Thank you to everyone who came out to this year’s Gypsy Meltdown!

Bands: Notorious and Buddy System
Callers: Will Mentor and George Marshall to a Princess Bride * Theme

Gypsy Meltdown is Charlotte’s annual contra dance weekend, held each March at Camp Thunderbird. Come enjoy three superb days of dancing to some of the best bands and callers in the country.

* For those not familiar with The Princess Bride movie, please click here and here to get better acquainted.



With a unique blend of instruments, creativity, and amazing skills Notorious creates a delightful, unmatched contra dancing experience! Eden MacAdam Somer (fiddle) with her singular and exhilarating style, creates the groundwork for this band’s tremendously energetic, totally danceable sound. Larry Unger (guitar/banjo) provides an unrelenting infectious rhythm, while Sam Bartlett (mandolin) adds his incredible musical nuances to the sound. Mark Hellenberg (percussion) the heartbeat of the band, will wow all with his unforgettable signature riffs!


The Synergy between Noah VanNorstrand (fiddle, foot percussion, didgeridoo) and Julie Vallimont (Piano, synths, accordion) is absolutely electrical and gives their music it’s magical, ethereal sound. With their improvisation and driving beats, Buddy System has taken the contra community by storm, having played for contra dances at some of the biggest dance festivals in the country. They will rock the house!



Known for his upbeat wit, relaxed stage presence, and clear teaching. Will loves to choreograph a program with a variety of dances and tempos that will often surprise and delight the dancers, while upholding his guiding principle as a caller: “It’s about the dancers!”


Known for his sense of timing, clear concise calls and warm enthusiasm, George delights dancers with his knack for matching music to the dances as well as his extensive repertoire. George has a delightfully infectious personality that gets everyone moving, smiling and having a great time!


Saturday Night “As You Wish” Ball

“That day, she was amazed to discover that when he was saying “As you wish”, what he meant was, “I love you.” And even more amazing was the day she realized she truly loved him back.” — from the movie The Princess Bride

Pick your favorite character and dress accordingly: Buttercup, Westley (as farm boy or Dread Pirate Roberts), Inigo Montoya, Fezzik, Miracle Max, his wife, the albino Count Rugen or even Humperdinck (if you are on good behavior and don’t try to steal Buttercup away).


Friday’s POT-LUCK dinner begins at 6:30pm. Bring your favorite food to share! Camp Thunderbird’s catering experts provide the rest of the purchased meals. If you prefer vegetarian fare, make your wishes known on the registration form. Sunday brunch will be served on the back porch of the dance hall overlooking lovely Lake Wylie.

Sleeping Arrangements

Heated cabins, single beds and togetherness bathrooms with showers are among the many perks of Camp Thunderbird. You will need to bring bedding, towels and soap. Also available are local hotels (South Charlotte, NC. Fort Mill, SC. Rock Hill, SC). Camping is available at McDowell Park (704-588-5224). Remember, no tent or vehicle camping is allowed at Camp Thunderbird.


Registration is limited. A full refund minus $15 is available prior to March 3. We will confirm your registration by e-mail or SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope). Please be sure to send SASE or a clearly written e-mail address for confirmation.

For information and registration, contact:

Sandy Brand
704-756-9462 OR

If you cannot attend, please let Sandy Brand know (contact info above) to see if there is a waiting list before selling your ticket to someone of the same gender. We ask that if you sell your ticket, to sell to the same gender only. This is to keep the dance as balanced as possible.

Workshops & Special Events

• Waltz Workshops –  Jan Luquire

• English Country Dance workshop – Gaye Fifer

• Caller’s Workshop – George Marshall and Will Mentor

• RushFest – Emily Rush

• Yoga – Hampton Thrower

• Musician’s Jam –  Holley Ross – Bring your instruments along!

• Massage – for your dance-weary bodies, bones and feet

• Rise up Singing – Gretchen Caldwell

• Sunday Morning Waltzing

• Sunday Brunch by Harriette Bugel

• Sound – Jamie Platte

Camp Rules

The following are NOT ALLOWED: alcohol, cooking, pets, camping, (this includes camping or sleeping in vehicles) and unsupervised children.

Camp Thunderbird

Located on beautiful Lake Wylie, SC, Camp Thunderbird is 20 minutes south of Charlotte, NC,
and is easily accessible from all directions.

Address: 1 Thunderbird Lane Lake Wylie, SC 29710-8811

Camp Thunderbird Lake Wylie SC