July 31-August 7, 2019 // Plymouth, MA

Familiar paths, innovative repertoire

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Program Description

Join us for a wonderful week of English dance, music, and song! Experience the tremendous vitality of English country and display dances, stirring tunes, and rousing English songs, all with world-class teachers and superb musicians, in the magical setting of Pinewoods Camp.

During the day, challenge yourself by choosing something new – or relax and enjoy the familiar – from a packed schedule of classes. Evening dances will include a wide range of English country dances accessible to all, with exhilarating music from our extraordinary staff of musicians. This year we will use predominantly positional calling and non-gendered language (eg. Larks & Robins). We believe this is an important step to create a more welcoming, safe and diverse environment and a positive growth for the traditions we love. We are all learning together and we hope the week will create a safe space for all of us to learn, evolve, ask questions, make mistakes and most of all grow as a community.

All ye who revel in all of these traditions! English Week is where we greet old friends and make new ones, tread familiar paths and plunge into uncharted territory, revel in classic, beloved, and innovative repertoire, and learn new skills to take back to our own communities. Please join us!

~ Alex Cumming, Program Director


Program Director

Alex Cumming


  • Anna Rain
  • Eric Martin
  • Susan Kevra
  • Deborah Payne
  • Olivia Barry
  • Clara Stefanov-Wagner
  • Joanna Reiner-Wilkinson
  • Jean Monroe
  • Jennifer Curtin
  • Audrey Knuth
  • Karen Axelrod
  • Rachel Bell
  • Gillian Stewart
  • Kendall Rogers

Class Descriptions

Period 1

Advanced ECD – Joanna Reiner Wilkinson

Music by: Karen Axelrod, Eric Martin, Rachel Bell

ECD For All: The Joy of the Dance – Olivia Barry

Music by: Audrey Knuth, Kendal Rogers: That’s right! Simply the joy of the dance is the theme of this ECD For All class. All are very welcome to join us as we dance through old favorites, explore new choreographies, and spread the joy of English country dance.

Morris – Gillian Stewart

Music by: Alex Cumming: description

Period 2

ECD for All — Unencumbered Awareness for the ‘Exquisite Vessel’ of Country Dance – Anna Rain

Music by: Jacqueline Schwab, Susan Kevra, Rachel Bell: The figures and the tune give us the outer form of a dance. How do we fill that form? How may we bring our most attentive and focused selves to the dance?

Morning Music Jam – Alex Cumming, Eric Martin, Karen Axelrod

This will be a chance to jam some of our favourite tunes from across the world of English dance, from ECD to Morris, Waltzes to Rapper and everything in between. Bring an instrument or your ears for listening and let’s have a relaxed hour of musical merriment.

Take 5 Intensive – Gillian Stewart

English Dance Leaders Course – Joanna Reiner Wilkinson

Period 3

Flowing Contras – Anna Rain

Music by: Audrey Knuth, Kendal Rogers: An offering of contras with compelling storylines and a variety of energies. English Country dancers are often the most lovely of contra partners, and they tend to dance with the music!

English Dance Leaders Course (Dancers Welcome) – Joanna Reiner Wilkinson

Music by: Jacqueline Schwab, Eric Martin: Join us as we dance to the calling of the Course participants.

Rapper for all – Clara Stefanov-Wagner

Music by: Deborah Payne

Harmony Singing – Alex Cumming

Join Alex for a daily dose of harmony singing with specially arranged songs for English Week. We’ll explore the rich shared repertoire of England and the Appalachians with songs collected by the likes of Olive Dame Campbell, Cecil Sharp and more. We’ll also have some fun exploring the world of harmonisation and finish the week creating our own special arrangement.

Period 4

ECD For All: Exploring the Musical Experience in ECD – Olivia Barry

Music by: Karen Axelrod, Rachel Bell, Susan Kevra: Come join us as we explore different aspects of the musical experience in ECD! Together, we will first venture into the world of key signature, followed by tempo, time-period, and tune changes. Each day we will focus on a different musical component contributing to the overall experience and at the end of the week we will select a few of our favorite dances to dance through!

Band – Eric Martin

Yoga for All – Anna Rain

Principles of Iyengar yoga for Every Body! Concepts to help you care for your system and (one hopes!) be more comfortable in your body. Props helpful! See information from Anna before camp. I will supply some, but if you have and can bring, these will be useful in the class:

  • A mat
  • 2 blocks
  • Strap (ideally with D loop or buckle)
  • As many blankets as you manage! (At least 1, up to 5 is great! Towels are a possible substitute, but not optimal)
  • Clothes where I can see limbs: shorts/leggings; not-too-loose shirts optimal (sweat pants/shirts only useful as layers and if we’re all freezing)

Take 5 Intensive – Gillian Stewart

Period 5 (Replaced with special events on Tuesday and Friday)

Free Waltzing & Couple Dances – 

Music by: Audrey Knuth, Susan Kevra, Kendal Rogers: Take to the dance floor, sit back and listen and revel in the world of the waltz. With a wonderful house band in place and a host of guests through the week this is sure to be a magical way to finish each afternoon. We may sprinkle in some other goodies through the week as well.

Beginner Clog – Clara Stefanov-Wagner 

Music by: Deborah Payne

Porch (& Rail) Sing – Jennifer Curtin

Come finish your day relaxing on the porch and singing wonderful songs! We will have a great time listening and learning new songs from each other. Themes for each day will be a loose suggestion to jog your song memory. Songs with choruses are always great so folks can easily sing along, but not required. Let’s see what fun we can have!

English Dance Leaders Course

So you want to be an English dance caller! Hooray!

English dance calling and leading is the best job in the world, but it is, in fact, a job. It requires training, experience, patience, love, continuing education, many hours outside of actual gigs to prepare and digest, and overall, passion for and dedication to English Country Dance, this sport we love so much.

This course, held concurrently with English Dance Week at Pinewoods, is designed and led by Joanna Reiner Wilkinson, who has been calling for many years, and enjoys passing this skill on. It will focus on teaching ECD style and technique – how we dance in addition to what we dance – and how we include teaching dance style in both workshops and social dance settings. ECD Callers of any experience level, including beginning callers, should sign up for this class with a genuine desire to work on their own dance style, learn new things, take risks in a supported environment, and try different ways of teaching and calling.

The course will meet during two class periods per day and include dancing, discussion, small group work, observation, and practice calling. It will encourage self-reflection, and will include critique and the opportunity to support and be supported by a cohort.

Take Five: A Longsword Intensive

Come learn “Take Five,” an exciting and mind-bending dance by Judy Erickson and Orion Longsword. “Take Five” combines the figures and precision of traditional English longsword with the creativity and fluidity of jazz. The dance is aerobic and complex, and requires dancers to learn to think in 5/4 time. Participants will learn the dance, discuss the ways in which modern choreography informs living ritual dance traditions, and practice observing and giving constructive feedback to performance groups. Held concurrently with English Dance Week at Pinewoods, this course is for 9 to 18 people ready to run, jump, and bend for 3 hours a day.