dec. 22-24  Alan Dynin and Fred Ramos, hosts.   Flyer/Info
& Enjoy Christmas in the Country Sunday, Dec. 24 and Christmas Day

RobustLandler.jpg (114379 bytes)Join Richard Powers and Angela Amarillas
 at Split Tree Farm's
Old Vienna Ball & Waltz Weekend
with Friday Mozart Contra Dance

Nov. 3-5                                               Details at  Flyer Link  

Cancelled: The Millennium Eve Week at Split Tree is at the moment being thought of as more than a dance week (although with plenty of social dancing to the finest of musicians with the finest of dancers in the best of spaces).   Richard Powers, whom we had invited to produce and direct this  week, has decided to be with his family in California on this special occasion but he will be present in spirit.  
        We are tentatively calling the week "Split Tree's Serious Porching Festival," Dec. 27-Jan. 1, with a YK2 chill-down party Sat, Jan. 2 for those concerned about traveling on New Year's Day.   If you're worried about how to celebrate the end of/beginning of Year 2000, and want to be sure of enough dried food to eat and good friends to play with until the world works again, this is the place to be.  And we can certify that all our computers, the dance floor, and the Steinway piano are YK2 compliant...what else do we need to party in the new millennium?
      Programming will probably be along the lines of the annual Fool's Festival, which included performances, kid's activities, hiking, writing, play readings/performances, etc., and, as always, serious porching (better now that the railing has been lowered by David Turner). 
       Registration is now open with $100 deposit mailed to Split Tree Serious Porching Festival, 597 West Cove Road, Kensington, GA 30707.  Email porchfest [@]   Cost is approximately $300 for the week, including food and available Split Tree shelter. 
       Hidden Hollow lodge reservations can be made by calling 706/539-2372.  We are investigating other nearby BnBs, cabins, and an old 1890s hotel as off-campus lodging.  Your participation will be a key ingredient in creating the magic and power of this week.  Email your suggestions to STF at porchfest [@]  Or call  Sid at 706/539-2485.


   Split Tree this summer of 1999 has been a time for retreat, reflection...and  maintenance.   Chattanooga's David Turner, a fine carpenter and jack-of-all trades when he's not swing dancing with wife Gail, was resident materials artist and added all the details that are beginning to make Split Tree the finest and most beautiful residential dance studio anywhere.
     He is researching innovative ways of air-conditioning the studio so dancers and movement artists can use it year-round.  Volunteers will be needed soon as concept and design plans are firm; we believe that just as dancers (see photo at top) built the fine hardwood floor that we also can built the a/c system, maybe even a geo-thermal system with enough expert advice and financial assistance.  Volunteer your interest and knowledge and donations to the "cool studio" effort by emailing:
  coolstudio [@]

Jazz Writing--a Calligraphy Workshop (click for description/JazzWriting link), May 4-9, with Patricia Dressler and associates.  Info: 314/535-5515, email alphadance [@]

zengraphic.gif (3687 bytes)

The Zen of Waltz Weekend

                Waltzing with Spirit             
Click here for flyer
Friday April 30 through Sunday May 2

led by Richard Powers and Angela Amarillas from Stanford University

Click here for flyer

Expect surprises...but do not expect enlightenment,
although it may come unexpectedly.

Spaces are available; paired registration open.   

Cost: $50 for music, instruction and studio;
$25, Anna Sue's tasty vegetarian food

Paint Party Time Mar. 26-28 was a big success and Don Walker and crew painted almost the entire main Split Tree studio/house a rich dark brown stain, giving it a lodge look.   The next work and play weekend is April 10-11 when we will finish the house and gardens. There will be swing dancing Sat. night. 
Come and join us.
--call Don Walker, 615/847-0133  or Sid, 706/539-2485

Fool's Fest      10th Anniversary Dance Weekend
April 2-4 with Fool of Fools
Seth Tepfer    click for flyer 

Registration will not close for this 10th anniversary Fool's Fest.
As usual, a few more men are needed for gender balance.
Due to Easter conflicts we have single admissions available:
  Friday night, $15; Sat day, $15; Sat night, $20; Sun $10.
Email registrar Dave Kehres at foolsfest99 [@]
Weather outlook is partly cloudy with lows in 50s and highs in 70s--perfect for foolishness.
See Head Fool Seth Tepfer's Downdate on 10th Fool's Fest

Featuring Beth Molaro, Atomic City Rhythm Rascals, Walter Parks, Midnight Kitchen, Julie Austin,  Alan Dynin, Kate Teluga, Becky Forster (chef) and more motley fools

Registration:  foolsfest99 [@]  

A Zany Collection of Contra, Waltz, Tango, Blues, Swing Dancing, Contact Improvisation,  Rock ‘n Roll and Other Foolishness...& as always Serious Porching.

Calling by Beth Molaro and Seth Tepfer to fribbling contra music by Knoxville's versatile Atomic City Rhythm Rascals.   Couples dance music by the Split Tree Motley Fool Orchestra, with, among others, Walter Park’s (The Nudes’ vocalist/guitarist/songwriter) and guitarist/vocalist Julie Austin Friday evening along with some late night acoustic contra pickin'.   Expect a mixture of musicians and musical energy the likes of which you've never heard or danced to before.  Dancing Friday night and all day Saturday and Sunday.  Guest callers/teachers and musicians welcomed and all given full (and free) membership in the Split Tree Fool’s Hall of Fame.  

Cost: $50 tuition; $25 vegetarian food; suggested bunk/bath house donation of $25.   Head fool Seth Tepfer has finally figured out what to make of such a mess.   We do have a schedule (go to flyer page) with dancing and Sethfoolery all weekend.  This being a festival of fools, beginners are needed to offset the habits of experienced dancers. We will  have special programming for the young Jesters  with Kate Teluga, Gus Johnson, Julie Austin, and Rob Hejna.  Come play with us and make this 10th anniversary Festival of Fools Easter weekend the most foolish of them all.  Be foolwise!

(Space is available):  Southern Contact Improv Jam,  Mar. 19-21, Anna Sue Courtney, 706/539-2485 or contact Sycamore at 205/636-2369.   Cost:  $50.   Bring food for yourself and a little extra to share (the kitchen is available for cooking).   No child care; no pets, alcohol allowed; smoking in designated areas only.  Send check to Sycamore Toffel, 4410 Choctaw Circle, Huntsville, AL 35801 or pay at the door.  For other CI news, info see links above.

Singing and Releasing with Elise Witt and Jean Dunham (click for flyer), March 13 & 14. 

(postponed, no date  at this time) Writing from the Inside Out, March 5-7, led by Sid Hetzler; music by pianist Alan Dynin.   An exploration into blending writing and musical moments.  Cost:  $50/potluck food.  See flyer

Split Tree's Carnival Ball Weekend  in Vienna, Austria, Feb. 10-14.  At this time, no trip is scheduled, although air fares are very low as of 1/15/99.   We can assist anyone interested in attending carnival balls.  If interested, please email Angie Johnson at joanel [@] for ball and other trip updates.    See Austria Today article and other articles, links on Vienna ball season on waltz page.   Email Sid at weinwaltz [@] for info.           Vienna weather           Join a American Viennese Waltz Society--link to Sacramento's Viennese Waltz Society and schedule.

=====Cancelled=====Music Improvisation Workshop, Alan Dynin, tentatively set for last weekend of January; for information, please call Alan at 404/685-9346.  Call Alan about future plans and dates.

See Halloween Waltz Weekend photo sample.  Split Tree Photo Album  See Rhonda's pumpkin.
And don't miss new link to Atlanta web designer, and all-round dancer, Andy's Estes' collection of waltz weekend and Vortex 98 photos--click here.  Thanks, Andy.

Writing from the Inside Out--with Movement and Music, Dec. 4, 5 & 6, led by Sid Hetzler.   See flyer.  Music by improvisational cellist Gwendolyn Watson, movement by Anna Sue Courtney.

Thanksgiving Weekend, Friday, Nov. 27, David and Gail's Sock Hop Old Time Swing Dance with favorite CD/tapes/records.  Swing swap workshop, 6-8 p.m.; dancing until 11 p.m.  Call David or Gail at 423/892-9686 for details.   Cost:  $5.    Chattanooga contra dance on Saturday night.   House donations requested for overnight accomodations.   Tenting in pasture or barn at no charge.

Richard Powers' Halloween Waltz Weekend (flyer link), Oct. 30-Nov 1 (see waltz page link).  For this weekend Richard will use his extensive collection of recorded waltz and turning music of the past two hundred years rather than live music so we can concentrate on thoroughly learning old and new waltz steps to the best of waltz music.  The price of the weekend would be much too high with adequate live music even if we could find a group who knew old style waltz, polka, etc.  We much prefer live music here but this is primarily a teaching weekend.  Using Richard's collection makes it possible to reduce the price from the usual $75 to $55 for workshop, music, studio and farm shelter space plus the optional $25 for vegetarian food.
        Registration is now open and we require paired registration (see Richard's explanation of this idea and process) to help continue our good record of gender balance; we will take singles but then we match them at the time of registration and cannot confirm until each gender is matched.  It's the best we know how to do to to allow for the normal unbalanced gender registration and the limited number we can accommodate.  

       Single days/dances:  As of Oct. 20, we have 60 of our 100 maximum dancers registered and paid and we expect to have room for single dance and single day admissions.  Ticket cost (must be gender paired regardless of portion of weekend attending) is $40 for Sat/Sunday (includes ball); $25 for Sat/Sun alone; $25 for Saturday Halloween Ball alone.  This does not include food, which due to advance planning and preparations will cost $25 for the weekend, same as if at full weekend.  
       Accomodations:  House beds and floor spaces are full but studio and barn spaces are available; we suggest you bring tents for the covered barn.  See web page for off-campus housing.
      Weather: See web link above for Chattanooga weather; our guess is highs in 60s and lows in high 30s/low 40s.

Spirit, Soul, Body, Earth:  An Inner Ecology--Authentic Movement with Marcia Plevin, DTR, Oct. 23-25, info:  Sydney Hughes-McGee, 336/724-0708

Southern Contact Improv Jam,  Oct. 9, 10 & 11, Anna Sue Courtney, 706/539-2485 or contact Sycamore at 205/636-2369.   Cost:  $50.   Bring food for yourself and a little extra to share (the kitchen is available for cooking).   No child care; no pets, alcohol allowed; smoking in designated areas only.  Send check to Sycamore Toffel, 4410 Choctaw Circle, Huntsville, AL 35801 or pay at the door.  For other CI news, info see links above.

Ann Strang's Split Tree song, written at Elise Witt and Jean Dunham's Singing and Releasing Weekend Workshop Sept 26-7, 1998:

Split Tree Farm Reunion - Sept. 26, 1998
to the tune of "I Wonder as I Wander" be continued

We fly and we sing as we let go our wings,
Releasing and breathing are wonderful things,
Communing in this time and space are we all,
Reunion at Split Tree, this time in the fall.

Suspended in time and in space here we are,
Our journeys have brought us from homes near and far,
Laughing and crying, we gather as one,
And are moved by the spirit, "or not," says Jean Dunham.

We eat and we sing and we watch the birds fly
Across the green fields and through the blue sky.
Lightening may strike us and tear us apart
But we'll come back together, a symphony in parts.

Elise leads us upward and onward, beyond
The limits of singing we thought were our own.
We let go our minds and rejoice in our song,
Surrounded by beauty, it's here we belong.

DANCE VORTEX home page has moved to

(Click here to get there) and please update your bookmarks

DANCE V.ORTEX III October 2-4, 1998  One HOT weekend of Cajun, Zydeco, Swing & Waltz Dancing & Music

Special Thank You to Sid Hetzler, Director, Split Tree Participatory Arts Center for his years of inspiration, energy, promotion, friendship and the use of his web site to promote Vortex and the magnificent creation of Split Tree Participatory Arts Center and for the encouragement to develop Dance Vortex.  Vortex was founded & held for 2 years at this incredible facility. I will miss being there as Vortex moves on to a larger facility. There is no question that Split Tree is one of the most beautiful locations to have an event and has THE best dance floor in the country! Check out the Split Tree web site here - there's always something of interest going on there!....Bart Ruark 
[Bart's third blow-out dance jam at nearby Mentone, where he moved Vortex from Split Tree due to the much larger number of dancers to be accomodated, was a roaring success.  Our favorite was the Dan Electro Swing Band from Florida and the Sunday waltz quartet--complete with singing saw].

Writing and Dancing Workshop Easter Weekend, April 9-12, led by Sid Hetzler; music by Alan Dynin.   Cost:  $50 plus potluck food.  Min: 10; Max: 30 persons.   This workshop continues Hetzler's 10-year exploration of open writing forms, which began at the Omega Institute in 1988 with a week-long seminar introducing the proprioceptive writing practice created by Linda Metcalf and Tobin Simon.   It also incorporates the journal writing insights of Anais Nin,and other open form writing practices in a supportive group environment.  Informal evening dancing is planned with music by Alan Dynin and Friends.
Postscript:  A superb weekend was had by about 10 writers and dancers on a perfect April weekend in the writing cabin and studio and around the old tree.      We probably will do these once a quarter around a full moon time, which was so bright we took a pasture hike.   Each of us seemed to make a breakthrough or two in some area of writing or dancing or music making.   The next weekends will include writing, music, and dancing.  

  To accomodate more dancers than Split Tree's preferred limit of 100, Bart Ruark has moved Vortex from Split Tree this year to the Saddlerock campground at Mentone, AL., where the Birmingham contra dancers have their annual mid-August weekend.  It will remain the first weekend in October, he says.  We were proud this event started at Split Tree following the 1996 Fools' Fest and are happy to see it continue its growth as one of the hottest dance weekends around.   Bart has been a key force in building the Split Tree dance space and promoting our facility.  We wish him well in this business venture...and we also keep out the welcome mat for Vortex to return or for any other events Bart plans in the future.

Southern Contact Improv Jam:  6 pm Fri. March 6--2 pm Sun. March 8 at Split Tree studio.  For more info contact Sycamore at 205/636-2369 or Anna Sue Courtney at 205/536-5137.   Cost:  $50. Bring food for yourself and a little extra to share (the kitchen is available for cooking).   No child care; no pets, alcohol allowed; smoking in designated areas only.  Send check to Sycamore Toffel, 4410 Choctaw Circle, Huntsville, AL 35801.  For other CI news, info see links above.

Split Tree's Carnival Ball Weekend  in Vienna, Austria, Feb. 18-22
Vienna weather    
We went, we danced four all-night balls in five nights, we returned, we slept.  See Austria Today article on Vienna ball season on waltz page.  Photos to come soon.

Click here for rough notes on Split Tree's "Next Steps" meeting held July 27, at the farm.  Allan Dynin's draft of vision/mission statement is now posted.  Comments are invited.

Thanksgiving Weekend: Alan Dynin and friends have planned a potpourri weekend Friday through Sunday that includes a music-dance jam Friday and Saturday nights, drum circle, hymn and folk-singing, herbology, life mapping, vegetarian cooking, and the traditional Pigeon Mountain hike...all for $25 (potluck food).    Link to Alan Dynin's web page.

Richard Powers and Angela Amarillas' Waltz Weekend II...was a magical time of waltzing with some of the finest vintage dancers in the world to a blend of live and recorded music.  Visiting Stanford dancers Karen Tierney, Monica Shen, and Ryan Knotts along with Flying Cloud dancers Lin and Steve Heilman of Cincinatti and Anna Sue Courtney of Huntsville turned the studio into an elegant Viennese ballroom complete with homemade chandelier for dancing to galops, polkas, waltzes, and quadrille's of Atlanta's Lenox String Quartet.  Chefs Dee Tison and Christy Barden and crew matched the music with their superb vegetarian menu.  A few photos will be posted soon on our new waltz page.  Our Sunday afternoon boogie party featured Split Tree's October resident artist, Walter Parks, guitarist/vocalist, along with multi-talented Ryan Knotts, also a Stanford vintage dancer, on bass, and Chuck Rykos on drums.  The trio energized the Sunday afternoon dance party in a style similar to what Richard Powers will create at the April 24-26 free-style couples dance weekend. See brief summary below.

Bart Ruark's Dance Vortex II  Oct. 3-5 was a tremendous success, closing out with 150 happy dancers from as far away as Rhode Island.  Info moved to previous festivals; see main page.

Steve Rose and Leslie Hodges of Atlanta's Argentine Tango Society presented a framed plaque with text on "The Origin of Split Tree Farm" Sept. 6, 1997 at weekend workshop.  Click here for text

Return to STF home page.


Split Tree Farm dancer's retreat:  Bed 'n kitchen 'n studio: $20/night; $10/night camping.   Email sid [@] or call 706/539-2485.          For info on other retreats, see Nov. 1, 2001 New York Times article on retreat centers:  "A resource for those seeking a retreat in the United States is "Sanctuaries: A Guide to Lodgings in Monasteries, Abbeys, and Retreats," by Jack and Marcia Kelly (Bell Tower).  This guide offers descriptions of spiritual havens of many different sorts.  

  Hetzler's Hay Barn Web Store 
Split Tree Farm wins FL/GA/AL 1st place for 2005 cool grass hay forage quality