Christmas Country Dance School

2012 Class Descriptions

Period I 9:00 – 10:00

A.  The Coolest Contras
Sue Rosen  (A)

The Coolest Contras – Breeze through the very best of contemporary contradance choreography.  Smooth moves, great story-lines, wonderful music, and YOU, the experienced dancer, combine to make for heavenly dancing.

B. Appalachian Mountain Barndance

Jim Morrison  (U)

The Paul Jones is a simple mixer with a long history. It is still danced in many communities all over the US, but especially Virginia, Maryland, and surrounding states. This session will present a slew of different communities’ renditions of this dance. For contrast, we will build a single, generalized and all-purpose version of the big circle square dancing of the South Eastern states, and participants will have the chance to call this dance themselves.

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.  Building Community; Carrying on the Traditions   
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 family 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 them 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 ideas and dances to share.
E. Int/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.
F.  Harmony Singing
Aubrey Atwater/Elwood Donnelly  (U)
Harmony Singing: Aubrey and Elwood will introduce a variety of folk songs that lend well to group singing, call-response, and harmony. Joyous, self-taught singers who sing by ear, Aubrey and Elwood will present intuitive techniques for breathing, pitch control, rhythm, lead singing, common intervals for singing harmony, and stage presence that they have gleaned through years of performance and experimentation. Lyrics, with and without written music, will be provided, and participants may also bring their own songs and musical questions.  Bring a recording device if you wish!  (All Levels)
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.  Morris Dance

John Mayberry  (U)

John will be teaching morris dancing in the Brackley style. This is one of the traditional English village styles that has been adapted by many teams around the world. The Brackley style is notable for the fact that it is quite different from many other common traditions in that the emphasis is on quick, crisp steps and brisk figures, rather than pyrotechnic leaps. We will learn the basic moves and the common figures in this jaunty, dapper tradition, enabling us to learn several complete dances. Sneakers are a good footwear choice for this activity.
I.  Beginning Rapper Sword

Laurie Cumming  (B

Never tried rapper before?  Tried it and want another chance to ‘get it’?  Come to this class and learn some classic short-sword moves along with a few more challenging figures to get the blood flowing (not literally we hope)!  This class will be paced according to the desire of the participants and will build towards creating a satisfyingly brisk dance to perform on the Morris tour.  Some stepping experience is helpful though not essential. Hard-soled shoes preferred.

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 
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.  Mountain Dulcimer Intermediate

Aubrey Atwater  (I)

Moving at a comfortable pace, the dulcimer will be approached from a number of angles during this exciting class: singing and playing chords, trying different tunings, using the traditional noter, strumming and fingerpicking, and any other topics that may “happen” as a result of group chemistry.  Please bring a dulcimer in good playing condition and any accessories you wish to have, including a recording device.
E.  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.
F.  Beginning Storytelling

Storycrafters  (B)

Anyone can tell a story.  Whether stories are told in a child’s bedroom or a boss’ boardroom, whether they are fact or fiction, the skills that storytellers use to ply their craft are the same. In this workshop, through demonstration, presentation, and lots of group activity, The Storycrafters will work with participants to develop a story for telling. They will share insights and expertise on what makes a story well told. With feedback from The Storycrafters and fellow workshop participants, participants will have a story, based in folklore, that they can confidently tell in a setting of their choosing.
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 alexandertechnique.com, or http://www.robbinlmarcus.com/alexander-technique.html
H.  Beginning Basketry – Traditional Style  Janet Northern  (B)
In this class we will make a traditional market style basket made with oak handles and woven with reed.  A variety of colors of reed will be available.  Approximate size: 5” W x 10” L x 7” H.      ($10 material fee payable at class)
I.  Mountain Dulcimer Beginning Elwood Donnelly  (B)
Starting from Scratch with Elwood Donnelly: Participants will learn three styles of playing the dulcimer, Using The Noter; Chording, Strumming and Singing; and Finger-Picking in common and waltz time signatures.  Play the mountain dulcimer in D-A-D using the noting stick: one of the most ancient and haunting, yet quite simple, methods of playing.  Learn basic chords for the D-A-D Mixolydian tuning and how to strum accompanying rhythms while singing and playing at the same time! Master finger-picking simple tunes on the mountain dulcimer in D-A-D. Learn basic patterns for vocal accompaniment.  PLEASE BRING A DULCIMER, AND IF POSSIBLE, A FLATPICK, FINGERPICKS, AND NOTING STICK.
J.  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 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.  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. Dances of the Lincoln Era
Theresa Lowder  (I)
From the Regency period to the American Antebellum period, we’ll do American and English dances that were popular during Lincoln’s lifetime.
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  (U)
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)

Storycrafters  (I/A)

In this workshop, designed for participants experienced in the art of storytelling, The Storycrafterswill delve more deeply into skills and techniques of performed storytelling and the art and craft of narrative building.  Together, we will explore what it means to craft language and performance to capture the essence of story while honoring the personal style of the teller. Participants can expect thoughtful and fun activities designed to further personal growth in this art. We encourage participants to bring a story that they would like to work on.  Due to the longer time-frame of this workshop, we’ll have time for exercises and group activities, and also individual ‘master class’ style coaching.
G.  You’re a Performer!

Sue Rosen  (U)

For callers of all experience levels and those interested in becoming callers.  Some topics that we’ll discuss, explore and practice will include dance programming, adding squares to your life, the business of being a caller, working with the band, and sounding good at the mic.
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. 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.

Period V 3:15 – 4:15

A. 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.
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 Tim 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.  Squares and Odd Formations

Brad Foster  (U)

This class will include a great selection of New England singing squares, old-time patter squares, and odd formations from both contra/square and English ceilidh dance traditions.
D.  Advanced Dance Band
Andrea Hoag  (I/A)
When dancers are transported and enlivened by good music, it’s a great feeling for the musician too! We’ll delve into the underpinnings of theory, the derring-do of improvisation, band communication, choosing sets, and much more, while playing tunes with Wow Factor. Charlie Pilzer will visit with us during the week to share his perspective and energy.
E.  Beginning Dance Band

Charlie Pilzer  (U)

Here’s your opportunity to learn to play for dancers and improve your band skills. We’ll learn some contra, English country dance and ceilidh tunes, and perhaps a  waltz or two! We’ll discuss what it is that makes music exciting to dancers. All instruments and skill levels are welcome – drag out those long-neglected instruments from the closet and under the bed – we’ll find a place for you; some proficiency with your instrument is helpful. Andrea Hoag will visit the class to share ideas on melodic variations and harmonic improvisations. Tunes learned in class will be played at the evening After Dance sessions.
F.  Intermediate Storytelling  (Two hours, cont.)

Storycrafters  (I/A)

In this workshop, designed for participants experienced in the art of storytelling, The Storycrafterswill delve more deeply into skills and techniques of performed storytelling and the art and craft of narrative building.  Together, we will explore what it means to craft language and performance to capture the essence of story while honoring the personal style of the teller. Participants can expect thoughtful and fun activities designed to further personal growth in this art. We encourage participants to bring a story that they would like to work on.  Due to the longer time-frame of this workshop, we’ll have time for exercises and group activities, and also individual ‘master class’ style coaching.
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.  Let’s Write a Contra!

Sue Rosen  (U)

It’s easy to write a dance.  Together we’ll explore the challenges involved in composing great dances that really work for various skill levels.
I.  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.
J. Bollywood for All

Laurie Cumming  (U)

Bollywood is many things: a type of movie, a style of music, a great form of dance and all three combined.  In our class we will focus on Bollywood dancing beginning each session with a substantial strength and flexibility warm-up  followed by  a series of moves inspired by cobras, butterflies and a popular western dance move.   Get ready to move those hips in new and unusual ways!
K.  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

FREE TIME/JAM SESSIONS/CONCERTS

 

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