Northwest Passage Dance Camp
Labor Day Weekend, September 2 to 5, 2022

Program Schedule

Here's the overall schedule and workshop descriptions. Cy Lodge Fireplace Room is also often available for jam sessions, or ad-hoc camper led workshops.  We also have this printable version of the schedule.

Where is everything?  See the camp map.

Workshop Descriptions
(Click on a heading to sort the table - click on Row for schedule order)

Sat 09:00SusanDANCE
Story Lines in ECDDances are essentially voyages to nowhere - often taking you right back to where you began.  But the really good ones make for the most amazing trips. This workshop will feature dances with particularly fruitful marriages of music and choreography, dances with a sequence of figures exquisitely matched to phrasing, combining to create the perfect story line. 

Sat 09:00BetsyLAUREL
English JamWe'll play through our favorite tunes together, while relishing the connection that playing live tunes together can bring.  Bring suggestions, and we'll rotate to make sure everyone gets a chance to suggest some.  Sheet music welcome, but this is also a good opportunity to challenge yourself to play these tunes by ear.

Sat 10:30MelissaDANCE
Melissa's DancesMelissa has been writing tunes since she found herself humming things around the house one day and realized it wasn't a tune she already knew. Some of them wanted to be English country dances, too, so she started writing those as well. This session will highlight a few of her own tunes and some from Dave Wiesler, with varying (but generally rising) levels of complexity.

Sat 10:30RachelLAUREL
Tunes from
central France
Rachel will give a brief introduction to the types of tunes from Central France that are most commonly found in the bal folk repertoire, such as bourree, mazurka, and Scottish. Come with your instruments in hand to learn one or two of these tunes and explore possibilities for harmonies, backup grooves, and stylistic considerations. Tunes will be taught by ear, but sheet music will be available later in the workshop for reference. We'll have fun thinking about how to best make each tune danceable and how to create variety in the energy.

Sat 13:15MelissaDANCE
Dances outside
the Box
Most of the English country dances we do are based around the “box” two pairs of dancers make within a longways line. In this session, we’ll explore regions “outside” that box, looking at dances with figures that break or transcend the box, or that just have no boxiness whatsoever. We’ll also look outside of the “box” of our own expectations, for dances that surprise us in ways other than geometric.

Sat 13:15BetsyLAUREL
Playing Harmony
for ECD
I'll give you some tools for creating harmonies to use in ECD.  These will include skills to create harmonies ahead of time as well as making up harmonies on the fly.  We'll work with a few common ECD tunes.  Feel free to bring tunes to the workshop that you find tricky to harmonize.

Sat 14:45SusanDANCE
Susan and Rachel began their dance and tune writing collaboration in 2015 with “Trip to Provence,” a dance Susan set to Rachel’s waltz, “Voyage de la Diabline.” Since then, they have compiled a dozen more - and counting! - and are mighty pleased that their dances are showing up on dance and ball programs from coast to coast. We’ll do some of their greatest hits and even try a new one! 

Sat 14:45JimLAUREL
Breton dance
Come enter the wonderful world of the dance music of Brittany. Using a combination of play-along memorization and written music, we’ll explore around a half dozen types of Breton dance tunes. This is a drone-based tradition, but I’ll also demonstrate some chording ideas. All instruments welcome.

Sat 16:00BetsyDANCE
Open Band
This session is open to all dancers and musicians who either want to play or dance waltzes (or some of both!).  I'll be on mic and through a monitor to help hold us all together. Bring your Waltz Books, and if you have special waltz requests that are not in those books, bring copies to share.  Suggestions welcome from both musicians AND dancers.

Sat 16:00JonathanLAUREL
Lead, perform or sing along on classic songs from Tin Pan Alley, Hollywood and Broadway, accompanied by Songbook enthusiast Jonathan Jensen. Lyric sheets will be provided.

Sun 09:45MelissaDANCE
English BreakfastSomething savory, something sweet, something brisk and bracing—come dig into a smorgasbord of English country dance as we enjoy a moving “second breakfast."" We’ll have old favorites and new, simple fare and chewier morsels, engaging for feet and ears and minds.

Sun 09:45ShiraLAUREL
Singing English
Country Dances
Bring your voices and instruments for this musical romp through selections of English Country Dance Songs. The styles include madrigals, ballads, sea shanties and rounds. A banquet of words! 

Sun 11:00DavidDANCE
Timing and
Hidden Transitions
There are many layers to an English dance. The music, the basic figures, how dancers move, .... In this workshop we'll spend time considering transitions. Some of these transitions (getting from one figure to the next) are documented in the dance instructions, others just make themselves known...  and of course, we'll do that with proper timing and styling.

Sun 11:00SusanLAUREL
Musical Considerations
Around Programming
Programming for English is tricky business. Not only do you need to think about choreographies, but you also need to weigh musical choices, not just for the benefit of the dancers, but for the band, too. As a musician and caller, Susan has experienced life on both sides and will share insights into creating programs that meet the needs of those on the floor, and on stage.

Sun 13:30SusanDANCE
No Prompting ECD60 minutes of dancing without calls. You’ll get a talk through of well known and accessible dances, and then Alchemy will take you on a wonderful ride! 

Sun 13:30MelissaLAUREL
Positional Calling
Are you working on positional calling but have trouble figuring out how to call some figures? This is the place for you! I'll bring some ideas, you'll bring some ideas, we'll brainstorm some options and think together about ways to think about figures.

Sun 14:45MelissaDANCE
Early Music in ECDMedieval, Renaissance, and early baroque music has been used for this kind of dancing, well, since Playford times. But there's been an upsurge of interest in more recent decades in these very old tunes, whether it's in reconstructing their original dances or in adapting them for contemporary choreographies. This session will feature old and new choreographies to some very old tunes.

Sun 14:45EricLAUREL
Off the DotsExperiment with increasing freedom of expression, communication and improvisation while decreasing reliance on written ECD music!

Sun 16:00Susan &
French SongsWe’ll learn a song in French to accompany one of the dances taught in the bal folk workshop right after this session. You’re not required to stick around for the Bal Folk workshop, but those who can will be rewarded with either  a year’s supply of French wine and cheese delivered to your door - or a sense of incredible satisfaction of being able to sing in French while dancing. (Prizes determined by workshop leaders.) 

Sun 16:00KarenLAUREL
Comedy ImprovThis class is open to everyone who wants to add a bit of fun and humor into their day. No experience necessary. And you don't even have to be funny. We will play a bunch of theatre games, and we will aim to quiet our internal self-critical voice.

Sun 16:30Susan &
Bal Folk DancingDances from France are nearly as diverse as French cheeses, coming in a range of meters and feels, informed by the danse terroir of each region. There’s the energetic bourrée of Central France, the beautiful gavotte de l’Aven and the trance-like an dro from Brittany.  Susan and Rachel will present a few of their favorites, giving newcomers and experienced dancers alike a chance to leave behind the Northwest for an hour to be transported to France through these gorgeous tunes and dances.