Staff Bios CDW 2018

Wendy Graham Settle
(Caller, English & American Dance,
Couples Dance Intensive, Callers Workshop)
Self-described "dance maniac" Wendy Graham (Durango, CO) is thrilled to be on staff at Cumberland  Dance week. She leads dance throughout the U.S. and abroad, as far away as Alaska, England and Denmark -- and can now add Tennessee to the list! She’s been involved with music, song and dance for 25 years and proudly served on the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS) board.  Find out where in the world Wendy is at

Chrissy Davis-Camp (Caller, Ready Set Dance!, Elegance and Fun)

Chrissy Davis-Camp has been dancing nearly all her life. Growing up in rural East Tennessee, she started with intergenerational, community monthly music and dance. While attending Berea College, Chrissy was a Country Dancer for 3 years. Shortly after moving to Nashville in 1984, she started her calling career. Now she lives in Bell Buckle, TN with husband, Pat, and her youngest daughter Anna Claire. She calls over 120 dances a year, including her weekly dance in Flat Creek, TN. Come dance with us!

Jim Morrison
(Border Morris, Musician)

Jim was born and raised in California, and as a teenager immersed himself in the Berkeley Folk Festivals and the emerging folk music scene. His sophomore year at Dartmouth College he heard of a special off campus program in North Carolina. The Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, where he lived and worked for the second half of 1968, had a longstanding program of English, Danish and American dances. When he attended the Berea Christmas Country Dance School that year he wanted life to be like that all the time. Not long after graduating Jim went to work for May Gadd and the Country Dance and Song Society in New York City. He received three grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study the early history of American social dance, and before leaving New York served as director of CDSS. He was also involved in the founding of morris and sword teams and historic dance performing groups, and  toured with Agnes deMille as part of her troupe. For several years he continued to get away with dance leadership, history, and collecting as his main employment, and played in a number of bands, some traditional, some country. Jim now has a band with his sons misleadingly called the Morrison Brothers Band, and dances and plays with the Albemarle Morris Men.

Jeremy Lekich 
(Plant ID and edibles, Musician)
Jeremy Lekich started playing guitar when he was a pre-teen and has been dancing contra since he was a wee bitty boy. During his college years, Jeremy was introduced to world folk music and has never turned back. When Jeremy is not dancing or playing music, he wanders around in the forest eating wild foods and searching for stories. He also runs an edible landscaping and permaculture design business called Nashville Foodscapes.

Kelsey Wells
(Make a Crankie, Melody/Lead Workshop, Musician)
Kelsey Wells came into the world with her feet still, her mouth shut, and her eyes wide open. Since then, she has discovered the joys of old-time fiddling, folk dancing, storytelling, and various other traditional arts. Though rooted in the heritage of Appalachian music, she works to create intercultural musical communities and has a keen interest in the fiddling styles of Western North Carolina, southern Sweden, and a few places in between.
   Kelsey plays fiddle, banjo, and mbira and currently performs in the popular contra dance band Turnip the Beet, with Vermont-based folk musician Brendan Taaffe, and as a musical accompanist for her ma, poet Kory Wells.

Ellie Grace
(Rhythm & Song, Cape Breton Step Dance, Musician) 
 Ellie Grace (now based in Kansas City, MO) was born into a deep musical tradition and began her life-long love affair with Appalachian clogging at the ripe old age of five. She has spent her life performing professionally as a singer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and dancer, first as a young member of her family band and now as an independent artist. She has toured internationally with her sister duo (Leela & Ellie Grace), the Dirk Powell Band, the all-female old-time trio Blue Eyed Girl, and several percussive dance companies. Ellie has devoted her life to making the art forms that she loves truly accessible to others. In addition to her time on faculty at Smith College and Mount Holyoke College, Ellie has directed schools of folk music and dance in Missouri and North Carolina and been a master teacher at camps and festivals across the continent. In the culmination of a lifetime of performing and teaching, Ellie received an MFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from Smith College in May of 2015.  In 2017, Ellie released Walk It With You, a highly-anticipated recording with Asheville, NC collaborator Brian Claflin.

Mara Shea
(Meddling with Medleys, Musician)
Mara has been playing with violins since her mother decided her child had a really good sense of pitch and enrolled her in music schools in Westport and New Haven, CT. After studying classical violin for 10 years and then taking a 15-year break, she discovered folk and dance music. Mara has been happily playing for dancers since the 1990s-various styles of English, Scottish, contra, ceilidh-and is frequently heard at balls, dance weekends and concerts throughout the US and Canada. She has been on the music staff at Pinewoods, TAC Summer School, Ramblewood, Scottish Weekend, Christmas Country Dance School, and at the John C. Campbell Folk School. She has several recordings with her contra dance band, The Elftones, as well as with other wonderful musicians such as Dave Wiesler (Heather Hills) and Rhiannon Giddens (All the Pretty Horses). In 2014 Mara, Julie Gorka, and Walt Robinson formed Syllabub. 

Dean Herington
(Meddling with Medleys, Musician)
Dean has played clarinet and piano for English Country dancing since he relocated to North Carolina in the 70s.  He also enjoys playing for contra, Scottish, international, and couples dancing. Dean cofounded the band Footloose and played piano and clarinet with it for 20 years. Dean also helps run the Triangle Country Dancers' community/family dance series.

Julia Weatherford
(Dance Band, Paper Bag Marionettes, Musician)
Growing up in Berea, KY, Julia was well steeped in folk dancing, traditional old time music, morris dancing, puppetry and handcrafts.  She studied cello from the age of 10, sang in harmony vocal groups, performed and sang in summer theater and puppetry theater, and folk danced her way through high school and college. Julia settled at the family home place near Black Mountain, NC., and played cello with the Asheville Symphony for 13 seasons, meanwhile moonlighting as a traditional dance fiddler.  She was the artistic director of the legendary Black Mountain Festival from 1986-1995. Among her performance and teaching venues:  the LEAF, the Black Mountain Festival,  Berea Country Dance School, Pinewoods,  Moondance, The Gypsy Meltdown,  the CDSS Centennial Tour.  Julia currently plays with StrathSpan, Sugar High, Firefly, and The Free Range Ensemble. She is the logistics director at the Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College and the coordinator of Fiddle Week for that same event.

Kendall Rogers
(Instrument Workshop-Rhythm/Accompaniment, Musician)

Kendall is a piano player with bodhrán, piano accordion, whistle and DADGAD guitar habits. A native Kentuckian, he grew up amid the rich folk music and dance traditions there, with folk influences from the British Isles, Denmark, and North America. He also studied classical piano, played clarinet through high school and played jazz piano in high school and college, with each new thing leaving an indelible mark on his own music. Since college, Kendall has focused on playing for folk dance and music events across the US, and has led various folk dance band and piano workshops. Currently living in Houston, TX, Kendall enjoys playing Celtic festivals around the southern U.S. and cultivating the folk dance communities of Houston and South Louisiana.


Sarah Jo Jacobs (Mummers Play, Dynamic Drama Creations)
Sarah Jo is a recent graduate of Eastern Kentucky University with her Degree in Theater and English. Before completing her degree she spent year teaching at a nonprofit after school theatre program in Austin Texas and is thrilled to be back in Kentucky and starting her professional career. SJ has studied play-writing, acting, folk lore and puppetry. She has designed puppets for shows like Little Shop of Horrors, Avenue Q, and The Little Prince. She has also participated in numerous productions and festivals including The 24 Hour Play Festival (Director), CCDS Mummers Play (Director), Our Town (Emily Webb), The Tempest (Antonio), and Godspell (Chorus), ​SJ is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with her folk dance community once more.

Marliss Kehaulani Brockington

(Aloha! Polynesian Fusion *teens class)
is so excited to bring the Aloha Spirit to Cumberland this year! Because of her father’s native Hawaiian heritage, Marliss began dancing and performing Polynesian Dance over 20 years ago in her native city of San Diego, CA. Since then she has been privileged to learn all forms of Polynesian culture, language and dance from the islands of Hawai’i, New Zealand, Tahiti, the Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga. She has performed with groups in Southern California, Northern Virginia, at the world renown Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii, at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, and at the Makahiki Lu’au at SeaWorld Orlando. Marliss currently performs with Tuika’s Polynesian Magic in Fort Myers, Florida and Pittsburg, PA. Six years ago she founded and continues to teach the Napua Polynesian Performers, a group of 30 children with whom she infuses a love of Polynesian Dance and a desire to share the Aloha Spirit with the community. Marliss, who possesses a BS in Elementary Education and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, resides with her family in Fort Myers, FL and teaches first grade and piano. 

Hazel Jodock
(Stories and Songs, Childgrove Crafts)

Hazel brings to CDW her lifetime of folk dance experience and several years of teaching folk songs and dances to young children. She has a passion for engaging the youngest members of our dance community and enfolding them gently into the world of traditional song and dance.

Susan Edwards
(Young Naturalists)
is a Naturalist Educator and lives in Pine Lake, Georgia with her musician husband Dan and their two children, Murphy and Lily, ages 4 and 2.  Susan has degrees from the University of Georgia Athens in Entomology, Ecology, and a Master's of Education in Environmental Education.  She grew up exploring the Great Plains ecosystems in Oklahoma as a young girl, her classroom was nature and she was lucky to land in Georgia after her family moved because she was then able to learn the Piedmont region and explore the wilds of the south.  She has worked in numerous educational settings from Audubon and Nature Centers, Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta, Public School Systems, and as a Naturalist at Reggio Emilia inspired preschools.  Most recently Susan and Dan started their own program called Sound of Nature School which offers hands-on homeschool classes in areas such as Nature exploring, History, Music in our home studio, and even interactive physics classes. We are very much looking forward to our first year at Cumberland! 

Laurie White
(Craft a Costume)
Laurie has been teaching since middle school - music, crafts, Sunday school, nature, outdoor adventure. Currently, Laurie is working for an organic vegetable farm while homeschooling her children and caring for all the critters at her own homestead farm in Berea, Kentucky. Laurie is an active member of the Berea folk music and dance community and the Red Cedar Learning Cooperative. This is Laurie's third year as a cub scout leader. Laurie also teaches at 
River City Players Theatre Camp and helps to facilitate Christmas Country Dance School. 

Tim James
(Sound Wizard!!!)

Tim started singing in choirs when he was 8 and started dancing at 10 in a group started by Kirby Todd, a student of Dr. Shaw. In high school he became involved with theatre productions as both a performer and part of the crew. While attending a dance where the sound system went down, he happened to have a fuse that fixed it and has been manning the sound board for dances since. He also runs sound for other dance forms, dance weekends, music festivals and churches. He finds that you always learn things as a dedicated listener, even what happens when you cross a pig and a centipede.

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