Dance

Dance

July 22 - August 10, 2018

Photo by Lisa Elmaleh

We are offering dance every week at Augusta this year! Workshops vary from mini-courses to full day workshops, from absolute beginner to experienced, and from Cajun two-step to cakewalks and cyphers. Every musical style represented at Augusta has a vernacular dance form connected to it, and we want to explore the history and traditions of those styles. Each dance workshop runs concurrently with the music themes listed below, plus arts, crafts, and folklore workshops and evening mini-courses. Evening activities include legendary late-night jams, concerts, dances, and more. Youth, as well as adults, are welcome to participate.

This year we are excited to expand dance offerings during each of our theme weeks, because the rich musical traditions we celebrate here also come with an equally vibrant social dance practice. Options will range from evening mini-courses to daylong workshops, and from Cajun two-step and Appalachian clogging to house dance and lindy hop. Dance mini-courses are open to the public or can be an addition to any Augusta participant’s schedule. Full-day dance participants will have an opportunity to sit in on afternoon cultural sessions and an array of elective workshops. Evenings will be packed with lively jams, slow jams, song swaps, dances and performances. These dance workshops range in level from scratch to advanced. Augusta is a nurturing, friendly environment to dive into these dance traditions and explore how they connect with the music and culture of the region. There is no day like today to put on your dancing shoes! – Becky Hill, Augusta Events Coordinator  and Dance Coordinator

Tuition Guide:
$490/week if paid before June 1. $
530/week if paid after June 1. 

(+ Room & Board or other available options.)

Registration will open on March 1, 2018.

2018 Workshop Leaders and Classes. Click any name below to open more details. Click again to close.

Coordinator

Becky Hill, Augusta Events Coordinator and Dance Coordinator

Becky Hill

Becky Hill grew up in Michigan, spent extensive time in West Virginia and now calls Nashville, Tennessee home. She started dancing at age three and has worked with Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, Rhythm in Shoes and Good Foot Dance Company and has studied with an array of percussive dance luminaries; Eileen Carson, Sharon Leahy, Sandy Silva,  Ira Bernstein and many more. She has been awarded two West Virginia Division of Culture & History Professional Development Grants, choreographed two pieces in celebration of Wheatland Music Festival’s 40th Anniversary for the Carry it On Project, has organized Dare to be Square Helvetia, West Virginia for the past five years, serves part-time as the Events Coordinator for Augusta Heritage Center, coordinates the Mountain Dance Trail Project through Augusta and now teaches movement at the Linden Waldorf School in Nashville, TN. You can find her calling square dances, performing with the T-Mart Rounders and two-stepping the nights away. She directed her first evening-length music and dance show, Shift, inspired by Appalachia, in November 2017 and is excited to continue to work on it. (www.rebeccahill.org)

 

 

Blues & Swing Week and Old-Time Week Dance Classes

July 22 – 27, 2018

Walkarounds, Cakewalks, & Cyphers – Emancipation Ceremonies (All Levels) with Junious Brickhouse and Jontavious Willis

Walkarounds, Cakewalks, & Cyphers – Emancipation Ceremonies (All Levels)

This workshop will meet period 2 and will provide a historical and cultural framework for the House Party Dance class in the afternoon, but can also complement other music classes participants choose to take. We will investigate the early dance traditions associated with the blues and how those traditions have evolved into the present. Through lecture, discussion, and experiential movement, Junious “House” Brickhouse will be presenting in-depth research into these controversial art forms and their communities of practice, with emphasis on their critical significance to blues music and its legacy musical genres. We will discuss our roles as students of the blues in the preservation and evolution of this movement and social history that comes along with it. Participants should wear comfortable clothing and bring materials for taking notes. These workshops are part of Blues & Swing Week. To register, select “Blues & Swing Week” and then select one workshop of your choice per class period.

Junious Brickhouse

Junious “House” Brickhouse is an internationally established educator, choreographer, and cultural preservationist with over 30 years of experience in urban dance culture. At age 18, he embarked on an over 20-year career as a Logistics Professional in the US Army and later as a Department of Defense contractor. Throughout this time in various international assignments, Junious developed both a military and dance career, eventually rising to positions of leadership and responsibility in both areas. The logistics skills and leadership acumen Junious honed in his military work provide a solid and unique foundation as a leader and facilitator in the dance world. As Founder and Executive Director of Urban Artistry, Inc. (www.urbanartistry.org), Junious has inspired and created a movement of artists dedicated to the authentic preservation of urban dance culture, specifically within communities of practice. While constantly engaged in research about urban dance culture and the communities from which it evolved, Junious created projects such as The Preservatory and the UA Digital Archives to encourage other artists to research and document these tradition bearers and their stories.

Jontavious Willis

Hailing from Greenville, Georgia, Jontavious Willis grew up singing gospel music at the Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church with his grandfather. At the age of 14, he came across a YouTube video of Muddy Waters playing “Hoochie Coochie Man” and was hooked. That’s when he set his course on the blues. As a fingerpicker, flat-picker, and slide player, he explored all types of blues — Delta, Piedmont, Texas, gospel — and on harmonica, banjo, and cigar box.

Four years later he was playing on Taj Mahal’s stage. Currently Jontavious is finishing his studies at Columbus State University, majoring in sociology. But on most weekends he can be found playing a small house show, up on the main stage, or posting music videos for his friends and fans around the world.

House Party Dance – Part 1 & Part 2 (All Levels) with Junious Brickhouse

House Party Dance – Part 1 & Part 2 (All Levels)

Guided by Junious Brickhouse, the House Party Dance workshop will meet periods 3 and 4 and will dovetail with the String Band / Jug Band workshops. Learn to respond to the rich genres of string band and jug band music with dance, informed by tradition and open to innovation. The goal is to experience dance as a celebration of American blues music and to explore the variety of movement styles that have evolved from the blues including tap dance, house dance, and jazz dance. No specific dance or music experience is required, and participants should come prepared to move and learn through presentations, choreography, improvisation, and sharing. Comfortable clothes and shoes are recommended, hard-soled shoes or tap shoes are helpful if you have them but not required. Participants should also bring a water bottle and materials for making note of new ideas, steps, or movements. These workshops are part of Blues & Swing Week. To register, select “Blues & Swing Week” and then select one workshop of your choice per class period.

Junious Brickhouse

Junious “House” Brickhouse is an internationally established educator, choreographer, and cultural preservationist with over 30 years of experience in urban dance culture. At age 18, he embarked on an over 20-year career as a Logistics Professional in the US Army and later as a Department of Defense contractor. Throughout this time in various international assignments, Junious developed both a military and dance career, eventually rising to positions of leadership and responsibility in both areas. The logistics skills and leadership acumen Junious honed in his military work provide a solid and unique foundation as a leader and facilitator in the dance world. As Founder and Executive Director of Urban Artistry, Inc. (www.urbanartistry.org), Junious has inspired and created a movement of artists dedicated to the authentic preservation of urban dance culture, specifically within communities of practice. While constantly engaged in research about urban dance culture and the communities from which it evolved, Junious created projects such as The Preservatory and the UA Digital Archives to encourage other artists to research and document these tradition bearers and their stories.

Fundamental Lindy Hop – Expressing Swing Music through Movement Mini Course (From Scratch) with Amy Loomis & David Loomis

Fundamental Lindy Hop – Expressing Swing Music through Movement Mini Course (From Scratch)

Lindy Hop is a 1920s / 1930s style of swing dance that is as joyful, exuberant, and expressive as the hot jazz music that inspired it. In this course, you will learn the Whats, Hows, and Whys of partnered Lindy Hop. You’ll learn how the history of jazz and early swing music inspired a new dance. We’ll connect Lindy Hop movements to their creative musical counterparts, and we’ll practice expressing our own joys through the dance. This mini-course will be geared towards learning the fundamentals of Lindy Hop, and is open to dancers and non-dancers of all levels.

Amy Loomis & David Loomis

Amy and David discovered their passion for swing dancing in Southern California in the early 2000s, Amy under the tutelage of Erin Stevens of Pasadena, and David under the Bobbysox Brigade of Fullerton. Now based in Morgantown, WV, they teach community classes in Lindy Hop, Charleston, Collegiate Shag, Balboa, and Blues through the WVU Swing Dance Club and Morgantown Swing. Their teaching style emphasizes connecting with the music, developing comfortable partnerships, and communicating clearly as the foundation for every good social dance.

 

 

Cajun & Creole Week and Classic Country Week Dance Classes

July 29 – August 3, 2018

Dance Party: South Louisiana Style Mini Course (All Levels) with Jim Phillips & Christy Leichty

Dance Party: South Louisiana Style Mini Course (All Levels) 

Look’n for some fun? Come to the dance party mini-course with Christy Leichty and Jim Phillips, who have come all the way from Opelousas, LA, to dance on one of their favorite dance floors – the Augusta dance pavilion. Their approach to getting you to feel comfortable with Cajun and Creole two-stepping and waltzing is to create a social context for dance fun.

Jim Phillips & Christy Leichty

Christy Leichty and Jim Phillips are artists and educators who love to dance to Cajun and Creole music. They loved it so much that even before they moved to Louisiana to help rebuild and work in education after the 2005 hurricanes, they bought an old Texaco distribution center, moved it to a secret location, and created the South’s premiere underground dancehall and honky-tonk called The Whirlybird. There, legendary dance parties and music events erupt spontaneously. They have thrown dance parties and showcased Lousiana dance joie de vivre at Augusta, Ashokan Fiddle and Dance Camp, Louisiana Folk Roots Dewey Balfa Camp, and Festivals Acadians et Creole.

 

 

Bluegrass Week and Vocal Week Dance Classes

August 5 – 10, 2018

Solo Percussive Dance Intensive (Intermediate) with Nic Gareiss

Solo Percussive Dance Intensive (Intermediate

This course for intermediate and advanced percussive dancers will focus on the ethnology and performance of solo percussive dance. Daily exercises will build participants’ facility, improve improvisation skills, and expand repertoire, helping experienced dancers hone their choices of dance tone, timing, and timbre. We will also examine percussive dance repertoire from Ireland, England, Canada, and Appalachia, drawing upon traditional elements to develop dancers’ individual style through both embodying traditional material and viewing historic dance source films. Conceptual approaches such as melodic imitation, “dancing the tune,” ornaments, and variations will also be explored. Dance talks and dance film viewing sessions will facilitate discussions around solo percussive dance as a cultural practice expressing the way individuality “moves” in many geographies. In addition to group lessons, dancers will have a chance to dance solo or in small groups to receive feedback as we explore the ways that solo percussive dance can inspire, critique, and above all, tie communities together. This is a standalone workshop happening during the same week as Bluegrass Week and Vocal Week. To register, select “Miscellaneous Workshops – Week 3” and then select this workshop.

Photo by Michael Erlewine.

Nic Gareiss

Michigan-born dancer Nic Gareiss has been described by the Irish Times as “the human epitome of the unbearable lightness of being,” and “the most inventive and expressive step dancer on the scene” by the Boston Herald. His work re-imagines movement as a musical practice, recasting dance as medium that appeals to both eyes and ears. Gareiss draws from many percussive dance traditions, weaving together a dance technique facilitating his love of improvisation, traditional dance footwork vocabulary, and musical collaboration. He has concertized internationally for over ten years in fourteen countries with many of the luminaries of traditional music, including Frankie Gavin, Dervish, Bill Frisell, Darol Anger, Bruce Molsky, Phil Wiggins, Buille, Solas, Liz Carroll, Martin Hayes, The Gloaming and The Chieftains. Nic holds a degree in Anthropology from Central Michigan University and a MA in Ethnochoreology from the University of Limerick. Gareiss’ essay, “An Buachaillín Bán: Reflections on One Queer’s Performance within Traditional Irish Music & Dance” appears in the book Meanings and Makings of Queer Dance edited by Clare Croft on Oxford University Press. www.nicgareiss.comBio coming soon!

Mountain Dance: Calling, Feet and Figures Mini Course (From Scratch) with T-Claw and Becky Hill

Mountain Dance: Calling, Feet and Figures Mini Course (From Scratch)

This mini-course focuses on Appalachian dance traditions. Since a major facet of community dance is inclusion, no prior experience is necessary and all ages are welcome. T-Claw and Becky Hill present the basics of square dance calling, choreography, patter and teaching. Becky will cover the fundamentals of flatfooting and clogging. Look forward to the Tennessee Walking Step and creating your own steps through improvisation.

Becky Hill

T-Claw (Tyler Crawford)

Becky Hill

Becky Hill grew up in Michigan, spent extensive time in West Virginia, and now calls Nashville, Tennessee, home. She started dancing at age three and has worked with Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, Rhythm in Shoes, and Good Foot Dance Company, and has studied with an array of percussive dance luminaries: Eileen Carson, Sharon Leahy, Sandy Silva, Ira Bernstein, and many more. She has been awarded two West Virginia Division of Culture & History Professional Development Grants, choreographed two pieces in celebration of Wheatland Music Festival’s 40th Anniversary for the Carry it On Project, has organized Dare to be Square Helvetia, West Virginia, for the past five years, serves part-time as the Events Coordinator for Augusta Heritage Center, coordinates the Mountain Dance Trail Project through Augusta, and now teaches movement at the Linden Waldorf School in Nashville, TN. You can find her calling square dances, performing with the T-Mart Rounders, and two-stepping the nights away. She directed her first evening-length music and dance show, Shift, inspired by Appalachia, in November 2017 and is excited to continue to work on it. www.rebeccahill.org

T-Claw 

T-Claw grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, playing punk, jazz, and metal. Tee moved to the Pacific Northwest and fell into a vibrant old-time music revival community, first banging up old banjos, scratchin’ down fiddle tunes, and dancin’ a fury. Calling came intuitively after years of playing and community organizing. T-Claw motivates all variety of folks to hold hands and have a grand ol’ time, often where one least expects it.  From 2005-2007 Tee taught a weekly old time music class at the Olympia, Washington Free School. That class morphed into the Grizzle Grazzle Tune Snugglers community band, featuring members ages 4 to 64. Then, instigated the Oly Old Time Festival, recently presenting their 10th annual and sold out Oly Fest. T.C. Law & Associates have steadfastly toured the Lower 48 and as far off as New Zealand, stimulating interest in towns where old school community music and dance events have faded. Aside from calling for many of the country’s traditional square dance communities, he’s called at festivals including Dare to Be Square, Clifftop, Augusta, Seattle Folklife, Portland Gathering, and Yarra Junction in Australia. T-Claw’s goal in organizing Dare to Be Square and similar events is to incorporate equal parts music, dance, food, and other fun, providing something for everyone.