New Meetup: The Similarities between the Tarantella and English Country Dancing

From: Phyllis
Sent on: Thursday, November 13, 2008 12:23 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for ITALIAN CHAT!

What: The Similarities between the Tarantella and English Country Dancing

When: November 18,[masked]:45 PM

Where: Click the link below to find out!

Meetup Description: What is English Country Dance?
You say you've never heard of English Country Dancing? You're in good company, since many people are unfamiliar with it. But if you've watched Pride and Prejudice on TV, or seen Sense and Sensibility or Emma at the movies, you have indeed seen it. But fear not - English Country Dancing (ECD) is not the obscure relic you might think it to be! While this traditional form of dance has been around for several hundred years, it's still thriving today. There is English Country Dancing all over the United States.

ECD in not hard to learn
If you can walk and know the difference between left and right, you already have much of the basic knowledge you'll need. As we do it in the United States, most of the movements are based simply on a walking or skipping step. Dancers move in a number of specific "figures", sometimes holding hands, sometimes by themselves. Each dance is prompted by a caller, so that each figure and movement is called in time to the music; you don't need to rely on your memory alone to know what to do.

Each Tuesday evening, CDNY begins with an experienced English Country Dance session from 7:00 to 7:30 which will concentrate on challenging dances and figures. Running simultaneously in the kitchen, there will be a beginner's session. Dancers who are still learning the ECD basic figures and repertoire are invited to either join the beginner's session or watch the challenging dances. Dancing for all in the main hall will begin at 7:30.

I personally have only danced the Tarantella once. I was at the Lincoln Center Midsummer night Swing event several year back. It was alot of fun and easy to learn. It appears to me that there are many ways to dance the Tarantella because when I describe how we were taught that day, my Tarantella dancing friends are not familiar with that version. So I conclude that there are many dances within the Tarantella. ECD, as well, has many variations. That's similar to another Italian item, the language.

Hope you will join us for this physical, historical, fun event.

Do I need to bring a partner?
Short answer: no. This is a highly social pastime, and dancing with as many people as possible is encouraged. It is quite permissible to ask ANYONE to dance. If you are new to this, try asking people who appear to know what they are doing... They will welcome your participation, and it is the best way to learn.

What should I wear?
Dress is usually casual. It can get rather warm when you are dancing - even in mid-winter. Men often wear a casual shirt and jeans, or even shorts. Women usually enjoy wearing something with a bit of swirl to it - dress or skirt, but pants won't prevent you from dancing.

In order to preserve the finish of the floor and our good relations with the church, we ask dancers to wear soft-soled shoes that have not been worn outdoors. Sneakers are fine. If you do not have an indoor pair of shoes, scrub the soles of a regular pair (not ones with hard spiky heels) and bring them in a bag to change into at the dance.

How do I get there? Can I park?
Subway: 7th Avenue 1 or 2 or 3 train to 14th Street. Exit from the middle of the platform and the stairs will take you right up to the 13th Street entrance.
A C E or L to 14th and 8th Avenue
F or PATH or L to 6th Avenue
See NYC Subway map with current updates and The Subway Navigator for help with subway and LIRR routes.

Car: Limited on-street parking, but there is a parking lot a bit west from The Church of the Village, at W. 13th St. and Greenwich Ave
How much does it cost?
Tuesday English country: Members - $10; General public - $13; Full-time Students with ID - $10

more info can be found at

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