July 7 - 26, 2019

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.)

Register Here!

2019 Workshop Leaders and Classes COMING SOON. Click any name below to open more details. Click again to close.


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, 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 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. (

July 7-12: Percussive Dance Lab (Intermediate / Advanced) – Sandy Silva


10 – 11 a.m. Rudiment training rhythm, movement and vocal integration.

11 – 12 p.m. We will learn a specific sequence that connects with the morning rudiments.

Waltz, jjg , reel , swing and odd meters.

Afternoon personal training and private input. Students will work on solo and or group collaboration sequences guided by Sandy’s  directives.

4 – 5 A time for questions , sharing work / phrases with constructive feedback

Sandy will begin each day sharing her integrated vocabulary within different musical styles. She will continue the morning by teaching a percussive dance sequence exploring connections between the workshop’s four themes:  rhythm, voice, movement, and improvisation (see below). She will then deconstruct this sequence and explore tools that engage with these four themes. These tools will give the participants more possibilities in their Body Music work and allow them to play with a wider range of music and movement ideas. Participants will also have the opportunity to share their ongoing work as individuals and/or ensembles, and receive Sandy’s feedback.

Workshop Themes

  1. Rhythm: Sandy will introduce a series of exercises to strengthen your rhythmic technique and capabilities. These exercises (meter blocks) are structured to meet the signature blocks, accent placement, divisions of the pulse, and overall listening techniques with the aim of developing a deeper musicality within our work.
  2. Movement: Sandy will share techniques for developing a natural sense of ease and movement awareness while creating percussive sounds with the hands and feet. We will explore where and how to effectively place sounds within our body movements in order to ignite an ongoing flow from sound to sound. Ultimately, these skills will bring more musicality, intention, and presence to our work.
  3. Voice: Sandy will explore ways of using the voice to enrich our body music expression through humming, playing with combinations of flowing syllables, and constructing simple melodic sequences that play with, and around, our hand and foot grooves.
  4. Improvisation: Sandy will teach grounding tools and exercises that build confidence and ease while exploring improvisation. She will draw from basic sectional body percussion vocabulary, and use accent placement and body awareness to make playful choices that flow, carry emotion, and allow us connect with and listen to others.

Sandy Silva

Sandy Silva is an award-winning choreographer, producer, and internationally acclaimed pioneer of percussive dance. She draws from global percussive dance practices infusing them with movement, voice, theater and impeccable musicality. The result is a unique and powerful form of performance and storytelling. After 25 years of performing and teaching around the world, Sandy started the Migration Dance Film Project with award winning director Marlene Millar. Their films have screened internationally and won numerous awards. The migration Dance Film Project will incorporate 8 short films into a full length feature film to be released in 2020.

July 7 – 12: Evening Mini-Course: Cajun Dance 101 (Beginning) – Amelia Biere

July 7 – 12: Evening Mini-Course: Cajun Dance 101 (Beginning) – Amelia Biere

Class description coming soon!

Photo coming soon!

Amelia Biere

Bio coming soon!