English Country Dance
Alan Winston & The Fine Companions
What is English country dancing?
English Country Dances range from elegant to rowdy
and from easy to difficult, with a wide range of mood, meter, and music.
The first publication of English Country Dances was by John Playford
in 1651, and people are still writing new dances today. The modern style
of English Country Dance focuses more on geography than on footwork,
and you can enjoy it if you know right from left and can follow directions.
Alan Winston has been calling English dances since
1985, and has achieved national recognition as a caller and choreographer. He
was the dancing master for the BACDS (www.bacds.org)
Playford Ball in 2000 and
2006, led the New Haven English Ball this year, led workshops at NEFFA
(www.neffa.org) in 2000 and 2004, and has become a fixture at the Free
He has led dancing for groups as small as four and
as large as 600, and is especially good with beginners. Alan's dance "Sparkling
and Still" was
published in the Country Dance & Song Society News and was included
in Allison Thompson's "The Blind Harper Dances", a collection
of dances based on tunes by Turlough O'Carolan. Alan is one of the founders
of the Bay Area English
Regency Society (www.baers.org), calls contra dance, English ceilidh,
Victorian, Edwardian, Early American and Early California dance, and
teaches couple dance sequences.
The Fine Companions includes Stan and Susan Kramer
(of Bangers & Mash) as well as William Allen.