Do you want to know more about the workshops, for example why a pebble can be a mountain or which strange Czech dances Mikuláš is going to teach us? Then read on below (video included)!
Block 1: Friday evening 20:30-22:00
Playing in Chapeloise 2.0 by Louise, level 3
People who know me and my workshops will recognize this workshop “Spelen in de Jig” where I teach beginners & begonners about the Jig, their frame, and how to start playing with easy variations. This time we skip the basics, and continue with more advanced variations. But it’s not about showing off and doing the most impressive variations, connections keeps being the most important. A nice workshop to start the weekend playfully, and meet as many other dancers as possible. 🙂
And if this isn’t enough to convince you to join, I’ll introduce you my favorite toy…
Choreo Troyes (Scottish variations) by Kurt, level 3 & 4
During a stage at the festival Nuit Trad’actuelle in Troyes many years ago, Kurt learned a very special Scottish variation. It is rather complex, but a lot of fun to dance. Lacking an official name, Kurt dubbed this variation ‘Choreo Troyes’. Without proper explanation you will most likely end up inextricably tangled. Therefore this variation is a nice challenge to learn (and to try and lead during the balls..).
Pretend that pebbles are mountains (halling) by Sara & Emelie, level 3 & 4
Norwegian halling is quite easy to grasp spontaneously on the dancefloor, but perhaps you’d like to know more about this crazy dance; to learn the basics of it; to explore the funny figures one by one; and also perhaps how to show off a lot while still keeping your energy to not end up exhausted. Simply put, if you know how to communicate well, halling is a lot about selling little stones as huge mountains.
Arin arin by Koen, level 4
This fun but hard Basque dance (North of Spain) is a great challenge for advanced dancers. You can dance it in pairs or small circles. The challenge is in the agility of the feet and the transitions between the separate parts. The arin arin usually follows the fandango. In this workshop we will focus on the less noted arin arin, so we can combine it with the fandango on Saturday.
Pre-requisites: We don’t expect any knowledge of the dances, but you should have a high general dancing level and need be a quick study. This intensive workshop is not recommended to people who are off form or have problems with their knees or ankles.
Use the Blues by Mikuláš, level 4
Pin down what makes for a cozy and comfortable cuddly mazurka or super laid back Scottish. We will use the slow blues a.k.a. “le slow” to develop comfortable and flexible connection between you and your partner, one that will allow you to pass on even complex movements with ease.
Prerequisites: You should be able to lead and follow comfortably in the Scottish and mazurka; be willing to question the concept of frame, connection, leading and following in couple dances. And be familiar with the traditional mazurka forms from Gascogne (or have learning skills fast enough to grasp it in a 20 seconds review).
Block 2: Saturday morning 10:00-13:00
Musicality in Waltzes by SousLePont, level 3
Hosted by the 3 members of the trio, this workshop aims to deepen the waltz dance at 3, 5, 8, 11 beats. Pulsation, measure and carrure will be approached by listening and singing. We will discuss posture, rotation, guidance, trajectory and traffic on the track. Using all of these elements, we will attempt to translate the musical intentions of our compositions into dance.
3 bounces & 1 direction (polska) by Sara & Emelie, level 3
The Swedish polska is a quite difficult beast to tame, so let’s take some time to turn it from a frightening bear into a nice teddy. Let’s learn to hear the beats and never lose them. Let’s turn on our own, because Swedes expect everyone to be independent, thus polska can and will be danced solo too. Let’s talk about balance and direction. And let’s form couples and tackle those confusing follower steps once and for all! Music-wise, let’s also explore how to adapt to different rhythms of polskas.
Breton dances by Kurt, level 3 & 4
You all know some common Breton dances such as Andro and Hanterdro. During this workshop we will focus on some less common and more complicated dances such as (Suite) Gavotte de la Montagne, Gavotte de l’Aven, (Suite) Plinn, Kost Ar C’Hoat, Ridée, Laridee, Ronde St-Vincent and Kas a Barh. We will also work on creating that special ‘Breton feeling’.
Fandango by Koen, level 4
This fun but hard Basque dance (North of Spain) is a great challenge for advanced dancers. You can dance it in pairs or small circles. The challenge is in the agility of the feet and the transitions between the separate parts. The fandango is usually followed by an arin arin. In this workshop we will focus on learning/brushing up the fandango.
Prerequisites: We don’t expect any knowledge of these dances, but you should have a high general dancing level and need be a quick study. This intensive workshop is not recommended to people who are off form or have problems with their knees or ankles.
Connection – Improving your balls experience by Anatole, level 4
While dancing you need to connect with music and other dancing and living humans. In this workshop we challenge and deepen that connection(s). We’ll play with eye contact, touch, breathing, space, and even some rather unorthodox approaches.
Prerequisites: You have an open mind, a good understanding of leading/following and you are looking for a challenge to bring your connection to the next level.
Block 3: Saturday afternoon 14:30-17:30
Bourrée de Berry (2t), basics by Kurt, level 2b & 3
Most of you will have picked up the Bourrée already during a ball or dance instruction. However, after this workshop the Bourrée will be more than just a Bourrée. This workshop will focus on the most common Bourrée dance, being the Bourrée de Berry in 2 times. We will work on the two basic figures of this dance (avant-deux and épaulé), and on the specific steps connected to the dance, also known as the ‘zin-zin’ (although some seem to dislike that term..).
Rondeaus by Koen, level 2b & 3
In this workshop we’ll cover the basic steps and different variations for the rondeau en couple and rondeau en chaîne, two dances from the south west of France. Are you ready to boing?
Czech Dances by Mikuláš, level 3 & 4
Czechia has hundreds of couple dances based mostly on polka, waltz, mazurka and obkročák (a simple turning dance closely related to German dreher). In this workshop we will focus on the social aspect of those dances and demonstrate them mostly on easy mixers taken directly from the folk tradition or slightly adapted to make a better fit for contemporary dancefloor. We will also briefly visit some easy round and chain dances, the oldest dance tradition we have.
Prerequisites: You need a solid couple connection in couple dances and good leading or following skills. We expect you to be in peace with the idea of constant step/half-turn movement through the space and to have an open mind and ability to re-learn your polka the Czech way. Lastly you should be willing to sing na-na-na or la-la-la to at least one Czech tune.
The Dancing Funfair by Rafael & Nele, level 3 & 4
It’s the yearly dance-camp! So many great bands, so many great dancers, so many great teachers. Let’s celebrate with so many great workshops! Instead of focusing on one single subject, we will do a series of shorter ‘taster’ workshops on a variety of themes. There will be plenty of challenge for higher level dancers. Musicality, connection, follow-lead, body awareness, cool moves, improvisation, creativity, community, floor-craft, styling, …. You want it, we have it. As soon a quarter of the dancers grasp the current concept, we move on to the next item, so be warned: you might be one of the first dancers to learn one concept, and then be one of the dancers struggling to learn the next! This workshop will give you lots of cool ideas to implement into your dancing, and comes with the added bonus that it will show you your strengths & weaknesses. Don’t worry, doggie bags will be provided: there will be plenty of stuff to take home with you. So bring your “A”-game, and lets work on turning into an ‘A+’!
Roles & responsibility : Train driver or Hodor (springar & slängpolska) by Sara & Emelie, level 4
A dancing couple can decide to work with different systems about roles and responsibility: Is one dancer leading and the other one following? Are they switching those roles sometimes? Or perhaps both lead and follow all the time? Who gives energy and how? Who takes responsibility and for what? We’ll explore what Scandinavian tradition has to teach us about that topic with the help of two dances: Swedish slängpolska and Norwegian springar from Voss. Although the figures in these dances are similar, the responsibility and way to share roles are very different. And both are really nice!
Prerequisites: Do you already know slängpolska ? Forget everything about it, as in this workshop we will start anew! We will not learn steps or techniques of this dance but we’ll use slängpolska to work on the connection between dancers.
Flow continuity – Improving your balls experience by Anatole, level 4
In this workshop we’ll play, laugh, talk a little and dance a lot to build up more ease in dancing. Ease in touching, ease in grounding, for delight and fun. Among folk dances, we’ll focus mostly on couple dances to refine our body practice. Tools come from balls experience, contemporary dance, somatic techniques, aïkido, massage, qi-gong and meditation.
Prerequisites: You have a solid understanding of your body and of leading/following in Balfolk couple dances.
Blok 4: Saturday evening 19:30-20:30 (optional)
The dance of love, the love of dance by Rafael & Nele, all levels
Languages are meant to teach us how to speak, not tell us what to say. And some languages allow us to express certain things better than others. These things are, off course, also the case for the languages of social dance. Let us explore what these different languages are, and how to use the right one for the right message. And also let’s become multilingual in just one hour.
Self-massage workshop by Jan-Herman, all levels
Massaging means being kind to your muscles. It is always nice to find someone else to massage you, but did you know you can also massage most of your own muscles very well? During this workshop you will learn to massage your own body, focussing mostly on your legs and feet, as they are probably having a hard weekend. After that we will concentrate on massaging the neck and shoulders of each other.
Note: It is recommended to bring a sleeping bag, towel, coat, or something else to make sitting on the ground more comfortable. You also might want to freshen up your feet before massaging them.
Zwiefacher by SousLePont, all levels
The Zwiefacher is a southern German folk dance with a quick tempo and changing beat patterns. This hour we will dive into this dance and teach you all you need to know to dance it at the ball.
Blok 5: Sunday morning 10:30-12:30
Listening to the Music and your Partner by Anatole, level 3
Whether you’re leading or following, listening is a fundamental ingredient for couple dances. In this workshop we’ll focus on listening both to our partner(s) and to the music itself. We’ll work on musicality, posture, touch and other means of connection to really be in sync with our environment and create more joy during our dance.
Sharing is caring by Louise, level 3 & 4
Traditionally the men are assigned as leaders, and the women as followers. Personally I love both roles. I love to surrender to being led, and I love to take the lead and surprise my partner, man or woman, I don’t care. And maybe what I love most is to play together. Like in a bourrée, where you’re both taking initiative and listening to your partner at the same time. In a couple dance like Scottish or mazurka this is possible too. Sharing the lead, two partners who can take initiative when they feel like it, two partners who are listening to each other all the time. And at a certain moment you won’t know anymore whether it was you or your partner leading a specific move. That’s where the real dancing starts…
Prerequisites: For this workshop it is important that you are used to dancing scottish and
mazurka both as a leader and a follower, i.e. at least level 3 for both roles.
Music Workshop: Building common repertoire by Niek, level 3 & 4
Like love and dancing, making music is a common language that doesn’t need words… but it helps if we share some of the same stories, so let’s find our common tunes! In this music workshop, the exchange of repertoire will be our central theme, and the skills to share them as efficiently as possible and within the limits of each player and/or instrument will be practiced. Practice will include working with our whole group and in smaller groups and we’ll touch upon themes like keys/chords/drones and roles to take. Don’t forget to bring your instrument with you and your favourite repertoire in your heart and fingers.
Note: if you want to follow this workshop, could you take a look at the two Gonnagles’ session booklets (first one, second one) to see which tunes you might know already?
Bourrée de Berry advanced by Kurt, level 4
During this workshop we will work on the classic Bourrée en ronde, a variation of the Bourrée de Berry that is danced on a circle. On top of it we will add a fun choreography. Depending on the time and the wishes of the group we will also dive deeper into the traditional Bourrée de Berry, focussing on the game of communication that exists between both dancers. This way you will learn to add your own flavours to this dance.
Prerequisites: You need to have mastered the proper steps of the Bourrée de Berry, either by having attended Kurt’s workshop on Saturday or a similar workshop on another occasion.
Variations for Irregular Waltzes by Koen, level 4
In this workshop we will cover difficult rhythmical variations in irregular waltzes, as well as style variations (3 + 2 or 2 + 3). We will also practise a turning variation (using the same technique as the “salsa-variation” on scottish/mazurka) and do some (short) advanced listening exercises to work on musicality.
Prerequisites: Since this is a level 4 workshop, you need to know the basic step of 5 time waltz. If you have difficulties in understanding easy music (knowing when to start, recognize if it’s 3, 5, 8 or 11 times), this workshop is not for you.