Calling Class: Learning by Doing

Calling Class: Learning by Doing

Summer is here and so is Little/Middle Folk School.  While the campus is taken over by kick ball, card games, picnics, and the fire truck that stopped by on Tuesday to spray the kids off – there is still one adult class happening, and that’s Dance Caller’s Week.

Dance Caller's week

You can sign up as a dancer (which is a nice option if your child is in little/middle) or as a dance caller.  During the day the callers pick dances to try out on their class, and each night from 7-9pm, they take turns calling dances for the Little/Middle folks and community members.

Deciding to try dance calling and actually doing so are two different things.  Standing up on the stage, looking out at the dancers, and knowing you have to direct their moves might be a scary thought to you.

For Tony Prince, a glass artist and instructor, calling for dances involves a mixture of fear and excitement.  He says that it’s about accepting these feelings and going for it anyway.  “I wanted to take Dance Caller’s week but decided to take Dance Musician’s week first.  I thought it would be good idea to get a sense of the dancing from the musician’s perspective as well.  Now I feel more comfortable communicating with the band, ending the dance, and picking tunes.”

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“I’m also a craft instructor and learning to call dances, and get comfortable doing so, strengthens my teaching skills.”

All in all it’s the best place to learn – the dancers are very understanding and Steve Hickman and John Devine, the musicians for the week, are masterful and can adapt in seconds.

calling a dance

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