What do music, math patterns and movement have in common? All are used to create this wonderful experience we call classical heritage group dancing. Social group dancing is quite different from the modern version of couple dancing in that it brings together large groups of people who must work as a team, listen to the music, keep track of the counting beats (math!) and move in coordinated unison to accomplish the dance pattern. When you have a dance caller, it is much easier than it sounds.
As a Heritage Dance Events caller, it has been my privilege and honor to call dances for students and families around the state of California for the past eleven years.
Although I spend most of my time tutoring and teaching students the intricacies of math patterns and English essays and also create eight note music patterns (of all things!), it is a joy to apply that ability of teaching patterns to social dance.
We live in a world where good, wholesome family fun is hard to come by. Group dancing from the 1800’s creates connections and memories that can last a lifetime.
This month, the San Luis Obispo Classical Academy hosted their year-end History Day at a local park, focusing on educational activities from the Civil War Era. Young children played games and performed songs, teens acted in skits and gave speeches, and all the families enjoyed a meal of BBQ chicken with all the fixings.
The grand finale of the day was an outdoor Community Ball where ladies in hoop skirts and gentlemen in vests danced the Virginia Reel and other period dances. This classic community building and family enriching activity was a proper and delightfully fun accompaniment to lessons learned during the school year.
(Please keep reading to see more photos!)