Christmas Country Dance School

2004 Class Descriptions

Period I — 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

  • Challenging Contras & Squares (A) – Ron Buchanan
    Smooth Contras & Hot Squares – Come just for the fun of it. I’ll call the best of the dances I have written, some great dances I’ve met along the way (that I would like to have written), and a few chestnuts (that everyone knows darn well that I didn’t write). Come tune up your dance skills and expand your horizons.
  • Beginning Appalachian Clogging (B) – Ruth Pershing
    Beginners will learn a repertoire of building block steps and a short routine to help remember it all.
  • Border Morris (U) – Jim Morrison
    Christmas time morris dances from Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worchestershire have enjoyed a flambouyant revival in recent decades. We’ll dance a variety of stick and handkerchief dances including the Astwood Bank Long Ho (Paradise Islanders,) White Ladies Aston Handkerchief Dance (Old Swan Tavern) and Hunt the Squirrel (ShropshireBedlams.)
  • Beginning Dance Band (B) – Dave Langford
    We will put together some medleys of tunes and use those to explore many facets of playing as part of a band for dancing. Possible topics include beginnings and endings, arrangments, changing tunes, alternate chording and special effects. Mostly we will just play music and have fun.
  • Harmony Singing (U) – Emily Miller
    We will learn songs in three- and four-part harmony, drawing repertory from American gospel, Appalachian and early country singing traditions, as well as from the musical wealth of Caucasus Georgia. Parts will be taught both by ear and by written music so singers of all abilities are welcome!
  • 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.
  • Beginning Rapper (B) – Shona Kearney
    Join Shona for an introduction to the fast paced world of rapper. Shona will take you through some of the basics of rapper stepping and work on moving as a group through variety of rapper figures. Please bring hard soled shoes.

Period II — 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

  • Advanced English Country Dance (A) – Jacqueline Schwab
    Dances Borrowed and Blue … This country dance class for experienced dancers assumes knowledge of the basic figures and the ability to quickly learn dances. It will feature dances old and new, including some complex and challenging ones. Jacqueline will focus on moving with ease through the figures, connecting to the dancers and the music, and having fun.
  • Intermediate English Country Dance (I) – Sue Dupre
    This class will provide an opportunity to explore dances from a span of nearly 500 years, with a special focus on sampling the diversity of styles and moods available in the modern English country dance repertoire and on learning to dance with a sense of style and energy. Be prepared to compare and contrast, dally and dance, learn and +laugh. Some experience in English country dance is required.
  • Beginning English Country Dance (B) – Brad Foster
    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 also be taught.
  • Large Market Basket (U) – Janet Northern
    This basket will be approximately 13 inches tall by 14 inches by 8 inches. A plain weave basket, choose from many different colors to design your own basket. Learn to use filler spokes for a solid bottom, make and decorate your own handle. 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 — 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

  • Appalachian Square Dance (U) – Susan Spalding
    Square dancing from the valley of Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee, with special focus on dancing from Chilhowie, Virginia and Fall Branch, Tennessee.
  • Kerry Sets (U) – Owen Morrison and Jim Morrison
    High energy dances from Counties Kerry and Cork. We’ll do the Jenny Ling slide set, the Sliabh Luachra set, and others, but not too many to really learn the ones we do.
  • Longsword (U) – Shona Kearney
    Join Shona for a look at the Haxby longsword dance, the most recent addition to the repertoire of Toronto Women’s Sword. Haxby is an upbeat dance with fun flowing figures. Sturdy shoes required.
  • Contra/Square Callers Workshop (U) – Ron Buchanan
    Calling is easy. Any one can do it. We will take it apart, see how it works, and practice. We will have as much “hands on” practice as we can. To help prepare for class (even if you don’t take it now) please Email me - buchananron@yahoo.com - I will send you a copy of the syllabus and give you (just a little) homework before we start.
  • Advanced Dance Band (A) – Jacqueline Schwab
    Jacqueline invites all instrumentalists interested in playing English country dance music (and a waltz or two) to come along! We will review basic skills for playing for dancing in the context of creating arrangements for small groups within the band. The ability to play at dance tempo would be useful; music reading is a plus but not required. Jacqueline will encourage all musicians to develop their own idea of what makes music danceable.
    6. Shape Note Singing (U) – 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.
  • 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) – Frank Boyd
    Come give the ancient and relaxing art of carving wood a try. Participants in this class will have a wide variety of projects to choose from. Carve a spoon, an old world Santa, an animal such as a bear or a dog, a hiking stick, a traditional toy, or a wearable wooden whittling. Special emphasis will be placed on carving safety and basic tool sharpening. We will also discuss the best places to purchase wood, books, tools, and other carving supplies. Join us for a wonderful week of creative carving in community. All supplies will be provided by the instructor. There will be a $10 materials fee payable in class.
  • Mummers Play (U) – Sue Dupre
    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. Although we will work with traditional script ideas, we will use those traditional themes to develop our own uniquely Berea mummers’ play. No experience necessary.

Period V — 3:15– 4:15 p.m.

  • Couple Dances (U) – Ron Buchanan
    Polkas -Waltz – Hambo – Schottische – Zwiefacher – American version of a fine assortment of European turning dances. They’re fun, they’re easy, and good for you! Find the rhythm in the music and harmony with your partner. We’ll have plenty of time to enjoy dancing.
  • Kentucky Set Running (I) – 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.
  • Fun and Easy Contras & Squares (B/I) – Sue Dupre
    Lines and figures and squares, oh my! For this class you must have a heart to enjoy the pleasure of dancing together as a community, a brain to discover how to dance interesting figures with style, and courage to explore the deepest darkest reel in search of a beat to dance to. While newer dancers will find a fun and well-paced welcome to contra and square dancing, more experienced dancers will also find a week of excellent dances with a variety of forms and figures. Throughout the week, we’ll take a stroll through American dance history as we dance contra ‘chestnuts’ and favorite modern contras and squares.
  • Advanced Appalachian Clogging (A) – Ruth Pershing
    Intermediate and advanced dancers will have the opportunity to work on rhythmic precision and creativity along with some Piedmont buck dance moves.
  • English Callers Workshop (U) – Brad Foster
    For current and prospective teachers of all experience levels. Topics will include dance programming, teaching figures and steps, working with beginners and mixed-experience crowds, working with your band, stage presence and crowd control. The workshop will include time for practice teaching and for discussion of topics.
  • Intermediate/Advanced Recorder (I/A) – Julian Cole
    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.
  • Temari Craft (U) – Eric Crowden
    Temari is an ancient Japanese handcraft of first thread-wrapping a ball and then embroidering colorful designs across the surface. You will learn to create the base and some basic stitching techniques that can open up endless design possibilities. There will be a $10 materials fee payable in class.
  • Advanced Rapper (A) – Shona Kearney
    Shona will share a mixed bag of figures gathered from the International DERT rapper competition. This class will concentrate on some of the more challenging figures and stepping variations. Please bring hard soled shoes.

Period VI — 4:15 – 5:15 p.m.

Free Time / Jam Time

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