English Country Dance
English Country Dancing is the direct ancestor of contra dance and is still very much alive today, with newly composed dances entering the repertoire all the time. ECD offers much greater variety in musical styles, dance formations, and styling than contra dance does. It can be lively and raucous, it can be very elegant and beautiful, and it can be everything in between. It can also be more challenging than contra, and dancers who dance both ECD and contra find that their contra dance skills improve, thanks to the skills practiced in ECD.
The music for English Country Dance is as varied as the dances. For many of us who love ECD, the music is an important reason why. You'll hear some of the same jigs, reels, and waltzes that you hear at a contra dance — remember, contra descended from ECD — plus many, many more, ranging from classical compositions of Purcell and Handel to bawdy pub tunes.
Since English Country Dancing has more variety than contra dancing, we've selected a few videos to illustrate that variety and put them here, on a separate page.
There two ECD groups in the area, one in the Heights and the other in Clear Lake.
After a hiatus of over a year, there is once again an ECD in the Heights, thanks to the efforts of John Bloom. Heights ECD takes place on the first Thursday and third Thursdays of each month from 7:30 to 9:30 PM.
The First Thursday dance takes place at the Live Oaks Friends Meeting House at 1318 West 26th Street. This is just east of Ella and south of 610. It's basically behind Lowes.
The Third Thursday dance is at St. Andrews, the location of the regular contra dances.
Everyone is welcome. If you are able-bodied, come a little early to help move a few pews or tables out of the way.
Clear Lake ECD
Meets at Clear Lake United Methodist Church, 16335 El Camino Real, usually every 1st and 3rd Friday from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. Email lattema -at- comcast -dot- net to confirm and click here to visit Clear Lake ECD's web site.
Clear Lake ECD is led by Barbara and Lee Attema.
When someone blunders, we say that he makes a misstep. Is it then not clear that all the ills of mankind, all the tragic misfortunes that fill our history books, all the political blunders, all the failures of the great leaders have arisen merely from a lack of skill in dancing?
~ Moliere, 1622