Christmas Country Dance School

2011 Class Descriptions

Period I 9:00 – 10:00

A.  Line Up for a Contra  
Ron Buchanan  (A)
Just for fun! This class is for those familiar with Contra Dancing.   Ron has written a lot of dances with new moves and fun ideas.  He has also collected quite a few along the way.
B. Appalachian Mountain Barndance 
Jim Morrison  (U)
This year’s class will be part two of a session initiated at last year’s course in the exuberant flatfoot style of square dance once common in mountain communities from Virginia to Arkansas. This year we will take the dances from the community center in Stella, Virginia as the basis of our dance repertoire. Everyone is welcome, with or without prior clogging or flatfoot dancing experience. We will work to develop a simple, sustainable flatfoot step and a feel for how this different way of moving affects swings, figures, and the way the dancers and players collaborate to make the music.
C.  Beginning Waltzing for Country Dancers
Tim Lamm/Paula Harrison(B)
Most Country Dance evenings include a free waltz or two.  This class will enhance your enjoyment of waltzing, as well as that of your partners!  You will learn the turning, folk-style waltz and some simple variations, skills useful also at weddings and other social dance occasions.  The class will include some set dances that incorporate waltzing. Techniques of leading and following will be emphasized every day, so that you and your partner can move gracefully together on the dance floor.
D.  How to Play the Tin-Whistle
Helen Gubbins  (U)
Helen introduces the tin-whistle in a fun and easy way! Beginning with well-known folk tunes, we’ll then continue with tunes from the Irish traditional repertoire. Learning by ear will be encouraged, with sheet music provided as a backup. Tin-whistles will be available for $10, or students may bring their own. Class will be geared toward beginner/intermediate, but advanced players also welcome.
E.  Calling for Families, Barn Dances, and One-Nighters
Sue Dupré  (U)
Want to develop the skills to call dances for weddings, church socials, girl scout dances, school dances, re-enactor events, and barn dances? These dances can be joyous, hilarious, utterly wonderful, and financially well-compensated, but they present unique challenges because they nearly always involve groups of excited bouncing people who have no dance experience – and who only plan to dance for the next two hours of their lives.   Contra and English dance callers (and non-callers too!) at all levels of experience are welcome to this workshop that will focus on working with the event organizers, repertoire, calling style, organizing the crowd, working with music, and pitfalls to look out for.
F.  Harmony Singing
Kathy Bullock  (U)
Singing in the Spirit, Spirituals and Gospel from the African American Tradition – Join us as we sing music from the African American folk music tradition.  From traditional Spirituals to rousing gospels, along with a touch of the blues, we will celebrate the songs and stories that have emerged and continue to influence and enhance today’s musical stories.
G.  Beginning Clogging and Flatfooting
Matthew Olwell  (B)
Appalachian clogging and flatfooting are a mixture of Irish, African and English dances, which evolved alongside tap as a uniquely American form of percussive dance. While tap is usually associated with swing and jazz, clogging and flatfooting have close ties to Appalachian old time music.  Like tap, clogging and flatfooting can be highly improvisational, and dancers develop their own style. Classes will cover a range of both steps and improvisation, focusing on phrasing, musicality and rhythmic style.  No previous experience necessary.  Come dance, learn the basics or brush up on your technique. Class will be fast paced, but fun easy and accessible. Leather-soled shoes strongly recommended.

Period II 10:15 – 11:15

A.  Advanced English Country Dance
Brad Foster  (A)
Style, dance technique and figures for advanced dancers, with dances ranging from old favorites to challenging new material. For dancers familiar with basic English figures who can dance with a minimum of teaching and walkthroughs.
B.  Intermediate English Country Dance 
Sue Dupré  (I)
Take your dancing skills to the next level as we work through old classics and modern favorites to concentrate on improving timing and transitions, interacting with partners and sets, moving beautifully, hearing the musical phrase, and more.  An intermediate-level dancer is comfortable with right and lefts, circular heys, casting, basic heys for 3 or 4, poussettes and figures of eight and should be ready to think about dancing those figures with style, energy, and good timing.
C.  Beginning English Country Dance
Mary Harrell  (B)
In this class, the fun and sociability of the dances will be stressed, combining with skill in recurring basic figures, to build a beginning repertoire.  The fundamentals of the waltz will also be taught.
D.  Jaws Harp/Trump: The Ultimate Learning Session
Wayne Hankin  (U)
This instrument has been played at all levels of society from lowly fools to great classical virtuosos. Its power and popularity was known on all corners of the world. Millions were made, sold and bartered for gold and land (including the state of Maryland). Now is your chance to learn this amazing instrument. Learn your favorite songs and gain the best technique. Instruments will be available for all.
E.  Beginning Storytelling
Eshu Bumpus  (B)
Everyone has a story to tell! Using classic fairytales and folktales as models, participants will learn to recognize the common devices and techniques in these stories. Each participant will develop their own version of a well-known folk or fairy tale.
F.  Basketry   ($10 material fee payable at class) 
Janet Northern  (U)
This class will focus on non-traditional basket making styles to create a one-of-a-kind art piece.  No previous experience is necessary.
G.  Rapper Sword One
Dave Macemon  (B)
Danced with 2-handled “swords”, typically in groups of 5, rapper is an exciting dance to watch and perform.  Rapper 1 is the beginning class this year.  We’ll learn a dance built from the basic figures and, in addition, we’ll learn how to work as a team and move with purpose. If you’ve always wanted to try rapper, now would be a great time. If you haven’t seen rapper sword, go to YouTube and search for “Iron Mountain Sword.”

Period III 11:30 – 12:15

Morningsong & Stories
Patty Tarter  (U)
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

A.  English Dance in All Its Variety
Brad Foster  (U)
From old classics to recent compositions, gentle and smooth to raucous traditional/ceilidh style, longways to circles, sets and odd formation, this class will present the great diversity found in English country dance. For all levels.
B.  Kentucky Running Set 
Dave Napier  (B/I)
All ages will enjoy this type of dancing. Dance figures taught in this class are those that were included in the book Kentucky Mountain Square Dance by Patrick E. Napier. Many of the figures have not changed since the Appalachian Mountains were first settled.
C.  Beginning Danish Dance
Karen Bertelsen  (B)
In this class we work on basic steps and figures in Danish folk dancing, which we will be using dancing in square, circles, long ways sets and as couples. We will build the dances like the schottis, polka, hopsa and waltz up step wise, and the goal is that all participants experience the energy and community that are in the historical dances as well as a few new ones.
D.  Advanced Musician’s Workshop
Dave Brown  (I/A)
A good sense of rhythm and an ability to read music will be an advantage in this workshop. Those who play by ear are welcome and those who have a modest skill will be catered to, but be prepared for the thrill of playing with a great band. We will explore the skills of modern bandsmanship, the use of creative harmony, improvisation and the role of each instrument in the band, including the conflict between modern and traditional interpretations.
E.  Beginning Dance Band   
Charlie Pilzer  (U
Have you wanted to play for dancers? Have you wanted to play in a band? Have you wanted to improve your band skills? Here’s your chance. We’ll learn some contra, English country dance and ceilidh tunes, and perhaps a Scandinavian waltz or two! We’ll discuss rhythm, tempo, harmonies, medleys and arrangements and what it is that makes music exciting to dancers. All instruments and skill levels are welcome – drag out those trumpets, clarinets, fiddles, cellos, trombones and saxophones from the closet – we’ll find a place for you although some proficiency with your instrument is helpful. Tunes learned in class will be played at the After Dance sessions.
F.  Intermediate Storytelling  (Two hours)
Eshu Bumpus  (I/A)
For folks who are already writing and/or telling stories, this workshop will help participants to find their own unique perspectives and voices and hone their skills. Participants are encouraged to bring a story or idea for a story to work on. This will be a great opportunity to develop a new piece.
G. Int Temari Craft  ($10 material fee payable at class)
Eric Crowden  (I)
Ready to take temari to another level?  You will learn a more complex division of the ball that will lead to even more intricate and fascinating designs.   This class is suitable for people who have had the Beginning Temari class at Dance School or who have learned temari basics elsewhere.
H.  Mummers Play
Bruce Spencer  (U)
Mummers’ Plays have been performed in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland since the mid- to late 18th century, the earliest of which may date to 1737. These folk dramas are usually based on the legend of St. George and the Seven Champions of Christendom, but time, and a largely word-of-mouth tradition for dialogue, has created mummer’s plays of a wide variety and far beyond the British Isles. We’ll start the class with some fundamental history and traditional scripts, which we will promptly subject to the folk tradition and alter for Christmas School. No experience necessary.
I.  Morris Dance
Jim Morrison  (U)
The dances presented will be drawn from those collected in the village of Leafield, Oxfordshire in the early 20th century, and referred to by Cecil Sharp as Fieldtown. Leafield Fiddler Frank Bulter was one of the most accomplished and admired morris players of his day, and as a result the tunes are the best. We’ll work on personal morris dance skills and the group skill of accurate timing.

Period V 3:00 – 4:00

A. American Country Dances and Cotillions 
Jim Morrison  (U)
We will be dancing popular American dances from the time of the end of the Revolution until about 1810. The dances will consist of longways country dances and the cotillions that are an antecedent of square dancing. Some were first presented at Berea in mid-1970s by our extended-wear instructor; others have remained undanced for the last 200 years. Dust off your rigadoons and contretemps.
B.  Int Waltzing for Country Dancers
Tim Lamm/Paula Harrison (I)
If you already know how to do a basic turning, folk-style waltz and you want to improve your skills, this is the class for you.  Paula and I will show you some secrets for achieving the smoothest, most graceful waltz possible.  We will teach a number of variations: twirls, pivots, cuddles, swing moves—maybe even reverse waltzing.  Musicality (fitting your dancing to the music) and techniques of leading and following will be emphasized every day.
C.  Square Your Set
Ron Buchanan  (U)
Find your partner and square your set.  One of the oldest and one of the newest dance forms in America.  In addition to collecting dances of old, Ron has written Squares that take folks where they may never have gone before.  Come have some fun!
D.  Beginning Recorder: The Ideal Entry Level 
Wayne Hankin  (B)
Here’s a chance to get reacquainted with this noble instrument. Improve your technique, develop endurance, tune like a pro, sharpen ensemble skills while becoming familiar with Renaissance repertory. The goal is to have fun and we’ll get you up and playing.
E.  English Callers Workshop
Brad Foster  (I)
For intermediate and experienced teachers of English dance. The workshop will include time for practice teaching and the discussion of various topics. 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.
F.  Intermediate Storytelling  (Two hours, cont.)
Eshu Bumpus  (I/A)
For folks who are already writing and/or telling stories, this workshop will help participants to find their own unique perspectives and voices and hone their skills. Participants are encouraged to bring a story or idea for a story to work on. This will be a great opportunity to develop a new piece.
G.  Shape Note Singing for One and All
Kent Gilbert  (U)
With rich harmonies and complex melodic structures, Shape Note (or Sacred Harp) music is a 4-part a cappella American singing tradition with roots dating back more than 2 centuries. So-called because of the use of different shapes on the note-heads, we will learn and sing primarily from the 4-shape tradition. Anyone is welcome to join! Previous experience and the ability to read music —while helpful—is not required.
H.  Basketry   ($10 material fee payable at class)     
Janet Northern  (U)
This class will focus on traditional basket making styles to create a functional work basket and allow students to do their own designs to make each basket unique.  No previous experience necessary.
I.  Rapper Sword Two   
Dave Macemon  (I/A)
Targeted for the dancer who has some experience dancing, either with a team, or, multiple years of dance camp classes, Rapper Sword 2 is the intermediate / advanced class. We’ll work a lot on a number of new, exciting figures, interesting transitions basic movement. We’ll also look at stepping styles, and most importantly, moving as, and working as a team. You’ll enjoy learning a few new figures, as well as team-skills you can take home with you.

Period VI 4:15 – 5:15

A. Molly Dance
Sue Dupré  (U)
Just before it was time for 19th century farm workers in East Anglia to return to work in the fields after the Christmas holidays, they got together for one last blow-out celebration, which essentially involved annoying the gentry by dressing in women’s clothing, disguising themselves, caricaturing the gentry’s English country dances, and getting drunk. Flash ahead to the 21st century where molly dancing has been revived as a colorful form of street theater for both men and women, the latest greatest thing in the world of display dancing. Be prepared for dances with exciting figures and vigorous but simple stepping, in the styles of several molly teams. We’ll spend some time looking at how to create exciting molly choreography.
B. Int/Adv Danish Dance
Karen Bertelsen  (I/A)
In this class, we will work with historical couple dances, squares and other figures. Dance of the family of hampo as polonaise, Sønderhoning and minuet. We will be dancing waltz in different formations and become familiar with the fifth figure in the Les Lancers, as is has evolved in Denmark. This fifth figure has been used in an unbroken tradition in Denmark for more than 140 years and is still used on festive occasions of particular the Danish royal family and at college graduations parties.
C.  Fun & Easy Contras
Chrissy Davis-Camp  (B/I)
Start with the basics for a great dance experience and have fun while doing it. Learn the little tips that make contra dancing a non-spectator sport. We’ll do dances that are easy for beginners to pick up, yet fun for the folks who have done this for years.
D. Intermediate/Adv. Recorder: Sacred Music for Consort Playing
Wayne Hankin  (I/A)
This course will focus on sacred works arranged for recorder and voice ensemble. Special pieces will be highlighted for these playing sessions. The Ainsworth Psalter, the earliest printed music in America, contained sacred hymns that traveled via France to England and finally New England in the early 17th century.  We will also focus on the late Renaissance English church music, still a mainstay in contemporary church, but rarely performed on the recorder scene. Finally we will look at the latest arrangements from the instructor’s printed collection, The Sacred Recordox.
E.  Writing Contra Dances
Ron Buchanan  (U)
Ron has written hundreds of dances.  The key to his success is throwing most of them away.   He will be more than happy to show you his process and how to “walk it through” with a deck of cards.  Maybe we will create a keeper or two.
F.  Ballads and Old-Style Songs from Ireland
Helen Gubbins  (U)
Are you ready to learn some beautiful songs from the Irish tradition?  Helen will introduce English language ballads and some simple Irish language songs. All songs can be sung unaccompanied, but some are also suited to simple accompaniment so bring the instrument of your choice for these. Most importantly – come ready to use your voice!  All levels welcome.
G. Beginning Temari Craft
Eric Crowden  (B)
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. ($10 material fee payable at class)
H. Intermediate/Advanced Clogging and Flatfooting
Matthew Olwell  (I/A )
Appalachian clogging and flatfooting are a mixture of Irish, African and English dances, which evolved alongside tap as a uniquely American form of percussive dance.  While tap is usually associated with swing and jazz, clogging and flatfooting have close ties to Appalachian old time music.  Like tap, clogging and flatfooting can be highly improvisational, and dancers develop their own style.  Classes will cover a range of both steps and improvisation, focusing on phrasing, musicality and rhythmic style.  Students should have at least some previous experience with clogging or other percussive dance and be comfortable with basic steps such as chugs, shuffles, “walking step” etc.  Leather soled shoes strongly recommended.
I. Longsword Dancing
Dave Macemon  (U)
This year’s Long Sword class will be for all (beginning to advanced). We’ll be doing a variation of the Salton traditional dance as adapted by Orion Sword. Salton is danced with a slow polka step, is very accessible to the new dancer, and with enough details that experienced dancers will have lots of things to keep them busy.

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