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.

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 and Scottish dance and teaching in a variety of K-12 and college settings, for Elderhostel and youth groups, and for community parties, barn dances, and family dances.

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

Booking information

Here are some single session and weeklong workshop options.

Impropriety – dances of Brooke Friendly & Chris Sackett for advanced dancers

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enjoy this challenging class focusing on the more complicated dances from the Impropriety Volumes as well as newer unpublished dances.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.

“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 – the dances of Brooke Friendly & Chris Sackett for all

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 ECD. This workshop can be one session or over the course of a longer period. It has also been very successful for contra dancers at “English and American” camps and events.

"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. You may have a certain ECD style you prefer (or even think is “correct”) or have been taught several ways to do certain figures. More than a style workshop, this is a chance to experiment with ways to adapt your dancing to the reality of the moment, be an excellent partner and member of a dance community, and have fun playing with great dances.

Dancing the Whole Dance

While dancing excellent dances, we will look at global terminology as a tool 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 really 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

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 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.

A Wittman Sampler

Discover reconstructions by Carl Wittman (1943-1986). Several dances will be familiar with a reconstruction you may not be used to and others will be of unfamiliar or seldom done dances. You will get a glimpse into Carl's artistic and community sensibilities while dancing a variety of old dances. More appropriate for a single session or weekend event.

You Wanna Help?...Don’t Help!

Dance and play dance games to reduce helping (and receiving help) to its most subtle and helpful. Develop good partnering skills.

Scottish as a Second Language

An introduction to Scottish dance for English country dancers. Basic footwork and fun, relatively easy dances. Depending on the group and length of the class, it may include some comparisons to ECD.

ECD Callers' Workshop

This can work well as a single discussion class, a weeklong class, a weekend intensive with time for practice calling by participants, or anything in between. I can tailor this 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 callers' workshop in Victoria BC Canada 2011

ECD Callers' Workshop focusing on global terminology

This can work well as a single discussion class, a weeklong class, a weekend intensive with time for practice calling by participants, or anything in between. The class would follow the same basic progression of ideas as the ‘Dancing the Whole Dance’ class – from dances with no need to mention gender to dances with translation needed to dealing with improper dances and dances with significant gender role differences. We could get into discussions of programming, introducing the ideas to your local community, calling ‘away from home’, using it for teaching in schools/community dances, forming sets and so forth.

A workshop for ECD callers: ‘Doodling’ and Working with Musicians
Learn how to add musicality to your teaching even if you don’t have live music or a skilled ‘noodler’ in the band. Determine when and how to trade ‘doodling’ for ‘noodling’ to enhance your teaching. This workshop can be one session or a full week; it can stand alone or team up with musicians class on working with callers to develop new collaboration skills.
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 SOU college class 2005-2007