Welcome to Bob Dalsemer’s Web Pages


Bob Dalsemer lives in Hayesville, North Carolina in the extreme southwestern corner of the state: 2 miles from Georgia, 30 miles from Tennessee and "about two and a half hours from everywhere."

He was born and raised in Baltimore, where he co-founded the Baltimore Folk Music Society and helped start the dance program for the Folklore Society of Greater Washington. He served as president of The Country Dance and Song Society from 1990-1996. In the early 1980's Bob became a regular dance instructor at The John C. Campbell Folk School and moved to southwestern North Carolina in 1991 to become Coordinator of Music and Dance Programs at The Folk School. In his 22 years at the school he greatly expanded the music program, instituted annual training courses for callers and dance musicians and began producing a concert series featuring many fine local and regional traditional musicians. In 2011 The Country Dance and Song Society awarded Bob its Lifetime Contribution Award.

Bob specializes in calling traditional American contra, square and circle dances. He has composed a number of new dances in traditional style and published two collections of traditional square dances ( Smoke On the Water and When The Work's All Done ). Currently, the twenty square dances of the “Smoke” and “Work” recordings are available for purchase in MP3 format from DoSaDo.com. Each selection includes both the called and instrumental versions as well as a .pdf with the calls and music notation.

Bob’s 1982 book, West Virginia Square Dances, about old time square dancing in five W.Va. communities is available, free, online.  He also enjoys teaching, calling, and dancing English country dances.

From 2000 to 2015 Bob was principal caller for the Mountain Folk Festival at Berea College in Kentucky, an annual dance weekend for middle and high school age dance groups.

He currently serves as president of the board of Dancing Well: The Soldier Project, a program that introduces traditional dance to veterans suffering from PTSD and their families.

In addition to calling, Bob plays fiddle, guitar, mandolin and piano accordion. He is a musician for Sticks In the Mud Morris, Rural Felicity Garland Dancers, Dames Rocket Northwest Morris and a member of the Dog Branch Cats string band.

Bob retired from administrative duties at the Folk School in April, 2013. He continues calling, playing music, teaching occasional dance workshops and volunteering as a Guardian Ad Litem (Court Appointed Special Advocate) and Special Education Surrogate Parent.

He has two adopted sons: Peter and Andrew.

Here are links to other pages on Bob’s site:

Calling Schedule

Dance Compositions

Peter and Andrew's Page