American country dances and lively music:

Dance to Lighten the Day (workshop)

grnfldHave your students present a folk festival featuring traditional American songs & dances! This program blends instruction, social interaction, physical activity, music and entertainment. In an active workshop about traditional American dances, students get to participate in an old-time country dance with an experienced dance caller and live music. The Virginia Reel, mixers, squares, New England contras and Southern mountain circle dances will be included as well as a clogging demonstration and workshop. The historical origins of these dances include influences from European, African and Native American dance styles. After a brief demonstration of these dance styles and an introduction to contemporary country dances, the students try it themselves. They develop social skills, build self confidence, understand movement in rhythm, cooperation, dance patterns, and they learn to be responsive to the caller and musicians. Young people also use this opportunity to shed inhibitions about dancing, learn the patter and poetry of a dance caller, and to carry on a part of American dance heritage. The dances selected depend on the age and ability of the group participating. (Grades: k-2, 3-5, Maximum 50 students/workshop; teacher or Parent volunteer assistance is preferred to help students keep a sense of direction in the dance patterns.)

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