Workshop schedule

The workshop schedule is online. Click on the image to enlarge and read the descriptions further down.

Diverse Cinnamon Buns: Schottis by Emelie, level 3
A simple pastry recipe: the Swedish schottis, three little steps, three more, then turn. The same recipe but more elaborated and adaptable to your taste: learn to improvise small but really nice variations which really bring up all the tastiness. The secret ingredient (probably more cinnamon): the bounce in your legs and your balance with your partner. The sprinkles on top: a few show-off moves to impress your partner and express your joy about Scandi dances!

Prerequisites: You should have already danced a bit of Swedish schottis. It doesn’t need to be perfect at all, but you should know the structure.

Bourrée with Four or More by Rian, level 3
You know the Bourrée in long rows with two people, but did you know that you can dance it with many more? During this workshop we will look at Bourrée du Berry (in 2 times), which lends itself very well to creating nice figures for four or more people. You will learn about your own partner and contrapartners, passing your partner around, and hopefully afterwards can easily find your friends and dance with them.

Prerequisites: You should know the basic steps of the bourrée du Berry.

Breton Dances by Guilhem, 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. We will also work on creating that special ‘Breton feeling’.

Polka Variations by Elena, level 4
Because we have a lot of energetic bands at the Dansstage this year, we will pay attention to the polka. But not just folk polka. Elena will present you with the Viennese polka. We will look at its specific rigorous moves and style, and then we will have a closer look at the folk version of polka, plus some fun variations.
Dance the polka like never before, without getting tired, and sharing the dance floor nicely with all other dancers!

Prerequisites: You should be able to dance the basic steps of the “folk” polka fluently and have a stable dance position.

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. Prerequisites: 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.

ART (Alignment, Rotation and Tension): Technique based workshop by Sophie, level 3 What is the most efficient way to travel through space while dancing? What is the difference between a turn and a rotation? What is the safest way to travel through space? How do I get my partner to stay with me in a wild dance on a full dance floor? How do I bring dynamic differences into my dancing? How do I make my dancing un-decorated but still fun? What is the essence of my dance? The focus of this workshop is a technical and physiological view on how our body behaves in dance. By using the laws of nature we will take a look at different elements such as turning, traveling, articulation and connection. Through different exercises we will discover how the right alignment of the body and awareness in articulated movement can help you dance with more ease, lead/follow your partner and at all-time keep a healthy posture.

Prerequisites: This workshop is for you if you:

  • are looking to add “general” technique to your balfolk moves,
  • have been looking to add more refinement and details in your dance moves
  • want to create a bigger awareness within your leading/following
  • would like to prevent injuries

Walk like Moose and Fly like Cranes: Polska by Emelie, level 3
Let out your inner animals by learning to walk like a moose in mossy northern forests and to fly like a crane amongst its siege, working together with others but also being able to fly on your own. Congrats, you’ve just learned polska! Is it that simple?! Not really, but with patience and right tools, you will get closer to that full polska turn which perhaps seemed quite unattainable. Let’s explore balance, steps, bounce and intention and also the contact with each other, to turn without fear of your partner’s feet!

Prerequisites: No specifics, but you have quite some dancing experience already, especially couple dances. Any other Scandinavian dance is a plus.

Bourrée Auvergnate vy Koen, level 3&4
This workshop Koen will start with the basics of bourrée auvergnate, so you can learn or review them. When the basics are under control, you will work on variations and transitions, leading and following, as well a body position and arm movements. Koen will teach how to use your peripheral view and the use of dance space, so you can confidently step onto the dancefloor when a bourrée auvergnate is played.
If there’s time left, some “frappés” and other ornamentations will be taught.

Prerequisites: You should be able to dance the basics of the waltz in 3.

Rondeau en couple, rondeau en chaîne & rondeaux-jeux by Elena, level 4
In this workshop, we will dance rondeaux from South-West France in three forms:
– The Rondeau en couple, probably the one that is danced most in balls:
We’ll take the time to revisit proper steps, attitude and dance position, before we go into the turn that allows a certain number of variations. Plus some rhythmical variations.
– The Rondeau en chaîne:
Here we will dance on one type of step which should allow dancers to focus on the equally important themes which are hold, connection, musicality and general movement on the dance floor. If time remains, we can discover one or two more steps.
– Rondeaux-Jeux:
There are a number of specific rondeaux which work only on one song, and are mostly very funny. They are rarely plaid during a ball, so this will be your time to try them out.

Prerequisites: You should know a basic steps of the rondeau en couple and one for rondeau en chaîne.

Guilhem’s Global Consideration of Dance by Guilhem, level 4
To dance… what does it mean? To learn and to teach… what is about? Guilhem has his own way to bring someone into a movement; a pedagogic adventure to live, to go through…
Something in between technique and emotion,
something in between the group and your person,
something in between soft pleasure and intense work,
something in between body and unconsciousness,
something in between control and risk,
and eventually lost somewhere in the crowd of your Scottish, Mazurka, all beats Valses, Plinn, Gavotte, Kost ar c’hoat, Pilé menu, Rond de St. Vincent, Arin arin, Polka saltini, Rondeau, Branle, Bourrée… You will never feel your dance the same! Don’t expect, you will be disappointed!

Note: This is a 6 hour workshop, so you can only join this course on Saturday morning. Guilhem will work with the same group to build his pedagogic approach throughout the entire day. If you try to join after the lunch break you will have missed too much. Knowledge of the dances mentioned above is recommended, but even more so an open mind is required to make the most of this workshop

Bourrée Basics by Elena, level 2b & 3
The bourrée is one of the most playfull and varied dances, although at first it is not easy to understand. Every region in France has its own variant, with its own character. In some regions you’ll mostly find bourrées in 2 times, in other regions bourrées in 3 times are more common.  In this workshop we’ll start with properly learning the basic step of the bourrée in 2 times, and also discover the musicality, posture and style of the region Bourbonnais – Berry. We’ll look at a number of patterns and codes, and the communication neccessary to play with this dance. We’d also like to take a look at the bourrée in 3 times and the subtle difference in musicality with the bourrée in 2 times.

Poitou Dances by Christian (Ciac Boum), level 2b & 3
In this workshop we will learn and/or refine the dances practised in the Poitou region of France. These dances have a lot of variation. Sometimes you’ll dance in circles (ronds, demi-ronds, limousines,Maraîchines, bals…), sometimes in rows (Avant-Deux, Pas d’été, Bransles…), sometimes you’ll need to sing along and sometimes you even dance in couple.
Accompanied by Robert and Julien, who will take care of the music, Christian will help you discover the most common dances of the Poitou region, which will of course be played by Ciac Boum at the ball this evening. He will work on the steps, but also on ways to incorporate your own style and personality into these dances.

Prerequisites: There are several layers in this workshop making it interesting for both intermediate and (far-)advanced dancers.

Listen with your Feet / Dance with your Ears by Rafael, Nele & Accordzéâm, level 3 & 4
While dancing we usually hear music. That’s the way it usually goes. But what if we took an active role, and also listened?
Depending on how deep you go down the music hole and its layers, which instrument you allow your awareness to rest on, and the feelings and emotions the music makes you experience each dancer’s perception of the same sounds can be different, allowing the music to shape the way they dance. Very often this already happens unconsciously, up to a point. In this workshop, we want to take a conscious approach, and experiment in depth with multiple elements, thus questioning our relationship to the music we are hearing. Together with our partner of the moment, we will allow musical interpretation to shape our gestures and posture, creating movement that expresses the music we hear, instead of merely moving to the rhythm being offered.

Charactère: Folkloric Dances in the Ballet World by Sophie, level 3 & 4
You might wonder, “Charactère, what’s that? Something to do with acting? Maybe just dancing in a very arrogant way?”… In many ballet productions you will find “charactère”, or character dances. These are used to transport the audience to another time and place. Dances such as polka and mazurka are used to bring the audience to any place in Eastern Europe (Poland and Czechia). Character dances are also used to state the background of the role depicted by the dancer. For instance Polonaise is used for upper class court members and Fandango is used to show the audience the dancers are Spanish, very often with fans or castanette. This workshop is an extensive introduction into Charactère, with many different (not so easy) technical exercises which are a cross-over between classical ballet and folkloric dances.
We will do a traditional warming-up (solo) in which you will get to work with all the basic arm, feet and head movements. Au milieu (in the center) we will take a look at different ballet interpretations of folkloric dances such as polonaise, mazurka, waltz and polka (solo and in couples). To bring together everything we have learned, we will dance a famous Mazurka choreographed for a real ballet (in couples and as group).

Prerequisites: This workshop is ideal for you if you would like to broaden your horizon and like the challenge of head-arm-leg coordination, learn some new techniques and find out how your well-known balfolk dances look through the lens of classical ballet.

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.

Dance Instruction by Marco, level 1 and visitors of the open ball
In a high tempo we will explain some of the most common balfolk dances, so nobody has to stay on the sides during the balls. Even if you know most of the dances already, it might be useful to repeat the basics.

Get this party started by Rafael & Nele, all levels
Ok, so Dansstage 2020 has been going for a while now. You’ve all had a gazillion hours of classes, and there’s just one little hour left before the real fun begins: homework (also known as The Ball). If you’ve had your fill of serious teaching and learning time, and feel like winding down a bit but still do some dancing, don’t hesitate to join us in The Crazy Workshop. We’ll put on the blue light filter and get you ready to face any party’s greatest challenges: how not to get bored – because you keep doing the same thing all the time. And also how not to feel awkward – because everyone is watching your Famous Disco Moves™. Please leave your judgement and thirst for technical perfection at the cloakroom (don’t forget pick them back up afterwards). Bring the mindset to party and be open to the awareness of having fun.

Mixers and Collective Dances by Elena, all levels
Here we go again – let’s share another fun mixer/collective dance or two, to get a break from the usual jig or Circassian circle! In this workshop Elena will teach you some alternative group dances to have fun at the ball. Let’s do a new mixer, and a bourrée Auvergnate based collective dance: Le Tourniquet de Enschede! We will make sure that in the evenings some of these dances will be announced, so you can practice them during the balls.

Prerequisites: Feel welcome even if you do not know the bourrée step.

How not to Party: A Comprehensive Guide into Balfolk Balls by Sophie, all levels
So, you are going to the ball? Awesome! Time to bust out some crazy (?) moves and have fun! But how….? This workshop is a fun, not so serious, but serious guide on how to have a fun ball regardless of the place, time and people. During ‘How not to party’, we will use common examples and give you easy solutions to keep the good party vibes but fix any ‘issues’. (Think: arm pulled from shoulder, slippery/sticky floor, gone crazy wild dance partner, completely dead but wanna dance, the hydration relay race.) We will work with floorcraft (the art of not bumping), open our third eyes and become more aware of our dance partners (the one we lead/follow and the floor). Lastly we will take a look at what your signature dance move is and how you can use it to have a dancing conversation with your partner.

Prerequisites: This workshop is for you if you:

  • are looking to warm up to the ball,
  • are in need of some quick tips to make a ball more fun,
  • are beginner/intermediate/advanced but in any case capable of dancing Scottish, Cercle and Polka.

Valses de tous temps by Guilhem, level 3
The waltz can be danced in many musical variations, and in many times (3, 5, 8, 11…). If you still hesitate when you hear the words “irregular” and “waltz” in one phrase, this is the workshop for you! Guilhem will help you understand the complexity and musicality of these dances, so you’ll be able to dance to waltzes of all (and any) times!

Prerequisites: You have to know the basic waltz in 3 times, including the turn.

Breating Circles by Elena, level 3 & 4
The balfolk repertoire contains quite a few circle dances. How do these circles really work? What makes them worthwhile? You know (most of) them from balls, but they all seem to be a bit the same to you – or don’t they? Or there appear to be some differences, but you cannot tell which ones… Sometimes you are supposed to answer the musician, but you don’t know when and what… In this workshop we will learn a “correct” way to dance Ronde du Quercy, Rond de St Vincent, one or more Rond(s) d’Argenton and the Brande d’Ardente (also called Bourrée ronde)

Prerequisites: You should be able to quickly grasp different steps, styles, and movements in space.

Change of Rotation Variations for Scottish by Koen, level 3 & 4
This will be a challenging worshop for (far-)advanced dancers in which we will cover all possible Scottish variations. We’ll quickly refresh your memory, but also cover some new material. We’ll work on a selection of the following variations: 7-4, 8-4, 3-4-5, etc. (accelerations), blocks, freeze, Sarah 1, 2 & 3 (stops), Julie (verticality), Rebecca (counter times), syncopes, muzikality, Too (decellarations), milonga, constant rotation, padam, and possibly even more!

Prerequisites: The variations will be presented in a high tempo, so we expect a decent learning speed and good basic knowledge of the Scottish and dance posture.

Left Leg Training & Polka in 3/4: Advanced Polska by Emelie, level 4
Walk, turn, repeat: you have mastered the basics of polska but you wish to make it more interesting? Let’s explore precisely that: polska variations and figures. We’ll dig into bakmes, which is much easier than it seems; we’ll fall for polkettering and of course we’ll experiment the Norwegian-inspired promenade! We’ll also check where different types of polska are from and how they relate to each other, so you’ll be able to recognize them directly and evolve confidently into this beautiful but, we have to admit, quite complex mess.

Prerequisites: You can do several polska turns easily, with comfortable balance. Being more used to lead or follow doesn’t matter, you can always pick the side you prefer.

Ballroom Blitz: a Ballroom variations into Balfolk workshop by Sophie, level 4
Once upon a time some crazy person decide to run away with some traditional folk dances and refurbished them into ballroom dancing… At this current day and age, there are still a lot of similarities between the two styles, some dances even carry the same name! But, there are also big differences, for instance the dance posture, type of dance clothing and the music… Another difference is one which we will use to our advantage in this workshop; VARIATIONS! Or, figures, as they call it. Within one ballroom dance routine you might encounter up to 20 different “figures”. Let’s make use of this, shall we, and go into a Ballroom Blitz. In this workshop we will take a look at variations from different ballroom dances such as Waltz, Tango, Cha cha and Rumba and rework them so you are able to use them as vocabulary in your own dancing. We will work on both traveling figures as well as static combinations and combine them with your existing balfolk skills. Join us if you are in for some mind boggling hours and balfolk-mash-up-fusion-galore.

Prerequisites: Please note this is a level 4 workshop, so the tempo will be high.