English Dance Leaders Course
|7:45-8:15||Hot Breakfast served cafeteria style|
|8:15-8:45||Cold Breakfast Coffee/Tea available|
All-Camp Chorale: Singing Staff
Each day we will begin with a 75 minute singing session with the entire camp at which singing leaders will take turns leading harmony songs both by ear and from written music. We will all work on these songs each morning through the week until the final big sing on Friday morning. The repertoire will include traditional songs from the U.S., the U.K. and Canada, American shape note hymns, arrangements of ballads and folk songs, sea shanties, pub songs, gospel and civil rights songs, and songs written by folks steeped in traditional music.
This is a period of social dancing for all. Campers can choose among an intermediate English class, an intermediate contra class, and a class for beginning dancers that includes both contra and English.
Contra and English County Dancing for Beginners: Peter Amidon / Music by: Mary Alice Amidon, Mary Cay Brass -- We will learn the basic figures and styles of contra and English country dance by doing a progression of dances such that dancers need to learn only one new figure at a time.
English Country Dance: Brad Foster / Music by: Karen Axelrod, Ethan Hazzard-Watkins, Anna Patton --
Contra and Square Dance: Nils Fredland / Music by: Keith Murphy, Becky Tracy, Stefan Amidon --
|11:30-12:25||Swimming, Bookstore staffed|
Singing on the Porch: David Jones
Community Chorale: Mary Cay Brass
Here's an opportunity to explore a wide variety of harmony traditions -- from Scotland and England to some contemporary New England shape note and early gospel quartets. We will also travel to Eastern Europe and Caucasus Georgia for a look at some of their rich harmonic traditions. Songs are easily accessible and taught to a wide range of learning styles.
Harmony by Ear: Suzannah Park
Ah the sweet joy of singing in harmony. This class will be just that and super fun! We will sing in 2, 3 and 4 part harmony and spend time playing with how to create harmony and get comfortable with just jumping in.
Traditional Song Arranging: Keith Murphy
A class for singers and instrumentalists. We will review basic chord theory and work through alternate harmonizations of songs, consider the use of different instruments through a song, creating introductions, breaks and bridges and explore the shaping of a song with different rhythmic ideas. We will try to work through several songs both as a large group and by splitting into smaller ensembles. People will also be invited to bring songs to the class to arrange.
The Transcendental Old-Time Slow Jam: Stefan Amidon
Take a break from singing, unpack your instrument and we will play old-time tunes, and slowly! This is a great exercise even for those who can rip off a tune faster than a rocky mountain goat down a brushy run. We will play closer to the speed of granny's pacing horse. This may sound boring; in fact, it is trance-like. By the end of the week you will be able to play these tunes, as fast as you please, with a deeper understanding of the universe.
Pinewoods HSD Dance Band: Becky Tracy
Here is our opportunity to leave the singing behind for a period and play tunes together and work something up for dancing for the evening dances. We will vary the approaches and tune styles, learning by ear, reading and creating arrangements, to stretch ourselves all around.
Morris Dance: Gillian Stewart
Music by: Karen Axelrod
English country dancing and morris have existed side by side for centuries, slowly trading tunes and figures. Come speed up the process by using your favorite country dance as the inspiration for a new morris dance! The class will focus on choreography, creation of a style, and the role of music in dance writing. Beginners will learn footwork and style in a creative environment, while more experienced dancers can use their morris background to drive the creative engines. Bring sneakers, enthusiasm, and a passion for all dancing English.
|3:15-4:15||English Dance Leaders Course: Workshop|
|4:45-5:45||English Dance Leaders Course: Calling Practice|
|5:45-6:25||Swimming, Bookstore staffed|
|9:15||Evening Dance Party|
|11:00||Late Night Activities|
July 21 - 28, 2012
Held during Harmony of Song & Dance at Pinewoods.
Is there still room?
For up-to-date info about availability and wait lists,
see our main Dance & Music Camps page.
Brad Foster, from Amherst, MA, has been dancing and teaching English country, contras and squares, and morris and sword for over 40 years. He is well known for sharing the joy found in dance, and has taught throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe, including at Berea, Pinewoods, Mendocino, John C. Campbell Folk School and Augusta. He is Executive and Artistic Director Emeritus of the Country Dance and Song Society, after 28 years as Director. He is also a founder of the Bay Area Country Dance Society as well as co-founder of their Mendocino English and American dance weeks. Photo by Marty Stock
This English Dance Leaders Course is an intensive workshop designed for intermediate to advanced teachers 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 leadership (getting, and keeping, the dancers’ attention, often through non-verbal techniques, learning how to handle mistakes or unexpected situations and collaborating with musicians). The course will build skills in teaching methods, non-verbal communication, vocal technique, using rhythm and phrasing with your instructions, programming, working with musicians and more. There will be a workshop covering these topics plus an afternoon calling practice session (open to the full camp as dancers). A central part of the course will involve observation of other leadership techniques, including both song and dance leadership, with a discussion on how to borrow these techniques for your own calling. All this with positive critiques and a supportive atmosphere!
This program, held concurrently with Harmony of Song & Dance, is designed and led by Brad Foster. Brad has been calling country dances for 40 years and has pleased dancers all over the U.S. and in Europe with his clear teaching and enthusiastic presentation of a great variety of dances. One of Brad’s primary goals is sharing the joy of country dancing; this course will help you find ways to share that joy with your dancers.
The course includes two afternoon periods with Brad: one a workshop on leadership and the other a time to practice calling. Musicians Anna Patton and Karen Axelrod will play for one or both classes, schedule permitting. These afternoon sessions are designed to allow for plenty of opportunity for callers to practice new skills. Each caller will be encouraged to design a personal project/goal to accomplish by week's end. In addition, all students are expected to take the morning All Camp Choral and one of the Dance Classes in order to observe different leadership styles.
During the 1:30 period and evening, participants can choose from among the activities available at Harmony of Song & Dance.
All registrants will be expected to have copies of The Playford Ball, Notes on Teaching Country Dance, and the Barnes Books of English Country Dance Tunes for any dances you wish to teach; all are available from CDSS and at the camp bookstore.
This course is limited to 10 participants to ensure plenty of opportunity for active participation. If it is oversubscribed on March 19, there will be a lottery, with preference given to those who fit the criteria listed below. Please clearly indicate if you would like to attend Harmony of Song & Dance, if you did not get a space in the course. Scholarships are available.
Requirements for Registrants
In order to attend the course you must:
- Be familiar with the AABB structure of contra dance music;
- Know the difference between a jig, a reel and triple-time;
- Know how to cue the first figure of the dance;
- Know how and when to signal the band to go out;
- Have called at least 2 evenings of English dancing in a real dance setting;
- Have a repertoire of at least 3 dances you know and feel comfortable teaching and calling;
- Attend English 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.