Dance Classes

The following information is generally applicable to all classes

Length: 2 hours

Room requirements: Need space to dance in, 24-by-24 minimum; electrical outlet

Instructor supplied materials: Handout, music, equipment to play music

Site supplied materials: None

Student supplied materials: Be sure to wear comfortable shoes

In this list “Ithra” refers to the SCA organization that runs workshop events in the Pacific Northwest.

Arbeau’s Orchesography I: A Sampler

Arbeau’s Orchesography, from France in 1589, is the source for many dances we do in the Society. Come and learn many of the dances he describes, from branles to pavans to galliards. Beginners welcome.

Includes: Double Branle, Branle Charlotte, Washerwomen’s Branle, Pavan, Galliards, Jouyssance Vous Donneray, Spanish Pavan

Size: Min 6 / Max 20

Taught: Mar 1999 (Rivers M&D Ithra)

Purpose: Beginning-level focus on particular category of dance

Appropriate for: Appropriate for: General Ithra sessions, Ithra sessions focusing on this period

Arbeau’s Orchesography II: Lots of Branles

If you’ve done Double Branle, Pease Branle, or Washerwomen’s Branle and would like to expand your horizons, join us for a whirlwind tour through many of the more obscure branles described in Arbeau’s Orchesography. Experience with branles suggested since we’ll be moving quickly. A companion CD is available for $2 if ordered in advance.

Includes: Branle Aridan, Burgundian Branle, Candlestick Branle, Branle Cassandra, Branle Charlotte, Clog Branle, Gay Branle, Haut Barrois, Hermits Branle, Branle Montarde, Branle Pinagay, Branle Poitou, Scottish Branle, Branle Trihory, War Branle

Size: Min 6 / Max 20

Purpose: Intermediate-level focus on particular category of dance

Appropriate for: Ithra sessions focusing on this period, A&S or Dance Ithra sessions

Approaches to Dance Notation

In this roundtable class, we will look at several different approaches to writing down instructions for dance, and discuss their strengths and weaknesses. We’ll look at period, modern, and society sources. What good ideas can we find, and what pitfalls can we learn to avoid? What would be the elements of an ideal notation for reference use?

Size: Min 4 / Max 16

Taught: June 2001 (KWDS)

Purpose: Of interest to dance teachers and researchers

Appropriate for: A&S or Dance Ithra sessions at kingdom or known world level

Basic Dance of An Tir

This dance class is tailored to you, the An Tirian! Learn to do popular dances done across the kingdom, while satisfying the basic requirement at the same time. Beginners are most welcome. A companion CD is available for $12 if ordered in advance.

Includes: Single Branle, Pease Branle, Washerwomen’s Branle, Queen’s Alman, Black Alman, Petit Riense, Upon a Summer’s Day, Rufty Tufty, Gathering Peascods

Size: Min 6 / Max 20

Taught: Nov 1995 (Madrone Grand Ithra), Nov 1998 (Madrone Grand Ithra), Mar 2000 (Sound A&S Ithra), Oct 2001 (Shittimwoode Grand Ithra), Mar 2002 (KA&S Ithra), May 2004 (Beltane Ithra)

Purpose: Dance survey class designed to meet Ithra degree requirements

Appropriate for: General Ithra sessions

Court Dances of the 15th and 16th Centuries

Expand your repertoire beyond country dances and branles with an introduction to a variety of courtly dances from France and Italy. Try a flashy galliard, a romantic basse dance, a flirtatious ballo, and more. Some dance experience suggested.

Includes: Pavan, Cinq Pas Galliard, Old Alman, Lauro, La Danse de Cleues, Lioncello Vecchio

Size: Min 6 / Max 16

Taught: 1992 (Madrone Grand Ithra), 1993 (Rivers M&D Ithra), Feb 2003 (Rivers M&D Ithra)

Purpose: Dance survey class designed as next level after “Basic Dance”

Appropriate for: General Ithra sessions

Dances from Shakespeare

Why does Duke Senior say “With measure heap’d in joy, to th’ measures fall” at the end of As You Like It? Why is it a taunt when the French ambassador tells Henry V “there’s nought in France / that can be with a nimble galliard won”? Learn more about the culture of Shakespeare’s time by trying out the dances he and his audiences were familiar with. No dance experience necessary, but you will get some exercise!

Includes: Double Branle, a Coranto, Turkelone, a simple Canary, a Galliard, the Volta

Size: Min 6 / Max 16

Taught: Jul 2004 (Exeter), Feb 2005 (FVS), Jun 2013 (KWDS), Jun 2016 (SCA 50), Oct 2016 (Avacal DDM)

Purpose: Dance survey class with a unique tie-in to Shakespeare

Appropriate for: General Ithra sessions, Ithra sessions focusing on period or drama

English Country Dance I: Easy Favorites

This course is an introduction to English Country Dance based on Playford’s “English Dancing Master” of 1651. The basic dances taught will provide a foundation, making it easier to learn additional dances in the future. Beginners welcome.

Includes: Rufty Tufty, Hearts Ease, Upon a Summer’s Day, Chestnut, Jenny Pluck Pears, Gathering Peascods, Mage on a Cree, Hide Parke

Size: Min 8 / Max 20

Taught: May 1993 (A&S Guild Fair), Oct 1998 (Wealdsmere Ithra), Apr 2000 (Sound Rapier Ithra), Oct 2001 (Shittimwoode Grand Ithra), Mar 2002 (KA&S Ithra)

Purpose: Beginning-level focus on particular category of dance

Appropriate for: General Ithra sessions, Ithra sessions focusing on this period

English Country Dance II: More Fun Dances

If you enjoy English Country Dance and would enjoy the challenge of some more obscure and more complex dances, this class is for you. Experience with English Country Dance suggested.

Includes: Hit and Misse, The Begger Boy, The New Exchange, The Fine Companion, Goddesses, The Bonny Bonny Broome, The Old Mole, Picking of Sticks

Size: Min 8 / Max 20

Purpose: Intermediate-level focus on particular category of dance

Appropriate for: Ithra sessions focusing on this period, A&S or Dance Ithra sessions

English Country Dance III: Mixed-up Playford

For those who enjoy dances like “Hole in the Wall” where you dance with different people with each repeat, this class offers a variety of dances from Playford’s first edition that mix partners and couples in several flavors of progression. Experience with English Country Dance required.

Includes: Halfe Hannikin, Staines Morris, Dargason, Row Well Ye Mariners, The Fryar and the Nun, Whirligig, Bobbing Joe

Size: Min 8 / Max 20

Taught: Feb 2003 (Rivers M&D Ithra), Jun 2003 (KWDS), Jul 2005 (KWDS)

Purpose: Advanced-level focus on particular category of dance

Appropriate for: Ithra sessions focusing on this period, A&S or Dance Ithra sessions

Introduction to Dance Reconstruction

What’s involved in taking a description of a dance from a period source and turning it into something we can perform and enjoy? Find out as we try the process “hands-on” with some dances from Playford’s English Dancing Master, exploring ambiguities and listening to the music. Experience with English Country Dance required.

Size: Min 6 / Max 12

Taught: Jul 2005 (KWDS)

Purpose: Expose more people to researching and reconstructing dance

Appropriate for: A&S or Dance Ithra sessions at kingdom or known world level

Italian Balli of the 15th Century I

Learn some fun and flirtatious dances from the dance masters of Medici Florence. Experience with dance suggested. A companion CD is available for $12 if ordered in advance.

Includes: Petit Riense, Lauro, Lioncello Vecchio, Amoroso, Anello

Size: Min 6 / Max 16

Taught: Feb 1995 (Rivers M&D Ithra), Feb 1997 (Rivers M&D Ithra), Mar 2001 (KA&S), Mar 2004 (Inlands KA&S)

Purpose: Intermediate-level focus on particular category of dance

Appropriate for: Ithra sessions focusing on period, A&S or Dance Ithra sessions

Italian Balli of the 15th Century II

Try some early courtly dances with more involved choreographies, including the aptly named Gelosia (Jealousy), and Mercantia, in which a lady discards in turn each of three gentlemen. Experience with Italian Balli required.

Includes: Rostiboli Gioso, Gelosia, Colonesse, Mercantia

Size: Min 6 / Max 12

Taught: Feb 2003 (Rivers M&D Ithra)

Purpose: Advanced-level focus on particular category of dance

Appropriate for: Ithra sessions focusing on period, A&S or Dance Ithra sessions

Italian Dances of the 16th Century I

An introduction to the elaborate choreographies of Fabritio Caroso and Cesare Negri, dancemasters to the courts of Italian nobility in the last half of the 16th century.

Includes: Ballo del Fiore, Villanella, Contentezza d’Amore, Bizzarria d’Amore

Size: Min 6 / Max 16

Taught: May 2004 (Beltane Ithra), Apr 2015 (KWDS)

Purpose: Intermediate-level focus on particular category of dance

Appropriate for: Ithra sessions focusing on period, A&S or Dance Ithra sessions

Mommy, where do dances come from?

Sure, your local dance master teaches you dances - but that's like saying milk comes from the grocery store. In this class we'll take an introductory look at some of the primary sources from which we draw the dances we do in the SCA. We'll see how some popular dances are described, talk about the different approaches authors took, and learn why dance reconstruction often requires some puzzle solving and experimentation. This class will be a good orientation for dancers coming to KWDS to broaden their understanding of period dance.

Size: Min 6 / Max 20

Taught: Jun 2012 (KWDS), Jun 2013 (KWDS), Jun 2016 (SCA 50)

Purpose: Expose people to primary sources to provide background and stimulate interest

Appropriate for: A&S or Dance Ithra sessions

My Favorite Canaries

Canaries! They're loud! They're stompy! And you can make them up (they're often improvised). Come try some fun and challenging canary sequences from choreographed dances. We'll play with sequences from Il Canario and Alta Vittoria, then challenge you to improvise based on what you've learned.

Includes: Il Canario (parts), Alta Vittoria (parts)

Size: Min 6 / Max 20

Taught: Jun 2016 (SCA 50)

Purpose: Beginning-to-advanced level focus on particular category of dance

Appropriate for: Ithra sessions focusing on period, A&S or Dance Ithra sessions

My Favorite Galliards

If you're ready to move beyond the cinq pas, come try some fun and challenging galliard sequences from other dances. We'll play with sequences from dances like Fedelta d'Amore and Alta Mendozza and maybe even do some Volta. And yes, we will take breaks in between so everyone can catch their breath.

Includes: Cinq pas and variations, Leggiadra Marina (part), Fedelta d'Amore (part), Alta Mendozza (part), Celeste Giglio (part), La Volta

Size: Min 6 / Max 20

Taught: Jun 2013 (KWDS), Apr 2015 (KWDS), Jun 2016 (SCA 50), Oct 2016 (Avacal DDM)

Purpose: Beginning-to-advanced level focus on particular category of dance

Appropriate for: Ithra sessions focusing on period, A&S or Dance Ithra sessions

Old Measures

Learn some dances described in the notes of Elizabethan Londoners, from the simple Quadran Pavan to the cuddly Madam Sosilia Alman. The class begins with a lecture on the place of these dances in Elizabethan society. Beginners welcome. A companion CD is available for $6 if ordered in advance.

Includes: Quadran Pavan, Turkelone, Earl of Essex Measure, Tinternell, Old Alman, Queen’s Alman, Madam Sosilia Alman, Black Alman, Lorayne Alman, New Alman

Size: Min 6 / Max 20

Taught: Feb 1995 (Rivers M&D Ithra), Feb 1997 (KWDS), Mar 1999 (Rivers M&D Ithra), Jun 2001 (KWDS), Oct 2001 (KWAS, taught by Sara), Mar 2004 (Inlands KA&S), Jul 2005 (KWDS), Jun 2012 (KWDS), Jun 2016 (SCA 50)

Purpose: Beginning-level focus on particular category of dance

Appropriate for: General Ithra sessions, Ithra sessions focusing on this period

Organizing Dance at Events

In this roundtable class we’ll share stories and advice on how to plan and run dance at Society events, from after-feast revels at a local event, to an evening ball at a Kingdom event, and to a day-long dance workshop and ball.

Size: Min 6 / Max 20

Taught: Jun 2001 (KWDS)

Purpose: Encourage and support more people running dance events

Appropriate for: A&S or Dance Ithra sessions at kingdom or known world level

Survey of European Dance Sources 1400-1700

Find out more about where our dances come from with this lecture survey course. Look in turn at the documents and context for each of the major categories of dance performed in the Society.  Sample dances will be demonstrated. This class will be of interest to dance researchers, casual dancers, and non-dancers with an interest in the social activities of the period.

Size: Min 6 / Max 30

Taught:

Purpose: Expose people to primary sources to provide background and stimulate interest

Appropriate for: A&S or Dance Ithra sessions

Teaching Dance in Challenging Situations

Dancemasters in the Society encounter a number of challenging situations. Explore and share strategies for coping with small practices, large practices, noisy venues, and teaching to the public. Also discuss strategies for adapting dances to the disabled, people with physical limitations, and for children. How can we as teachers maximize the enjoyment of our students?

Size: Min 6 / Max 20

Taught: Jun 2001 (KWDS)

Purpose: Provide workshop for supporting dance teachers

Appropriate for: A&S or Dance Ithra sessions at kingdom or known world level