Christmas Country Dance School

2005 Class Descriptions

Period I 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

  1. Challenging Contras & Squares (A) – Glen Morningstar
    Join the fun of contras and squares that keep you moving and keep you thinking. Yep, there’s still time for premium partner interaction. Styling and planning ahead emphasized. Special events too. Must know hey-for-four and contra corners in your sleep.
  2. Beginning Danish Folk Dance (B) – Svend and Anna Hamborg
    Experience and learn some easy 2, 3, and 4 couple dances using simple steps such as the polka, swing, two step, and hop step. Come and dance quadrilles and mixers in the Danish tradition to tunes from Scandinavia. Join in for some international fun.
  3. Marley Step Dance (I) – Meg Ryan
    The Marley jump rope waltz clog will be taught. The Marleys, of Rockville, Ct, danced American wooden shoe dances from the 1890s through the first half of the 20th century. The steps of the routine are relatively basic, but made difficult by performing them while skipping rope. Please bring English stepping clogs if you have them or smooth, hard soled shoes, and a heavy jump rope. “While the class will be geared to intermediate dances, beginners are welcome to come and give it a try.”
  4. Beginning Appalachian Clogging (B) – Ruth Pershing
    Beginners will learn a repertoire of building block steps and a short routine to help remember it all.
  5. English Dance Callers’ Workshop (U) – Brad Sayler
    Each day, we will focus on a different aspect of teaching and leading English Country dance, with lots of opportunities to practice the skills we discuss in class. We will also spend a day or so talking about family and community dances, and the things a caller needs to do before and after the gig.
  6. Intermediate/Advanced Recorder (I/A) – Pat Petersen
    For people who are comfortable reading music on at least one size of recorder. We’ll play many styles of music–secular and sacred, songs and dances–pursuing a joyful and beautiful ensemble sound.
  7. Beginning Rapper (B) – Peter Kruskal
    This class will focus on very basic figures meant to orient a person to the form of the rapper set. We will work on how these figures come together to form a cohesive dance. The class will be flexible to the attendees’ skill level and desires.

Period II 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

  1. Advanced English Country Dance (A) – Brad Sayler
    English Country dance is a tradition filled with variety. Differences in rhythm, tempo, formation and progression make each dance unique. We will explore dances that you may already know, and hopefully challenge you with some dances that may be new to you with an eye towards becoming a better dancer.
  2. Advanced English Country Dance (A) – Brad Foster
    Style, dance technique and figures for advanced dancers. The range of dances will include old Playford classics reconstructed by Cecil Sharp to new compositions by Gary Roodman, Fried Herman, Colin Hume and more. Several years dancing experience and familiarity with all standard figures is required.
  3. Intermediate English Country Dance (I) – Susan Kevra
    This class is designed for those who have some knowledge of basic Playford figures who want to take their dancing to the next level. We will work on finding the keys to the dance: discovering the magic moments that make the dance special or the Eureka moments that make it all click.
  4. 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 also be taught.
  5. Basketry (U) – Janet Northern
    This year we will make a ”Pouch” basket which will be approximately 8 inches by 6 inches in size. Most students will have time to make more than one basket and sizes can vary. Materials used will include natural and dyed reed, honeysuckle, hickory bark, leather, and other natural materials. Students may experiment with various natural materials and design their own pouches. There will be a $10 materials fee payable in class.

Period III 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

  1. 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.

  1. Squares & Odd Formations (U) – Chris Kermiet
    We’ll do some great fun squares, as well as dances for three couples, five couples, and other unusual formations. This class will be a bit eclectic. Your teacher, Chris Kermiet, will lead you through a selection of American squares and Triplets, as well as a few English, Welsh, and Scottish Ceili and Country dances.
  2. Intermediate/Advanced Danish Folk Dance (I/A) – Svend and Anna Hamborg
    In this class you will learn some of the more intricate Danish quadrilles. Dance steps including the waltz, hopsa, reverse polka, and sonderhoning will be taught to the accompaniment of traditional Scandinavian music.
  3. Northwest Clog Morris (U) – Meg Ryan
    Northwest Clog Morris is a vigorous tradition from the northwest of England, often performed in sets of 8, 12 or 16 as part of a parade, and wearing wooden clogs. The Keswick Stage Dance will be taught. This dance is done holding short decorated sticks, and uses a “single step” or step hop for most of the footwork.
  4. Advanced Dance Band (A) – Dave Brown
    This will be a lively experience for musicians of intermediate to advanced standard. We will explore ways of providing high quality dance music, creating textural sounds, creating an improvisational platform, as well as playing some great arrangements of traditional and not so traditional music. There will be part playing, and a chance for everyone to extend their musical experience. So come along and join the fun. Dave’s experience of running festival bands / orchestras, dance band master classes and workshops is here for you to enjoy.
  5. Songs From The Past To The Present (U) – Donna Lamb
    This class will be a sharing time for old and new folk songs and bluegrass. Come all and have fun with singing. If you play an instrument, bring it along.
  6. American Contra/Square Dance Callers Workshop (U) – Susan Kevra
    All levels are welcome. We will consider the many hats a caller wears: teacher, MC, referee, coach, moderator, diplomat. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to work on these skills by teaching and calling dances for the class. Other areas will include music appreciation (and appreciation of musicians) to understand what it looks like from the musician’s point of view and how to get the most out of your musicians. We will also work on ways to make calling more musical while not forgetting the primary function of a caller: to impart knowledge.
  7. Cornhusk Dolls (U) – Mary Colmer
    The art of making corn shuck dolls has been handed down for hundreds of years. Using the husks of corn, students will lean the step-by-step process of creating their own unique dolls. There will be discussions on the process of drying and dying the husks, as well as the history associated with the craft. Although materials will be provided, students might consider bringing ribbon, embroidery floss, a bit of old lace, or any other materials to use in decoration. Students will need to bring to class an OLD (not hotel) towel and the ability to tie a good knot. There is a $10 materials fee payable in class.
  8. Mummers Play (U) – Tom Kruskal
    Guisers’ and Mummers’ Plays, are short traditional verse sketches performed at Christmas, Easter and other festivals, and taken round pubs and private houses in return for cash and refreshments. We will review a wide variety of plays in print, both traditional and modern and develop our own play from these materials. We may include a long sword dance in our play.

Period V 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

  1. English Country Dance From Playford To Ceilidh (U) – Brad Foster
    This class will include a wide range of English country dances with a focus on repertoire. Dances will include well known classics, odd formations, traditional/ceilidh dances, modern reconstructions and compositions. For all levels.
  2. 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.
  3. Cotswold Morris (Fieldtown) (B) – Steve Howe
    Getting used to the step is the basis of easy dancing. We will drill the steps until they are free and easy. We can then add the figures which are as easy as up a double. Then we can confirm that we are working together as a team. We will work from hanky dances in the double step style of Fieldtown.
  4. 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.
  5. Beginning Dance Band (B) – Judi Morningstar
    Learn the basic elements of contra & square dance music while playing jigs, reels and tune medleys. We’ll discuss things like selecting tunes & medleys, band layouts, playing in a pick-up band situation as well as playing in an established band. Bring your instrument and give it a workout (if you’re bringing a keyboard, please bring a set of headphones too).
  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.
  7. Writing Contra Dances (U) – Glen Morningstar
    Watch the mystery unfold as you join in the process of constructing new contra dances. Bring your favorite figures and we’ll build movements and titles around them. Select dances will be called in evening programs.
  8. 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, some basic stitching techniques and different patterns that can open up endless design possibilities. There will be a $10 materials fee payable in class.

Period VI 4:15 – 5:15 p.m.

  1. Fun and Easy Contras & Squares (B/I) – Brad Sayler
    This class is an opportunity to fire up the band and put the emphasis on dancing, keeping the teaching time to a minimum. The class will include some old chestnuts, singing squares and contras, contras, and more contras.
  2. Scandinavian Couple Dances (U) – Svend and Anna Hamborg
    This couple dance class will focus on Scandinavian dances including the waltz, sonderhoning, hambo, and schottish. Come and learn to glide around the floor with your favorite dance partner!
  3. Longsword (U) – Steve Howe
    If you have never touched a sword before or if you dance regularly, this class aims to make you comfortable moving with the swords and with each other. We will do this by dancing, not by discussing the dance. The swords are an aid in communication within the set — they can help the set to work together and look good. I will be more concerned with sword handling skills and team techniques than with the accumulation of figures. We will work with the dance as danced by That Long Tall Sword. It starts with Kirkby Malzeard, but adds a couple of stolen and made up figures and ties it all together with a consistent drive. We will run figures over and over and when we have to stop to breathe, we will discuss fine points.
  4. Beginning Recorder (B) – Pat Petersen
    Experience the joy of making music with others, and the pride of learning the basics of music on an easy and fun instrument! If you have little or no musical background, or have never played a wind instrument, this class is for you. By the end of the week you’ll be reading and playing music on the recorder. (Contact Pat Petersen, patpetersen @ earthlink.net, if you’d like advice on buying an instrument; leave spaces out of e-mail address.)
  5. Storytelling (U) – Octavia Sexton
    Octavia will share the legends, tales, and superstitions from her distinctive oral heritage offering a compendium of exuberant tales that give the class an unforgettable and insightful experience.
  6. Organizing A Dance Community (U) – Glen Morningstar
    Are you excited about contras and squares and English country dancing and just itchin’ to introduce them to your friends and neighbors so they can get wild about them too? Examine the key building blocks and planning that will help you bring it all together for regularly scheduled dances in your community.
  7. Woodcarving (U) – Lewis Lamb
    Lewis has been carving for over 35 years and has done all kinds of birds and different kinds of animals. Come and have a lot of fun with wood. There will be a $10 materials fee payable in class.
  8. Advanced Rapper (A) – Peter Kruskal
    For this class we will focus on non-traditional figures. In addition we will work on style points such as sword handling, footwork, and deconstructing the movements of figures. The class will be flexible to the attendees’ skill level and desires.

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