Paul Collins


Contras, American Squares
Contras, American Squares, international

Paul Collins


Paul Collins has danced since the age of eight and has been an ethnic folk dance leader and square / contra dance caller since high school in the mid 1960's. Paul has been a guest caller at dances from the North Country to the Deep South and has even called squares and taught folk dancing for the hearing impaired at Galledet University in Washington, D.C.

Between 1966 and 1979, Paul led the University of Chicago Folk Dance Club and introduced squares and contras into the group's repertiore. After directing the University of Chicago's Folk Dancers' Annual Fall "International Folk Festival" for twelve years, in 1980 Paul joined Gerhard Bernhard in producing the Door County Folk Festival and two years later became co-director.

In 1989, Paul and Bill Sasso started the Mid-North Folk Dance Club that has today evolved into Ethnic Dance Chicago. Paul has also presented dance programs for kids in Chicago area schools, tutoring programs, and scouting organizations.

Since 2000 Paul has spent a week in residency at the Spring Hill Middle School in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconson, helping the 8th grade classes prepare ethnic dance presentations for the School's International Festival.

In the world outside of dance, Paul is an independent management consultant in web-based collaboration, group facilitation, and personal network development, is a co-founder and director of the Midwest Facilitators' Network, and is a student in Northwestern University's Leadership and Organization Behavior Program.

Paul is an accomplished instructor of various types of ethnic folk dance and a caller of traditional American square and contra dance. He is director of the C & J Dancers (an ethnic dance demonstration group). He has conducted dance classes and workshops and organized performing groups for adult and family recreation programs and for school programs in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Paul's other avocations include, foreign languages, hiking, model railroading, music (classical, jazz, blues, ethnic), opera, softball, sound engineering, squash, theater, travel, website development, exploring new internet technologies, and volleyball.

He makes his home in Chicago.

Dances Paul has taught include American Square Dances and Contras.