Country Dancing

Why not join our very friendly U3A group and give it a try. There is no need to bring a partner and we cater for both beginners and those with some experience.

Aughton Village Hall
Fridays
11.00 - 12:30
Leader: June Jones -  01695 726696

In 1651 the music publisher and book seller John Playford began to publish the music and notation for the “Country Dances” that were popular in the elite society of the time. When Playford died in 1686, his son Henry continued the collection and other publishers joined in. By the end of the eighteenth century country dancing was popular at balls, assemblies and private gatherings all over the country.

In the early 1900s, Cecil Sharp began to study the Playford collections, and he produced a number of Country Dance Books. Since then, other dances have been discovered and many new dances have been devised, using the traditional style. Now we have a wealth of material at our disposal, from fast and furious to slow and stately, and everything in between.

Here are some of the comments from members of the U3A Country Dance Group:-

“Lots of fun!”

“Exercise your brain and body.”

“Whatever the challenge we have in our dances, we always have fun”

“Great fun and nobody minds how often we get it wrong”

“As soon as you hear the catchy music you want to dance: This is exercise at its  best for both body and mind with good company too – lots of fun!”

“Great teacher, very patient, exercise the body and the brain in good company”

There are a number of websites that show the dances in performance, including:

A Country Dance group in New York

A Country Dance group in Boston

Beginners taster sessions on the first Friday in the month.
Why not gives us a try!

countrydancing3

March, not very Springlike!

2.03.2018

Today we danced:-

  • Nonesuch a 4 couple longways dance. Playford 1651 one of the first published.
  • The Mulberry Garden a longways dance. Playford 1670.
  •  The Soldier and the Sailor another longways dance.
  • Honeysuckle Cottage a contemporary dance from 2003 choreography Gary Roodman. In his classification this is one of his easier dances. I didn’t find it too easy!
  • Fittleworth Frolic a circular dance for 5 couples.

a lovely selection of names today.

9.03.2018

  • Young Phyllis of Wakefield a longways dance.
  • Maiden Moor a 4 couple dance by Tom Cook & Brian Jenkins.
  • The Spring another traditional dance.  Thomas Bray 1699. The weather outside the hall was anything but Springlike & we didn’t have much Spring in our steps!
  • The Bonnie Broom a 4 couple dance.
  • Money in both pockets an early American dance about 1800.

16.03 2018 recorded by Elfrida.

We had 16 dancers again today.

  • Spanish Jig music was Strong roots by Bare Necessities. (June was celebrating footballing victory)
  • Kind & Easy from 1716, longways which was anything but kind & easy. Arranged by Andrew Shaw, danced twice.
  • June’s Challenge! a 4 couple set- Phoenix Rejuvenated, a Pat Shaw composition. Danced twice with slowed down music but we struggled with lots of 1/2 turns etc. Volunteers then danced it at the right speed.
  • Gray’s Inn Masque a 4 couple dance.
  • 1st. April to finish.

23.03.2018 some deferred Birthday requests & some of Elfrida’s new ones.

  • Spanish Jig (no footballing celebration today though) Walsh collection 1755.
  • Childgrove  1701 Playford with various reconstructions, a longways dance.
  • Trip to Bavaria a 4 couple dance, always a bit of a challenge but great when we get it right!
  • For Rebecca a square set dance.
  • The Devil’s Dream a longways dance, pretty fast, with lots to fit in. (even though June slowed it down)
  • A Lady Remembered a John Wood dance.

Please note, no dancing next week as it is Good Friday. Returning on Friday 6th. April.

February dances & ‘brain work’.

2.02.18

Elfrida recording this session. June made our brains work today, lots of new dances!

  • Maiden Moor – 4 couple, by Tom Cook 1980. An enjoyable dance.
  • Kind and Easey – longways, Kynaston 1716 with Andrew Shaw adaptation, sedate.
  • Sea Breezes – 3 couple longways, a June Jones composition.( the name may change as there are other dances with the same name) An enjoyable waltz rhythm dance.
  • The Werneth Wheel – 3 couple longways, not tried before & unlikely to try again.
  • No Taxes – 3 couple longways, a nice dance.
  • First of April – longways. Most straight forward dance to finish.

9.02.18 including another of my Birthday requests*

  • The Whim of the Moment a longways dance, pub. Thompson 1791.
  • * Picking up sticks a 3 couple dance Playford 1651 includes men & women’s ‘sheepskin hey’. There has to be something good about a dance that is still being danced 367 years later!
  • Maiden Moor see last week.
  • The Short and the Tall a 4 couple dance.
  • The Devil’s Elbow a Ron Coxall dance, we are coming back to this one.
  • Young Phyllis of Wakefield from the Walsh collection 1719 longways dance.

16.02.18 including some of Jim’s Birthday requests*

  • *Comical Fellow
  • *Gued man of Ballangigh Playford dance 1728.
  • *Black Nag 3 couple dance longways, Playford 1657, adapted Cecil Sharpe
  • Marching to Praetorius a contemporary 1996 Gary Roodman dance, music by Michael Praetorius.
  • Childgrove Playford 1701 with various reconstructions.
  • *Indian Queen longways Playford 1701.

23.02.18 including some of Pat L’s Birthday requests.*

  • *Sprigs of Laurel pub. Ann & Peter Thompson 1794
  • Comical Fellow Thompson 1776
  • *(J) Fandango a 3 couple dance with diagonal moves to keep us on our toes!
  • Upon a Summer’s day another original dance from 1615 Playford.
  • Jamaica 4 couple dance Playford 1670.
  • Mount Hills longways dance Playford 1721

2018 Happy New Year.

 Another year of enjoyable country dancing awaits.

Many thanks once more to Dancing Mistress Elfrida for taking this session. When June has a holiday it’s thanks to Elfrida that we are able to have a dancing session, which we all enjoy.

5.01.18

  • Farmer’s Joy a longways contemporary dance by Joseph Pimentel danced to a joyful tune. A very good start to the New year.
  • The Jackdaw a Scottish dance for 4 couples.
  • Trip to Sheringham
  • Jamaica a longways dance published by Playford 1670. We decided the tune has recently been used to introduce the recent T.V series Upstart Crow (a Shakespeare spoof)
  • Loose Ends a 4 couple longways dance with Pousettes.
  • Birthday Reel a 4 couple longways dance. Danced twice.
  • Comical Fellow pub. Thompson 1776.

12.01.18 recorded by Elfrida. Welcome back June as Dancing Mistress.

  • Heidenroslein 4 couple dance by Pat Shaw. A Birthday request carried over from last year for Geraldine. a waltz rhythm, nice dance elegant & sedate!
  • Work in progress. A June Jones composition. Music Lord Foppingham. We’ve done this a few times & it’s not gone to plan but today we cracked it!
  •  A new German Waltz 1795. Longways, a waltz rhythm again, & another sedate elegant one.
  • She looked down her nose and sneered  Longways, with a courtesy turn.
  • Diversions  Longways. by Ellen Taylor from 1980’s.

19.01.18

  • Winter in Brasstown by Philippe Callens  3 couple dance. A Birthday request (Liz. that’s me!)
  • Peace be with you by Fried de Metz Herman, 1986, a longways dance.
  • Pinecones by Pat Shaw a 3 couple dance with 1/2 Heys.
  • Young Phyllis of Wakefield a longways dance from The Walsh collection 1719.
  • My Lady Winwood’s Maggot. Playford 1726 a 3 couple dance. Maggot meaning a fanciful or whimsical thing.

26.01.18

  • Grand Square a 4 couple square set dance.
  • Sir Watkin’s Jig a 3 couple dance, pub. Johnson 1750. This & the next two dances all Liz’s Birthday requests!
  • Slof Galliard a 4 couple Pat Shaw dance from 1975. A good video on You Tube.
  • Turning by Threes a 3 couple, Gary Roodman dance from 2003.
  • First of April longways dance, pub. Thompson 1773. Although we have a while to go to reach April it was lovely to have a Spring tune to accompany this dance.
  • finally Gloucester Reel.

 

dancing in December

1.12.17

  • Ladies of London 1718 longways dance to music from The Beggar’s Opera.
  • Jonda’s Jig a 3 couple dance with chevrons.
  • Friday Frolic a longways dance.
  • Scotch Cap 1651 published by Playford with diagonals.

Have a look at William and Mary Heritage Dances video on You Tube.

  • Fourpence Ha’penny Farthing 1709 longways dance Playford.
  • Indian Queen 1701 longways.

8.12.17

  • Sailor’s Wives June Jones choreography, 3 couple dance with chevron formation.
  • Albert’s Way (?) 4 couple dance.
  • The Disbanded Officer pub. by Thompson 1787
  • Queen’s Jig from Dancing Master 11th Edition. Playford, reconstructed by Cecil Sharpe 1911.
  • Chestnut 1651 a 3 couple dance.
  • Farmer’s Joy  contemporary dance 2012 by Joseph Pimentel

This session was followed by our Christmas lunch at local hostelry. An enjoyable chance to chat & eat.

15.12.17 Short session with refreshments.

Christmas wishes to all.

Dancing recommences on the 5th. January 2018 with Elfrida, Dancing Mistress.

June Jones returns on the 12th. When New members are welcome.

*New (& old) dances in November.

3.11.17  Some dances this month are Geraldine’s Birthday requests:-

  • * Princess Royal a three couple Pat Shaw dance. A good video if you look for Pat Shaw dances.
  • Comical Fellow
  • Loose Ends
  • Mirror Me a three couple dance, 2007.
  • Marching to Praetorius a contemporary dance from 1996.
  • Freeford Gardens a longways dance by David & Kathryn Wright.

10.11.17  Elfrida recording the dances, continuing Geradine’s Birthday requests… Some quite challenging!

  • * Welcoming the May – longways.
  •  Valentine’s Day – longways, from the Walsh collection 1718. A Nick Broadbridge’s adaptation (probably)
  • * October’s Child – longways, Ken & Naomi Alexander, choreography & music.
  • Jamaica danced twice. 4 couple dance.
  • * Soldier & the Sailor – longways.

17.11.17  some more of Geraldine’s Birthday requests….

  • Morrison’s Reel (or Measure) a five couple Roy Golding dance.
  • * Lyme Park a Triple Minor dance from 1791. Triple Minor dances were very popular in the 17th & 18th Century as the number ones are the main dancers giving  the twos & threes more time/ opportunity to “flirt”.
  • * Revolution de la France.

It may look as if we didn’t do too much dancing today but we spent some time ‘perfecting’ the triple minor.

24.11.17

  • Namptwich Fair a longways dance.
  • * Simone’s Semicentury a Phillipe Callens 2003 longways dance to a traditional tune,

D’Uytrechise Ureeden by Estienne Roger c1715.

  • * Spring in Sepastopol a 2009 longways dance, music Boree The Old Batchelor by Purcell, 1691
  • * Queen’s Borow a three couple dance.
  • Fourpence Ha’penny Farthing published by Playford 1709.

In December – 8th. Christmas lunch after dancing.    

  15th. Final dancing session before our Christmas break. Including Refeshments.

Return to dancing on Friday 5th January, with Elfrida calling.

GOOD WISHES TO ALL FOR A PEACEFUL AND HAPPY CHRISTMAS.

 

 

October. Ten years of country dancing.

Strictly speaking we celebrated 10 years of U3a Country dancing last month.

On behalf of all current and former dancers a very big Thank You to June for leading us so well all these years.

Of the 125 dances this year (so far) the 10 most danced are :-

  1. Birthday Reel
  2. Holborn March
  3. Guildhall
  4. Indian Queen
  5. (The) Farmer’s Joy
  6. Trip to Sheringham
  7. Comical Fellow
  8. Ranelagh Gardens
  9. Tipoo Sahib
  10. (The) Fair American

6.10.17

  • Fourpence Ha’penny Farthing 1709 published by Playford
  • Young Phyllis of Wakefield a longways dance from the Walsh Collection 1719
  • Whibsey Roundabout a 5 couple circular dance 1996 by Gary Roodman.
  • a work in progress by June Jones
  • Tipoo Sahib

13 10.17 recorded by Elfrida. A busy session.

  • Hyde Park a 4 couple square set. (danced twice.)
  • Loose Ends another 4 couple set. Longways.
  • more work in progress June Jones.
  • Guildhall a longways dance by Naomi Alexander.
  • Devil’s Maggot a longways dance by Diane Schmidt 1933. Playford style ‘need to stay alert’
  • Mulberry Garden
  • Lord Caernarvon’s Jig

20.10.17

  • A Lady Remembered by John Wood. For Rosemary.
  • Constant Billey a 3 couple set. Music from The Beggar’s Opera
  • Lady Lucy’s Maggot
  • Maiden Lane 1650 from 1st Edition English Country Dances. Cecil Sharpe interpretation.
  • Namptwich Fair.

27.10.17 some 0f Pat Mc’s birthday requests.

  • Upon a Summer’s day longways
  • Ranelagh Gardens by June Jones
  • Whibsey Roundabout by Gary Roodman
  • Trip to Sherringham 4 couple square set.
  • Leah’s Waltz from Jane’s birthday requests.
  • Hyde Park see 13 th.

 

 

 

 

September, five Friday’s for dancing.

1.09.17

  • Merry milkmaids 1615, one of the very early 4 couple dances. It would be hard to find ‘a milkmaid’ these days, merry or not.
  • Trip to Sheringham a 4 couple square set dance, danced twice as we liked it.
  • Hunsdon House 1657 another 4 couple dance incorporating ‘the grand square’.
  • Hearstease 1651 a longways Playford style dance.

a good selection of Traditional dances.

8.09.17

Our thanks to Dancing Mistress, Elfrida, who  took today’s session.

  • Birthday Reel danced twice to 2 different tunes from the CD Orions Ring tracks 17, & 10, being today’s favourite.
  • The Jackdaw a Scottish dance.
  • Comical Fellow longways dance from 1776 published by Thomson.
  • The Faithful Shepherd 1769 another longways dance.
  • Criss cross Jig a 5 couple dance. A first for the caller & all of us, it went well.
  • Holborn March 1740 a longways dance.
  • Guildhall a  contemporary dance by Naomi Alexander.

15.09.17

Elfrida reporting a fun, action packed session.

Jane’s delayed Birthday requests with some influence from Wendy! A selection of Maggots.

  • Lord Byron’s Maggot, as one more dancer was needed, June danced with a ‘ghost’ always a challenge & a novelty for those who had not had this experience!
  • Jack’s Maggot– longways.
  • My Lady Windward’s Maggot-longways 3 couple set, so we did it twice with some dancers changing in.
  • Mr. Isaac’s Maggot challenging but enjoyable.
  • Bonnets so blue.
  • Border Waltz.
  • Comical Fellow a favourite with Geraldine.

A good programme.

22.09.17

  •  Trip to Sheringham.
  • Connaught Water a 4 couple dance by John Wood.
  • Heidenroslein by Pat Shaw, music by Heinrich Werner, waltz time. Danced twice, I think this could become a favourite. It is Pat Shaw’s centenary this year.
  • Marching to Praetorius 1996, a Gary Roodman 2 couple dance, Playford style in a square set. The music by Michael Praetorius.

29.09.17

  • Star of Kintra by Thomas Monson 2004. There was some debate about the location of Kintra, it is a settlement on the Northwestern coast of the Ross of Mull.
  • Barbarini’s Tambourine 1735, a longways set from the Walsh collection. Barbarini was apparently a dancer pictured with a full crinoline. As there is lots of ‘passing by’ in the dance it must have been quite a feat to accomplish.
  • Captain Cotton’s Maggot 1750 from the Johnson collection.
  • Ranelagh Gardens a June Jones dance, still in ‘a work in progress’ we last danced it in April.
  • Farmer’s Joy 2012 by Joseph Pimentel. A joyous close to the session and the month of September.

 

If it’s August it must be Whitby Folk week.

We keep country dancing through August.

4.08.17

  • The Welch dance (not a spelling mistake) danced to music from The Beggars Opera.
  • Of Noble Race was Shenkin.
  • Sailors Wives Choreography by June Jones. With a chevron formation.

Two Birthday requests for Margaret

  • Upon a Summer’s Day
  • The Archbishop a contemporary dance by Fried de Metz.
  • and The Braes of Dornach a 3 couple longways set pub. by Johnson 1757.

11.08.17

  • My Lady Anne a 3 couple dance
  • The Temple of Health ”   ”   “
  • Wooden Shoes a longways dance from the Dancing Master 1703.
  • The Ladies of London 1718 another dance to music from The Beggars Opera.
  • Of Noble Race was Shenkin which we did last week. A longways dance from 1695 John Playford.
  •  Chestnut a 3 couple dance from 1615.
  • The Farmers Joy a contemporary dance by John Pimentel.

Then we all enjoyed our Summer lunch at the Stanley Arms.

18.08.17

  • Connaught Water a 4 couple dance (we needed more practice)
  • Portabella a longways dance pub. John Walsh 1715/18.
  • Lady Williams Delight a dance from 1989 by Rich Galloway.
  • Tippoo Sahib (the Francophile ruler of Mysore 1700’s)

As June is at Whitby, Elfrida is dancing mistress & recorder.

25.08.17

  • The Birthday Reel x2
  • The Jackdaw x2 a 4 couple Scottish dance.
  • Jamaica x2
  • Comical Fellow a longways set 1776 pub. Thomson.

July summer is here

1.07.17 The U3a Summer social & buffet with ‘entertainment’ from the Country dancing group. June called the dances and after a short demonstration there was lively dancing for all, accompanied by much laughter.

Then back to our usual sessions:-

7.07.17

  • Bonnets so Blue -longways dance.
  • Wooden Shoes another longways dance.
  • Meillion a 5 couple dance from Wales.
  • The Ladies of London music from The Beggars Opera.
  • ‘a work in progress’ by June Jones a longways dance, waltz time with’ hole in the wall’ crossing.

14.07.17

  • Christchurch bells to a new tune.
  • St. Catherine by the Neal brothers 1700’s.
  • The New Exchange a 3 couple dance Playford 1690.
  • Pool’s Hole 
  • Mile of Smiles contemporary dance 2012 by Joseph Pimentel an American.
  • Indian Queen.

21.07.17

  • Mile of Smiles see last week, more practise gave much improvement, an enjoyable happy dance.
  • (the) Star of Kintra by Trevor Monson 2004
  • Portabella a longways dance  1718. We last danced this in July 2016.
  • Farmer’s Joy another dance by Joseph Pimentel 2012.

28.07.17

  • Queen’s birthday– longways.
  • Sailor’s wives – 3 couple sets- a world premiere composed by Elfrida Izzett which was a dance with a new move in it – chevron. Elfrida also recorded this weeks dances, so well done to her. (I added this bit!)
  • Border Waltz country dance by Ellen Taylor – 3 couple set.
  • De’il tak the War – 3 couple set , the Scottish lament.

June (Jones) in June

Keep dancing

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.06.17 Dances:-

  • O’er the hills and far away
  • (The) old wife behind the fire 1726 Neal. In spite of this grim title, it was danced to a very jolly tune from the Beggar’s Opera.
  • Old Hob or The Mousetrap a longways dance.
  • Mirror Me a contemporary dance by Loretta Holz 2007. I think this may become a favourite.
  • Welcome in the May. Is this the blossom or the month?
  • Farmer’s Joy danced to another jolly tune.

9.06.17

  • A lady remembered longways dance.
  • Botany Bay. A Sicilian circle but danced longways.
  • Winter in Brass town another contemporary dance by Philippe Callens a Belgian.
  • Mirror me (see above) we danced this twice, so already becoming a favourite. A 3 couple dance.
  • O’er the hills and far away.
  • Shandy Hall a 4 couple dance by George Middleton 1977.

T for Technique. CROSS HEYS. In 3 couple dance as the 1st. couple begin to move, simultaneously the 2nd. couple move out to the side and move into the 1st. position to give the 1st couple room. (this makes sense when you are dancing.)

16.06.17

Elfrida calling the dances.

  • Birthday Reel a 4 couple dance.
  • Jamaica a 4 couple dance from 1670 Playford.
  • Christ church bells in Aughton a longways dance.
  • Sprigs of Laurel a longways dance published by Thompson 1794
  • Guildhall a contemporary dance by Naomi Alexander.
  • Holborn March a longways dance from 1740.
  • Maids of March longways.

23.06.17

some of Wendy’s Birthday requests:-

  • Rakes of Rochester from the Johnson Choice collection of favourite country dances (200) vol. 4. 1740
  • Comical Fellow pub.Thompson 1776
  • Slof Galliard by Pat Shaw. 2017 happens to be the Centenary of Pat Shaw’s birth.
  • Leah’s Waltz a contemporary dance by Fried de Metz Herman.
  • Paisley Waltz a 4 couple square set dance.
  • Lord Carnarvon’s Jig 1615.

30.06.17

  • Take a dance a longways dance.
  • Trip to Bavaria another choice of Wendy’s, a 4 couple dance.
  • Black Nag a 3 couple dance
  • Leah’s Waltz see above.
  • Trip to Sheringham a square set dance.
  • Grimstock with 3 Heys, Grimstock, arches and circular.

We danced a further dance, not yet named and a work in progress (June Jones 2017) to the pretty tune

Dance of a Lifetime.

Tomorrow we participate in the U3a Summer Social, demonstrating some Country dances

and hoping others will join us.

The Merry Month of May

No dancing around the Maypole but plenty of dancing on:-

5.05.17

  • Greenbank Park one of June’s dances premiered in July 2016. A 3 couple dance.
  • Low Hill another of June’s dances including a Morris Hey, also 3 couple.
  • My Lady Whinwood’s Maggot
  • Chestnut Playford 1615
  • Braes of Dornach

12.05.17 recorded by Elfrida.

  • Wits End a 2 couple dance.
  • The Baffled Knight Tim’s birthday choice 4 couple longways dance from the Maggot Pie collection 1930’s.(danced twice it was so successful)
  • Gray’s Inn Mask 4 couple dance from Dancing Master 1651.
  • Whim of the Moment Thompson 1791 4 couple.
  • Trip to Bavaria 4 couple.

19.05.17

Elfrida called & recorded this session with help from Greek Delight a holiday gift from Geraldine.

  • Leaving of Liverpool
  • Spring Fever
  • Black Nag
  • Upon a Summer’s Day
  • Liberty

26.05.17

June & Liz back from holiday.

  • The Farmer’s Joy a 3 couple contemporary dance from 2012 by John Pimentel. We decided the joyful tune had something to do with the title but we could be wrong.
  • Wits End a 2 couple dance by Bill Wolding.
  • Love’s Triumph 3 couple dance (reconstructed from the original).
  • Twas o’er the hills and far away 1715 a 3 couple dance.
  • Indian Queen a longways dance published Playford 1701. A dance we know very well.

Just three sessions in April

5.04.17

We start with-

  • Namptwich, the old name for Nantwich in Cheshire.
  • Greenbank Park, a three couple dance, choreography by our own June Jones.
  • Ranelagh Gardens another of June’s dances (a work in progress she called it.)

Ranelagh Gardens was a famous pleasure garden in the time of Jane Austen. I don’t know if this has anything to do with the dance title. Liverpool’s Ranelagh Gardens 1722 where modelled on the London Chelsea garden.

  • Mulberry Garden In contrast to the contemporary dances, this is from 1675. A longways dance, Playford style.
  • The Fair American a longways dance.

21.04.17

  • Guildhall, a contemporary dance by Naomi Alexander.
  • The Rakes of Rochester.
  • Maids of March.
  • Leaving of Liverpool a three couple dance.
  • Merry Flirt.
  • Spanish Jig longways dance.
  • Holborn March.
  • Loose Ends.

with one of our all time favourites completing the session The Drummer. Music by Brass Tacks.

28.04.17

  • Spirit of France C1781
  • The whim of the moment published by Thompson 1791.
  • The Prince Regent
  • Karla’s Waltz. Music by Celtic Rose.
  • Chestnut Playford 1651
  • The Fair American.

 

March was a busy month

Our Taster sessions in January have produced some new and enthusiastic dancers so welcome to them.

In addition to our usual Friday sessions, on March 7th. we had an additional dance, June’s significant Birthday Tea Dance, we were joined by Parbold & Upholland U3a country dancers and other dancers associated with June. It was a most enjoyable afternoon with live music from Denise and Norman Bearon. Thanks for all who contributed to make it a happy afternoon and celebrate with June.

In preparation for the 7th on 3.03.17 we danced

  • A Lady Remembered choreographed by John Wood
  • Lord Carnarvon’s jig a 3 couple dance. Playford 1651
  • Trip to Sherringham
  • She looks down her nose and sneers, Longways. (the slow version)
  • Nonesuch a 4 couple dance Playford 1651

10.03.17

  • The whim of the moment a longways dance 1700 published by Skillern.
  • The maid peeped out the window or the Friar in the well. Such amazing titles! Playford 1690
  • Mr Isaac’s Maggot a longways Triple time dance 1695
  • The Old Mole a 3 couple dance in six parts.
  • Fourpence halfpenny farthing Playford 1709. I wonder what the monetary value of this would be now?

I missed the next few sessions but Elfrida recorded the details.

17.03.17 Sixteen dancers danced

  • Otterspool longways with some practice on clover leaf turns
  • If all the World were paper a 4 couple dance in square set.
  • Swirl of the sea                            ”        ”        ”              ”       “
  • Disbanded Officer longways.

Some were danced twice.

T for Technique/ Etiquette points.

If there is a musical introduction, use that to honour one’s partner before starting the dance, as in Swirl of the Sea.

  • Otterspool longways, Technique practice The Pousette, keeping straight lines, acknowledging one’s partner, trying to pause in unison, draw and full Pousettes.
  • Calderstones longways. June’s choreography. Practice with dolphin hays.

Music “Lord what comes to my Mother”!

  • The baffled Knight  4 couple sets, if he was baffled, so were we, lots of hopping. Playford style. It came from a new crop of dances from a compilation called Maggot Pie in the 1930’s when people were being encouraged to compose new dances. Some were disastrous apparently!
  • A Fig for Bonaparte longways 1804.

31.03.17 Elfrida not only recording but calling too.

  • Birthday Reel 4 couple dance
  • Jamaica                  ”              “

all longways

  • Faithful Shepherd 1769
  • Sprigs of Laurel 1794
  • My Lord Byron’s Maggot
  • Spirit of France c1781
  • Holborn March 1740
  • Guildhall modern

I make that 25 dances plus the Tea dance.

 

A New Year post.

keeping on dancing.

6.01.2017

Our new year starts with Dancing mistress Elfrida calling the dances.

  • Holborn March. pub. 1740
  • Liberty
  • Guildhall
  • Spanish Jig
  • Spirit of France. Country dances of Colonial America.
  • Indian Queen

 

13.01.2017

June is back taking the session.

  • Sprigs of Laurel
  • Go to the Devil and shake yourself. What an amazing title but we all seemed to survive!
  • A fig for Bonaparte. pub. Thompson 1804.
  • Birthday Reel
  • I care not for these ladies. A contemporary dance 1969 by Katherine Creelman.
  • Comical Fellow,

20.01.17

  • Sprigs of Laurel a longways dance.
  • Tippoo Sahib from 1792
  • Harvest Reel
  • The Militia
  • Guildhall by Naomi Alexander
  • The Fair American.

27.01.17

Belated Birthday requests from John.

  • The Fair American, obviously enjoyed last week.
  • Jack’s Maggot. Maggot being ‘a fancy’ not a slimy creature!
  • Birthday Reel
  • Newcastle
  • Brighton Review

a good selection.

3.02.17

Belated Birthday requests from Liz.

  • Rakes of Rochester published Walsh 1748
  • Spanish Jig.
  • Postie’s Jig. Another of John’s requests.
  • The Introduction, (this needed further practise.)
  • Indian Queen 1701.

10.02.17

  • Corelli’s Gavot. longways dance
  • Mendocino Redwoods  ”     “
  • Turning by Three’s a contemporary 3 couple circular dance by Gary Roodman. (another of Liz’s requests)
  • Trip to Bavaria.
  • Take a Dance. pub. Thompson 1765.
  • Indian Queen.

17.02.17

  • Mrs Stewart’s Reel.
  • The Introduction a Fried de Metz Herman 1999  contemporary dance. Practise makes for improvement.
  • The maid peeked out of the window
  • Broom the bonny broom
  • Peace be with you (another Liz request) and another of Fried de Metz Herman’s dances.

24.02.17

Pat’s Birthday requests

  • The Ragg  Neal c.1726
  • Grimstock. Lots of Heys to dance.
  • The Gued (good) man of Ballangigh. Playford 1728
  • Leah’s Waltz
  • Tippoo Sahib
  • Queens Jig.

 

Birthday & group requests

 

group includes the birthday celebratory....

Dances 4th November

  • Hen Run which you can see on You Tube.
  • Shrewsbury Lasses published Thompson 1785
  • Leah’s Waltz a contemporary dance 1989 choreographed by Fried de Metz Herman.  A lovely flowing dance.
  • Postie’s Jig
  • The Leamington Dance 1811

11th November dances

more of Geraldine’s birthday requests

  • Gued Man of Ballengigh (possibly James IV of Scotland)
  • Queen’s Jig 
  • Morrison’s Reel 
  • For Rebecca
  • Sellenger’s Round a circle dance.
  • Valentines Day

18th November dances

  • Alexander’s birthday a contemporary dance, choreographed by Gary Roodman. Alexander being one of his grandsons. Look up Gary Roodman Facts for information & some dances to view. (Cf videos)
  • Leaving of Liverpool we danced this twice but to different tunes. (not the expected tune though)
  • Fandango
  • Jamaica
  • Meillionen a Welsh country dance.

A very nice selection of dances.

A Gary Roodman quote “After dancers have learned one of my dances, I would like the flow of the dance to seem as inevitable as the flow of the music with little need to concentrate on what comes next. I may not achieve that but I find the pursuit, great fun”.  We’re working to meet Gary’s vision!

CHRISTMAS LUNCH 9th December book with June.

Dancing resumes after Christmas on 6th January.

NEW DANCERS WELCOME at TASTER SESSIONS in the New Year ( to be arranged)

updating our news

2nd September dances

  • Shrewsbury Lasses 1765 Thompson
    Williamson Square
    Nonesuch 1651 Playford style
    Jamaica
    Birthday Reel

9th September dances

  • For Rebecca
    Trip to Bavaria (from Wendy’s birthday requests)
    The Hen Run– Bernard Bailey. The music to this dance sounds a lot like chickens!
    Duke of Kent’s Waltz. Vocal accompaniment “The Dancing” by Julie Tabor. All about going dancing on a Saturday night, finding the perfect partner to waltz with, and trying to forget that Monday morning and work will come around far too soon…

16th September dances

  • The Fair American Longways set dance published in Virginia c1781
    Lord Phoppingham          ”                  ”     published in Walsh Collection 1718
    Half Hannikin
    Upon a Summer’s day 3 couple set published in the Dancing Master 1st edition 1651
    Freeford Gardens Longways set dance choreographed by David & Kathryn Wright 1982

23rd September dances

  • Wooden Shoes longways dance published in Dancing Master 1703
    The Dutch House
    Sir Watkins Jig Johnson 1750. Have a look at the You Tube video
    The Belle of Amherst choreographed by Gary Roodman.
    I might have mentioned once or twice even, how much we enjoy his dances! Lastly:

          Dunham Oaks choreographed by Brian Wedgbury 1972
30th September dances all 3 couple..

  • Avoncroft choreographed by Pat Shaw 1962
    Founder’s Day    ”               ”   David & Kathryn Wright, another contemporary dance.
    Dunant House Waltz choreographed by Colin Hulme
    Merry Andrew
    Grimstock
  • and on to October 7th.
  • The Introduction by another contemporary choreographer Fried de Metz.
    You can see all her dances on:

You Tube- just type in Fried de Metz country dances, well worth a look.

  • Dutch House
    The Disbanded Officer
    Jack’s Maggot

October 14th dances

with alternate Dancing Mistress Elfrida.

"Star turn"

“Star turn”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and a right hand turn....

and a right hand turn….

and a left hand turn.

and a left hand turn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Holborn March Wright 1740 music form the Brass Tracks C.D
  • Portsmouth
  • Guildhall
  • Liberty from the Yorktown Victory Ball 1781
  • Spanish Jig 1721
  • Christ church bells in Aughton

October 21st dances

with lots of ‘Heys’ to practise….

  • Brighton le Sands (with straight Heys) choreography by our own June Jones.
  • Calderstones (with Dolphin Heys)                    ”                ”                          “
  • A Lady Remembered choreography by John Wood
  • Consequences a 4 couple dance by June, the consequence seemed to be that the music got faster & faster!
  • Alterations (perhaps aptly named after the fast consequences) from the J.J. Drinkwater collection 1753

28th October dances (all 3 couple.)

with another alternate Dancing Mistress Wendy.

  • Upon a Summer’s day
  • Pilgarlic
  • Liberty
  • Leaving of Liverpool

dancing in August continues

5th August.

  • Nonesuch Two ( not to be confused with Nonesuch) a 4 couple dance
  • The Introduction another 4 couple. Lots of diagonals to keep us on our toes!
  • Terpsicourante a Gary Roodeman dance from 2000. Quite a challenge, with lots of turning!

check it out on dance videos.childgrove.org

Americans are obviously far less self conscious than us, happy to be filmed in the most amazing outfits!

  • Indian Queen a good old favourite.

Dancing 0n 12th August. (contribution thanks to Elfrida)

We were challenged again this week.

  • The Ragg Longways dance c 1726 by John & William Neal from Ireland
  • De’il tak the war – a Jacobean lament 1742. 3 couple longways set, danced twice it was so good.
  • The Old Mole “a wacky workout”
  • Pilgarlic followed by Mulberry garden.

Dancing on 19th. August

  • Whibsey Roundabout another Gary Roodeman dance which is very popular, no one gets to stand still.
  • Fandango Playford style 3 couple, danced twice we have danced this recently and it is a favourite for many.
  • Delia very different in style, think elegance, grace and ball gowns. Grimstock Hey.
  • The Queen’s Jig 1701 Playford style with Cecil Sharp (banana) siding.

T for technique. This dance move is characterised by good eye contact. Each person moves forward to their partner, making eye contact whilst they “banana” past each other in each direction.

  • The Ragg danced last week but to a different recording.

T for technique see below The Star. Take hands across, as if shaking your partners hand. Give the Star tension by keeping the elbow bent & helping to drive the Star around.

swing to the left

T for technique. The Star

Dancing in August

We do not have a holiday break from Country dancing so if you are at a loose end on a Friday morning at 11.00, now is your chance to try our country dancing group. You would be most welcome.

We have had an enjoyable few months dancing many new and familiar dances.

In MAY we joined the Parbold & Upholland U3A for a Tea Dance with live music and June calling, they kindly laid on an excellent afternoon tea which was delicious, however June made sure we all had plenty of dancing before hand. Many thanks to all who contributed to this event.

On the 6th May we danced

Morrison’s Reel, Whibsy Roundabout, Peace be with you and Jenny Plucked pears.

on 13th we danced Carla’s Waltz, Dunant House, Jenny Plucked pears again, a 3 couple dance Playford style 1651. Fandango 1774, very lively .

on 20th Merry Andrew, The Old Mole 1651, Newsham Review, St Andrew’s gardens.

June is trying to improve our Dancing Technique.

  • Eye contact is characteristic of English Country Dancing and can be used to convey instruction, direction or traditionally, admiration, when there was little opportunity for conveying this.
  • The Pousette, in this figure it creates a beautiful line if each couple observes their neighbouring dancers, pausing and acknowledging them as they complete the figure. see www.fainmusic.co.uk
  • The Star, (or cross hands) it is important when taking the hand of the opposite dancer to create some tension or mutual resistance, this enables “the star” to move round with speed and ease.

on the following week we danced St Andrew’s gardens again, sometimes we repeat dances either to improve on the previous session or just because we like them! The Belle of Amherst a Gary Roodman dance. Two waltz’s Wednesday waltz and Leahs then Leamington Dance.

into JUNE Leamington Dance again, Knives and Forks 1726 an Irish dance in triple time, on You Tube (not us)

Fandango 1774 see www.dancevideos.childgrove.org Kensington Court one of the oldest published dances 1695.

on 10th we danced Oxford Circus a contemporary dance 1992 by Colin Hulme. Peace be with you 1986 a Fried de Metz Herman dance.

Conway Castle, Portabella and Gloucester Reel completed the session.

on 17th we danced Kensington Court again, Turning by Three’s a 3 couple Gary Roodman dance. We always enjoy his dances, they are all so very clever and different. Shrewsbury lasses, Pine cones by Pat Shaw. Finally Golden Dreams.

on 24th The Rakes of Rochester 1748, Whibsey Roundabout another Gary Roodman! Conway Castle, Fandango and Peace be with you all recently enjoyed. Ending with Lord Byron’s Maggot.

Into JULY when Wendy & Geraldine held the fort!

on 8th His Royal Highness Prince of Wales Favourite (who?). Hot off the press! Greenbank Park, a June Jones World Premiere a 3 couple dance. Back to 1781 with New Rigged Ship from the Yorktown collection. Then a challenge Grimstock with lots of “Heys”.

Elfrida recorded the next 2 sessions

  • A Fair Crossing -square set
  • Slof Galliard
  • Gray’s Inn Maske
  • 2 couple sets from a Hornpipe, currently no name ( June’s composition) with a step-hop rhythm which was enjoyed so much they did it 3 times! June’s Joy was a title suggested from the dancers.
  • Bonny Cuckoo was the final dance.

the 22nd.

  • Doldrum a 4 couple set,
  • Queens Jig longways
  • St. James Park
  • Devil “tak” the war, 1772 a lament for all the men taken by War.
  • Pilgaric 18th Century.
    A Summer Lunch followed at the Stanley Arms.

Our last session in July

Portabella was tried again twice and we almost perfected it!
The Introduction a contemporary dance by Fried de Metz Herman
The Rotunda, as might be guessed a circular dance.
Comical Fellow

Queen Elizabeth, Angela Rippon and Elfrida.

What you may wonder do this group have in common? Two have had recent birthdays and all are fit for their respective age!

Angela Rippon’s recent T.V programme How to Stay Young advocated dancing as one of the best ways to stay fit, although we had some debate as to whether we danced with sufficient vigour!

On the 1st of April we danced Elfrida’s requests with some lively Jigs, Spanish Jig, Lord Carnarvon’s Jig.

Liberty & Trip to Bavaria followed, also pretty lively. Meillionen a Welsh dance and Sallengers Round. Finishing with Comical Fellow 1776.

There are over 10 videos of Sallengers Round on You Tube, take your pick. As it is a dance from 1670’s is obviously a favourite of many groups.

We may have danced vigorously enough to fulfil Angela Rippon’s fitness criteria.

Our next 3 sessions with Dancing Mistress’s Elfrida & Wendy leading.

Christ Church bells of Aughton, Maids of March, Leaving of Liverpool,

Liberty. Danced from the Yorktown C.D. The dances on this C.D are in the style of those danced at the Victory Ball after the Battle of Yorktown Virginia 1781, when the combined forces of American Continental Army and French troops defeated the British Army. They are a great collection of dances & tunes.

Guildhall, Rakes of Rochester, and Indian Queen completed the session.

Comical Fellow, Sprigs of Laurel, Indian Queen, Mendocino Redwood, Maids of March and Christ Church Bells in Aughton and The Drummer kept us busy for this session.

Our 1st dance on 22nd. April was Jamaica. Acknowledging The Queen’s 90th. birthday yesterday,  Birthday Reel followedmusic Connaught Water. By a strange coincidence this tune was also listed for the next dance Trip to Sherringham. Elfrida found another tune Up and down the City Road, which caused some laughter as we felt we were in the school playground, but it worked! Guildhall, The Jackdaw, and finally Liberty.

Our last April session we welcome back June, who has been laid low but is recovering. Some more dances from the Yorktown Victory Ball see above The Fair American, Boston Assembly followed by Freeford Gardens. Then 2 “Maggot” dances, a Maggot believed to be a whimsical dance;  My Lady Winwood’s Maggot and Jack’s Maggot 1670, have a look at www.RegencyDances.org for a stylish performance with a good example of a Hay for three. Lastly Lord Phoppington.

 

Catch up

countrydancing3

Please note there will be no dancing on Friday 25th. March Good Friday.

 

 

More Birthday requests, Pat has her choices, Leah’s Waltz a contemporary 3 couple dance from 1995. Music-Amelia’s waltz. Scotch Cap 1651, 3 couple Playford style; October’s Child 1980 & Disbanded Officer 1789 both Longways dances.

The following week’s dances included some we are demonstrating for a small Dance Display at St. Annes Church Monday group. Rostillion. Bonnets so Blue and Tipoo Saib an Indian longways set. On to Lady Winwood’s Maggot with trumpet accompaniment from Brass Tacks and then Black Nagg both 3 couple dances. Finishing with My Lord Byron’s Maggot and the popular favourite The Drummer.

Thanks to Elfrida and Wendy for the above contributions.

An enjoyable Dance Display and participation from the Monday club on 29th., see above.

Conway Castle, Hop pickers feast 3 couple. St. James Park then The Chase a lovely circular dance and Elverton Grove a longways set.

Dunham Oaks another Longways contemporary dance followed by Withsend a 2 couple set. Peace be with you 1986 by a Dutch choreographer, with the rather splendid name of Fried de Metz Herman. Jack’s Maggot  an adaptation of a Cecil Sharpe original. Finally Newsham Review.

  • Our last session before Easter.

Our first square set dance was so new it had yet to be named (one of June’s) it worked well and I’m sure it won’t be long before we dance it again, with a name.

This was followed by another very lively square set dance TrelawneyJack’s Maggot again to see if we could perfect the Hey for 3. The brilliantly named “She looks down her nose and sneers” followed by Salutation, a dance in triple time. Last but not least a lively Jig.