As part of the Introduction to Folk Music class taught by Lynette Swiger, a square dance and cakewalk will be held on November 15, 2018 from 7:00 – 8:30 pm in the Great Room of Cultures at the Frank and Jane Gabor WV Folklife Center on the campus of Fairmont State University. The dance is free and open to the public and has become an annual event that is enjoyed by old and young alike. Anyone is welcome and encouraged to attend in order to experience an old-time dance event. Taylor Runner will lead the dance, and music will be provided by the Kennedy Barn String Band.
Taylor Runner is a square dance caller from Morgantown, West Virginia. One of his mentors was Worley Gardner who regularly called dances at the Marilla Center and was featured in Robert Dalsemer’s book “West Virginia Square Dances” published in 1982. Worley was known as a “singing caller” and Taylor learned his style of calling. Taylor has continued the tradition of calling for the Marilla dances as well as many other dances throughout the state and region including the WV State Folk Festival at Glenville, WV. Taylor is recognized for his ability to make dances fun and easy for everyone including first-time dancers. No one is made to feel discouraged or uncomfortable and it’s almost impossible to see a dancer without a smile on his or her face as they move around the room. Taylor’s passion and respect for old-time dance is evident in his enthusiasm, and he easily spreads that enthusiasm to others.
The Kennedy Barn String Band is proud to be the house band of the WV Folklife Center and chose its name based on the fact that the Folklife Center is located in a renovated barn that was originally built by the Kennedy family in the early 1900s.The band is a homegrown, old-time music group that was formed to promote folk music traditions and now performs regularly at music and dance events across West Virginia. The band was originated by Michael and Joni Schroering and George Yost and has grown to include Brian Conaway, Jamie Greene, Jimmy Robbins, Susie Jones, Tom Manuel, George Reynolds, Robert Lackey, Christy Thompson, and Steve Smigocki.