August 12 - 18, 2019
So you want to be an English dance caller! Hooray!
English dance calling and leading is the best job in the world, but it is, in fact, a job. It requires training, experience, patience, love, continuing education, many hours outside of actual gigs to prepare and digest, and overall, passion for and dedication to English Country Dance, this sport we love so much.
This course, held concurrently with Cascade of Music & Dance at Camp Louise, is designed and led by Joanna Reiner, who has been calling for many years, and enjoys passing this skill on. It is designed for English dancers interested in becoming callers as well as those who have already begun their calling career. We’ll begin at the beginning with an overview of the history of ECD, and move on to other key topics including:
- what makes a good caller
- how to write a program
- the importance of repertoire
- understanding ECD music and working with musicians
- language choices
- and many others
The course will meet during two class periods per day and include dancing, discussion, small group work, observation, and practice calling.
This course will encourage self-reflection, and will include critique and the opportunity to support and be supported by a cohort. Dancers should sign up for this class with a genuine desire to learn new things, take risks in a supported environment, and try different ways of teaching and calling. By the end of this course, you will have developed a set of personal goals for your teaching, and crafted a plan to achieve them.
The course is geared toward dancers with at least 3 years of regular ECD attendance. It is limited to 12 people, with preference given to those who live in communities without a formal apprenticeship program and/or with limited mentoring available. There can also be some preference to applicants supported by their local community. Strong indicators for CDSS are our Group Priority and Matching Scholarship processes, where a CDSS affiliate vouches for a participant and may offer some scholarship, asking CDSS to match that amount (www.cdss.org/support-services/insurance-group-services/priority-matching-scholarships). This is a statement by people who know the individual, that the person is deserving of assistance and would benefit the local community by attending camp. That can count highly in this and in our scholarship considerations.