Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Calling at the Big Scioty Dance


Susan will be calling in Columbus on September 29
to the music of Big Fun.

Big Scioty Dances 
Beginners' Instruction at 7:30 PM
Contra Dance 8:00 to 11:00 PM 
First Congregational Church
444 East Broad St. in downtown Columbus
$8.00, Members $7.00, Students $4.00, Children under 12 - Free

(It says I am from Mt. Vernon, but you all know I am from Wooster - SE)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

China Project

Currently seeking:
  • host universities in China
  • grants from government, nonprofits, and  corporations
  • donations from individuals
to share contra and English country dance in China and learn something about Chinese folk music and dance.  See proposal at:  Traditional Arts Exchange (TAE)

This project is supported in part by the Outreach Fund of the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Talls and Smalls

For an old-time community dance, we invite ages 6 and older to try the Talls and Smalls approach. This means that every young person needs at least one teenage or adult partner. Together we will build an intergenerational community through music and movement. While the “talls” provide structure and stability, the “smalls” bring their energy and enthusiasm.  It can be a winning combination, if everyone supports the following guidelines:

1.   Think gender-free. For this type of dance, we want to free everyone from any fixed notion of gender roles.  We assist you in this effort by giving you a new role to think about:  tall or small.

2.   Give the dance leader your full attention.  We will facilitate using brief explanations, visual demonstrations, and positive feedback.  The best way to help others is by modeling good listening skills and following directions.  Others will see the pattern and imitate your behavior.

3.   Support your own weight.  This is not the time to lift children off the floor and swing them around like a merry-go-round, as much fun as that can be.  We want everyone to feel safe.   Further, we want to empower people by giving them control and making them responsible for their own movements.

4.   Learn at your own pace.  Use your thinking cap or just go with the flow.  This is a non-competitive, cooperative activity.  Everyone’s participation is as important as everyone else’s.  The most important thing is to participate fully and allow your skills time to develop.

5.   Work together toward a common goal.  The goal is to develop a shared sense of time, space, and spirit.  We strive to become one with the music and with each other.  Achieving this goal is the ultimate reward.

With attention to safety, trust, and mutual respect, the Talls and Smalls approach can provide a sense of security and belonging. Young people develop physical and emotional confidence while caretakers can relax and have fun with the younger generation. Our goal is for everyone to feel empowered and to go home with stronger bonds, feelings of closeness, and newly opened lines of communication.

-Susan English and Bill Alkire

You can read our full article Talls and Smalls as it appeared in the Orff Echo (Summer, 2005).

Madrigal Dancers

THE MADRIGAL DANCERS began as performers at the annual Madrigal Feaste of the Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship of Wayne County, Ohio. Currently ranging in age from 8 to 87, we present music, dances, and costumes from 17th and 18th century England--from Shakespeare to Jane Austen.


Sellenger's Round (1609)
Grimstock (1651) 
Jenny Pluck Pears (1651)
The Black Nag (1665)
Christchurch Bells (1679) 
Childgrove (1701)
Knole Park (1788)
Duke of Kent’s Waltz (1801) 
Robin Ddiog (Lazy Robin) Welsh folk dance
Jack Turn Back (Steve Schnur) 


Home School

Videos from Mt. Vernon 2013 Winter Ball


Thursdays, October 3-November 21 (8 Weeks)
Instructor:  Susan English

6:30-7:30 p.m.  International Folk Dance  
Ages 8-Adult, Members $64, Non-Members $84. Come learn the figures and fancy footwork for dances from such diverse cultures as IsraelDenmark, Bolivia, Japan, and South Africa. Be prepared for aerobic and full-body exercise.

7:45-8:45 p.m.  Swing Dance 
Ages 14 through Adult, No partner necessary, Members $64, Non-Members $84.  Swing is an American couple dance that reflects the cultural fusion of the 20th century.  Learn the basics and fancy figures for East Coast swing dance, both single-time and tripletime.  Learn to be a good partner and have creative fun on the dance floor. 


Ages 14-Adult

Foxtrot and Rumba

Tuesday and Thursday 6:45M-7:45PM (6 classes)
June 10, 12, 17, 19, 24, 26 

Learn the basics and some interesting figures for the Foxtrot and its Latin cousin, Rumba. Match your moves to your partner and the music. Learn how to navigate the dance floor for both fun and safety. 
Instructor:  Susan English

Tuesday and Thursday 6:45M-7:45PM (6 classes)
July 22, 24, 29, 31, August 5, 7

Learn steps and figures for traveling, box, and turning waltz. Move confidently across the floor with your partner and the music. Enjoy the rewards of being a good partner. 
Instuctor:  Susan English

Cost, location, and registration:

237 South Walnut Street
Wooster, Ohio 44691



Dance for Special Occasions

Learn the basics for the one-step, waltz, swing, polka, freestyle, and other special dances you will need for a wedding or prom. Learn how to be a good partner and safely navigate the dance floor. Couples and individuals are welcome.

Latin Dance

Learn moves and fun figures for salsa, cha cha, merengue, and a taste of American tango. Discover your natural rhythm and learn to be a desirable partner. Couples and individuals are welcome.

Swing Dance

Swing is an American couple dance that reflects cultural fusion of the 20th century. Learn the basics and fancy figures for East Coast swing dance, both single-time and triple-time. Learn to be a good partner and have creative fun on the dance floor.

Fall 2012 Ballroom Class

Gish Barn Dances

7:00-9:30 pm at historic Gish Barn                                  

Watch here for Spring 2015 Schedule

Music by Pocketful o’ Gimmick 
Calling by Susan English530 Gish Rd in
Rittman  OH 44270
$8 per person
$15 couple
$30 family
Caller Susan English

Music by Pocketful o' Gimmick

See more videos on You Tube

Summer-Fall 2014 Contra Schedule

 Printable Flier
7:00-10:00 pm

Including beginning and advanced instruction
2411 Shreve Road Wooster, OH 44691
(Routes 226 and 3)   

On Charles Mills Lake

2187 Mifflin Township Rd 1265
Lucas, OH 44843

OCT. 4, NOV. 1, DEC. 6
2411 Shreve Road Wooster, OH 44691
(Routes 226 and 3)

Beautiful Celtic music with Pocketful 'o' Gimmick
Susan English calling longways set dances
plus fun squares and mixers

It's aerobic and social; no partner necessary
Recommended for ages 8 to 88
Suggested donation $6; students $5; family $15

More information: 330-347-8155
Click here to see videos on You Tube 

Support your local Grange!


Q. What should I wear to a contra dance?
A. Dress comfortably. Bring clean shoes that slide but don’t slip (or put duct tape on the soles). Also bring a water bottle.

Q. Why are we asked to change partners at a contra dance?
A. This is the best way for new dancers to learn and for everyone to build a sense of community.

Q. What does contra dancing look like?
A. Go to YouTube and search on "contra dancing" - - you will find over 90,000 matches!

Q. How can I contact Valley College Grange about rentals?
A. Call Ruth Bishop at 330-264-6906 or email