Every year of Stockton Folk Dance Camp, a syllabus is created that includes folk dance descriptions and notations for each dance that is taught. I'm thrilled to get the opportunity to serve on the committee that researches these descriptions and notations for the 2019 camp, and hopefully for many years beyond.
I'd seen the folk dance High Green Mountain performed last July when I had the opportunity to participate in a musical performance for the Mildred Hill concert series in Port Orford. I've since learned that there are two versions (maybe more) of this dance. I'm referring here to the dance based on the teachings of France Bourque-Moreau.
Vicki I's dance group from Port Orford performed a modified version of the dance to accommodate limited dance space in the carpeted church sanctuary. Even in the confines of that situation, the dancers each carried and shook bells on their hands. The unevenness of the music really caught my attention. Two weeks later, when it was featured in the "Dances for All Ages" segment at Stockton Folk Dance Camp, I knew I wanted to include this dance in my fall semester class.
The "patty cake" part of the dance - when dancers approach the center of the circle and do a series of thigh pats and bell flings, then go back out of the center and do a totally different sequence of thigh pats and bell flings - is my favorite part. I love that the sequences and the music are "crooked".
Also new this semester, we are doing a peppy Sicilian Tarantella. And we're using tambourines.
Up until now in my life, the only times when I initiated dancing with a thing in my hand was holding a hankie between the first and second person on a Sytos... and o-n-c-e as a short line leader on a U Sest. I've held things that other dance leaders used in a class at Stockton or Pourparler (I'm still looking for just the right time to pull out the from-stoic-to-silly balloon dance that I learned from Bobi). But this is really the first time I've introduced dancing with stuff. My opinion: it's terribly fun. My most sincere thanks to William who brought a big bag of bells and tambourines to class. Now that we have them, I'm on the hunt for other dances that use bells and tambourines.
Dancing give me SO many things to think about...