English Dance Leaders Course

Daily Schedule

7:45-8:15 Breakfast
8:15-8:45 Cold Breakfast Coffee/Tea available
11:55-12:30 Swimming, Bookstore Staffed
12:30 Lunch
4:00-4:20 Tea
  Camper Jam / Tune Swap: camper led
5:30-6:15 Swimming, Bookstore Staffed
6:30 Dinner
7:45 Couple Dancing
8:00-11:00 Evening Dance Party
11:00 After-dance activities

August 7 - 14, 2010

Held during English & American Dance Week at Pinewoods.

Program Description

This Course is directed specifically toward experienced contra dance callers who want to expand their talents to leading English country dance. We will make the most of current skills and explore transferring them to ECD, and will examine aspects more specific to English and less familiar to many contra dance callers. Class topics will include: understanding the wide variety of music and set formations, developing broad and useful repertoire, balanced programming, engaging and accessible teaching, working with musicians, negotiating varying interpretations, and continuing to learn beyond class.

This intensive, small-group program ensures personal attention so all participants can make significant progress toward their goals. We meet twice a day, when our leading, dancing, observing, and discussing will benefit from the talents and insight of English and contra dance musicians Daron Douglas and Dave Weisler. At other times, all of English & American Dance Week is available to you. Participants are strongly encouraged  to take advantage of opportunities for additional leading at the daily Open Mic session with David Millstone’s thoughtful guidance, and for dancing and observing in at least one English class. The especially eager can even attend two English classes each day! All this accompanied by some of the best English and contra musicians anywhere for a perfect immersion experience.

Please check the description of English & American Dance Week at Pinewoods for details on that program and staff.

-- Joseph Pimentel, Program Director

Joseph Pimentel has been dancing for 30 years, calling contras for 15, and leading English for 12. While the die-hard contra dancer in him kept him from discovering English sooner, both as a dancer and a leader, this early hesitation grew into a deep love for English. He now draws on both perspectives, and has developed a reputation for both understanding the joys of English and conveying them joyfully.
Class assignments begin before you arrive at camp. A copy of The Playford Ball will be useful for this. You will also want a copy of both volumes of The Barnes Book of English Country Dance Tunes, as well as a means of listening to your favorite ECD tunes outside of class (MP3 player with tunes loaded, CD player with CDs, instrument and ability to play, etc.). A binder of resource materials will be available for you at camp for an additional $5. Many fine books and CDs will be available at the CDSS bookstore.


This course is limited to ten participants to ensure plenty of opportunity for active participation. The registration deadline is March 15. In case of over-subscription, priority will be given to experienced contra dance callers and applicants will be selected for similar experience and skill level, with some preference given to applicants from areas that are under-served with English dance leaders. Please clearly indicate if you would like to attend English & American Dance Week at Pinewoods if you do not get into this course. Scholarships are available.