Dance

Dance

Photo by Lisa Elmaleh

Augusta is expanding our dance offerings this year to offer dance every week! 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. Evening activities include legendary late-night james, concerts, dances, and more. Youth, as well as adults, are welcome to participate.

 

Cajun & Creole and Classic Country Week

(July 9-14)

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

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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.

Dance Party: South Louisiana Style

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.

 

Blues & Swing Week (July 16-21)

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Dance: Walkarounds, Cakewalks & Cyphers: Emancipation Ceremonies? (All Levels) & House Party Dance (Part 1 & 2 – (All Levels) – Junious Brickhouse, accompanied by Jontavious Willis

Junious “House” 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.

Dance: Walkarounds, Cakewalks & Cyphers: Emancipation Ceremonies? (All Levels)

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.

House Party Dance Part 1 & 2 (All Levels)

Guided by Junious Brickhouse, the House Party Dance class will meet periods 3 and 4 and will dovetail with the String Jug Band /Jug Band classes. Learn to respond to the rich genres of string band and jug band music with dance, informed by tradition and open to innovation.

Fundamental Lindy Hop- Expressing Swing Music through Movement (From Scratch) David & Amy Loomis

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David & Amy 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.

Fundamental Lindy Hop – Expressing Swing Music through Movement – Evening Mini-Course (from Scratch)

Amy and David will walk and dance participants through the fundamentals of partnered Lindy Hop, a joyful swing era dance that emerged from American dance halls during the Great Depression. Lindy Hop is a testament to the high-spirited enthusiasm of swing and blues music lovers; the dance form comes from the music, and if you’re not smiling while you do it, you may just be doing it wrong. In this mini-series, Amy and David will help participants connect with the music and their partners, and show them how to invent new moves just as the jazz musician invents new riffs. This series will be accessible to beginner dancers as well as the experienced, and will focus on drawing inspiration from the music and from each other. Courses similar to these have received high praise from dancers from Amy and David’s home scene, so be prepared to have a good time!

 

Bluegrass Week (July 30-August 4)

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Ensemble Choreography for Percussive Dance (Int.) – Sharon Leahy & Rick Good

Sharon Leahy

Sharon Leahy has spent a lifetime creating dance and theater for the stage, working with traditional forms to express contemporary themes. As a choreographer, she has been commissioned to create work by Jacob’s Pillow, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New England Foundation for the Arts National Dance Project, and many others. She was artist-in-residence at the University of Dayton for six years and has taught master classes at colleges across the country. As Artistic Director of Rhythm in Shoes, Sharon led an ensemble of dancers and musicians for twenty-four years, touring nationally and internationally, presenting original performance art recognized as both surprising and familiar. Carry it on… Sharon’s first dance for camera has been seen at numerous dance film festivals including Dance on Camera at Lincoln Center, The International ScreenDance Festival at the American Dance Festival and the San Francisco Dance Film Festival. She has won the blue ribbon for clogging at both the National Folk Festival at Wolftrap in Virginia, and the Appalachian String Band Festival in West Virginia. Sharon also plays string bass and guitar with two fine bands: Good & Young, and The Elements.

Sharon says, “Collaboration is at the heart of my work. The rhythm of breath, the power of intention, practicing and teaching, seeking strength, flexibility, balance, the joy of connection, the authority of truth, these things fuel each day of discovery and challenge me to reach for the heavens. I am thankful for the many teachers who have shared their knowledge and wisdom and the students who have challenged me to keep pressing forward. I am grateful, especially, to all the generous laughers I have known, for they remind me not to take life too seriously.”

Rick Good

Rick Good is a musician and a composer. A founding member of The Hotmud Family, a twenty-four-year veteran of Rhythm in Shoes, and a 2010 Ohio Heritage Fellow, Rick is recognized and respected for his driving banjo, swinging guitar, heartfelt singing, and crafty songwriting. With his wife and long-time collaborator, Sharon Leahy, Rick has made a life of creating critically acclaimed performance art, rooted in American traditions. He also worked as an actor and has written for the stage. Rick currently plays with two fine bands: Good & Young, and The Elements, and has been a member of The Fabulous Rugcutters, The Uncles, The Red Clay Ramblers, and ShoeFly. For most of his forty-five-year career as a professional creative artist, he has been a dancer’s musician, making music for dance performance and accompanying dance classes. Rick also has an extensive discography including six albums with the Hotmud Family, two CDs with Rhythm in Shoes, two CDs with the Red Clay Ramblers, a CD with ShoeFly, two solo recordings (Nova Town and The Human Banjo Player), and a collection of swing standards (TrueBlue) with Sharon Leahy.

Ensemble Choreography for Percussive Dance (Int.)

This class is open to dancers with a facility for footwork in any percussive dance style, a keen sense of body awareness, and a desire to create form in both sound and movement. Class participants will be given the tools to create and the encouragement to engage in the free spirit of exploration to develop dance works-in-progress. Through this workshop, participants will understand choreographic principles, processes, and structures; see dance as a way to create and communicate meaning; explore dance’s connection to music; evaluate and edit compositions; and apply critical and creative thinking skills.

Sharon Leahy says, “I believe creativity is fostered when we are inspired to exhibit spontaneity and individuality, encouraged to come up with unconventional solutions and answers, urged to be observant and alert, expected to concentrate readily and shift appropriately and, most importantly, taught to maintain openness to experience. Setting up an environment in which creative choices can be made nourishes our abilities to scan our thoughts and focus on those that serve in problem solving. We develop skill in analyzing possibilities and art in making the right choice.”

Daily Schedule:
9am: Warmup (yoga and step drills)
10am-noon: Choreographic Process
3-4:15pm: Learn choreography from Leahy Good Repertoire

Ages 12 & up.

 

Old-Time and Vocal Week (August 6-11)

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Mountain Dance: Calling & Figures (All Levels & All Ages) – T-Claw

T-Claw

T-Claw grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, playing punk, jazz, and metal. Spurred by his hometown grizzle grazzlin’ fiddle friends, Tee moved to the Pacific Northwest and fell into a vibrant old-time music 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 is frequently witnessed motivating all variety of folks to have a grand ol’ time where one may least expect it. Over the years, T.C. Law & Associates has steadfastly toured the United States to play and call dances, the goal being to stimulate interest in towns that no longer have old school community style square dancin’. It is an attempt to recreate rural community dances in an urban setting and salvage fading American folk traditions. Aside from calling at most of the country’s currently active dances, he’s called at festivals including Dare to Be Square, Morehead, Clifftop, Augusta, Urbana Folk Fest, Seattle Folklife, Portland Gathering, and The Black Fly Ball. T-Claw calls for beginners and well-seasoned dancers. His calling strives to keep the moves accessible for a mixed crowd and to entertain with a ferocious fervor. He focuses on traditional mountain styles but has many unorthodox tricks to employ.

Mountain Dance: Calling & Figures (All Levels & All Ages)

This workshop will focus on Appalachian dance traditions, working with master West Virginia callers to learn the basics of square dance calling. A major facet of community dance is inclusion, therefore no prior experience is necessary, and all ages 8 and above are welcome. This week-long immersion is well suited to dancers, musicians, callers, and especially future callers. T-Claw will be joined throughout the week by regional experts who will share dance figures unique to West Virginia. Through daily hands-on activities, participants will practice the basics of square dance calling, choreography, effective teaching methods, working with kids, rhythm, and rhyming patter. By the end of the week participants will have all the tools needed to organize and call dances in their own communities. Participants will also have the opportunity to take a flatfooting class in the afternoon along with other Old-Time Week offerings.

Flatfooting Basics – Evening Mini-Course (From Scratch) – Rina Rossi

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Rina Rossi

Rina Rossi grew up playing bass in orchestra and meanwhile listening to traditional music on Michigan public radio with her parents who met folk dancing in the 1970s. She left Michigan to attend college in Minnesota, met some members of the St. Paul-based Wild Goose Chase Cloggers, and started dancing with the group shortly after graduating in 2005. Rina broke her shoes in dancing with the Wild Goose Chase Cloggers, a precision clogging team founded in 1979 when a midwest tour by the Green Grass Cloggers inspired some dancers in St. Paul, Minnesota, to get their own clogging group going. About the same time, she started learning fiddle from a local old-time fiddler, took up the bass again, and learned to call square dances from great callers coming through Minnesota such as Phil Jamison, Dot Kent, Bob Dalsemer, Sue Hulsether, and many more. Currently Rina fiddles with the Cloggers, calls regularly at the Monday Night Square Dance in Minneapolis, and plays bass with the Bootlicker Stringband.

Flatfooting Basics (From Scratch)

Tired of simply tapping your toes? Ready to take it to the next level? Join Rina for an introduction to basic flatfooting steps and get some tips on how to put them together into interesting rhythms that compliment your favorite old-time tunes. Participants will learn steps like the Tennessee walking step, practice dancing on and off of the beat, and practice putting rhythms together in their own way. Next time you hear a hot band, you’ll be ready to bust down!

 

October Old-Time Week (October 16-19)

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Flatfooting – Evening Mini-Course (From Scratch) – Becky Hill

Becky Hill

Bio Coming Soon

Flatfooting (From Scratch)

Class Description Coming Soon!