Workshop Options and Dance Calling

Brooke Friendly and dancersIn my English Country Dance (ECD) workshops I like to explore how to dance well to the wide range of ECD: lyrical to boisterous, silly to sublime. I often focus on different movement qualities, phrasing and timing, or a few key figures. I am also very interested in exploring social aspects of dance such as learning, helping, recovering from mistakes, adjusting one's dancing to suit the moment...

"I was a staff musician for the ECD Expect the Unexpected class. Brooke made up a week of truly unusual content, ranging from unusual dances to lessons on how to react to unusual situations. I was especially glad to learn lessons on how to be a kinder, gentler dancer in a variety of new ways." - staff at BACDS Hey Days English Dance and Music Week 2019

Evening ECD programs can focus on my choreography or may include just a couple, depending on the needs and desires of the event. I can run a fun, accessible dance party or add challenge and/or a focus on dancing well.

I also enjoy calling Contra dance and teaching in a variety of K-12 and college settings, for older adults and youth groups, and for community parties, barn dances, and family dances.

"Brooke combines preciseness with warmth and good humored tolerance." - camper at BACDS Hey Days English Dance and Music Week 2017

"Brooke did a wonderful job and was very caring and humorous." - camper at BACDS Hey Days English Dance and Music Week 2014

Booking information

In 2020 I devised several online callers workshops, including an 8-10 session course and a shorter course focused on teaching with global/positional language and strategies.

Here are some single session, weeklong workshop, and online course options:

Online Callers Course: 8-10 Modules

Learn, explore, and practice--we can often dig in deeper in an online format than we can at a weekend or weeklong workshop. This eight+-session course covers setting goals, music and working with musicians, teaching and learning, teaching style/technique, global/positional calling, program planning, the community and social aspects of being a caller, and more. The varied format of lecture, discussion, exercises, homework, and practice will give you both food for thought and practical strategies for teaching and calling.

"The workshop is designed to do way more than just to sit back and listen. Be prepared to speak up, ask questions, have thoughtful discussion, geek out, laugh, and do the homework will get so much out of the time you put in." - participant in 2020 8-session online callers course

"Who would have thought that an online caller workshop could be so effective? Brooke had us doing useful exercises I’ve never done in any other workshop, and they’re ones that I’ll keep using after the workshop." - participant in 2020 8-session online callers course

"The fact that the course was well structured and organized was a real highlight, including the small group discussions and return to the large group to report out. " - participant in 2021 8-session online callers course

"Loved the inclusivity taught and exemplified." - participant in 2021 8-session online callers course

"Brooke offered clear and practical information on how to think about dance, how to organize teaching and prompting and leading and community-building as a dance caller, how to analyze and re-think old ways of looking at dances, and how to do what you feel is best in the moment with the people in front of you.“ - participant in 2020 8-week online callers course

Online (and in-person) Callers Courses: Global/Positional Teaching

Develop your proficiency using global/positional language to teach and call English Country Dance. Explore strategies for refining your teaching and prompting, rewriting your dance cards, and creating a dance program. We will also look at specific dances and discuss a variety of social aspects and techniques to promote inclusiveness, as well as how to work with your local community, calling away from home, and teaching in schools and for community dances. The varied format of lecture, discussion, exercises, homework, and practice will give you both food for thought and practical strategies for teaching and calling. Whether you have already started to teach with global/positional language, or you want to learn how, this is a great opportunity to build and refine your skills.

This three-week online course expands on the material covered in the eight week course, with the opportunity to dig deeply into the topic.

I also have several in-person workshop options on this topic: a single discussion class, a weeklong class, a weekend intensive with time for practice calling by participants, or anything in between.

"The course more than met my expectation. Brooke is an outstanding teacher – the course was carefully planned and highly engaging." - participant in a 2021 CDSS Course

"In addition to her expertise as a caller and teacher, Brooke modeled a consistently positive and open attitude." - participant in a 2021 CDSS Course

"Thank you for that excellent course. Not only was your content and style welcoming, encouraging & practical — but your vision of how our dances can better build community was really inspiring." - participant in a 2021 CDSS Course

"It was a privilege to learn from the best positional caller in the country. Brooke is incredibly engaging, passionate, and breaks down new and challenging concepts exceptionally well." - participant in a 2022 CDSS Course

Impropriety (advanced) – dances of Brooke Friendly & Chris Sackett

If you are completely comfortable with all the basic ECD figures and familiar with some of the unusual ones, if you learn dances quickly without needing them called after the first few times through, you'll enjoy this challenging class focusing on the more complicated dances from the Impropriety Volumes as well as newer unpublished dances. Come dance to the great tunes—old and new—that have inspired the figures, phrasing, progressions, and nuances that are the signature of this duo’s work.

This workshop can be a more general survey or focus on a specific nuance of Brooke and Chris' choreography, such as influences from Scottish dance.

"Danced some of the more challenging dances from the Friendly/Sackett collection and got a sense of just how much they have created over the years. Brooke's teaching was excellent and it was a treat to have the full Roguery band on the stage." - camper at BACDS Hey Days English Dance and Music Week 2018

“Brooke’s class on her choreography was the reason we attended camp and we were not disappointed – it was great!” - camper at BACDS English Dance and Music Week 2008

"Brooke was very patient with us and we learned some beautiful dances." - camper at BACDS Mendocino English Dance and Music Week 2008

Impropriety (for all) – the dances of Brooke Friendly & Chris Sackett

Have fun with a variety of our more accessible dances.

ECD Basics and Beyond

Whether you are a relative newcomer to ECD or it has been a passion for some years, you will enjoy this ‘basics and beyond’ class. We’ll play with a different figure each day, moving from fundamentals to a variety of expressions of that figure. All dances will be accessible and the class will be paced to match the group of dancers. We’ll take time where it’s needed and add a bit of challenge where appropriate. This class is geared for a weeklong camp.

“I learned a tremendous amount in this class (ECD Basics and Beyond), and I felt that it carried over into my dancing at other times of the day. I really love Brooke's drive and clarity.” - camper at BACDS Mendocino English Dance and Music Week 2007

ECD: Lyrical to Boisterous; Silly to Sublime

Experience the variety of texture and mood as well as the qualities of movement and phrasing distinct to English country dances old and new. This workshop can be one session or for a weeklong camp or festival and can be for beginners or for intermediate level skill building. It has also been very successful for contra dancers at “English and American” camps and events. I have also called this class Watermelon to Chocolate.

"A wonderful survey of the range of English, with attention to technique and opportunities to practice each point."

"I loved this class because it gave time to focus on points in each dance and a chance to refine personal dancing ability, all in a welcoming setting thanks to Brooke's teaching style."
- campers at BACDS Hey Days English Dance and Music Week 2017

"I found Brooke outstanding - world class. And she made ECD interesting, which is not always the case for me." - camper at English-Scottish-Contra session at Pinewoods 2015

Dance Here Now

Explore how to be flexible, creative, and present in your approach to English country dance. More than a "style" or technique workshop, this is a chance to experiment with ways to adapt your dancing to the music, the dancers around you, and to creatively deal with the reality of the moment, be an excellent partner and member of a dance community. We’ll play dance games and do some fun new and old dances. This is built as a full day or weeklong class.

"Loved loved loved Brooke's Dance Here Now class. I am grateful for the way her awareness of The Dance and the experience of dance transforms the way dancers relate to each other."

"Biggest take home from the week."

"Brooke's "Dance Here Now" was revolutionary. Her values about how we care for one another are embodied in her instruction. Many mind-blowing exercises that made me think about what goes into our dancing--not just dancing skills, but life lessons on how we treat one another."

"Of the classes I took, this was undoubtedly the most innovative and creative. Exercises were good learning experiences and often hilarious."

-campers at “Dance Here Now” class at BACDS Hey Days English Dance and Music Week 2018

Dance Communication

This workshop takes some of the content from Dance Here Now and tailors it for a 1.5-3 hour workshop with a narrower focus. This a chance to play with ways to be an excellent partner as we look at such things as helping, learning, and communicating, adjusting on the fly to mistakes, and more.

You Wanna Help?, Don't Help!

Take a deep dive into the nuances of giving and receiving help. Ideally at least two hours long. It will include dance exercises and discussion.

Dancing the Whole Dance

While dancing excellent dances, we will look at global and positional language and strategies as tools to build community and learn (and dance) the whole dance. The teaching language will be global and geography-based, referring to position rather than gender roles. You will have the opportunity to dance all roles in a dance - learning the whole pattern. If you are interested in looking at a new way of teaching or building a dance community, you’ll leave with some tools and food for thought. If you want to dance a variety of enjoyable dances, the teaching language has the benefit of simplicity and clarity…there will be plenty of good dancing. This workshop can be one session and also works well as a full week.

"Adore Brooke's insight and approach." - camper at BACDS Mendocino English Dance Week 2003

Focus on a Figure

I take a single figure (rights and lefts, heys, etc) and build a workshop around it - focusing on how to do the figure well. This can be at a beginning level, for all levels, or at an advanced level with more challenging or unusual expressions of the figures and a faster moving class. This works well for a single workshop or over the course of a longer period.

"Brooke led a great workshop - accessible for newer dancers and great repertoire and exercises for dancing better for more experienced dancers."

"I really needed this. My goal was not to cringe every time I heard the word hey, and I feel that I so much more comfortable with heys now. I loved that Brooke emphasized the etiquette of dance."

"Brooke did brilliantly stretching our brain power with fairly elaborate dances."

"There was much hilarity in this class, and I learned some new heys!"

-campers at “Heys for Days” class at BACDS Hey Days English Dance and Music Week 2014

The Music Will Tell You What to Do

Dance to tunes with a variety of musical structures and feelings that inform different movement styles and phrasing choices. Here is your chance to really listen to the music and match your dancing to it—sometimes it will tell you what to do, sometimes it might not. We’ll play with a variety of music/movement (could include waltzy vs smooth 3/4 time, rant, hornpipe, etc); dances with variety of movement/phrasing within them (including time signature changes); same dance figures with two tunes with different tempos and feeling; dances that cross the musical phrase in different ways. This works well for a weekend or weeklong camp and can be geared toward beginners, for all, or advanced - whatever level is needed.

Dancing without Borders / Genre Bending

Experience a mix of dances (English, American/Contra, Ceilidh, Scottish…) without worrying about genre. Dance a variety of textures, formations, and styles. There will be "ECD" that may feel more American in style and contra with ECD influences, and so forth. The idea is to simply dance rather than define what we are dancing (although, depending on the setting of the workshop, there could be some discussion). Within this workshop (and, again, depending on the setting), we could spend some time exploring specific figures and choreographic ideas that have crossed genres. This works well for a weekend or weeklong camp and can be geared toward beginners, for all, or advanced - whatever level is needed.

Unusual Formations

Play with dances with formations and structures that are a bit out of the ordinary. More appropriate for a single session workshop.

ECD Callers' Workshops

This can work well as a single discussion class, a weeklong course, a weekend intensive with time for practice calling by participants, or anything in between, plus an option for a muliti-session online course that stands alone or culminates in a weekend. Workshops can be on a variety of topics, including global/positional calling. I will tailor content and structure to the needs of the participants.

"Brooke's energetic presence and mental acuity were awesome."

"The callers' workshop exceeded my expectations, letting me see beyond my goal of concise teaching to a much broader empowerment:  a sense of ownership of each dance I teach, the ability to link the music with the dance to achieve the desired experience, and the intention to try, notice, and adjust the teaching."

-participants in Hands Across the Water weekend callers' workshop in Victoria BC Canada 2011

“…Your comments to her at our "callers' practice" session at my house in Pittsburgh had been life changing for her. What you spoke of to her was just the right thing, at just the right time for her to hear and process it. Thought you'd want to know that you make a difference!” -2015

OLLI - English Dance Class for Older Adults

"I just want to thank you for your incredible patience and persistence in finding ways to help all of us to be successful in your classes. Dancing with all of you is one of the most important parts of each week."

- student from OLLI class 2018

Academic Credit - College Class

"I love Brooke's enthusiasm and depth of knowledge, not to mention unflagging good humor! I like her so much, in fact that this is my 2nd time through this class. Brooke is also great about making the material accessible and enjoyable for everyone."

"Brooke has a great way of improving people's skills in an objective, fun, supportive manner."

"She's delightful, makes the class fun while taking the subject seriously."

- students from Southern Oregon University courses 2005-2007