“We started by bringing our children; now, our teens bring us.”

–Tom Cole
August 12-18, 2024 // Schwenksville, PA
For Adults & Families
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We found a new home for Cascade! Registration is open, but the programmatic information below is still a work in progress.

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Program Description

Bring your whole family to Cascade of Music & Dance, located in the state of euphoria, for a week of audacious joymongering. Get into a state of flow, making connections with family and friends old and new for dancing, music, and antics of all sorts. 

At Cascade, you’ll find activities for people of all ages led by talented, caring instructors. In addition to contras, squares, ritual dance, and English country dance, you’ll experience the music of Ireland and Scotland as well as singing and playing old-time American music. Swimming, nature walks, and art fill out the schedule.

Twice a day, we’ll come together in a camp gathering to sing, dance, and enjoy entertainment by our talented staff and campers. And as always, our days end with a dance party and late night activities, as roving monitors check on little ones asleep in their cabins.

Come and join in the fun at camp and bring traditions home to share!

~Eric Schedler, Program Director

Schedule

Monday Arrival Schedule:
4:00 pmThe earliest you can start arriving at camp
5:00-5:45Welcome Party & lifeguard on duty for swimming
6:00 Tour of Camp
6:15Dinner
7:30Community dance and gathering
8:30Bedtime for ages 9 & under
8:30-10:45Opening night dance
9:30Bedtime for ages 10-12
11:00 onwardOpening night party
Sunday Departure Schedule: 
8:00-9:00Breakfast
10:00 amFinal departure

Daily Schedule

8:00 amBreakfast
9:00-10:00Class Period 1
10:00-10:15Snack
10:15-11:15Class Period 2
11:30-12:15Community dance and gathering
12:30 pmLunch
1:45-2:45Class Period 3
2:00-3:00Swimming
3:00-4:00Class Period 4
4:15-5:15Class Period 5
5:00-6:00Swimming
5:30-6:00Adult Schmooze and Sing for your Supper
6:15Dinner
7:30-8:30Community Dance & Evening Gathering
8:30Bedtime for ages 9 and younger
8:30-10:45Evening dance
9:30Bedtime for ages 10-12
11:00 onwardAfter-dance activities for ages 13 and up

Class Descriptions

Period 1

Classes for Kids – Smalls: Music, Dance, Games & Silliness! – Stefan Amidon

Come ready to play singing games, learn songs, hear and act out stories and dance. Be magically transformed into plants and animals! Make new friends, but keep the old!

Classes for Kids – Talls: Social Dance – Wendy Graham with Deb Shebish

Learn how to lead and follow social couples dances. We may cover Swing, Latin, Waltz, Polka, Country, Schottische and more!

Ages 13 & up: Music Making With Your Feet: Percussive Dance Techniques – Matt Olwell with Bill Quern

In this class, we will use rudiments from Appalachian clogging and flatfooting, tap dance, and Quebecois step dance as ways to connect with different types of instrumental music. We’ll experiment with ways to “think like a musician” and use our feet as percussion instruments, and we will both improvise and learn set footwork. No prior experience or special shoes are required, but leather-soled shoes are recommended.

Ages 13 & up: ECD For All – Gaye Fifer with Dave Langford, Dave Wiesler, and Ben Schreiber

Throughout the week, we will enjoy the delicious variety of moods, music and movements that English country dancing can offer. We will focus on common figures and explore all the ways they have been used to good effect in lovely dances.

16 & up: Contra Dance Accompanists Course – Elvie Miller

By pre-registration only: Contra Dance Accompanists Course

Period 2

Classes for Kids – Smalls: Music – Meg Dedolph with Ben Schreiber

Come swish your squirrel tail, sneak up on a sleeping bear and sing other favorites, old and new, in this morning class just for the youngest campers. We’ll play rhythm instruments and enjoy stories and poems together.

Classes for Kids – Talls: Ritual Dance – Kappy Laning with Dave Langford

We will explore several kinds of English ritual dances ( such as border morris, garland, rapper, longsword and ribbon dances). We will create a performance together out of what in inspiring to the students through the exploration of these dance traditions.

13 & up: Cool Contras – Wendy Graham with Jonathan Whitall, Deb Shebish, and Eric Schedler

Stay up in the cool in the morning with fast, fun, and flowing contras that will get your body and brain moving.

13 & up: Tin Whistle from Scratch – Matt Olwell

Also called a pennywhistle, the tin whistle is a great way to try out traditional music. This class will emphasize playing as a form of social communication and we’ll learn basic technique and simple tunes from the repertoire of Ireland and Brittany. We’ll study by ear with an emphasis on embodied musicality and good technique, and no prior experience is required. The class will also be appropriate for those who already play a few tunes and want to improve their technique and expand their repertoire. We’ll have instruments available to buy or borrow, so if you don’t have your own, don’t let that stop you!

Period 3

Ages 10 & up: Raise the Roof Squares – Wendy Graham with Eric Schedler & Deb Shebish

Caution: Hot Surface. We’ll be burning up the dance floor with sizzlin’ squares and spicy tunes every afternoon.

Camper-led activities

Period 4

Ages 9 & up (under-9s with an adult helper): Community Art – Sarah Gowen & Jane Miller

Come make traditional decorative parade lanterns from bamboo, reed, and paper. Let’s create our own beautiful, magical lantern procession!

Ages 10 & up: Country Western Harmony Singing – Stefan Amidon

All levels welcome to this class, where we’ll learn some sweet songs for keeping your herd calm. We’ll sing a ballad or two from way out west, dip into some Western swing, sing cowboy harmonies and perhaps even yodel for our dogies.

Ages 13 & up: Balfolk – Meg Dedolph & Jonathan Whitall

Join Meg and Jonathan to explore Balfolk – the social folk dances of Europe! We’ll learn a mix of couple and group dances from France, accompanied by energetic tunes made just for them. First we’ll learn the dances most commonly found at most any Balfolk dance, then we’ll explore some of the less common (but still really fun) French regional dances from areas like Brittany, Gascony, Poitou, Auvergne, and Limousin. Whether you like your dancing vigorous and fast, or slower and more relaxing, you’ll be sure to find something to enjoy. It’s just like looking at vacation photos – only dancing.

16 & up: Contra Dance Accompanists Course – Elvie Miller

By pre-registration only: Contra Dance Accompanists Course

Period 5

Ages 9 & up (under 9, if passionate, with an adult): Mummers Play with Sarah Gowen & Bill Quern

St George and the Dragon? Fighting Knights? Aliens vs Elvis? Mummers plays explore universal themes of conflict, healing, seasonal cycles, and the human spirit. Together we’ll create our own story and cast of characters. And come learn a sword dance which will be part of the play!!

Ages 10 & up: Irish Ensemble

You will have lots of fun with polkas and slides from Sliabh Luachra and jigs and reels from Clare. Bring your instruments and your listening ears as we listen and lilt tunes and learn them all in good humour. Then we will arrange the tunes with harmonies and transitions. We will also have a go at some ancient melodies that were played 300 years ago and then forgotten until recently.

Teens: Dance – Meg Dedolph with Stefan Amidon

Teen Time with Meg and Stefan: Get ready to sing, play ukulele (or whatever instrument you want to play!), juggle ukuleles (or whatever you want to juggle), and hone whatever skills need honing! We’re excited to see what you all have to bring to the table. Let’s play.

Ages 13 & up: Experienced ECD – Gaye Fifer with Dave Wiesler, Ben Schreiber, and Jonathan Whitall

An advanced class of English Country Dancing, focusing on the joys of timing, transitions, and complex choreographies that make each dance uniquely satisfying.

Dance Terminology

English country dancesPositional and Larks/Robins
Contra dancePositional and Larks/Robins

Registration and Fees

Camp fees cover all accommodation, meals from dinner on the arrival day to breakfast on the departure day, and all of the various dance, music, and song events in the program.

Adults (16+)$1,000
13-15$960
10-12$770
7-9$635
4-6$565
2-3$345
0-1$65

You can find more information about the registration process here. If you need financial assistance in order to attend, please go to our scholarships page.

Staff

Dave Wiesler

Cascade of Music & Dance, English Dance Week
Dave Wiesler

Jonathan Whitall

Cascade of Music & Dance
Jonathan Whitall

Meg Dedolph

Cascade of Music & Dance
Meg Dedolph

Elvie Miller

Cascade of Music & Dance
Elvie Miller

Eric Schedler

Cascade of Music & Dance, Program Directors
Eric Schedler

Wendy Graham Settle

Cascade of Music & Dance
Wendy Graham Settle

Deb Shebish

Cascade of Music & Dance
Deb Shebish

Ben Schreiber

Cascade of Music & Dance, Dance Music & Spice, English Dance Week, Program Directors
Ben Schreiber

Gaye Fifer

Cascade of Music & Dance
Gaye Fifer

Stefan Amidon

Cascade of Music & Dance
Stefan Amidon

Matthew Olwell

Cascade of Music & Dance
Matthew Olwell

Kappy Laning

Cascade of Music & Dance
Kappy Laning

Jane Miller

Cascade of Music & Dance
Jane Miller

Dave Langford

Cascade of Music & Dance
Dave Langford

Sarah Gowan

Cascade of Music & Dance
Sarah Gowan

Bill Quern

Cascade of Music & Dance
Bill Quern