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Country Dance New York to Host Free English Dance for Beginners, 10/23

Country Dance New York will present a free English country dance "English as a Second Language," on Friday, October 23, specially designed for beginners, at Church of the Village, 201 West 13th Street, NYC.

This fun and sociable introduction to the joys of English country dancing will be comprised of a beginners' lesson from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. followed by dancing from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. All dances will be taught. Live, lively music will accompany the beginners' lesson and the evening dancing. No partner is needed and no prior experience is necessary. Each beginner will be partnered by experienced dancers.

Expert caller Beverly Francis will lead everyone through the patterns of each dance. Live music will be performed by three highly regarded New York City musicians, Cynthia Shaw, piano; Julia Hartman, violin; and Jody Kruskal, concertina.

Attendees are asked to bring a pair of soft-soled shoes to change into for dancing. The Church of the Village can be reached by subway (1, 2, 3 trains at 14th Street and 7th Avenue). Further info is available at or

English country dancing is choreographed community dancing ranging from court dances of the 1650s through dances composed this year. Jane Austen movies usually contain some kinds of English country dancing. But after centuries of development, English country dancing comes in many forms. They can vary from elegant to energetic, playful to solemn, and stately to boisterous.

Though English country dances are done in many formations, most begin with two couples facing each other, in a long line of couples. Through repeated progressions, dancers interact not only with their partner but with many others at the dance, and enjoy dancing to tunes by Purcell, Corelli, and other composers from the 17th century to the present in a relaxed setting.

Photo Credit: Jeff Bary

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