American Dance & Music Week at Pinewoods
August 9 - 16, 2014
Is there still room?
For up-to-date info about
availability and wait lists,
see our Dance & Music Camps page.
Program Description: a 1 page version of this page
Daily Schedule: a 1 page daily timetable
Description of Classes: a 2 page description of the classes
For accepted campers: Links to a few important pages and surveys.
Welcome to American Week where friends, old and new, gather together for a memorable music and dance experience in the pines between the ponds. For sure there will be some difficult choices for you to make from the enticing menu of classes we’ve assembled for you. We’ve gathered many of America's finest dance teachers and musicians to mix and match into creative ensembles for this rich and varied program. This multi-talented staff is excited to be coming together to provide us with a unique dancing and musical experience and opportunities to learn from these masters. This year we are featuring a strong program in the traditions from Appalachia and the American South and from Ireland along with contras morning, noon and night.
Do you love contras, squares and waltz? Want to be part of the Dare to be Square revolution and learn to call southern squares? Feel like kicking up your heels in the old Irish style of sean-nós step dance or Appalachian flatfooting? Have you tried Irish set dance? Bring your dance shoes and lots of energy. We’ll have two daily stretching sessions to keep you loose and limber, morning contras and waltz to wake you up, and afternoon squares and more challenging contras to spice up the mix.
Can’t dance all day? Not a problem. Bring your instruments and your voices because this week promises a full program of music classes and more. Come and try something new under the guidance of teachers who are experts in their fields, and who will have you playing and singing with your heart and soul. Choose from two very different singing classes, ensemble playing, old time jamming, instrument classes, and learn tunes by ear to accompany our all-camp processions to the evening dance in C#. Get messy and creative with paper, paint, glue and who-knows-what else in the daily community art class. Carve out some time to sit on the porch, take a swim, jam or nap, but don’t miss the daily gathering where we’ll join for some singing, laughs and concerts.
Evening dance parties, filled with contras, squares and couple dances, to the great music and calling of our staff set the nights aglow and are followed by after-dance parties in the camphouse where the fun continues with more opportunities for playing music and games, singing and dancing.
I'm excited about the wealth of talent and offerings that will be shared at camp this year. I hope to see you there. -- Sue Rosen, Program Director
Printable Information for Accepted Campers
You can log in to access your registration information including any balance due. If you don't remember your user name or password, follow the Log In directions. Please email us with any updates, corrections or questions.
Here are links to further details:
The Program: one page Program Description
- Daily Schedule
- Class Descriptions
- Class Questionnaire: Please give us an idea of the classes you will take. Also available online.
Getting Ready: Details for being at camp.
Getting to Camp: Driving Directions
- [Public Transportation] Coming soon
- Van seats between Boston's Logan Airport and Pinewoods [available at $30 each] - Contact us!
- [Rides]: Do you need or can you offer a ride? Coming Soon
Morning Warmups: Joel Rosen
Start your day with a set of gentle Tai Chi stretches and warmups to relax the body and calm the mind. You'll have more energy for a full day of dancing and music, and more appetite for breakfast!
|7:45-8:15||Hot Breakfast served cafeteria style|
|8:15-8:45||Cold Breakfast Coffee/Tea available|
Contras and squares: Gaye Fifer
Music by: Emily Troll, Ann Percival, David Cantieni
Wake up gently with smooth, fun dances and wonderful music. We will spend some time on perfecting our skill at being the best dance partner around.
Flatfoot Dancing: Phil Jamison
Music by: Terri McMurray
Flatfooting is a traditional style of step dancing from Appalachia that involves percussive footwork. While some dancers perform memorized sequences of steps, others are more improvisational and freeform in their movements ("doing their own thing"). Mainly though, it is a way to enjoy and participate in the music with your feet. This class, for dancers of all levels, will focus on the traditional flatfooting steps and styles of western North Carolina. No prior experience is required, but wear smooth-soled shoes (preferably leather) and no taps please.
Banjo: Larry Unger
Larry will teach you how to play his favorite tunes on the banjo concentrating on Southern style clawhammer playing. Open to all levels.
Waltz: Gaye Fifer
Music by: Emily Troll, Bruce Rosen
Waltzing is not only about fancy moves and twirls, but first and foremost, about connecting with the music and with your partner. We will focus on the skills and nuances of aware, timely leading and following. What we do will apply to other couple dances as well, and to life in general!
Singing: Ann Percival
Swing, Pop, Trad, Blues, Mo-Town and Gospel with some dance moves thrown in. We will learn some harmonies by ear. The ability to read music is not a requirement for this class. Come ready to have fun with your voice! No experience necessary.
Southern Square Dance Callers Workshop: Phil Jamison
Music by: Julie Metcalf, Terri McMurray
This workshop, focused on dances from the southern Appalachian tradition --four-couple sets as well as Southern circle dances-- is intended for square dance callers (to improve their calling skills and add to their repertoire), contra dance callers (to add some squares to their repertoire), wannabe callers (to try calling for the first time), and anyone else (to learn about dance calling, have fun, and enjoy some good dances). Participants will have the opportunity to try their hand (or voice) at teaching and calling these dances and receive supportive feedback. No prior experience is required.
Fiddle: Paul Brown
This fun and engaging class for intermediate and advanced level fiddlers will cover three major streams of southern traditional fiddling and provide an understanding of their historical contexts. Students will try the now-rare old southwest Virginia style with its clear British Isles roots. They'll tackle a more African-American-influenced approach, heavier on syncopation and blues motifs, that developed through the late 19th and 20th centuries. Finally, they'll try longer-bow radio and square-dance styles that emerged in the 1930s and have continued their development to this day. You'll have plenty to work on no matter your speed or style of learning. You are encouraged to bring recording devices and be prepared to learn by ear. Some ear training tips will be provided.
|11:25-11:55||Gathering with Sue Rosen|
|12:00-12:30||Swimming, Bookstore staffed|
Southern Squares & Circles: Phil Jamison
Music by: Paul Brown, Larry Unger, Bruce Rosen
The Southern square dance developed as an oral folk tradition in the Appalachian backcountry during the nineteenth century, and this tradition survives today in communities scattered throughout the southern mountains. In this workshop, we will dance a variety of squares and big circle sets, and we will take time to learn some of the regional variants and unique Southern dance figures as danced at local dance venues in eastern Kentucky, southwest Virginia, West Virginia, and western North Carolina.
Tunes by Ear: David Cantieni
Bring your fiddle, guitar, trumpet, or whatever you've got and learn some tasty tunes to play together. If you have never played by ear here's your chance...or if you love to play by ear here's your chance. We'll get to practice the processional tunes for the pre-dance all camp procession. These could include a Swedish walking tune, a tune from the South African whistle tradition, a Breton tune or a common song. We'll also work on playing some of my favorite dance tunes so by the end of the week we could play for a dance and work up some material for the ever popular "campers night".
Old-style Irish Dance: Rebecca McGowan
Music by: Graham DeZarn
Irish step dancing was long the domain of dance masters who traveled and taught their repertoire to students in each town they visited. Their steps are danced low to the ground and feature rhythms that match the music beautifully. We will learn a variety of steps in this older style. This class is open to dancers of all backgrounds: we will explore movement and rhythm basics, and more experienced dancers will develop fluidity and fine-tune their ear. Bring a pair of flat hard-soled shoes.
3 Pepper Contras and More: Sue Rosen
Music by: Julie Metcalf, Graham DeZarn, Bruce Rosen
Nothing bland about these dances with cool moves, interesting progressions, or weird end-effects. Bring your wits and a sense of humor.
Songs of the Southeast: Paul Brown, Terri McMurray
The Southeast song repertoire is so vast that no week-long class can begin to cover it. Paul and Terri will therefore focus on songs from Paul's family repertoire plus the songs of the many people whose lives have intersected with their own. Paul and Terri will share their understanding of vocal inflections, phrasing and rhythms learned from Paul's mother and the many other singers they've spent time with in North Carolina and Virginia, such as Paul Sutphin and Tommy Jarrell. Written words for many of the songs will be provided, and you are encouraged to bring recording devices. Singers are also encouraged to bring their favorite songs to this class as we gather each day for the sheer joy of singing.
Musicians Dance Ensemble: Emily Troll
Explore the joys of playing dance music together. Sometimes in large groups, sometime in small, we'll learn a little about a lot of things: harmony chords, supporting other musicians, improvising, and creating musical drama. Bring questions, brings suggestions! Students should be able to play close to dance tempo in order to experience this class to the max.
Afternoon Stretching: Joel Rosen
Relieve tension and stretch out with a series of guided exercises. Time and interest permitting, we may also learn a few movements from a short Tai Chi form.
Irish Set Dancing: Rebecca McGowan
Music by: Graham DeZarn, David Cantieni
Get your feet moving with fast-paced figures danced in square sets to jigs, reels, polkas, slides, and hornpipes. We will dig in to the footwork and figures that give set dances their uniquely Irish flavor and lift. Over the week, we will dance sets ranging from Clare to Kerry to Connemara.
Community Art: Ann Percival
We will come together each afternoon to work on an art project. Paint and glitter, glue guns and india ink, paper and rhinestones-all mixed up together with good conversation. This will be a judgment free zone. Fun will be had by all who attend!
Old Time Jam: Julie Metcalf, Larry Unger
Come learn some new tunes and wail away on old favorites, while working on some stylistic points of old-time and string band music.
|5:30-6:30||Swimming and Bookstore staffed|
|7:45||Music Procession: Dinner to C# dance|
|8:00-11:00||Evening Dance Party|