Are you starting this year looking for something new to do? Do you love contra dancing but are open to trying another type of dance? You’ve seen announcements for English Country dancing, but have you tried it?
Do you know that English Country dancing is the precursor to American contra and square dancing?
English Country dancing started over five hundred years ago as a way for plain country folk to learn dancing without having to read music or pay for lessons. It was taught orally, and it is still done that way today—with a leader who teaches the dance beforehand and then cues dancers throughout the dance (just like in contras and square). Uniquely, each dance was written to be danced to a specific piece of music (mainly classical music of the time), so the dance and the music fit together beautifully.
English Country dancing includes more diversity of musical meter (not just the basic four-count measure) and includes a diversity of dance patterns as well: long lines, two-, three-, and four-couple sets, triple minor patterns, circles, and even the occasional square formation.
English Country dancing isn’t “slow.” It’s a low-impact form of dancing that is accessible to people of all ages and abilities, as long as they are able to walk, and definitely qualifies as exercise (in disguise, of course)!
And like contra, English Country dancing…
- is for all ages, as long as they are old enough to pay attention to the leader and follow instructions (approximately age 8 and over)
- shares the tradition of changing dance partners after every dance
- is for all levels of experience (there is a newcomer’s workshop at the beginning of the evening; every dance is walked through without music and then “called” throughout the evening with really lovely tunes that will stick in your head and come back to haunt you hours, days, or even weeks later)
- is for everyone who loves music and loves to move
We invite YOU to come give it a try this Friday, January 11, 2013. First Christian Church, Columbia, MO. Introductory lesson at 7. Dance 7:30 to 10:30 pm. Admission $7 ($4 ages 16–25 or with student ID).
Jim Thaxter will be our dancing master, and 32 BarTenders will provide the music (Tom Verdot on fiddle, Rebecca Logan on flute and whistle, Thom Howard on guitar and mandolin, Marcie McGuire on keyboard)
For more information, see Community Dance\English Country Dance. We look forward to seeing you on the dance floor.