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Country Dance*New York to Host ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE Event This Weekend

Country Dance*New York (CD*NY) is presenting English as a Second Language on Saturday, May 21, 2016 with live and lively music by the three stellar musicians of The Free Raisins. No previous experience is required and it is not necessary to come with a partner. All dances will be taught. The event takes place at P.S. 199, 270 West 70th Street, just west of Broadway, New York City, offering attendees opportunities to learn and enjoy English country dancing and American contra dancing the same day.

English as a Second Language Schedule:

3:00pm - 3:30pm Beginners English country dancing workshop

3:30pm - 6:00pm English country dancing for all

7:30pm - 8:00pm Beginner's contra dance workshop

8:00pm - 10:45pm Contra dancing for all

The highly regarded caller and teacher Susan Kevra will teach the beginners workshops for English country dancing and contra dancing, and during the afternoon English and evening contra sessions, walk everyone through the patterns of each dance making the dancing a pleasure for all. She is noted for her warmth, clear teaching style, and lovely voice.

Admission: Afternoon English dance (including beginners English dancing workshop): $18 general public, $15 students with ID or CDNY members; Evening contra dance (including contra beginner's workshop): $18 general public, $15 students or CDNY members; Both dances: $25 general public, $20 for students or CDNY members.

The outstanding members of The Free Raisins, an energetic dance band from Boston, are among the top dance musicians in the U.S. and include Audrey Knuth, fiddle; Jeff Kaufman, mandolin, trumpet, feet; and Amy Englesberg, piano and accordion. They promise a versatile mix of supremely danceable tunes.

English country dancing is choreographed community dancing, with repertoire ranging from court dances of the 1600s and 1700s to dances composed in the 20th and 21st centuries. English country dance is a participatory art form, welcoming to novices and experienced dancers alike. At the start of each dance, dancers invite one another to be partners. After centuries of development, it is extremely diverse and can vary from elegant to energetic, from playful to solemn, and from stately to boisterous.

Contra dancing is having a renaissance around the country, thanks to a thriving youth scene; lively, uplifting acoustic music; and joyful, fast-paced, aerobic dancing. Contra dancing started in New England in the 1700s, but the modern version is a far cry from the Virginia Reel-type dancing done in schools years ago. The current dancing is done in lines of dancers facing their partners and moving briskly in patterns to live music, dancing with a partner, and also with others they meet in the course of a dance.

Further information can be found at or by calling 212.459.4080. Attendees are asked to bring a separate pair of clean, soft-bottomed shoes for dancing.

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