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Us May 09
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Gender Free English Country Dance anniversary

Last night we had the 14th Anniversary of our Gender Free English Country Dance (ECD) series. This dance was started by Michael Cicone and Rob Dobson after their visits to the Heather & Rose Dance group in Oregon where Gender Role free ECD started and has continued for every 2nd, 4th, and 5th Tuesday since they started it. We dance in the UU Church in Jamaica Plain. For last night's dance Graham Christian was the leader and our band was Jacqueline Schwab on piano and Edan MacAdam Somer on fiddle. It was a great night with good attendance and Graham's selection of dances and the music was superb.


When the dance first started Michael and Rob were the organizers and leaders and the music was recorded. There are some really fine recordings available. Later on they got a grant and were able to pay for musicians some of time. Now we've expanded with quite a few regular leaders and a number of musicians who volunteer their time so it is rare that we use recorded music. Occasionally such as last night we are able to pay the musicians. We don't earn quite enough at the door to pay the rent but since we as part of Lavender Country & Folk Dancers participate in a massive fund raising effort at the New England Folk Festival (NEFFA) where volunteers run a food booth we are able to keep the dance going - although sometimes attendance is pretty sparse.

If you don't know what English Country Dancing is but you've seen a Jane Austen movie then you've seen it in action. In Gender Free dancing it doesn't matter which role you dance in so the terminology has been modified but all the classical and newly created dances can be done that way.
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