Christmas Country Dance School

2013 Class Descriptions

Period  One                9:00 – 10:00

 

A.  Advanced Contras                                                          Glen Morningstar  (A)

Cruisin’, sailin’, thinkin’, smilin’…on the dance floor.  Contras, double contras, beckets, gender benders.  Spice up your style and learn how to help the new dancers in your village back home spice their’s up, too.  The propeller on your beanie will be a-whirlin’.

 

B. Appalachian Big Circle                                                    Frederick Park  (U)

Big Circle Dance traditions from the communities of and around the Blue Ridge Region of Appalachia with an emphasis on Western North Carolina will be taught in this class.  This is called Mountain Square Dance in some communities. Our time together will focus exclusively on the Big Circle!

 

C.  Danish Folk Dance One                                          Svend and Anna Hamborg (B)

Experience and learn some easy mixers, couple, 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.

 

D. Recorder Two                                                                  Wayne Hankin (I/A)

This class is open to players who can play beyond soprano and alto. Some experience in tenor and bass recorders welcome. Focus on traditional repertory and sacred music, plus new works to try out.

 

E.  Morris Dance                                                                   John Mayberry  (U)

Morris dancing is an exuberant, traditional, English, display dance form which has been done for hundreds of years, but was not accurately described or notated until the early 1900s in the Cotswold Hills area of England. There are now teams performing old and new morris dances all over the world. This class will look at the concepts and patterns of the dance form, the variety of basic steps and movements, as well as the physical attitude and attack necessary to really perform the dances. The class will focus on the Hogtown stick dances done by the Toronto Morris Men. No experience necessary. Rubber-soled shoes or sneakers recommended.

 

F. Group Singing for All                                                      Emily Miller  (U)

We’ll learn rounds, traditional music from West Virginia, English carols, gospel songs and other fun music. This class will focus on the joy of singing together, with spine-tingling harmonies and step-pepping energy. This music is perfect for community singing, so all experience levels are welcome.

 

G.  Alexander Technique for Dancers and Musicians      Robbin Marcus  (U)

This class will introduce participants to the basic ideas of Alexander Technique.  Would you like to lose the habits you have built up over a lifetime of stress and learn to move more freely?  We will experiment with Alexander’s principles as they apply to both making music and dancing – bring your questions, concerns, instruments, aches and pains along to class and we will look together to find the beginnings of answers.  For more information on the Alexander Technique, please visit

www.alexandertechnique.com, or

http://www.robbinlmarcus.com/alexander-technique.html

 

H  Intro-mediate Rapper                                                      Gillian Stewart  (B/I)

Rapper is a fast-paced, physical, percussive sword dance from the north of England. This class will be geared towards those who have interest and enthusiasm in learning a new style, as well as those who want a refresher on the basics of putting together a satisfying dance. Intermediate dancers will work on dance choreography and set cohesion, as well as getting some new figures. Please bring hard soled shoes and a smile.

 

Period  Two   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                            Dave Macemon  (I)

Have you wondered what makes “good” dancers “good”? It is not only knowing the figures, but also knowing how to move in the style of the dance, how to dance with/to the music (timing and transitions, and how to appropriately help your partner and others through the dance. This year’s Intermediate English Country Dance Class will help you take your dance skills to the next level, while having fun with old favorites, as well as dances that will be new and fun for you. An intermediate-level dancer is comfortable with the basic figures of English dance. You also should be ready to think about dancing those figures with style, energy, and good timing.

 

C.  Beginning English Country Dance                                Katy German  (B)

This class will be a fun and easy introduction to English Country Dancing.  We will learn many basic recurring figures, and steadily build up a repertoire as the week progresses.  Beyond mere execution of figures, we will delve into style and technique, and discover how a simple right hand turn can become something magical. Basic waltz will also be taught.  Skeptical contra dancers welcome!

 

D.  Community/Family Dances: Circle Up!                        Robbin Marcus  (U)

This workshop is for anyone interested in or currently leading family/community dances.  Time will be given to practice teaching and calling for multi-generational dances (which is an art unto itself!).  Participants will have the opportunity to share what is going on in their own communities and learn from one another’s experiences.  How do we successfully pass traditional dance on to the next generation?  How do we keep young people interested and bridge teens and tweens over to more “adult” forms of traditional dance?  How do we keep a family dance series running? All this and more will be discussed.  Come with your own questions, ideas and dances to share.  Beginning callers welcome – let Robbin help you get your family/community dance series off the ground.

 

E.  Hammered Dulcimer                                                       Judi Morningstar  (U)

Bring your instrument & learn the tips & tricks for playing this unique instrument. The instructions will be geared toward attendee’s abilities. Judi has taught the instrument since 1981 & has led workshops in the U.S. & Canada.

 

F.  I Can Tell A Story!                                                          Jim Pfitzer  (B)

This workshop for beginners will introduce participants to short, simple stories from cultures around the world that they can tell. Some of the stories we use will be familiar folk tales, others are sure to be new to students. We will have fun finding our individual voices, playing with the stories, and engaging in sometimes silly exercises. Before the week is over, every participant will have at least one story they can tell.

 

G.  Jaw Harp                                                                         Wayne Hankin  (U)

If you really want to master the ins and outs of this amazing instrument, this is the course to take. Instruments will be provided and you will learn not only how to get started sound-wise but will learn all the tricks of the trade with special effects, and mastering the art of playing solo tunes.

 

H.  Basketry One – Traditional Style                                  Janet Northern  (B)

This class will be a more traditional style of basketry.  We will use oak handles and weave with reed.  A variety of colors of reed will be available to choose from.  Approximate size: 7” x 5” x 7”.

($10 material fee payable at class)

 

I.  The Flatfooting/Tap Connection                                     Matthew Olwell  (B)

Tap, clogging and flatfooting have a long, intertwined history and share a broad spectrum of movement vocabulary. Shaped over centuries of rhythmic conversation, they have much to teach each other even today. Once closely related, they now exist often as separate communities and traditions. In this class, we will attempt to deconstruct this separation and find material that bridges the clogging/tap divide. We will explore musicality and economy of motion to solidify a foundation of rhythmic building blocks. We will also apply musical ideas from tap traditions to clogging and flatfooting vocabulary to examine musical phrasing and open new doors in our choreography and improvisation. A great class for students of any level; from beginners who want a fast-paced course including steps and improv drills, to advanced dancers who want to revisit the basics to hone their technique, facility and repertoire.

 

Period  Three 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  Four  1:45 – 2:45

 

A.  Contra for All                                                                  Robbin Marcus  (B/I)

Easy contra dances don’t have to be boring!  This class will contain dances which will delight even the most discerning contra palette – while leaving no one behind.  Learn the style tips behind the basic moves which make dancing more enjoyable for you and your partner.  Understand timing tastefully.  Navigate end effects with ease.  Come and join in the fun!

 

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.  Danish Folk Dance Two                                           Svend and Anna Hamborg (I/A)

In this class you will learn some of the more intricate Danish quadrilles, mixers and couple dances. Dance steps including the waltz, hopsa, reverse polka, and sonderhoning will be taught to the accompaniment of traditional Scandinavian music.

 

D.  Recorder One                                                                  Wayne Hankin  (B)

This is a basic class. Designed for beginners. Wayne will teach you all the fundamentals to get your technique up to par. Details include better breathing, articulation, exercises and of course an appealing repertoire to test those brushed-up skills upon.

 

E.  English Callers Workshop                                              Brad Foster  (U)

This 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. The workshop this year will be run together with Open Mic, for even more practice time. Although you don’t have to take both together, doing so is encouraged.

 

F.  What Do I Do With This?/Int Storytelling  (2 hours)   Jim Pfitzer  (I/A)

Have a moment in your life, an anecdote, or just an idea that you think might make a good story? This workshop for the storyteller with some experience is the opportunity to find, expand, and tell that story you always wanted to share but weren’t sure what to do with. We will look at what the elements of a good story are and work together to turn those ideas into real stories. Every participant will receive one-on-one feedback from Jim and work with other students in creating their story.

 

G.  Shape Note Singing                                                         Glen Morningstar  (U)

Participate in singing four-part harmonies in the four-shape system taught in Singing Schools, from the mid-1800′s to today in America.  Knowing how to read music is helpful but not required.  All materials will be provided from the Sacred Harp tunebook.  If you’ve always wanted to know how harmonies are structured, with interlaced melodies and fuguing, this is your chance.  Ethereal.  Haunting. Heartfelt.

 

H. 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.

 

I.  Mummers Play                                                                  John Mayberry  (U)

Many communities, all over the world, have a tradition of taking some time, usually at a special time of the year, to put aside the work-a-day world and turn the usual order of things upside down. This often involves disguising, visiting people’s houses, asking for food, drink or money, and saying special words or doing a prescribed performance. A Mummers’ Play is our chance to do this. John will guide the group through inventing and shaping our own, never-seen-before play to share with everyone at the end of the week. No acting experience is necessary. Think trick-or-treating, but for grown-ups in a group.

 

J. Ontario Step Dance                                                           Laurie Cumming  (U)

Alec Mulligan was a folk artist, dance caller and dancer with his own style of step dance.  Although he referred to his particular brand of footwork as “Ottawa Valley Stepdance,” this understated form of percussive dance incorporates steps from the French Canadian, Irish and English men he worked with at logging camps in northern Ontario.  Laurie will be teaching the Mulligan Clog.  Hard-soled shoes preferred, taps are optional.

 

Period  Five                3:00 – 4:00

 

A.  Scandinavian Couple Dances                                    Svend and Anna Hamborg (U)

This couple dance class will focus on Scandinavian dances including the waltz, sonderhoning, hambo, schottish and Norwegian Rheinlender. Come and learn to glide around the floor with your favorite dance partner!

 

B.  English Village Dances                                                   Jim Morrison (U)

Local social dances from throughout England – the rants of Northumberland, square eights from the Lake District or Yorkshire, reels from Devon or Cornwall, polkas from Sussex, and so on – will be the focus of this session. Not the polite dances of the historic ballroom, but rather the romps of otherwise normal people who know how to have fun with polkas on a Saturday night. Some of this material is useful to dance leaders who work with kids, and all of it clarifies the connection between English social dance and English morris, sword, and processionals. Vigorous and fun; come rant with us.

 

C.  Square Dances                                                                 Frederick Park  (U)

This class will travel the gamut of traditions, North, South, East & West!  We’ll dance Singing Squares, New England Quadrilles, some of Lloyd Shaw’s discoveries, and, if the class is interested, we’ll even throw in an English tradition!

 

D.  Intermediate/Advanced Dance Band                            Dean Herington  (I/A)

Come refine your skills as a dance musician.  We’ll explore how to make music that keeps the dancers coming back for more, including selecting tunes, arranging medleys, handling transitions, varying texture, and lots more.  Bring a favorite tune or two to share.

 

E.  Beginning Dance Band                                                   Judi Morningstar  (U)

Bring your instrument & enthusiasm. Learn the basics of playing well with others, how to handle live situations, placement of instruments and use of sound equipment.  Get a feel for picking music for dances and which tunes go together in medleys. Bring your questions as well as a list of 5 reels, 5 jigs and a couple of waltzes (if you have music for them, please bring). We’ll have a gooood time!

 

F.  What Do I Do With This?/Int Storytelling  (2 hours)   Jim Pfitzer  (I/A)

Have a moment in your life, an anecdote, or just an idea that you think might make a good story? This workshop for the storyteller with some experience is the opportunity to find, expand, and tell that story you always wanted to share but weren’t sure what to do with. We will look at what the elements of a good story are and work together to turn those ideas into real stories. Every participant will receive one-on-one feedback from Jim and work with other students in creating their story.

 

G.  Contra Calling Workshop                                             Glen Morningstar  (U)

Learn techniques for calling contra dances, then practice them in a class of supportive apprentices.  Not only will we practice calling contras, we’ll examine the many hats that the caller wears…host, cheerleader, facilitator of music & movement, and the tools of the trade…notation, archiving, programming, working with live & recorded music. Get your caller’s mojo on!

 

H.  Basketry Two                                                                  Janet Northern  (B)

This class will be a little less traditional.  A small functional basket with lots of room for individual expression and design.  Lots of colors of reed to choose from.                      ($10 material fee payable at class)

 

I.  Advanced Performance Rapper                                     Gillian Stewart  (A)

For those who are comfortable with stepping and basic figures. We will work on putting together dances that focus on the performance aspects of rapper: audience engagement, set unity, and wow-factor. Expect to dance different positions and step outside your comfort zone! Each set will develop a distinctive style that might include fooling, uncommon stepping, acrobatics, singing, or anything else you might bring to the class.

 

Period  Six      4:15 – 5:15

 

A. English Country Dance Open Mic/Open Band (U)      Brad Foster/Atossa Kramer 

For dancers, this is another time in the day to enjoy the beauty of English country dance. For callers, this is a chance to get more practice time and to receive instructive feedback on your calling from Brad Foster. (As a caller, although you can take this class alone it is designed to be taken along with Brad’s English Callers Workshop.) For musicians, come and join the band under the guidance of Atossa Kramer.

 

B. Bollywood for All                                                             Laurie Cumming  (U)

Bollywood is back!  This year our class will learn a new piece of choreography inspired by snakes, butterflies and/or a popular western dance from the ‘60s.  We will begin each session with a substantial strength and flexibility warm-up.   Get ready to move those hips and shoulders in new and unusual ways!  All are welcome.

 

C.  Longsword for All                                                         Gillian Stewart (U)

Come and experience the grace and power that is longsword dancing! Why should rapper have all the fun? Longsword is making a resurgence in the traditional dance scene – come see what the fuss is all about. This class is geared towards all levels, though ability to count to eight is a plus. Sneakers or other athletic shoes recommended.

 

D.  Duet and Trio Singing—Country Style!                       Emily Miller  (U)

Learn to sing in close harmony. We’ll learn some great country songs and work on singing them the way they are meant to be sung– in small groups, knee-to-knee (one of the world’s great pleasures!). We’ll work on making up harmonies, country vocal stylings as well as just having fun singing close harmonies. This class is recommended for singers who have some experience holding their own parts.

 

E. Beg Temari Craft ($10 material fee payable at class)  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)

 

F. Play Party/Singing Games                                               Frederick Park  (U)

Playparty and singing games from Appalachian traditions, African-American traditions and Southern traditions including hand-clapping games for two or four.  We will also visit upon a small handful of games from other parts of the world.

 

G. Rural/Urban Movement Remix                                      Emily Oleson  (I/A)

While dance trends evolve and new genres constantly emerge, a lot of human motion remains the same. This class will play with movement vocabulary and motifs that surface in several forms of American vernacular dance, from flatfooting to Charleston to breaking. We’ll take a short phrase and combine and experiment with the elements that make these distinct styles alike and different – it’s not just what you’re doing, it’s how you’re doing it!  Briskly paced class, good for experienced movers.

 

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