Christmas Country Dance School

2014 Class Descriptions

Period  One                9:00 – 10:00 

A.  Advanced Contras                                                          Darlene Underwood  (A)
You must suspend belief, trust that you will have fun. Join me for complex dance that will challenge your mind. You just might have fun too! 

B.  English Dance & the Art of Reconstruction                             Brad Foster  (U)
A survey of English country dance reconstruction from Cecil Sharp to Andrew Shaw, with many stops in between. Cecil Sharp in particular worked with limited information. As the 20th century progressed, more has been learned about the historical meaning of figures and instructions from the old dance books, but much is still guess work. The art of reconstruction is in the choices made to make often incomplete instructions work for today’s dancers. Warning – this class will include an occasional modern dance for variety. For all levels. 

C. Scandinavian Dance Basics                              Roo Lester and Harry Khamis (B)
Looking for something new and different?  This class will introduce you to the richness and variety of the dance and music of Scandinavia. All of the dances taught in class incorporate turning of some sort.  Key themes of the class include developing balance both alone and as part of a dancing couple and learning techniques for leading and following.  In this class we will focus primarily on waltz, schottische, polka, mazurka, and introduce some of the special regional dances from Norway and Sweden.  Hard soled, low heeled shoes recommended. 

D. Recorder for the Next Level                                                       Wayne Hankin (I/A)
Some old music, some new, some old friends and a great opportunity to make new ensemble partners. We’ll also work on technique. This class is open to players who can play beyond soprano and alto. Some experience in tenor and bass recorders welcome. 

E.  Cotswold Morris for All                                                             David Macemon (U)
Whether you’re an experienced dancer, or just really want to know more about the wonders of wearing bells and dancing with sticks or hankies, this year’s Morris for All will be great experience.  We will focus on dancing style points, dancing together as a team, presenting the dance and enjoying ourselves as we dance.  We’ll apply those ideas / concepts to the traditional dances from Adderbury.   

F. Harmony Singing                                                                                      Suzi Mills (U)
The tricks, trials, and triumphs of harmony singing will form the basis for our foray into song styles and the inner elements of a good song. Old favorites, along with a few new gems will be shared and the repertoire will feature songs that lend themselves to singing in three- and four-part harmony. We will discuss and sing accompanied songs and a capella music in song books and “by heart.” Special treats includes some South African freedom and traditional songs, in addition to beloved American folk and popular tunes. All voice parts and experience ranges are welcome to join in the joy of group music making through harmony singing. 

G. 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) 

H. Clogging Intermediate                                                                 Abby Ladin  (I)
If you have solid basic footwork in tap or clogging come explore syncopation and phrasing. We will work on attack and precision to improve the overall quality of our percussive sound. 

I.  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.

Period  Two   10:15 – 11:15 

A.  Advanced English Country Dance                                            Mary Devlin  (A)
This is an opportunity for experienced, secure and skillful dancers to take their dancing to the next level of enjoyment.  We’ll focus on style and technique, and consciously paying attention to what the music tells us.  There will be a mix of dances, some favorite and familiar and some that may be new and challenging, all of them with stylish lessons to impart. 

B.  Intermediate English Country Dance                                        Brad Foster  (I)
English country dance in all its glory, with reconstructions ranging from old classics by Cecil Sharp to new reconstructions by Andrew Shaw and others, compositions ranging from Pat Shaw through Gary Roodman, and traditional style dances both old and new. The focus will be on the joy of dancing, with style pointers and technique taught that will improve the flow of and pleasure in the dances. For intermediate dancers. 

C.  Beginning English Country Dance                                            Mary Harrell (B)
In this class, the fun and sociability of the dances will be stressed, along with learning the recurring basic figures, to build a beginning repertoire.  The fundamentals of the waltz will also be taught. 

D.  Trump Familiar Basics and Some New Tricks                     Wayne Hankin (U)
For trump (jews harp) enthusiasts or newcomers, we review the basics and introduce some new tricks. If you don’t have a trump we’ll be providing instruments in the keys of D, C, and G. Also if you have an electric toothbrush, don’t leave home without one. 

E.  Contra Callers Workshop                                              Darlene Underwood (B/I)
We will learn how to juggle many balls while wearing many different hats. Callers have many jobs while on stage. Let’s practice how to keep all the balls in the air while having fun. We’ll practice calling and teaching and whatever else we decide as a team…. 

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. Songs from the Past to the Present                                             Donna Lamb (U)
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. 

H.  Basketry One                                                                               Janet Northern (U)
We will make a traditional style basket with oak handles and woven with reed.  There will be a variety of colors and sizes of reed from which to choose so that each basket will be unique.         ($10 material fee payable at class) 

I.  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 in 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 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   2:00 – 3:00 

A.  Contra for All                                                                              Mary Devlin  (B/I)
Participate in the joy of contra dancing!  You’ll learn basic contra figures and much more, including style tips and techniques, timing and its importance, and safety on the dance floor.  With the help of our musicians, you’ll discover the music-dance relationship essential to good dancing.  All this while doing fun and accessible dances to great music.  Bliss!  Focus on beginning / intermediate contra dancers but all are welcome. 

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. Hambo Skills and Dancing                      Roo Lester and Harry Khamis (I/A)
Want to Hambo?  Want to work on making your Hambo better than it is?  Are there more dances like the Hambo?  In this class we will spend our time working on the skills useful for happy Hambo dancing in a Swedish way.  We will work on turning alone, as part of a dance team/couple and with the music.  We will practice our skills in the Hambo, and if time permits, experience some additional Hambo dances.  Wait, is there more than one Hambo?  Yes, indeed!  Flat hard soled shoes strongly recommended.  (Scandinavian Dance Basics strongly recommended prior to Hambo class.) 

D.  Intermediate/Advanced Dance Band                            Owen Morrison  (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.  Dance Band from the Floor Up                                                 Andrea Hoag  (B)
Want to learn to make feet and hearts go pitter-pat? We’ll focus on the essential elements of success as a dance musician: listening, watching, playing with verve and subtlety, and keeping it fresh while keeping it steady. You’ll learn a few really good tunes, find out where and how to build repertoire and skills, and learn some of the history behind the dance music we enjoy at CCDS. For musicians on any instrument who can either learn a tune by ear or read music. 

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 his or her story. 

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                                                                            Sarah Jo Jacobs  (U)
Mummers’ Plays are one of the oldest surviving features of the traditional English Christmas. Mumming in England goes back for over a thousand years. The tradition of creating a performance and entertaining the crowed with costumes and familiar characters sheds a silly and exciting light on the art of the mummers play. Join in this timeless and fun act at this year’s mummers play.  This class will encourage you to use your wildest imagination and enhance your abilities on the stage.  

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  Five                3:15 – 4:15 

A. Contra Dance Open Mic/Open Band                Brad Foster/Charlie Pilzer   (U)
For dancers, this is another time in the day to enjoy the beauty of contra dancing. For callers and musicians, this is a chance to get more practice time and to receive instructive feedback on your calling from Brad Foster and your music from Charlie Pilzer. Tips will be provided for working together with callers and musicians, dance presentation and more. For all. 

B. Sets of Cork and Kerry                                              Owen and Jim Morrison (U)
Kerry/West Cork Sets are southwestern Ireland’s version of square dances. They are very energetic, propelled by lively polkas, slides and hornpipes. This year we will dance some old favorites as well as some sets that are new to Christmas School.  No experience is necessary. 

C. Dancing Further into Scandinavian Dance       Roo Lester and Harry Khamis (I)
We will continue to develop and refine our turning dance skills while exploring the variety and richness of the dance (and music) of Scandinavia.  Some waltz variations?  How about a schottische with a “wrinkle?”  Again, all of the dances taught in class incorporate turning.  We will build upon the key themes introduced in the Scandinavian Dance Basics class.  This class will delve further into the richness of the dances of Norway and Sweden.  The skills used for these dances are applicable to many other dance forms.  Come one, come all.  Bring your hard soled shoes and a spirit of adventure.  Previous experience with Scandinavian turning dances recommended. 

D.  Recorder For New Students                                                      Wayne Hankin  (B)
Now is the time to get introduced to the instrument. Learn the basics of music, how to sight read, fingerings and enjoy playing with others. Recommended recorders which employ English or Baroque fingerings. 

E.  English Callers Workshop                                                          Mary Devlin  (I)
Topics we cover will include music for English country dance and working with musicians.  We’ll also focus on the use of language, both verbal and non-verbal, and the effects of both on dancers.  Depending on participants’ backgrounds and interests, we may also cover some more concrete aspects of dance leadership such as programming, teaching figures, and teaching style.  There will be time for practice teaching with feedback, and you’ll learn how to receive and give feedback yourself.  The workshop is intended for callers with some experience teaching English country dance and/or contra dance. 

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 his or her story. 

G.  Shape Note Singing                                                                     Jon Pickow  (U)
We’ll explore the traditions of shape note singing and sing hymns from The Sacred Harp Collection, using the four-shape system that was taught in Singing Schools in the 1800′s, which is still in wide use today. Reading music is helpful but not required. These uniquely American masterpieces (some dating to Colonial times) give an excellent insight into the structure of harmonies, counter melodies and canonic imitation in vocal music, as well as being a sheer delight to sing. 

H.  Basketry                                                                                       Janet Northern  (U)
This basket will be a wall hanging or pouch basket.  Using traditional methods of weaving we will incorporate many things into the weaving of this less traditional basket such as reed, cloth, strings, and leather.  This will give everyone a chance to explore different types of materials and patterns.           ($10 material fee payable at class) 

I. Play Party & Singing Games                                                        Suzi Mills  (U)
In this class we will explore a variety of play parties and singing games from Appalachia, the American South, and across world cultures. Participants will play and sing historical and present-day singing games for all ages. Recreational and educational applications will be discussed, along with some highlights of fieldwork on the history and current practices of singing games.   Please bring your favorite singing games to share with the class, too!

J.  Clogging Basics                                                                            Abby Ladin  (B)
We’ll learn the fundamental steps, how to string them together and keep the rhythms moving along. Explore the power of feet hoofing in unison. Even if you have some steps under your belt, a basics refresher is a great place to solidify your rhythmic abilities. 

Period  Six      4:20 – 5:20 

FREE TIME/JAM SESSIONS/CONCERTS

 

 

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