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Country Dance and Song Society

January 20th, 2009

shoe question @ 05:06 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm getting ready for the Saratoga Dance Flurry contra dances. I usually dance barefoot or in socks, and I always have blisters by the end of the first night, (not to be gross,) especially on the edge of my left foot where I'm pivoting for turns.

Have any dancers out there tried something like the Dance Paws or FootUndeez and liked them?

(see here: http://www.dancewearsolutions.com/dance_shoes/modern_and_lyrical/viewall.aspx?gclid=CMePxL6SnpgCFQw9GgodZ1emmw )


October 2nd, 2008

Weekly English Country Dances in Toronto, Canada @ 05:14 am


'FROLICS IN THE HEY', an English Country Dance group in Toronto,
would like to invite all dancers to come out and join us for our fall
season of weekly Sunday night dances, in our new location at Danforth
Baptist Church.


When: Sundays from 7-9 p.m, beginning October 5th.
Where: Danforth Baptist Church, 60 Bowden St.
(Just west of Chester station)
Admission: $8 per dancer

No partner or experience required!

Please bring a pair of clean, soft-soled shoes to change into, to
protect the dancefloor.

OPEN BAND: Musicians welcome to sit in with our fabulous house band.

Check out the VIDEOS of our previous dances on You Tube:

For more info, visit our WEBSITE:

January 27th, 2008

December 13th, 2007

(no subject) @ 09:38 am

 Yes, you are not the only ones.  There are many, many of us out there, secretly going about watching adaptations of Jane Austen, sewing stays and ballgowns, trying to find the perfect fabric for our reticules.  We are here indeed.

And the Oregon Regency Society (that's us) along with the Arizona Regency Society have created the RSA (Regency Society of America), mainly to unite the many regency-themed groups out there.  The RSA has in part incepted a Regency forum that unites one and all.  It includes discussions about Regency costume, dance (English Country Dance), books, patterns, Napoleon, etiquette, Austen, modern regency romance... heck, ANYTHING regency!  It's a new community, so join today to help it be successful!

If you are part of a regional regency-related group, please join the RSA.  It is our goal to create a unified resource for all things regency around the country so if one person wants to find a group, they need only look at regencysa.org.




September 25th, 2007

Boise, Idaho Highland Games! @ 09:49 pm

Just wanted to share some photos from my recent Scottish Country Dance demo. The post is here, so as not to clutter up your flist.

xposted all over the effing place. :)

August 6th, 2007

Travel Plans @ 05:08 pm

Hello CDSS folks. I just joined, and thought I would introduce myself. I'm a dancer/caller/singer living in Durham, NC. I've been dancing for a bit more than half my life (dancing for 17 years now, calling for about 5), and in a little over two weeks will be leaving to start working my way towards Pinewoods for American week and the caller's workshop. Since it seems like about half the group is either in the Philly area or the Boston area, I'll mention that I'm going to be calling for the Princeton dance on August 22nd and the Concord Scout House dance on September 3rd. I'm also planning to go to the Brattleboro Dawn Dance, but I don't have a car. At this point, I'm planning to take the train to north of Boston (I'll be visiting friends in Providence) and rent one for the day (though thinking about it, I'm not sure whether they'd be open on Sunday.). If there's anyone who's planning to go to the Dawn dance that might be able to give me a ride up, please let me know. I've also been thinking about waiting to go up until later in the evening (and sleeping some), and then dancing for the 2nd two sections of the dance.

In any event, if you're at the Princeton, Scout House (or Harrisburg, PA on 8/24) dances, please come up and introduce yourself.


April 15th, 2007

NEFFA - 4/20-2/22 (Boston Area) @ 07:04 pm

NEFFA is this upcoming weekend. Lots of good music, fun dancing, interesting shopping... And all at a new bigger location (Mansfield... note the traffic control direction on NEFFA's direction site).

I'll be there. Will you?

If you are attending and you want to lend a hand, I know volunteers are still needed in the areas of sound, setup and tear down. Specific needs include: hanging curtains this Thursday (6pm-10), dealing with clearing the set off of the one stage this Friday (10am-?), running a sound board at festival in a small room for an hour or two (various specific times), general set up (Friday) and general tear down (Sunday 5-10).

If you happen to have solid sound experience and would be willing to run sound during one of the more complicated performances... please do speak up. We are stretching our experienced staff fairly thin with the move to the new location. There is just a need for more folks. So, if you know how to run a board and want to help, please do speak up. If you can help with set up, that would be lovely too. As a side note: the two gym venues have professional staff in them, this is for the 2 auditoriums and the 3 small concert halls with sound systems.

I have the email address for the volunteer coordinator (she isn't on lj). You'll want to contact her directly... bethany at seeger dot ws note that this doesn't end in the typical com or edu or anything, just the ws.

(If you are wanting to help with sound, feel free to contact me as well as Bethany.)

January 22nd, 2007

Youth Issues in Traditional Dance Wiki @ 09:10 am

Please visit this new wiki!  It's brand new and needs your edits. Feel free to create a free log-in or just post anonymously. This site was created by the CDSS Youth Issues Task Group. Thanks!

July 1st, 2006

Op Roakeldais 2006 @ 04:22 pm

What follows is a description, and photo album, of a major international folkdance festival in the Netherlands:

There are four train lines out of Groningen, one in each compass direction. South is the NS mainline to Zwolle, one of the major NS junctions from which lines go in all directions. West leads to Leeuwarden, the capital of Friesland, and the rest of that province. East leads to Delfzijl on the Eems river, the second largest port city in the Netherlands. North is a shortline to farming villages. In this direction the trains run only once an hour. There's very little up there, except for one week per year: the Op Roakeldais.

Warffum is one of those small farming villages, and for the past 41 years, it has hosted one of the largest annual international folk dance festivals in the world. Each year groups from about fourteen nations come to Warffum for something more like a dancing Olympic Games than a NEFFA, except that there's no competitive aspect. It's similar in that it's also a gathering of the best performers from many nations who all benefit from cultural exchange; in the way they all live in a sort of athlete's village for a week, though here they are all hosted by a great number of local families from Warffum and surrounding villages; and in the way that the Olympics are a pageant and a spectacle displaying the best aspects of national pride and tradition. The festival runs Wednesday through Sunday, with performers arriving a few days in advance.

I'd thought about going up for much of Friday and also Sunday, but then had low energy and a keen interest in opening up my melodeon, so I'd changed plans to just Sunday. But then L's cousin Lz telephoned and said she had a free ticket for Friday only which she couldn't use, and wondered if I wanted it. A couple phone calls later, we'd arranged that L's aunt and uncle, who were also going tonight, would meet me at the Warffum station with Lz's ticket in hand half an hour before the evening performances.

It's a small enough community that we ran into Lz's parents-in-law and also Jaap Nienhuis, the local celebrity TV weatherman. For over twenty-five years, Jaap has given the forecasts on radio and TV here and he gives them not in Dutch but in Gronings--the local dialect, not very mutually intelligible with Dutch. Jack (Swat's visiting linguist) says that Jaap is in no small part personally responsible for the preservation of Gronings through the past few decades, and at this point can be considered its foremost speaker. I didn't get to meet him (but what would I have said, anyway?), but he did sit about five rows in front of us.

(Maybe I'll manage to make some audio recordings of his weather forecasts at some point. But that's not really what this post was going to be about....)

The Op Roakeldais--the name itself is a Gronings expression meaning "hoping for the best"--this year features three local dancing groups from Groningen, plus groups from Ukraine, the Philippines, Ireland, Bashdortostan (in Russia), Egypt, Puerto Rico, Bosnia/Herzigovina, New Zealand, Mexico, Malaysia, South Africa, Guatemala, and Romania. I've put a photo album here. The photos were taken in a very dark performance hall (where flash photography was allowed, but the flashes were minimally effective due to distance) from some distance, so many are not good photographs; but they'll give you a sense of the spectacle and the variety. Click on any photo to see it larger, where you can also cycle through them all as a slideshow.

Here's a lengthy review of all the dances, which will guide you through the photo album.Collapse )

Crossposting to CDSS and my journal.

June 24th, 2006

Dance Communities @ 01:24 pm


Here's some quotes from dancers. You get to guess what dance community and note if anything feels relevant to you or your dance community.   (Note that these were pilfered without permission, but at least they have no names attached.)

1. “ I've been going for years and sometimes still find it difficult to talk to people. It would be nice if people with established relationships looked for others standing alone (since some people are shy) and invited them into their circle of conversation on a regular basis. It can be difficult at break-time when everyone has formed into groups and are conversing, especially if you are a newcomer. “ 

2. "I found the crowd not very friendly. Booking ahead was not just the norm, it was mandatory if you were going to dance at all. There was one night when after being frozen out of two dances in a row, I asked for my money back and left. It almost happened another night. The music and dancing may be hot, but it ain't hot if you're frozen out (to mix metaphors badly). There are also quite a few "dance snobs" especially among the teens, who will sit out rather than dance with an undesirable partner. At that time, the dance was overcrowded, so I know I wasn't missed, but it's just not a healthy reputation for a dance to get.” 

3. “We're at a crossroads. We have lots of younger dancers who have energy but who lack dance style and know-how. We have grumpy older dancers who don't want to take the time to include and mentor younger dancers, but who attend the challenging contra in droves, so they still like to dance." 

4. “It is important to me that the people I'm dancing with have a sense of humor about gender-swapping and other things that we young folks like to have fun with...” 

5. “I feel a little nervous around the adolescent and young adult energy with vigorous, marginally controlled swinging and hard stomping when balancing -- makes me feel like an "old fart" to think in terms of safety -- theirs, mine and others in the vicinity. But I have heard comments which make me think that some people join a different contra line when the younger crowd is concentrated in one line. We want young people to delight in dancing and keep things going for generations to come, but we also want the dance community to enjoy dancing together. How to brainstorm with them and channel some of the energy is a challenge, without turning them off. “


Country Dance and Song Society