Dugan Murphy is a contra dance caller performing across the U.S. and Canada, whose smooth-voiced and joyful teaching has the precision of clockwork.
Dugan Murphy's voice is smooth like an evening radio personality and his pants are loud like his favorite metal band. He calls contra dances across the U.S. and Canada, but mostly in the Northeast and Midwest. He is known for emanating joy and for teaching with the artful precision of clockwork.
Dugan Murphy is a contra dance caller performing across the U.S. and Canada. He always puts on a great party. His voice is smooth like a movie-trailer voice-over, his joyful energy is infectious, and his outfits are... well, you'll have to see them to understand. He chooses intuitive dances and teaches them with just the right amount of direction, leaving spaciousness for dancers to groove to the music.
He began calling in 2011 while attending college in Cincinnati, Ohio and within four months was booked at a local dance weekend. Since returning home to his native Maine, he's called throughout the Northeast and across the country, from local dances to big events like Flurry (Saratoga Springs, New York), Ooh La La dance weekend (Richmond, Quebec), and Contradancers Delight Holiday week (Mogantown, West Virgina).
In 2016, Dugan created a Calling 101 class for brand new callers, which he's taught to around fifty students in classes set in Portland, Maine, Brooklyn, New York, and Toronto, Ontario. He serves as an ongoing mentor to emerging callers. Also in 2016, he co-organized Portland Intown Contra Dance, a lively weekly series on the peninsula in Portland, Maine.
He's also a Maine Humorist, voice artist, storyteller, and nonprofit consultant.
Flurry Festival, Saratoga Springs, New York
Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF), Black Mountain, North Carolina
Contradancers Delight Holiday, Morgantown, West Virginia
Ooh La La dance weekend, Richmond, Quebec
Bayou Bedlam contra dance weekend, Houston, Texas
Fall Ball, Peterborough, New Hampshire
Dawn Dance, Brattleboro, Vermont
Pigtown Fling, Cincinnati, Ohio (Friday night caller)
Chambana Jan Jam, Urbana, Illinois
Gypsy Moon Ball, Indianapolis, Indiana
Mad Robin Romp, Bloomington, Indiana
Portland Intown Contra Dance, Portland, Maine
Dugan Murphy calling at Flurry Festival in Saratoga Springs, New York. (February 2016)
Image by Dela Taylor
Dugan Murphy calling at Portland Intown Contra Dance in Portland, Maine. (November 2016)
Image by Jim Hamlin
Dugan Murphy calling at Mad Robin Romp contra dance weekend near Bloomington, Indiana. (March 2012)
Image by Dennis Wise