Workshops

We're planning some great workshops this year!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Open Waltz  10:00-11:00am Main Hall

Band: Martha Edwards, Aileen Murphy, Kristin Graham

Come wake up those dancing feet to beautiful music in Waltz time.

Band Workshop 10:00am-12:00noon Classroom

 Leaders: Kelsey Wells and Jeremy Lekich

Come learn about some of things we do as a band playing specifically for contra dances. We'll focus on some of our favorite ways to make tunes exciting for dancers and share our thoughts on matching tunes to dance choreography. Instruments welcome, but this isn't a tune-learning workshop (come to the playing by ear session tomorrow for tunes!).

Blues Dance 11:00am - 12:00noon Main Hall

Leader: Lenny Sharlet

Lenny has been contra dancing since he was just six years old. He discovered swing dancing when he was in high school, and grew up dancing in the Honky Tonks on Broadway in Nashville. When he discovered blues dance, he fell in love, and it has become his second dance home. We're happy to have Lenny back to DJ for us again at Meet Me in St. Louis.

Lenny has been contra dancing since he was just six years old. He discovered swing dancing when he was in high school, and grew up dancing in the Honky Tonks on Broadway in Nashville. When he discovered blues dance, he fell in love, and it has become his second dance home. We're happy to have Lenny back to DJ for us again at Meet Me in St. Louis.

 

French Dances Workshop 1:30-3:00PM Main Hall

Leaders: Susan Kevra and Rachel Bell

If you love the energy of contras and the playfulness of English dancing, then you’ll love French bourrées! These dances involve simple footwork, sprightly tunes and a whole lot of play. By the time you’re done, you’ll be making plans for a summer vacation in Auvergne, dreaming of creamy blue cheese, accordion and hurdy gurdy music! We’ll also toss in some simple Breton dances to bring out your inner druid and a few other classic dances from the bal folk tradition.

 Irish Session 1:30-3:00pm Classroom

 Leaders: Nova

Come play great Irish music with the experts!

Callers Class 3:30-5:00pm Classroom

Leader: Susan Kevra

How can you best prepare for a dance? What sort of information should you get about a dance group to help with your programming? What happens when your best laid plans are foiled? For instance, when a busload of Japanese exchange students shows up half way through the dance? When the sound system goes out? When you’ve underestimated your group’s ability? Or overestimated it? When is a non walk through dance or medley appropriate and what makes for good medleys?  Although the workshop is geared towards experienced callers, new callers and non callers are also invited and welcome to weigh in with their experiences. Participants should ideally bring their collection of dances with them as we’ll spend some time working on mock programs. Members of this class will call the community Band dance session.

Mind-Bending Contras 3:30-5:00pm Main Hall

wave balance by Josh Corbalis

Leader: Chet Gray

Band: Turnip the Beet

Mind-Bending Contras — Peculiar progressions! Extreme end-effects! So many shadows! Heys for how many?! We'll sink our teeth into some interesting choreography we seldom have the chance to explore, and maybe pick up some strategies for recovering when things go awry. When in doubt: dance with who's comin' at ya!

 

Sunday, May 26, 2019

English Country Dance 10:00am-12:00noon Main Hall

Leader: Susan Kevra

Band: Rachel Bell, Martha Edwards and Kristen Planeaux

English Country Dance: Aiming for that sweet spot with dances that appeal to contra dancers who’d like to discover English and for seasoned English dancers as well. We’ll do a mix of dances,  some new and others that have been part of the dance tradition for centuries. Fiery, playful, plaintive, the selection will run the dance gamut. But what they all have in common is really great music.

Fit to Dance 10:00-11:00am Classroom

Leader: Shawn Everson

Shawn Everson (DPT, OCS, MTC) is a physical therapist at Peak Sport and Spine Rehab - Mid County in St. Louis. Most of his 34 years in practice has been involved with helping people with chronic musculoskeletal pain with problems from headaches to foot pain. Shawn has been contra dancing with Childgrove for 5 years. In this workshop, Shawn will teach a series of exercises he commonly uses with patients for basic flexibility and balance.

What to bring:

Recommended but not required !!

    • yoga or exercise mat,
    • something to pad your knees
    • foam roll

Required !!

    • your possibly tight/sore body from many hours of dancing Friday and Saturday,
    • a smile
    • a positive attitude

Learning by Ear 1:30-3:00pm Classroom

Leader: Kelsey Wells

In this workshop, we will explore the aural traditions of various folk dance musics and learn (by ear) a few tunes from places near and far. Bring your instrument, an audio recorder, and any questions you have about playing by ear - we will focus our time together around the interests and goals of the workshop participants. This workshop is geared toward folks who typically play melodies, but anyone is welcome to attend.

Plant Identification Nature Walk 1:30-3:00pm Outside

Leader: Jeremy Lekich

Interested in learning about the population of plant people that silently live within our neighborhoods and communities? We will walk around the nearby park and landscapes identifying and discussing these plant neighbors. Edible, medicinal, and folk tale information will be covered. 

Swing Dance 3:30-5:00pm Classroom

Leader: Dennis Wise

       Starts with the 6-count East Coast Swing basic. Then a few basic moves like a spin and a twirl. Followed by 
       kick steps in cuddle position. Then how to use a cuddle in a contra swing and a role swap. Ending with some
       music for dancing.

Contra Quotations:

Leader: Susan Kevra

Band: Nova

Dances with signature moves from New England chestnuts, English dances and squares.