Contra Dance Callers Course
|7:45-8:15||Hot Breakfast served cafeteria style|
|8:15-8:45||Cold Breakfast Coffee/Tea available|
|9:00-11:30||Contra Dance Callers Course|
|11:15-12:00||Swimming, Bookstore staffed, spaces available|
I Dare You Dances: Lisa Greenleaf
Music by: Jeremiah McLane, Ruthie Dornfeld, Owen Marshall
Challenging contras and squares for those with a quick mind, a sense of humor, and knowledge of contra/square basics. These aren't "head" dances, but rather dances whose challenge might lie in points of style as well as unusual figures. Unsure if you should come? Try it! You are sure to learn something and have a good time in the process.
Blues Dancing: Josh Van Vliet, Tresne Hernandez
Music by: Suzannah Park, Anna Patton, Dave Wiesler, Will Patton
Blues Dancing originated around the same time as Lindy Hop and represents the slower, smoother side of swing dancing. We’ll start with the basics of moving with a partner, add some key techniques for partner connection and musical interpretation (which you can bring to any partner dance!), sprinkle in a few uber smooth blues moves, and stir it up to create a delicious blues stew. All levels of dance experience welcome!
Composing and Arranging Tunes: Adam Broome, Nicholas Williams, Jaige Trudel
Here is an opportunity to explore music composition embodying traditional characteristics, both for dancing and performance. Once we have some fine new tunes to work with, we will delve into arrangement techniques and spend time with our instruments trying ideas, playing in ensembles and developing our creations!
Let's Get Worked Up with Jesse's Favorite Dances: Jesse Edgerton
Music by: Adam Broome, Nicholas Williams, Jaige Trudel
We will gently ease into this mid-afternoon session with a big, refreshing glass of cool and groovy goodness. Once we feel rejuvenated and invigorated, we will get worked up with more briskly paced, excitingly choreographed dances just in time to cool off with afternoon tea. Perfect for all levels of dancer, this session will get you going for the rest of the afternoon and into the evening.
Love, Loss & Length - Ballad Singing: Suzannah Park
This class will focus on ballad singing from the Appalachian Mountains as well and jumping over to the British Isles for a ballad or two. These story songs are rich and haunting and a joy to sing. We will spend time focusing on singing style and ornamentation and the process of learning and personalizing a song while staying in the tradition. All songs will be taught by ear with the aid of word sheets and all levels of singers are welcome.
Musical Improvisation: Will Patton, Anna Patton
Come mess about with improvising on well-known songs and dance tunes. We’ll explore music theory as it relates to real hands on playing, including chords, scales and rhythmic ideas. A safe and fun place to ask questions and conduct harmonic experiments. Open to all instruments and vocalizers too!
Writing Great Contra Dances: Rick Mohr
What makes a contra dance great, and how do you create one of those rather than another mediocre one? We'll learn the answer, discuss the specifics, and (with a bit of luck) create some. Everyone is welcome.
Gathering: Jesse Edgerton
Enjoy staff mini-concerts and participate with jokes, songs and silly games. Hosted by the hilarious and bodacious Jesse Edgerton.
Dance Potpourri: Dave Wiesler, Ruthie Dornfeld
Dave Wiesler and Ruthie Dornfeld will present rotating themes to be announced.
Choose Your Own Adventure
Camper-organized activities, featuring YOU, with Rick Mohr and Ethan Hazzard-Watkins available for support.
|5:45-6:30||Swimming and Bookstore staffed|
|8:00-11:00||Evening Dance Party including a couple dance interlude|
July 28 - August 4, 2012
Held during American Dance & Music Week at Pinewoods.
Is there still room?
For up-to-date info about availability and wait lists,
see our main Dance & Music Camps page.
Lisa Greenleaf has been treating dancers across the country to her high spirited, witty calling for many years, and is known for precise walk-throughs of zesty and flowing dances. Whether she is presenting cool contras, hot squares, or focused callers' workshops, Lisa engages the crowd with her humor and community spirit.
This Contra Callers Course is an intensive workshop designed for advanced-beginner through intermediate callers who are ready to get to the next level. The focus is on two important topics: teaching skills (understanding choreography and crafting a concise teaching vocabulary) and stage craft (becoming comfortable behind the mic, learning how to handle mistakes or unexpected situations and collaborating with musicians). All of this takes place in a supportive environment designed to help participants discover their strengths and explore new ideas.
This program, held concurrently with American Dance & Music Week, is designed and led by Lisa Greenleaf. Lisa brings many years of experience to her callers workshops, having been on staff at camps across the country and beyond. She has designed both short and long callers courses, and she particularly enjoys observing how people learn dance moves, as well as how they build effective dance communities.
The course takes place for a solid block in the morning. In the first half we cover such topics as teaching figures, recognizing good choreography and working with musicians. The latter half of the morning is a hands-on experience of basic microphone and stage techniques as participants practice conducting effective walk-throughs. There will also be time later in the day for campers to create an open mic session, as part of the fifth period in the concurrent American Dance & Music Week schedule.
Participation is limited to eight students, and before camp each student is asked to complete a preparatory assignment, which will be explained at registration. Because we have a lot of material to cover, attendees are expected to have knowledge of basic calling skills before attending the course. Feel free to contact the CDSS office for more information about this.
This course is limited to eight participants to ensure plenty of opportunity for active participation. Participants should be advanced-beginner through intermediate callers who have knowledge of basic calling skills. If it is oversubscribed on March 19, there will be a lottery of the qualified applicants. Please clearly indicate if you would like to attend American Dance & Music Week, if you did not get a space in the course. Scholarships are available.
Requirements for callers
In order to attend the course you must:
- Be familiar with the AABB structure of contra dance music;
- Know the difference between a jig and a reel;
- Know how to cue the first figure off of four potatoes;
- Know how and when to signal the band to go out;
- Have called at least 3 contras in a real dance setting (individual dances, not evenings). Some dances sponsor open mics or new callers’ nights, and some callers are willing to allow new callers to call one dance during an evening. Or you can get a bunch of friends together and host a dance party, but it needs to be to live music;
- Have a repertoire of at least 3 dances you know and feel comfortable teaching and calling;
- Attend contra dances regularly so that you are familiar with the moves, the culture and the music;
- Be prepared to receive and incorporate feedback, even if you have a lot of calling experience.
If you have further questions, please contact CDSS.