Norman Farrell (Ridgefield, WA) discovered community dance by accident in 2006 after years of wondering why the dancing he enjoyed so much at fiddle camp wasn’t happening everywhere. Go figure. Tulsa, OK, and Lawrence, KS, were Norman’s original dance communities, and he soon found himself volunteering at the annual Pilgrims Progression Dance Weekend and playing for a local family dance in Bartlesville, OK.
Now, retired in the Pacific Northwest, Portland, OR, and Vancouver, WA, have become Norman’s dance home where weekly dancing (in the “before times”), paid and volunteer music, and being part of the Vancouver contra dance organization are a vital part of life. Playing in the Portland Megaband horn section has been an annual thrill since 2017.
Norman grew up in Oklahoma as part of a large dairy farming family and has been a lifelong musician since successfully begging for piano lessons at age 10. An omnivorous musical appetite led to performing at local cultural events and festivals and playing for several years with the Amarillo Wind Ensemble. Work-related travel brought a chance to encounter the rich tapestry of community dance and music around the world from Alaska to Australia and life-enriching experiences which Norman hopes to support and grow through direct CDSS participation.