My Biography


Michael has been dancing and calling for over 50 years. He has danced with London Folk (the EFDSS national dance company), London Pride Morris Men (Cotswold), Manley Traditional Morris Men (NorthWest) and founded/directed the Queen Anne Dance Company. He was also a Folk Camp leader for many years. He came across ‘country dancing’ at elementary school in England, but it was not until he went to a Barn Dance when he was 17 that he became hooked. He started calling in 1972 as the resident caller at Haystack Folk Club, the weekly London University folk dance and song club. Until work and family pressures dictated an early retirement in 1991, he had called at most of the major folk festivals in the UK and was the caller with the acclaimed electric folk-rock band Pyewackett for 10 years. From 1991 he called only occasionally until 2002 when he decided that he couldn’t keep away and started calling regularly again.

Since then he has called at many UK festivals including Bromyard (‘02), Whitby (‘03,’04), Eastbourne (‘03,’05,’07), Lichfield (‘04,’05) and Sidmouth (‘06,’07,'10 and '17). He also ran a monthly zesty contra series in Newbury and created and ran the first five ‘sell-out’ zesty contra weekends at Halsway Manor. He has been heard calling on TV and radio in the UK. He is considered an authority on the authentic performance of 17th and 18th century English country dance. He was a member of the Dance Research Advisory Group of the Institute of Teachers of Dance (ISTD) and has served on the council of the Society for Dance Research. He has had papers published in the Folk Music Journal and Traditional Dance and presented a lecture/workshop at the Dolmetsch Historical Dance Society 2001 Conference on his new interpretation of Newcastle.

In 2008 he and his (American) wife Rhonda emmigrated to the USA where he regularly called contra and ECD. As well as calling for local and regional dances he called for 3 dance weekends in Minneapolis, 4 dance camps in California, a dance camp in Florida and made appearances at NEFFA in 2007 (contra), 2008 (ECD) and 2009 (ceilidh and contra medley). He was on the Friday Night Dancers (Glen Echo) Board and responsible for booking bands there from 2010-2014 and then on the Board of Phoenix Traditional Music and Dance. In January 2019 Michael and Rhonda returned to the UK. They live just outside Manchester area and Michael is a regular caller for, and a committee member of, both Adlington Folk Dance Club and Hawk Green Folk Dance Club.

He brings together his talents as a high energy ceilidh caller with his experience of dancing (and calling) contras and English Country Dance, both in the UK and the USA. You can see a list of all his festival and dance camp appearances here and a list of everywhere he has called here