ladies at play

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an introduction tothe ladies

the ladies at play

We are a high-spirited and musically adventurous contra dance and English country dance band from Oklahoma. Our repertoire includes a wide variety of folk and ballroom-like dance tunes, including jigs, reels, polkas, waltzes, hambos, English, old time, and zweifache. We also play our own spicy and cosmic original tunes, inspired by folk music traditions from around the world.


FIdDle, Accordion

shanda mcdonald

As master seamstress, chef of international cuisine, artist, and innovative musician, Shanda adds her own spice, elegance, and cosmic energy to the trio. Despite being classically trained on piano and violin, she glides from old-time shuffle to salty groove as effortlessly as warm hollandaise on a poached egg.


guitar, Octave mandolin, banjo

kathy dagg

Kathy Dagg is gifted not only in the art of healing and humor, but she's also a creative and most divine rhythmnista!!! In addition to seriously and adeptly rocking out on numerous fretted instruments, she keeps the Ladies grounded, steady and in stitches.


flute, whistle, percussion

miranda arana

Miranda, on frolicking flute and whimsical whistle, teaches world music at the University of Oklahoma and performs Irish, Middle Eastern, Latin American, Eastern European and Vietnamese Music. Her playful, flirtatious spirit and passion are an integral part of the Ladies at Play. And she loves to dance!




allison hicks

The Ladies are delighted when they are joined by their groovy piano-playing sister, Allison Hicks, from the Dallas area. With years of experience playing for and dancing at contras, English and Scottish country dances and Irish ceilis, Allison adds a rock-solid, intelligent, cosmic groove to the mix and knows how to make the dancers hoot and holler. As a long-time public school music teacher, she has shared her passion for music and dance with children, adults, and everything in between. If she's not playing or teaching music, you may find her dancing, working in the garden, walking her dogs, or behind the lens of her camera.


percussion, bass

garrette mcdonald

The Ladies are overjoyed when joined by percussionist Garrette "Gileigh" McDonald. Her tasteful drumming on bodhran and djembe sends the musicians and dancers alike into the stratosphere. Gileigh, of Shawnee, Oklahoma, is a multi instrumentalist who grew up in a household of unlimited artistic genres. Not only does she excel at all things percussion, she is a poet, artist, songwriter and is currently studying graphic design.