Period I 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

    1. Advanced English Country Dance (A)
      Style, dance technique and figures for advanced dancers, with dances ranging from old favorites to challenging new material. For dancers familiar with basic English figures and can dance with a minimum of teaching and walkthroughs.
    2. Intermediate English Country Dance (I)
    3. Beginning English Country Dance (B)
      In this class, the fun and sociability of the dances will be stressed, combining with skill in recurring basic figures, to build a beginning repertoire. The fundamentals of the waltz will also be taught.
    4. How to Play the Tin-Whistle (U)
      Helen introduces the tin-whistle in a fun and easy way! Beginning with well-known folk tunes, we’ll then continue with tunes from the Irish traditional repertoire. Learning by ear will be encouraged, with sheet music provided as a backup. Tin-whistles will be available for $10, or students may bring their own. Class will be geared toward beginner/intermediate, but advanced players also welcome.
    5. Morris Dancing (U)
      From the Cotswold region of England, Morris is a street dance performed with bells on your legs, and sticks or handkerchiefs in your hands. This year’s Morris class will be for all (beginning to advanced). We’ll be doing the version of the Oddington tradition developed by Baltimorris in the 1990s. Oddington is very accessible to the new dancer, and with enough details that experienced dancers will have lots of things to keep them busy.
    6. Calling Contras and Squares (U)
      If you’ve ever considered calling a dance, have been calling for years, or perhaps are just curious how callers think, this class will meet your needs. Cis will offer good grounding in the basics of dance calling, fine points about how to improve your skill, and plenty of “flight time” to practice in a supportive setting.
    7. Jaws Harp/Trump: The Ultimate Learning Session (U)
      This instrument has been played at all levels of society from lowly fools to great classical virtuosos. Its power and popularity was known on all corners of the world. Millions were made, sold and bartered for gold and land (including the state of Maryland). Now is your chance to learn this amazing instrument. Learn your favorite songs and gain the best technique. Instruments will be available for all.
    8. Dance Music on the Guitar (U)
      Owen’s guitar class will focus on different aspects of rhythm playing that make music danceable. Accompaniment styles from many traditions will be addressed. The class will also learn to flat-pick the melody of a fiddle tune or two. Helpful technique tips for both hands will be thrown in along the way.
    9. Int/Adv Basketry ($10 material fee payable at class) (I/A)
      The first session will be a small art form basket using some native materials and many different techniques. Some weaving experience would be helpful but not required.
    10. Beginning Clogging (B)
      This class will cover the basics of traditional freestyle dancing as well as several beginning step sequences from the more contemporary style. Also, we will explore several hoedown figures and movement patterns with clogging footwork. Be ready to have fun with and without a partner.

Period II 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

    1. Mind-bending Contras and More (A)
      For those who want a little more spice in their dancing experience, we’ll explore some tricky moves, unexpected twists, and challenging timing in a variety of dance formations.
    2. Waltzing for Country Dancers (U)
      Most Country Dance evenings include a free waltz or two. This class will enhance your enjoyment of waltzing, as well as that of your partners! You will learn the turning, folk-style waltz and a number of variations, skills useful also at weddings and other social dance occasions. The class will include some set dances that incorporate waltzing. Techniques of leading and following will be emphasized every day, so that you and your partner can move gracefully together on the dance floor.
    3. Appalachian Dancing (U)
      Two parallel, partially incompatible square dance styles have developed side by side in southern mountain social dance communities over the last couple of centuries. The smooth style is the one usually presented at dance courses. This class will focus instead on the exuberant flatfoot square dance style, including developing a simple, sustainable flatfoot step and a feel for how this different way of moving affects swings, figures, and the way the dancers and players collaborate to make the music. For a break we’ll also learn variants of the Paul Jones, a circle mixer with a long, widespread tradition still danced in Virginia and surrounding states.
    4. Intermediate/Adv. Recorder: Sacred Music for Consort Playing (I/A)
      This course will focus on sacred works arranged for recorder-and voice-ensemble. Special pieces will be highlighted for these playing sessions. The Ainsworth Psalter, the earliest printed music in America, contained sacred hymns that traveled via France to England and finally New England in the early 17th century.  We will also focus on the late Renaissance English church music, still a mainstay in contemporary church, but rarely performed on the recorder scene. Finally we will look at the latest arrangements from the instructor’s printed collection, The Sacred Recordox.
    5. Beginning Storytelling (B)
      Everyone has a story to tell! Using classic fairytales as models, participants will learn to recognize the magical moments in their lives and turn them into stories. Class members will have fun becoming the heroes in their own tales and learning easy tools to help them remember and tell their personal tales.
    6. Ballads and Old-Style Songs from Ireland (U)
      Are you ready to learn some beautiful songs from the Irish tradition? Helen will introduce English language ballads and some simple Irish language songs. All songs can be sung unaccompanied, but some are also suited to simple accompaniment so bring the instrument of your choice for these. Most importantly – come ready to use your voice! All levels welcome.
    7. Beginning Temari Craft ($10 material fee payable at class) (B)
      Temari is an ancient Japanese handcraft of first thread-wrapping a ball and then embroidering colorful designs across the surface. You will learn to create the base, some basic stitching techniques and different patterns that can open up endless design possibilities.
    8. Rapper Sword One (B)
      Danced with 2-handled “swords”, typically in groups of 5, rapper is an exciting dance to watch and perform. Rapper 1 is the beginning class this year. We’ll learn a dance built from the basic figures and, in addition, we’ll learn how to work as a team and move with purpose. If you’ve always wanted to try rapper, now would be a great time. If you haven’t seen rapper sword, go to YouTube and search for “Iron Mountain Sword”.


  1. Intermediate/Advanced Clogging (I/A)
    Want to add a little variety to your step repertoire?  Come explore new and challenging precision footwork.  Be prepared to have fun and work hard!

Period III 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

  1. Morningsong & Stories
    This is a time for the entire CCDS community to gather together for music and fellowship. Participants are welcome to share songs or stories, or just come for the joy of singing together.

Period IV 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

    1. English in All Its Variety (U)
      From old classics to recent compositions, gentle and smooth to raucous traditional/ceilidh style, longways to circles, sets and odd formation, this class will present the great diversity found in English country dance. For all levels.
    2. Kentucky Running Set (B/I)
      All ages will enjoy this type of dancing. Dance figures taught in this class are those that were included in the book Kentucky Mountain Square Dance by Patrick E. Napier. Many of the figures have not changed since the Appalachian Mountains were first settled.


    1. Contra Connections (B/I)
      Whether you’re new to contra dancing, want to brush up your balance and swing, or are just along for the ride, Contra Connections will feature energetic dances that are fun for beginners, yet interesting for more experienced dancers.


    1. Beginning Dance Band (U)
      Have you wanted to play for dancers? Have you wanted to play in a band? Have you wanted to improve your band skills? Here’s your chance. We’ll learn some contra, English country dance and ceilidh tunes, and perhaps a Scandinavian waltz or two! We’ll discuss rhythm, tempo, harmonies, medleys and arrangements and what is it that makes music exciting to dancers. All instruments and skill levels are welcome – drag out those trumpets, clarinets, fiddles, cellos, trombones and saxophones from the closet – we’ll find a place for you although some proficiency with your instrument is helpful. Tunes learned in class will be played at the After Dance sessions.
    2. Advanced Musician’s Workshop (I/A)
      A good sense of rhythm and an ability to read music will be an advantage in this workshop. Those who play by ear are welcome and those who have a modest skill will be catered to, but be prepared for the thrill of playing with a great band. We will explore the skills of modern bandsmanship, the use of creative harmony, improvisation and the role of each instrument in the band, including the conflict between modern and traditional interpretations.
    3. Intermediate Storytelling  (Two hours) (I/A)
      For folks who are already writing and/or telling stories, this workshop will help participants to find their own unique perspectives and voices and hone their skills. Participants are encouraged to bring a story or idea for a story to work on with Jim. Agenda for the week will be customized based on the needs of the students and will include lots of individual focus.
    4. Harmony Singing  (U)
      The tricks, trials, and triumphs of harmony singing will form the basis for our foray into song styles and the inner elements of a good song. Old favorites, along with a few new gems will be shared and the repertoire will feature songs that lend themselves to singing in three- and four-part harmony. We will discuss and sing accompanied songs and a capella music in song books and “by heart.” A special treat this year will be the singing of South African freedom songs, in addition to beloved American folk and popular tunes. All voice parts and experience ranges are welcome to join in the joy of group music making through harmony singing.
    5. Intermediate Temari Craft  ($10 material fee payable at class) (I)
      Ready to take temari to another level? You will learn a more complex division of the ball that will lead to even more intricate and fascinating designs. This class is suitable for people who have had the Beginning Temari class at Dance School or who have learned temari basics elsewhere.


  1. Rapper Sword Two (I/A)
    Targeted for the dancer who has some experience dancing, either with a team, or, multiple years of dance camp classes, Rapper Sword 2 is the intermediate / advanced class. We’ll work a lot on a number of new, exciting figures, interesting transitions basic movement. We’ll also look at stepping styles, and most importantly, moving as, and working as a team. You’ll enjoy learning a few new figures, as well as team-skills you can take home with you.

Period V 3:15 – 415 p.m.

  1. Play Party & Singing Games (U)
    In this class we will explore a variety of play parties and singing games from Appalachia, the American South, and across world cultures. Participants will play and sing historical and present-day singing games for all ages. Recreational and educational applications will be discussed, and a special focus on the history of the songs and games will be included. Please bring your favorite singing games to share with the class, too!
  2. Irish Set Dances (U)
    Kerry/West Cork Sets are southwestern Ireland’s version of square dances. They are very energetic, propelled by lively polkas, slides and hornpipes. This year we will dance some old favorites as well as some sets that are new to Christmas School. No experience is necessary.
  3. Traditional Squares from Mid-Century to the New Millennium (U)
    In the 1950’s, just before rock ‘n’ roll, square dancing swept the country. Creativity and innovation were all the rage, and new takes on the simple square dance form were invented every day. Come explore some of these fresh ideas from a bygone age, as well as contemporary spins on this traditional form.
  4. Shape Note Singing (U)
    We will recreate a nineteenth-century singing school by sharing in the intoxicating harmonizations of colonial psalmody, camp meeting songs, and white spirituals found in the Sacred Harp (1991) tune book. The “shape note” notation of square, triangle, oval, and diamond note heads makes this music easy and enjoyable to sing. We will also learn some of the cultural and historical context that animates and informs the music. Loaner books will be provided; the class embraces and welcomes both novices and experienced singers.
  5. Beginning Recorder: The Ideal Entry Level (B)
    Here’s a chance to get reacquainted with this noble instrument. Improve your technique, develop endurance, tune like a pro, sharpen ensemble skills while becoming familiar with Renaissance repertory. The goal is to have fun and we’ll get you up and playing.
  6. Intermediate Storytelling (Two hours, cont.) (I/A)
    For folks who are already writing and/or telling stories, this workshop will help participants to find their own unique perspectives and voices and hone their skills. Participants are encouraged to bring a story or idea for a story to work on with Jim. Agenda for the week will be customized based on the needs of the students and will include lots of individual focus.
  7. English Callers Workshop (I/A)
    For intermediate and experienced teachers of English dance. The workshop will include time for practice teaching and the discussion of various topics. Topics will include dance programming, teaching figures and steps, working with beginners and mixed-experience crowds, working with your band, stage presence and crowd control.
  8. Beginning Basketry ($10 material fee payable at class) (B)
    Beginning Basketry ($10 material fee payable at class) (B)
  9. Mummers Play (U)
    Mummers’ Plays have been performed in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland since the mid- to late 18th century, the earliest of which may date to 1737. These folk dramas are usually based on the legend of St. George and the Seven Champions of Christendom, but time, and a largely word-of-mouth tradition for dialogue, has created mummer’s plays of a wide variety and far beyond the British Isles. We’ll start the class with some fundamental history and traditional scripts, which we will promptly subject to the folk tradition and alter for Christmas School. No experience necessary. This class is limited to 15 participants, determined by lottery on November 15.

Period VI 4:15 – 5:15 p.m.

Free Time/ Jam Sessions/ Concerts

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