4-6 May 2018
14TH Annual 

Whitewater Whirl!

a mini dance vacation in WV's New River Gorge Scenic Recreation Area

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2018 Bands


The Ripples play the Saturday evening dance at Winter Warmup 2016.

The Ripples

This exciting young band, based in Cincinnati and Louisville, has fast become a favorite on the contra dance weekend circuit, earning rave reviews wherever they go. While keeping a firm footing in traditional American music, the Ripples offer a distinctive brand of what they call “a contemporary-meets-traditional sound with hints of jazz, bluegrass, world beats, and straight up pop hits.”  

The Ripples feature Gabrielle Lanza on vocals and percussion, Kristen Planeaux on piano and flute, Andrew Taylor on fiddle, and Christopher Wood on electric baritone guitar. 

 The band has featured at dance weekends throughout the Midwest. They invite you to “come stomp, slink, and slide across the dance floor to their entrancing tunes!”

Contrarians play Julia Delaney/Sidewinder at Looking Glass Music and Dance Festival, Lansing, MI

Contrarians play Shenandoah Falls/Through the Gates at Looking Glass Music and Dance Festival, Lansing,MI.


With roots in Celtic and Appalachian music, the Contrarians have inspired dancers from NY to Atlanta to St.Louis and points in between with genre bending grooves featuring sax, fiddle, mandolin, electric and acoustic guitar, stick bass, foot percussion and more. The Contrarians conceived of Whitewater Whirl with their former guitar player, Gary Reynolds, have played for it every year, and never disappoint.

Contrarians deliver hot contra dance music from West Virginia, where the traditions trend toward square dance and bluegrass. The Contrarians, however, as their name implies, are not restricted by genres: Celtic, French Canadian, Swing, Gypsy, as well as Appalachian and original tunes are woven together and spiced with Afro-pop, Reggae, blues, and other grooves. 

The Contrarians have a new CD, Balance and Shout! It is their 2nd CD and first with guitar player, Andy Park and features John Longwell's smooth sax and punchy mandolin, Andy's electric grooves and acoustic leads, Paul Epstein's energetic fiddling and complex compositions, and the always solid yet imaginative bass playing of Will Carter.

Updated: 2017-11-16