Jacob Bloom

Dance, Stories, and more

 jacob@jacobbloom.net                      781-648-8230

Barn DanceWeddingsBar/Bat MitzvahsYiddish DanceColonial DanceVideos
Office PartiesSchool ProgramsSenior ProgramsStorytellingDances by JacobMummers Play

Barn Dance

Square dance, Contra Dance, Barn Dance - whichever of these names you use to describe it, it means dancing easy figures, in interesting combinations, to delightful  music.  The terms Square Dance and Contra Dance refer to certain dance formations, but I use lots of different formations to provide variety.  The term Barn Dance refers to a particular kind of location. I've called dances everywhere from company offices to restaurants (and, yes, barns).

These dances can be done by a group of people who have known each other for a while (for, say, an office party), or for people who have just met and want to have fun as they get to know each other.

I love teaching beginners, who can learn together about how easy and fun dancing can and should be - for themselves, their kids and grandkids, their friends, their elders.  Traditional dance, as opposed to dances done for a performance (say, as in ballet) are to be done by groups of people to strengthen social ties.

I specialize in leading dance events that get everyone moving and enjoying the music, whether they think they can dance or not. The dances I call are meant to get people moving together, let them enjoy being together, and to leave everyone smiling at the end.

"We want to thank you for a wonderful evening! Everyone ... thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Your skill at intermixing different  types of dances which answered the needs of your audience, combined with your ability to build a relationship with the audience made the evening a huge success."

I will work with you to create an event that fits your needs, budget, and time requirements.  I can provide a live band of experienced dance musicians for your event, or use recorded music if you prefer.


Your wedding will bring together people from both of your families as well as your friends.  Having traditional community-style dancing will give all these people a chance to meet each other and have fun.  These are dances that anyone can do without previous experience, and that will give you a chance to dance with everyone else in the room.

For a weddding, I would keep the dances extremely simple and fun. I realize that people are not there to learn dancing, but to enjoy spending time with each other, and with you!

"Thank you so much for sharing our wedding day with us. We had  a great time with the square dancing and have received many comments about how much fun it was."

At my own wedding, my wife and I had a Grand March instead of a receiving line.  It was an expression of our joy through dance, and allowed us to greet everyone there.  I have led Grand Marches for that purpose at many weddings since then. 

"I want to thank you, Jacob, for doing such a fine job with arranging the band and calling the dances.  The music during the ceremony was beautiful.  But most important, almost everyone did dance for the Grand March.  We have received many compliments about the dancing and music.  Everyone had a fun, festive time, and you were largely responsible for that."

Dancing provides a community spirit, so that everyone can enjoy the other guests there, not just the ones seated at their table.  Whether they are dancing or just enjoying the  music, traditional music and dance will help your guests relax and have a grand time!

Bar/Bat Mitzvahs

Your child's Bar or Bat Mitzvah is a day for you to celebrate.  Why not celebrate with dancing for both the kids and adults?

For dancing to be successful at a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, it is essential that the guest of honor wants to dance at the celebration.  If he or she gets up to dance, then the other young people will get up to join them.  I wouldn't recommend having organized dancing for them without the guest of honor's approval of the idea. 

If your child is interested, I could lead New England dances, Yiddish dances, classic Israeli dances, or a combination of all three.  I can also lead age-appropriate games as part of the party.

Office Parties

For your office party, you want an event that will break down tensions between people, let them laugh together, and leave them better able to work together tomorrow.  Since dance is built on cooperation, it serves the purpose perfectly!  Office parties are occasions when people who work together can get to know each other on a different level, so that they can really enjoy these new-found friends, as well as the co-workers and colleagues they already know well.

Dancers of every ability level come together to enjoy the movement, the moment, the motion.  They smile together, dance together, tap their heels and clap their hands together. Whether dancing or watching, everyone is involved in this very special experience, smiling and joking, laughing with each other.  I provide the means for people to connect to something that they can all enjoy, young or old, total novices or experienced dancers.

School Programs

I lead participatory dance for students of all ages.  I work with one or two classes at a time, teaching the dances to the students for one session, or over a series of weeks.  Dance forms I can teach to students include:

New England barn dance
French dance
Clogging & percussive dance
Storytelling through dance
Colonial Dance
Community dance for ELL learners
English Morris dance
Social dance
Dances from students' countries of origin
Knowing where your body is in space
Rhythms and Patterns

Senior programs

I can teach programs for older adults, with and without mobility issues.  I have taught dance at senior living residences, and have found that some residents are happy to 'dance' while sitting and listening to music.  Dancing is about moving to music - there is no rule stating that anyone has to be on their feet! This sit-and-dance program works well for nursing home populations.


I tell Jewish stories, from the Old Country.  I would be happy to discuss presenting a program of stories for you.

But I realize that it's not enough to say that.  I should have here a list of programs I can present, with sound clips you can listen too.  I'll do that!  (Having a website is a constant project.)  In the meantime, send me a message, and I'll be happy to discuss my storytelling with you.

Barn DanceWeddingsBar/Bat MitzvahsYiddish DanceColonial DanceVideos
Office PartiesSchool ProgramsSenior ProgramsStorytellingDances by JacobMummers Play
Jacob Bloom                  jacob@jacobbloom.net                  781-648-8230