Location

Muir Commons common room

2222 Muir Woods Place

(park on Shasta or at the school)

Hours
6:30 - 9:00 PM Thursdays
Established
Spring in 1995
Dues/Fees
None
Contact
casdav@ucdavis.edu

English Country Dancers is a UC Davis student club that teaches dances from Elizabethan England, circa 1650. These dances were recorded by John Playford in The Dancing Master. Each dance is a structured set of steps to a given tune. Dances are for 2-4 (or more) couples, in squares, lines, and circles. If you know Contra Dancing, the structure of dances will look familiar to you. The club's motto is: "If you can walk, you can dance". In fact, every and anyone is encouraged to come and try it out! Wear flat shoes and clothes you can move freely in.

Dance practice is currently held every Thursday from 6:30 PM until 9:00 PM in 290 Hickey Gym during the school year. During the summer practice is usually held elsewhere (see Location in heading). The location may change quarterly according to room availability (open floor space with moveable desks is a must!), so this page is kept updated on a quarterly basis. Club members dance at events on UC Davis campus including The Buzz and Student Activities Faire in the fall and Picnic Day in the spring. In addition, several members also dance at Renaissance Faires throughout Northern California in association with the Merrie Pryanksters. The group is recreational, social, as well as a performing troupe. The main focus is early Playford-sourced dances, but the group occasionally branches out to incorporate elements from the Scottish, Irish, and Morris dancing traditions as well. Beyond dancing, members participate in historical costuming and embroidery, and contemporary handcrafts such as knitting, crochet, spinning, and weaving.

What does the notation for this style look like?

http://www.shipbrook.com/jeff/playford/ The Dancing Master was published in successive editions from 1651-1728. The club teaches ~30 of the dances.

Pictures

Media

DavisECD Facebook Group

The Davis Enterprise: English Interpretations UC Davis Club Keeps Renaissance Dancing Traditions Alive was published in June 2007 and is readable through the search function here: *http://nl.newsbank.com/

Comments or questions?

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2009-02-27 08:48:00   Great way to get a little exercise, make friends and live history! —Skay


2011-08-15 17:30:09   Is this still going on? —nmendoza

  • Absolutely! Practice is year-round on Thursday evenings, with a very few unavoidable skips (finals weeks, Thanksgiving, Christmas/New Year's, that kind of thing) -JudithTruman

2012-01-26 13:11:07   Where is it this quarter? —nmendoza


2012-04-21 20:11:07   Haring 2016 —JudithTruman


2013-01-24 18:48:15   Is it OK for non-students to come? (new to Davis, like contra) —ChloeLewis

  • You should email that @yahoo contact; this group has had lots of fellow-travelers in the past from Merrie Pryanksters, and other Faire groups. Generally, campus club activities are open to non-students if they don't become the majority of users. —DougWalter
  • Sure; come on over. We're currently in Haring Hall from 7:00 to 9:00 on Thursdays. —BarnabasTruman

2013-03-01 16:34:00   Hi, I went to Haring 2016 on Thursday around 7 a few weeks ago and I didn't see anyone; did you move? —RebeccaHeisey

  • We skipped Feb 14 because of schedule conflicts. Practice is very rarely cancelled. We'll hope to see you next week! —JudithTruman