April 30 and May 1 will see the biggest English Country Dance event of the year. Join us for Spring Dance Weekend! Registration for the weekend is now open. Download the 2016 Spring Dance Weekend flier and get yourself signed up!
The event includes workshops Saturday afternoon, a dance and party on Saturday evening, and May Day in the Park on Sunday afternoon.
Saturday, April 30, 2016 at Polish-American Hall, 327 Main St, Roseville
1:00 – 4:30 Workshops led by David Newitt with music by Rebecca King
- 1:00 – 2:30 The Essence of English Country Dance
A focus on beautiful dancing! Increasing awareness of the interdependence of music and choreography, and consideration of dance styles past and present.
- 3:00 – 4:30 Spreading the Joy with 3-Couple Sets
A focus on 3-couple set dances and triple minor longways sets.
4:30 – 7:00 Dinner Break
Visit one of the many nearby eateries for a relaxing dinner, then return in time to change into something dressier for the evening dance. The building will re-open at 6:30.
7:00 – 10:00 Party and Dance
Music by special guest musicians Jacqueline Schwab and Michelle Levy, with calling by the ever-popular David Newitt. All dances will be taught. Elegant but comfortable attire of all sorts is encouraged. Refreshments will be served.
Sunday, May 1, 2016
May Day in the Park! at the Picnic Shelter in Carmichael Park, 5750 Grant Ave (corner of Fair Oaks Blvd)
11:00 Potluck Brunch
12:30 – 3:30 Dance on the Green, including a Maypole
Music by our very own Quite Carried Away, with calling by Yvonne Couvillion and Gary Sandler.
Our national and local talent is detailed below.
Meet Jacqueline Schwab, a folk and classical improvisational pianist who plays “gorgeously spare piano” (The Boston Globe) yet “sounds as if she has an orchestra at her fingertips” (Sing Out). Chosen by the renowned Ken Burns for numerous public television documentaries due to the emotional expression in her playing, Jacqueline has performed on the soundtracks for the Grammy award-winning Civil War, the Emmy award-winning Baseball and Mark Twain, among others. She has performed at the White House for President Clinton in 1997 to celebrate Burns’ Lewis and Clark series and also at the Smithsonian in 2000 celebrate its exhibition on the Presidency. In May, 2009, she accompanied Scottish singer Jean Redpath, on the Late Show with David Letterman.
Rebecca King is a classically trained pianist with strong roots in Jazz and Folk Music. A sought – after musician for American Contra Dances and English Country Dances, her interpretations breathe strong, rhythmical energy and deeply moving grace. “Rebecca does more with one hand than most piano players do with two.” – Larry Ungar. Rebecca King performs solo and with small ensembles, including the bands Persons of Quality and Luceo.
Michelle Levy has been performing on and exploring the possibilities of bowed string instruments for over 20 years. She studied classical viola & Old Time fiddle/banjo at Brown University, then continued her musical studies in Medieval performance practice on vielle with Shira Kammen and with members of Sequentia at the Vancouver Medieval Programme at the University of British Columbia.
Quite Carried Away: Seven musicians and friends under the direction of David Wright and Sue Jones. Just give them English Country Dance music to play, and they’re Quite Carried Away! Dick Holdstock on octave mandolin and banjo, Susan Jones and Sandra Westfall on concertinas, Arlene Jamar on piano, Jane Kostka on whistle, Martin Lodahl on viola da gamba, and David Wright on fiddle and mandolin. Quite Carried Away is the home band for the monthly English Country Dance in Roseville.
David Newitt arrived at Swarthmore College in the fall of 1976 and was shocked to discover that this pillar of higher education had a two year physical education requirement. Faced with the alternatives of being smashed to pieces on the football field and going to Folk and Square Dancing, the choice was clear. He’s been dancing ever since.Starting with international folk dancing, he was soon dragged into the local Scottish Country Dance group, the college morris and rapper sword team, and, when it started in 1978, the Kingsessing Morris team of Philadelphia. He came to Berkeley in 1982 to work on a Ph.D.in physics and to do country and display dancing. Since the dissolution of the One Shot Morris Team due to MIBS (Morris Induced Baby Syndrome), he has concentrated on country dancing in the Bay Area, teaching and playing music for regular Scottish and English dances and calling contras and the occasional square dance. When not dancing, David takes pictures of people’s insides, doing research in Magnetic Resonance Imaging at UCSF, specializing in body parts that start with B. David is one of the most accomplished country dance teachers in the Bay Area, known particularly for his mastery of dance geography and his ability to make complicated dances seem simple. David’s priorities can be guessed from the final acknowledgment in his dissertation, in which he thanks, “All my friends in various dance and music groups without whose continuing support I would undoubtedly have finished this dissertation several years earlier.”
Gary Sandler learned ballroom dancing in college and came to International Folk Dance just 12 years ago through his son’s involvement in a youth dance program in the Sierra foothills. He learned a wide variety of dance styles and discovered a great love of English Country Dance. Gary likes helping dancers get more fun out of their dances, whether through safe and comfortable hand-holds or clear direct instructions. Gary likes to vary the dance structures for English Country Dances, shifting from lines to circles and squares. Gary calls and teaches a number of dance styles, mostly at his local Folk Dance group’s weekly dance. Gary had the opportunity in 2011 to teach a folk dance to a club in Utrecht, Netherlands, while he and his wife were on their 30th wedding anniversary vacation. The teaching was easy, he says, but following the rest of the class material in Dutch was tough!
Yvonne Couvillion began dancing (waltz, twist, and swing) at age 9 with her mother. She first performed dance in junior high school, and continued dancing in high school and college. She took a class in teaching International Folk Dance in graduate school, and began calling 30 years ago. She met her husband Andre at a contra dance in Bastrop, Texas 26 years ago. They now live in Sacramento where they regularly attend, teach and host a variety of dance events including English Country Dance.