Christmas Country Dance School

2003 Class Descriptions

Period I — 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

  • Challenging Contras (A) – Sue Rosen
    What makes a dance challenging? We’ll explore the possibilities while enjoying dances like “lose your partner/find your partner” beckets, disorienting diagonal action duples, rarely danced triplets and lots of no-walk-throughs just for fun.
  • Fun and Easy Contras (B/I) – Rick Mohr
    Newer dancers will find a fun and well-paced welcome to contra dancing while experienced dancers will find a week of excellent dances with a variety of forms and figures. We’ll all enjoy waking up in fine company and dancing together to fabulous music.
  • Beginning Morris (B) – John Mayberry
    Morris dancing is an exuberant, traditional, display dance form which was first collected and described in the “Cotswold Hills” area of England in the early 1900′s. There are now teams performing old and new Morris dances all over the world. This class will introduce beginners to the basic concepts and patterns of the dance form, the essential basic steps and movements, as well as the physical attitude and attack necessary to really do the dances. The class will focus on the Hogtown dances done by the Toronto Morris Men. No experience necessary. Rubber-soled shoes or sneakers recommended.
  • Intermediate/Advanced Recorder (I/A) – Chris Rua
    This class is for people who play at least one and a half octaves on their instrument. It is expected that students will read musical notation and, preferably, will have had some experience in a recorder ensemble. Both early and more modern music will be played.
  • Storytelling for All (U) – Pat Napier
    Participants will learn purpose, structure and mechanics of storytelling by informally sharing stories and evaluations. Experienced and beginner story tellers are encouraged to participate.
  • Advanced Percussive Dance (A) – Renée Camus
    There are many different styles of step dance, but they have many similarities. This class will study and compare steps from a variety of dance styles, including Appalachian Flatfooting, Irish step, English clogging, and bits of Cape Breton and French Canadian steps. We will even delve a little into rhythm tap. The class will be tailored to the
    skill and desire of the participants.
  • Beginning Rapper (B) – Maureen Spencer
    This class will teach the basics of the rapper sword dance which is a ritual dance from England dating back hundreds of years. Concentration will be on footwork and moving in and out of a series of basic figures performed with flexible steel rapper swords.

Period II — 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

  • Advanced English Country Dance (A) – Jenny Beer
    Music & Movement! English Country dance has a wonderfully wide palette of musical mood. We will look at the connections between music and how we move on the dance floor. There will be dances old and new, selected for their lovely tunes and compelling choreography. Come soar and skip, flow and spin!
  • Advanced English Country Dance (A) – Brad Foster
    A mixture of new and old, classic favorites and new compositions, with a primary focus on the dances of Pat Shaw. For experienced dancers.
  • Intermediate English Country Dance (I) – Laurie Andres
    There will be a mix of familiar and unfamiliar historical and contemporary English country dances, and some reinterpretations of dances, figures, and music. Some experience in English country dance or contra and square dance is required. Come with an open mind.
  • Beginning English Country Dance (B) – Mary Harrell
    This class will introduce dancers to English Dancing, stressing social pleasure, basic recurring figures and style. Through easy dances, we will progressively build a repertoire during the week. Basic waltz will be taught, also.
  • Small Honeysuckle Wall Hanging Basket (U) – Janet Northern
    This basket will be approximately 5 inches by 5 inches by 5 inches and made of honeysuckle and reed. Techniques being used include making your own basket frame, spoke construction, god’s eye lashing, tapestry weave and the crossed turnback method of filling in. There will be a $10 materials fee payable in class.

Period III — 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Morningsong – Patty Tarter
This is a time for the entire CCDS community to gather together for music and fellowship. Participants are welcome to share songs or stories, or just come for the joy of singing together.

Period IV — 1:45– 2:45 p.m.

  • Squares for All (U) – Sue Rosen
    From near and far, both easy and interesting, innovative and classic: fun squares that keep you moving and grooving.
  • Beginning Appalachian Clogging and Flatfooting (B) – Renée Camus
    This class will start with beginning Appalachian Clogging and Flatfooting steps, emphasizing improvisation as well as technique. The goal is to achieve a comfortable working vocabulary of steps that you can apply to basic contra dancing, including the evening dances at Berea! This class is open to anyone; no experience or partners necessary. Hard-soled shoes or tap shoes are preferable.
  • Advanced Dance Band (A) – Laurie Andres
    We will be playing music for historical and traditional English country dance and for New England contra dancing. Tunes will be taught by ear and from written music. We will work on phrasing the music to the dance, playing with oomph, and having fun. All Instruments are welcome. Participants must be able to play at dance tempos.
  • Advanced Rapper (A) – Jim Morrison
  • Harmony Singing (U) – Rick Mohr and Liz Lewis
    Enjoy creating rich harmonies with many voices, while learning “keeper” songs from varied sources — traditional and contemporary, seasonal and timeless, American and English, rich chordal and open modal. We’ll learn melodies and harmonies by ear as we create together some exhilarating singing moments.
  • Callers Workshop “Tuning In!”(U) – Jenny Beer
    Before “putting out” as performers, callers need to “tune in”. We’ll talk about ways to listen and learn from the music, the dancers, the community, and from the dance itself. We will practice making calling choices in response to that information. All experience levels encouraged to attend. Both callers’ sessions will work on contra calling in addition to squares (Sue), and English Country (Jenny). Then try your new skills on at the Open Mic session which follows.
  • Beginning Recorder (B) – Chris Rua
    The recorder offers a perfect way for adults to begin making music together; it is easy to learn to play moderately well. This class is for those with little or no musical background. By the end of the week you’ll be reading and playing music.
  • Woodcarving (U) – Tully Larew
    Learn how to turn scraps and kindling into magnets, pins, animals, and many other works of art! This class is open to carvers of all skill levels. Beginners will enjoy instruction on the basics of carving and creating. More advanced carvers will have the opportunity to perfect their skills and get some helpful hints and guidance along the way. There is a $5 fee for supplies payable in class.

Period V — 3:00– 4:00 p.m.

  • Appalachian Square Dance (U) – Jim Morrison
  • Advanced Morris – Rick Mohr
    Dances from the village of Ducklington are some of the most fun in the Cotswold repertoire, offering great opportunities for speed launching into height, and cool handkerchief syncopation. We’ll learn the excellent well-known dances as well as a lesser-known dance or two. Wear athletic shoes and plan on a week of fine Morris fun.
  • Playford, Ceilidh, and More (U) – Brad Foster
    English country dance in all its variety: old historical and traditional classics, modern compositions, Ceilidh and barn dances, from smooth, slow and mystical to lively, bouncy and boisterous. For all experience levels.
  • English Clogging – Renée Camus
    We will learn some basic techniques and steps of English clogging that can be applied to different rhythms, including hornpipe and reel, hopefully culminating in a couple of different routines. This class is suitable for beginners or advanced, and will be tailored to the needs of the students. If you do not have English clogs, you can wear tap or hard-soled shoes.
  • Playing for Dancing (B) – Liz Donaldson
    This dance band class (Beginner Level) is for those who are fairly proficient on their instruments and can play simple melodies at a moderate tempo. Sight reading ability is helpful but not required. In the short time allotted we will be working on basics of playing for dancing: tune selection, choosing and maintaining tempo, playing in ensemble, starting and stopping, finding ways to vary the repetitions, and playing together. All instruments are welcome as well as spectators and those who are more experienced but find the scheduling of the Beginning Level music class more convenient. Liz Donaldson (piano/accordion), who regularly teaches ensemble playing sessions called “BandAid,” will be leading the workshop.
  • Callers Workshop “You’re A Performer!” (U) – Sue Rosen
    For callers of all experience levels and those interested in becoming callers. Some topics that we’ll discuss, explore and practice will include dance programming, adding squares to your life, the business of being a caller, and sounding good at the mic. Class content will be coordinated with Jenny’s caller’s workshop so come to both!
  • Mummers Play (U) – John Mayberry
    This is your chance to be in a mummers’ play! In many parts of the British Isles and Europe, midwinter and Christmas was the time of the year for putting on disguises and parading, or going to the manor houses to stage a rhymed play in return for food, drink, and money. The plays usually feature nonsense, combat, death, and rebirth, all in a large non-realistic style. The origins of the practice are obscure, but draw on folk stories and rituals, 16th Century dramatic texts, seasonal community-sanctioned extortion (as in trick-or-treating), and the sheer joy of creating and performing. Mumming was once common in many communities in North America, and survives in such varied customs as “Mummering” in Newfoundland, the Mummers’ Parade in Philadelphia, and even Mardi Gras in New Orleans. In this class we will start with some traditional script ideas and then develop our own, never-before-performed mummers’ play. No experience necessary.
  • Make A Bread Basket (U) – Janet Northern
    This plain weave basket is a simple, but very attractive and useful basket. It will hold a loaf of bread or several partial loaves. We will incorporate colored reed into the basket and do some stenciling. The basket will be approximately 17 inches by 7 inches by 4 inches made of dyed reed. There will be a $10 materials fee payable in class.
  • Playparty & Singing Games (U) – Katy Tarter-German
    This tradition arose in Appalachia in response to the strict regulations on music and dancing. Playful, musical, and fun for all ages – playparties are an excellent way to start your day.

Period VI — 4:15 – 5:15 p.m.

  • Open Mic & Open Band (U) – Jenny Beer/Atossa Kramer
    Come and share your dances with the supportive help of Jenny Beer or join the band with Atossa Kramer. Jenny will MC the program and provide constructive critique and Atossa will coordinate the music. Dances can include contras, squares and odd formations, and English country.
  • Kentucky Set Running – Pat Napier
    Moves beyond Appalachian Big Set. We shall review Big Set figures and add other movements suitable for four-couple squares. We use a smooth gliding step instead of running. Experience with Big set figures is helpful, but not required. Age is not a factor.
  • Molly Dancing – Katy Tarter-German
    This ain’t your grandfather’s Morris dancing! A proven cure for rigidity and stuffiness, Molly dancing is sure to bring out the rowdy, raucous, and ridiculous in all who join in. (Supportive shoes and gaudy clothing recommended.)
  • Dancing In School – Susan Spalding
    A sharing opportunity for teachers and dance leaders of all experience levels plus strategies for getting schools to “buy in” to your program, dance content that works best in various situations and for various ages, ways to integrate dance into academic curriculum or into other aspects of school life, fun and interesting resources and materials and teaching approaches. Advance special requests are invited.
  • Longsword (U) – Jim Morrison
  • Sacred Harp Singing – John Bealle
    In this class, we will sing the exhilirating four-part harmonies from the 1844 tunebook, the Sacred Harp. We will learn how to sing this beautiful music, and why it still captivates singers today. Music-reading ability is helpful but not required. All materials provided from the Sacred Harp.
  • Woodcarving – Tully Larew
    Learn how to turn scraps and kindling into magnets, pins, animals, and many other works of art! This class is open to carvers of all skill levels. Beginners will enjoy instruction on the basics of carving and creating. More advanced carvers will have the opportunity to perfect their skills and get some helpful hints and guidance along the way. There is a $5 fee for supplies payable in class.

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