Call for Volunteers

Evening at The Dancing Fish. Photo by David Frantz 2022
Evening with Will Mentor & The Old-Time Superstars at The Dancing Fish. Photo by David Frantz 2022. Click on image to view more from Feb 4-6 at The Dancing Fish.

Volunteers needed—perhaps you?

Do you have something that you can contribute to the dance community? Maybe just to arrive 15-20 early to help to greet and process your prospective fellow dancers?

Hey, dancers! Can you spare 15-20 minutes of your time before a DF dance? Just arrive early to help welcome & process arriving dancers, sweep the dance floor, etc.

The Dancing Fish community depends upon volunteers—including you!

Contra dances at The Dancing Fish. Photo by David Frantz 2022
Contra dancing has returned to The Dancing Fish. Photo by David Frantz 2022

Working Committee of The Dancing Fish of Lake Santa Fe

  • Joe Rush — CEO
  • Anne Gilroy — Activities Coordinator
  • Joe De Paolo — Talent Coordinator
  • Patrick Ward — Dancing Fish Grounds
  • Electa Sucsy — Artist Community
  • Pete Sucsy — Artist Community
  • Michael Croft — Community Networking
  • Jeff Shapiro — Sound & Technical
  • Patrick Harrigan — Publicity

A few reminders for visitors to The Dancing Fish…

  • The main house and the guesthouse are private residences and are not open to visiting dancers.
  • Dogs & cats are not permitted at The Dancing Fish. Leave your pets at home, please!
  • Regular admission $10 ($15 on 1st weekends—and half-price for ages 16-25). So bring ten dollar bills, folks—not $20 bills or checks, please! Make it easier on everyone. Better still, pay online. Donations are accepted up to a week after each performance.
  • Public bathroom/toilet/shower facilities are available during dance event periods only.
  • Prospective campers are requested to contact Joe Rush via email.

Where to Stay

Q. Where can I stay that is nearby?

A. The short answer is:

  1. Visit the Stay in Melrose page of our website.
  2. Check out AirBnBs in the Melrose area. Here are two nearby places that we endorse:
    1. Melrose Bay Hideaway; and
    2. Bhakti House
  3. Campers: contact Pat Ward for authorization/suggestions.
Q. Could you please give me directions to the Dancing Fish? Google Maps shows it in the middle of an area with no roads and when we drove by that location we couldn’t spot it.
A. Visitors are requested to use the main entrance to The Dancing Fish situated at:

24800 SR-26, Melrose, FL 32666

Entrance to The Dancing Fish of Lake Santa Fe
Please use the main entrance to The Dancing Fish of Lake Santa Fe at 24800 SR-26, Melrose, FL 32666

There is a big broad gate open and a quarter mile of dirt track to reach the dance barn.

Where to stay in Melrose?

Q. Are there campgrounds near The Dancing Fish? Or inexpensive motels? Where do folks from out of town stay when they travel there to dance?

A. For a limited number of campers, nearby Santa Fe Lake Park is a convenient option.

Camping dancers, are also welcome to camp upon much of the 15 acres of The Dancing Fish — but get definitely approval first from Pat Ward <> first.

Go to the Accommodations page of our website for a few suggestions. There you have suggestions and links to where you can check out AirBnBs in the Melrose area.

Where to Stay

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Payment or Donations?

Q. As a first timer registered at Dancing Fish I just wanted to ask: is the $30 “donation” on PayPal the same as a $30 payment for the July 1-3 weekend?  The word “donation” seems different than “payment.”

A. Yes, however you slice it, your payment is a donation to The Dancing Fish to support that event and future events.

Isn’t $30 a fantastic bargain for a 3-day dance weekend with two out of stage bands and two out of stage callers who all have to be flown down?? Come on, folks. Bring your friends!

Payment or Donations?

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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q. What is your policy on Vaccines?

A. In a nutshell: Covid vaccination is no longer required at Dancing Fish events. As of early June 2023, the earlier vaccination requirement has been dropped. Anyone may attend.

Q. Is one required (or expected) to wear masks at DF events?

A. Masks are optional at DF events.

Q. Can I donate at the door by cash or check?

A. Cash / Checks / Credit cards are NOT accepted at the door. Pay / Donate online only!

Our volunteers are already quite busy enough, thank you! That is from Joe Rush himself, who asks and expects from everyone that they:

  1. Make booking/RSVP online; and
  2. Donate to the artists — all done online.
Q. Where can I stay when I come to Melrose for a Dancing Fish dance weekend?

A. Possibilities for accommodation include:

  1. Camp out on the DF grounds in your own tent or RV. Write ahead to Pat Ward for details.
  2. Bring your own sleeping bag/linen/air mattress and sleep on the dance barn floor.
  3. Look at AirBnB options in the Melrose Historic District or thereabouts.

Still puzzled? Or do you have other questions or concerns? E-mail to and we will get back to you asap.

Q. “I am trying to pay for a single dance this weekend but it keeps taking me to PayPal which I don’t have.”

A. As a last resort, one may also simply donate in cash—but not to The Dancing Fish! Put it in the hat, or whatever the event’s band uses to accept cash donations.

Q. When can I make a booking for Wild Asparagus weekend?

A. Bookings may now be made up to three months in advance—although we recommend that you book closer to the dates of your choice.

However, you must get yourself registered before you may book your reservation on the Wild Asparagus Weekend event page.

Q. Will the weekend schedule be dancing Friday and Saturday evenings as well as Sunday afternoon?  Just wondering if there will be a dance session Saturday afternoon as well? 

A. Fridays & Saturdays are intended for artists & visitors alike to relax fully and enjoy life beside Lake Santa Fe. Evenings are when our guest artists perform on stage — after dinner when we are all ready to burn off calories on the dance floor. Sunday is the exception, timed so artists can fly home the same day. 

Frequently Asked Questions

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Call for Volunteers

Patrick Harrigan

An avid contra dancer, Patrick Harrigan is also a photographer, editor, and website publisher.