Polish Dance
Mary Kay Stuvland
Sunday, June 9, 2013, 5:00pm
Dance 2 -- The North Gym

This workshop will focus on arguably Poland's most famous dances: the stately "Polonez" and the gliding/running dance, the "Mazur". Both these dances began more humbly in a village setting, but were universally loved and raised by Poland's landed gentry to the level of social ballroom dance. Both dances ultimately spread throughout Europe, from Russia to Great Britain. The workshop will teach the basic steps and then proceed to a simple choreography. The Polonez is a walking processional, easily mastered; the Mazur is more demanding and participants will be comfortable if they can maintain a light running step for up to 2 minutes. Both are danced in pairs. Participants are welcome to take only the first half of the session, if desired.

Age Suitability: The workshop is suitable for those approximately 12 or 13 years and above. Mazur is challenging for the very young, but they're potentially quite capable if they have dance experience.

Mary Kay has performed and taught Polish traditional dances to children and adults of all ages for over 30 years. She received her choreographer's degree from Poland's Rzeszow Academy in 2010; her thesis was on the Mazur. She has been the Artistic Director of Lowiczanie Polish Folk Ensemble since 2000, and her Mazur choreographies have been performed for the SF Pocket opera's productions of "Haunted Manor", and "Halka", both of which are Polish "national" operas of the mid-19th century. Mary Kay feels it is a shame the Mazur is no longer danced at social functions and has a mission to train enough dancers to change that status!

Mary Kay will be partnered by workshop co-leader Brennan Kreller.