by Alan Winston
What is English
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, was the dancing master for the BACDS (www.bacds.org)
Playford Ball in 2000 and in
the same year led an ECD workshop at NEFFA (www.neffa.org). 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 will be
included in a forthcoming collection of dances based on tunes by O'Carolan.
Alan also calls Regency dancing (see 4:00 pm), English ceilidh, Victorian,
Edwardian, and early California dance.