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

  • The Village Hall is no longer warmed up before our session so you're advised to bring an extra clothing layer and / or a warm drink

 

Some Historical Background

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.

Our Country Dancing Photo Gallery

Click any pic to run the presentation:

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”

Some websites showing dances in performance:

A Country Dance group in New York

A Country Dance group in Boston

countrydancing3

Our Country Dances

To see the sort of dances we do, scroll down to the Group Posts below for an update.

Last Updated on May 20, 2022

Let’s welcome in the May.

6th. May.

We welcomed in the May by updating our Group photographs. Many thanks to Adrienne and Frank

  • today’s dances:-
  • The whim of the moment 1791
  • Let’s welcome in the May a June Jones dance.
  • Indian Queen 1701, an old favourite.
  • Lord Caernavon’s Jig, a 4 couple dance
  • Irish Lamentation, a 1735 longways dance. Waltz time.
  • The Maid peeped out (at) the window, a 1651 traditional dance with lively music.
  • The Otters Pool another June Jones choreographed dance. (NB The Liverpool connection)

13th. May Elfrida recording.

  • Pilgarlic 3 couple longways x2.
  • April’s Lady 3 couple in circle formation (last of my Birthday requests)
  • New Exchange 3 couple Playford style with simultaneous corner crosses!
  • Brighton Review longways -a bit tricky with limited dancers.
  • Indian Queen 

20th. May Elfrida recording again.

  • St. Andrew’s gardens longways.
  • Which way now? A June Jones composition. 4 couple longways involved diagonals and stars, quite fun & easy, the music from Razzmatazz, tune Close Encounter.
  • Wibsey Roundabout – 5 couples in a circle, not done this for a while but we all managed.
  • Trip to Sheringham 4 couple square set x2
  • Auretti’s  Dutch Skipper longways.

27th. May

  • Prince Regent a 3 couple dance, with pousettes. 1811-1820 the Prince Regent for King George IV.
  • Which way now. See last week.
  • Delia (the amorous Goddess) 3 couple dance by Ellen Taylor. Elegant!
  • Double Jubilee a 3 couple Gary Roodman choreographed dance with music by Dave Weisler.x2.
  • (Pay) No Taxes 3 couple dance great tune.

Last Updated on May 31, 2022

April’s dances

1st. April

  • Drive the cold Winter away 1651 a most appropriate dance for the arrival of Spring. A 3 couple dance.
  • Bonny Cuckoo another hint of Spring a 4 couple, Gail Tickner dance 1995.
  • Jamaica a traditional 4 couple dance from 1670.
  • The Braes of Dornoch, a 4 couple dance.
  • The Prince Regent, a 3 couple dance, danced x2. From 1812/13

8th. April.

  • Midnight Ramble a longways dance from 1773 pub. Thompson..
  • Pluck me a Fig, a choreographed dance by Anna Rain 2011.
  • Hit & Miss a 2 couple dance Playford style from 1651.
  • Duke of Kent’s waltz, a longways dance
  • Lord Caernavon’s Jig from 1651.

No dancing 15th.

22nd. April.

  • Birthday Reel, an acknowledgement of recent Birthdays including The Queen’s 96th.
  • Childgrove a longways dance requested by Elfrida.
  • Chocolate Cake a nod to Easter last weekend!
  • Lady Lucy’s maggot, a June Jones choreographed dance in honour of her cat Lucy.
  • St. George’s Day, a 4 couple dance, in square formation, danced x2. Tomorrow being St. George’s Day.
  • Lord Caernavon’s Jig, a 4 couple dance.

29th. April

some more of Elfrida’s Birthday choices.

  • Wooden Shoes, a longways dance.
  • Amazonian Archers, Playford 1703.
  • Bonnie Lads & Lasses, a longways dance.
  • Eastbourne Grove, we danced this in February as one of John’s Birthday requests.
  • Waters of Holland, a 3 couple Pat Shaw dance from 1971.
  • Solitaire, a longways dance.

Last Updated on May 19, 2022

March country dances.

4th. March

  • Monday Night longways dance.
  • Mount Hills             ditto
  • Friday Square ( now we have the right day!) a June Jones 4 couple dance, with promenading & plenty of action.
  • Holborn March longways dance.
  • Bonnets so Blue     ditto
  • Indian Queen         ditto
  • Rostillion                ditto

11th. March

  • A sprightly start with Well Done Jack 1718 reconstructed by Andrew Shaw, a longways dance.
  • Eastbourne Rover a 3 couple dance, one of John’s Birthday requests.
  • De’il Tak the Warr a more gentle pace from 1721. A 3 couple dance.
  • Monday night, see last week.
  • Maiden Moor, to a jolly tune & 4 couple dance.

18th. March

  • The 1st. of April 1780 longways dance pub. Thompson.
  • Upon a Summers day Playford style 3 couple dance 1651. A most appropriate dance as it’s warm & sunny outside.
  • Irish Lamentation a longways dance from the Walsh collection 1735. A beautiful tune.
  • Essex Byways a contemporary 3 couple John Wood dance with Grimstock Heys. danced x3.
  • Greengage a longways dance of some complexity!. Choreographed by Brooke Friendly & Chris Sackett 2014.
  • Princes Park

25th. March

  • Grimstock a 3 couple dance with a selection of “heys” Grimstock, arches & Circular.
  • Drive the cold Winter away, 1651 3 couple dance
  • Bonny Cuckoo a 4 couple contemporary dance 1995 by Gail Ticknor, danced x2
  • My Lady Winwood’s Maggot 1728. A Maggot being someones favourite or a fanciful idea (not the slimy creature) dance x2
  • Upon a Summer day, follows on nicely from Drive the cold Winter away,

 

Last Updated on March 31, 2022

We’re back…….new dances from February 2022

On 4.02.22 we danced: Some of Geraldine’s Birthday requests.

  • Royal Meeting to the tuneful Scottish nightingale.
  • Roll the Line
  • Mirror Me a 3 couple dance.
  • Valentine’s Day 1650.
  • Sailor’s Wives a 3 couple dance by our own June Jones.
  • Farmer’s Joy by Joseph Pimentel.

on 11.02.22 we danced were we left off last week….

  • Farmer’s Joy
  • Valentine’s Day (nearly at the big day!)
  • Sailor’s Wives.
  • Come let’s be Merry 1726 a 3 couple dance.
  • The Spaniard – Thompson 1777

on 18.02.22 we didn’t dance Storm Franklin!

on 25.02.22 we danced:

  • Champagne by Sue Stapleton from Wirral. A longways dance.
  • Love’s Triumph x2 a 3 couple dance from 1710.
  • In the fields of frost & snow 1710.
  • Moonlight a 3 couple dance.
  • In the whim of the moment 1791.
  • Lord Carnarvon’s Jig

Last Updated on May 20, 2022

Friday 17 June ECD Zoom

This Friday we enjoyed the following dances:

Portsmouth / Star of Kintra (Trevor Monson) / The Lovers’ Knot (Jim Kitch) / The Gypsy Round (Eric Leber)

The Recruiting Officer / The Haymarket (June Jones) / Rostillion

Last Updated on July 20, 2021

Spring clean May 2021

Those of us who have opted for ZOOM Solo Country Dancing are still dancing each Friday with June’s excellent guidance. Looking forward to seeing all of you that couldn’t  join us, in June.

I am handing on the Group Author mantle, so look forward to a new slant on Posts from July onwards.

Liz.

Last Updated on July 5, 2021

Updating Country Dancing news December 2020.

🎄Well here we are in December, no dancing since mid March 2020.

Some of us have managed to stay in touch with a WhatsApp group, cheering us up and covering diverse topics.

However GOOD NEWS. A few weeks ago June started solo Zoom English Country Dancing sessions, in our regular dance slot of Friday mornings at 11.00.

It’s not as scary as it may sound and is getting to be enjoyable. Seeing fellow dancers for a chat and a tea break, we never had one of those before. Hearing the familiar tunes, dancing the dances. No need to worry if you make a wrong turn or forget how to do a Grimstock Hey, you can’t upset anyone, there is only you to dance as freely as you wish.

June has posted details on the recent November u3a enews and she can be contacted if you would like to join us. (June’s email address is in the enews and her phone number is in the main Country Dancing Group Page.) 🎄

🎄Stay safe and hopefully Covid-19 vaccine will enable us to meet up in the Village Hall in 2021.

Good wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

Last Updated on December 3, 2020

New dancers for the new year

Welcome to five new dancers so far this year, it great to have new people join us.

7.02.20 Some of Liz’s birthday requests.(L)

  • (The) Farmer’s Joy a Joseph Pimentel longways dance, with joyful tune by Adam Broome.
  • Pine Cones a 3 couple Pat Shaw dance from 1974. (L)
  • Alice longways dance by Philippe Callens 2002 in waltz time. (L)
  • Double Jubilee a 3 couple set dance by Gary Roodman 2015 with a tune by David Wiesler. (L)
  • Ladies of London a traditional dance from 1718.

some danced two or three times.

14.02.20 more of Geraldine’s & Liz’s birthday requests.

Most appropriately Valentines Day a longways Playford dance 1650.

  • Sailor’s wives a 3 couple dance danced twice. (G)
  • Sea Breezes another 3 couple dance also danced twice. (L)
  • Marching to Praetorius a 2 couple dance by Gary Roodman 1996. (G)

21.02.20 and another of Geraldine’s birthday requests!

  • Jamaica we danced the longways version which is the original way from 1670.
  • Greenwich Park a longways dance.
  • Morrison’s Reel a 5 couple dance which we danced twice to give all a turn. (G)
  • Zig Zag Tuesday a longways dance with unsurprisingly zig & zag moves.
  • Fourpence halfpenny farthing a traditional longways Playford dance from 1709.

28.02.20 A special treat today dancing to live music with Frank’s band & June calling as usual. Many thanks.

  • Indian Queen a longways dance.
  • Corelli’s Gavotte this speedy longways number certain gave us a challenge…
  • Lead through and Cast away a 3 couple dance.
  • A Lady remembered a JohnWood longways dance. We recall dear departed dancers.
  • Maiden Moor a 4 couple dance with music/choreography by Tom Cook & Brian Jenkins, 1980.
  • (The) Ladies of London from 1718.
  • and finally The Duke of Kent’s waltz a longways dance from 1801.

followed up with refreshments, and thanks to all.

Last Updated on February 28, 2020

2020 here we come…

10.01.20 Elfrida calling the dances today starting with:-

  • The first of April ??? a longways traditional dance from 1780.
  • Childgrove another traditional dance 1701.
  • My Lord Byron’s Maggot a longways dance with clapping 👏🏼.
  • The Leaving of Liverpool to the tune the Merry Flirt. A 3 couple dance.
  • Liberty from The Yorktown Victory Ball, a 3 couple dance 1781 to the tune Bridle path.
  • Portsmouth a longways dance.

17.01.20 Happy New Year to June. With some more of Geraldine’s Birthday (2019) choices.

  • The Welch Dance a longways dance from 1790’s.
  • Soldiers and Sailors a longways dance (G)
  • For Rebecca a square set dance for 4 couples, constantly changing partners, until you get back home. (G)
  • and another of (G) Geraldine’s choices Prince William of Gloster’s Waltz. From 1801, reconstructed by Pat Woods 1958.
  • The Greenwich Pensioner a 4 couple dance from 1790.

Advance notice for Live Music event on Friday February 28th.

24 01.20

  • Whim of the Moment L/ways
  • Karla’s Waltz L/ways
  • My Lady Anne 3 couple
  • Braes of Dornoch 3 couple, with note to do it again on a future occasion.
  • Wooden Shoes L/ways.
  • Holborn March 

31.01.20 Elfrida recording

  • St. James’ Gardens L/ways danced twice, quick moves!
  • Wooden Shoes L/ways.
  • Shandy Hall 4 couple sets, circles & half stars.
  • Shepherd in the fields 3 couple sets X3.
  • Holborn March L/ways.

NOTICES. (more country dancing)

Monday 10th. Feb at Emmanuel Church hall at 7.30 Charity Night.

Friday 28th February Live music from Change of Key (Frank’s band)

Last Updated on February 6, 2020