It all started here, in the backyard cabin. We were getting together weekly to play tunes, share steps and party.  It was like a home away from home for wayward stepdancers. Before we knew it, we were a band!

Sue Truman

In the cabin with one of her crankies, Valse des Sucres. Photo Doug Plummer

Sue's first experience with French Canadian stepdance was taking a week-long workshop with Jeanette Dubois (Montreal)  in the early 80s.  The following year she learned some of the Cape Breton steps from Fr. Eugene Morris of Cape Breton Island and she was totally hooked!  She went on to study the fiddle and dance styles for many years, eventually teaching stepdancing herself.

Fast forward 30 years and Sue discovers crankies! Also known as moving panoramas, they were a popular art form in the 19th century in Europe and the US.  Sue began stitching crankie scrolls from fabric and felt and performing them with various groups.  She also became interested in their history and created the website The Crankie Factory with the goal of connecting crankie artists with moving panorma historians.  She is an active member of the International Panorama Council and has presented crankies twice in Europe and on both US coasts.

Pascale Lelong

Born in France, Pascale moved to West Seattle when she was a child.  She grew up with accordion music, French songs and folk music in her home.  Pascale sings and performs many of the songs she learned in her youth.  She began playing accordion as an adult and pursues  French, French Canadian and other forms of music.  Pascale brings rich tunes and tones to the band with her accordions and her voice!

Prairie Wolfe

This is at the Sugar Shack at Festival du Bois in Coquitlam, BC.

A native of Vancouver, British Columbia, Prairie is the newest member of the band.  She got her fiddling start nearly 20 years ago, inspired by Canadian/Metis fiddler Anne Lederman.  She went on to other styles of fiddle including Quebecois and Cape Breton (where she lived for a summer.) Her rhythmic, driving fiddle style blends well with Sue's. Two fiddlers coming from the same "place"!

Since joining the group, she's picked up the stepdancing and is also performing shadow puppetry with the crankies! 

Julia Derby

During the performances Julia is the busiest person on stage; she's switching from cranking the crankies, playing guitar, step-dancing and playing the limberjack.  She's got a diverse background in percussion from years of sitting in with musicians at The Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, and years of various kinds of dance, including step-dancing.  Julia also plays rubboard and triangle with Swamp Soul, a Cajun/Zydeco band.

Cil Pierce

Photo by Doug Plummer

Cil has performed numerous styles of percussive dance over the last 30 years.  Anchored in Appalachian Clogging and tap, Cil's favorite step-dancing styles are Cape Breton and French Canadian.  Cil plays guitar, foot percussion, and vocals with Podorythmie.  Cil has travelled to Newfoundland, Cape Breton, Quebec, Montreal and British Columbia to study the culture and dance.   She's performed in several bands and dance groups over the years including A Cape Breton Ceidhli, Out of the Kitchen with Shoes On, Step Sisters, Sole Sisters, and several Morris and Sword groups.