August 3 - 10, 2013


Dance in the evening
Photo by Stewart Dean

This year we are bringing two people, Tom and Stephanie Besford, currently from Newcastle upon Tyne but moving soon to Manchester, England, to teach an expanded program of morris, sword and English clog. There will be six classes, including graded ones in both rapper and clog. Tom currently dances with the Kingsmen and with the High Spen Blue Diamonds; he specializes in teaching traditional dances, but also loves to work on new choreography. Tom will teach traditional longsword, advanced rapper, and North West morris. Stephanie teaches and dances both clog and rapper, and specializes in the traditional Lancashire style of clog dancing. Stephanie will teach two graded English clog classes plus beginning rapper.

As always, English country dance forms the core of this week’s program. Come and join us in a wide ranging selection of both the modern and classic, the old and new, and historical and traditional style dances, presented by three superb, friendly and supportive leaders: Joanna Reiner, from Philadelphia; Rich Jackson, from New Hampshire; and Brad Foster, from Amherst, MA. Joanna has been traveling the country and is very popular for her incisive, matter-of-fact style, her dry sense of humor, and her excellent selection of material. Rich is a mainstay of the Boston Centre group, a master at reconstruction (and one of the co-authors of the Neal Collection) who has recently joined the ranks of modern dance composers, and has a wonderfully welcoming style. Brad has been teaching for over 40 years and has a wealth of experience with both classic reconstructions and modern compositions. He loves sharing the joy of dance with others.

Once again there will be three graded classes in period two. Joanna will teach an advanced class in modern dances, Brad another advanced class in the classics, and Rich will teach repertoire and dancing style for intermediate and beginning dancers. Each of us will also teach another country class. Rich will present a look at the changing repertoire of Boston Centre over time, plus a workshop for dance choreographers. Joanna will explore the evolution of particular dances in different communities, and will lead the open mic, a time for all to practice calling. And Brad will teach from the repertoire of American favorites, plus lead a workshop focused on similarities between storytelling and the art of calling and teaching.

Music is a vital part of dance, and this year we’ve gathered together a fabulous group of musicians to give life and joy to movement and to teach you to play. I am particularly excited by all the different musical combinations available this year. Our staff includes Karen Axelrod, on piano and accordion, from Northampton, MA; Peter Barnes, on piano, flute, guitar and other instruments, from Greenfield, MA; Alex Cumming, on accordion, from Newcastle upon Tyne in England; Aldo Fabrizi on mandolin, from Amherst, MA; Shira Kammen, on fiddle, vielle and harp, from Berkeley, CA; Tom Kruskal, on concertina, from Sudbury, MA; Anna Patton, on clarinet, from VT and MA; Melissa Running, on piano, from Silver Spring, MD; and Paul Woodiel, on fiddle, from South Orange, NJ. They are all wonderful musicians on their own and adapt at both improvisation and making the music more than the sum of its parts. They will make the dancing fly.

Alex, Aldo and Melissa all mark their first appearance on the English Week staff this summer. Alex is active as a morris and sword musician and dancer in England and with Morris Offspring and Maple Morris. He will also lead harmony singing. Aldo has been playing for country dancing the Western MA, directs community orchestras, and is a member, with Karen and Peter, in the wonderful band the 3rd String Trio. Besides playing for country dance classes, Aldo will direct the open band. Melissa will be familiar to many of you as an English and Scottish dancer; she has also been playing for and calling dances for many years, and will bring her wonderful piano style to English Week this year. In addition, Anna Patton will lead a musicians workshop in improvisation.

For the first time, we will also have June Rowlands, from England, and a long-time occasional participant of English Week, to teach yoga. In addition, Karen Axelrod will once again grace us with her masterful leadership and comedy improv for Gathering.

-- Brad Foster, Program Director


Program Director
Brad Foster

Karen Axelrod *
Peter Barnes
Stephanie Besford
Tom Besford
Alex Cumming
Aldo Fabrizi
Rich Jackson
Shira Kammen
Tom Kruskal *
Anna Patton
Joanna Reiner
June Rowlands
Melissa Running
Paul Woodiel

* Advisors, plus

Sharon Green
Nikki Herbst


Yoga: June Rowlands
7:45-8:15 Hot Breakfast served cafeteria style
8:15-8:45 Cold Breakfast Coffee/Tea available
ECD The Marvelous Classics (Adv): Brad Foster
ECD Building Your Toolkit (Beg/Int): Joanna Reiner
Rapper (Adv): Tom Besford
ECD Style and Mechanics through the Modern Lens (Adv): Joanna Reiner
ECD Classic Repertoire and Style (Beg/Int): Rich Jackson
English Clog (Beg): Stephanie Besford
Gathering: Karen Axelrod
12:00-12:30 Swimming, Bookstore staffed
12:30 Lunch
North West Morris (For all): Tom Besford
ECD Open Mic/Open Band (For all): Joanna Reiner, Aldo Fabrizi
ECD Choreographer’s Discussion Group (For all): Rich Jackson
Harmony Singing (For all): Alex Cumming
ECD Dancing Through the Years (For all): Rich Jackson
ECD Callers’ Workshop (For all): Brad Foster
English Clog (Adv): Stephanie Besford
Yoga (For all): June Rowlands
4:00-4:30 Tea, Swimming, Bookstore staffed
ECD Modern Medley (For all): Brad Foster
Longsword (For all): Tom Besford
Deliver the Rhythm! - Playing Dance Tunes with Oomph and Grace (For all): Anna Patton
5:30-6:30 Swimming, Bookstore staffed, camper-initiated parties
6:30 Dinner
8:00-10:45 Evening Dance Party (starting with For Those Who Know)
11:00 After-dance Activities
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