CDS Boston Centre
Harvard Sq. English Dance

2nd and 4th Fridays, 7:30 - 9:30pm (see schedule below)
Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church
1555 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA
(map, parking suggestions)
September through June
$4 students, $6 members, $7 general, $40 8 dance-card
Harvard Square publicity flyer
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What is English Country Dancing?

English Country Dance is social, community dancing. Dancers take a different partner for each dance of the evening, and join a "set" of couples. Each couple dances a series of figures with another couple, then repeats the same figures with each couple in the set. There's minimal footwork: If you can walk you can dance! One of the pleasures of this kind of dancing is that you interact with everyone in the room. Dancers are encouraged to be attentive to each other as well as to the dance patterns.

The repertoire includes dances popular in 1650 all the way up to dances written (last year). Some are elegant, some rowdy, some romantic, some playful. Each dance has its own tune. Often the first thing that attracts people to English Country Dance is the splendid live music.

New people are welcome any time... You don't need to bring a partner. Wear loose, comfortable clothes, and sturdy, flat shoes that won't skid or stick on a wood floor.

-- by Jenny Beer, Germantown Country Dancers

All dances at this series will be taught by a caller and accompanied by live music ranging from works by Purcell and Susato to traditional waltzes, jigs, and reels. Come join us!

Would you like to see some pictures of our dance series?

Schedule 2016-2017

Date Caller   Musicians
September 9   Leslie Lassetter   McKinley James (cello), Marnen Laibow-Koser (piano), Ishmael Stefanov (fiddle & winds)
September 23   Christine Robb   Open Band led by Jacqueline Schwab (piano). Workshop/rehearsal 6:15 - 7:15 pm.
October 14   Tom Roby   Robert Penny (cello), Bruce Randall (winds), Victor Troll (piano)
October 28   Sue Rosen   Haley Hewitt (harp), Bruce Rosen (piano), Nora Smith (fiddle)
November 11   Christine Robb   Ron Dann (clarinet), Julie Vallimont (piano), Brian Wilson (fiddle & clarinet)
November 25   Leslie Lassetter   Paradise Bird: Jonathan Gilbert (strings & winds), Jean Monroe (piano), Marc Vilain (recorders)
December 9   Miriam Newman   Vince O'Donnell (fiddle), Barbara Pixton (piano), Bruce Randall (winds)
December 23   (no dance)  
December 30   Open Mike   A fifth Friday dance! Music by Phoenix (Christopher Jacoby, Nora Smith, & Corey Walters)
January 13   Christine Robb   Carol Bittenson (fiddle), Jerome Fung (piano), Donna Slonim (fiddle)
January 27   Barbara Finney   Seven Times Salt: Karen Burciaga (fiddle), Dan Meyers (winds), Josh Schreiber Shalem (viol), Matthew Wright (lute) with Alastair Thompson (harpsichord)
February 10   Miriam Newman   Lady Jane's Delight: Julia Hartman (fiddle), Jean Monroe (piano), Sue Polansky (clarinet)
February 24   Tom Roby   McKinley James and Sam Talmadge (piano & guitar)
March 10   Barbara Finney   Open Band led by Ishmael Stefanov. Workshop/rehearsal 6:15 - 7:15 pm.
March 24   Leslie Lassetter   Sally Kolodkin (fiddle), Marnen Laibow-Koser (piano, etc.), Brian Warnock (recorders)
April 7   Miriam Newman   First Friday! Ron Dann (clarinet), Nora Smith (fiddle), Victor Troll (piano)
April 14   (Good Friday - no dance)
April 28   Linda Leslie   Ken Allen (piano), Johanna Bobrow (fiddle), Haley Hewitt (harp)
May 12   Open Mic Night organized by Tom Roby   Jerome Fung (piano), Vince O'Donnell (fiddle), Bruce Randall (winds)
May 26   Leslie Lassetter   Favorites Night Jean Monroe (piano), Ishmael Stefanov (strings & winds)
June 9   Barbara Finney   Robert Penny (cello), Barbara Pixton (piano), Elaine Winic (flute)

Open Band nights: Band rehearsal starts at 6:15 pm. Donation by musicians appreciated to cover cost of band leader and church hall.

March 10 tune list: Beach Spring, The Bishop, Childgrove, Drapers Gardens, Helena, The Hop Ground, Jack's Maggot, Look Both Ways, Maiden Lane, Margaret's Waltz, The Mulberry Garden, The Queen's Jig, Upon a Summer's Day, Well Hall, Wooden Shoes
Ishmael has prepared the March 10 tunes for those who don't have the music:

Send e-mail to < harvardecd at cds-boston dot org > to be added to the open band early notification list.

Membership Information

As you may (or may not) know, our dance series is sponsored by the Country Dance Society, Boston Centre. That means that we don't have to rely solely on charging admission to pay musicians, callers, or for the use of the hall. CDS Boston has been promoting traditional and contemporary dance and dance music since 1915. So, if you are not already a CDS member, now is the time to sign up (for as little as $20/yr!) and get the member discount every time you come dance with us!

To join CDS Boston, print out and mail the membership application, with payment enclosed, to the address indicated at the top of the form. At this time, CDSBC isn't set up for credit cards or web pay options.

Parking Suggestions

Parking in Harvard Square is extremely limited and difficult to find. Consider alternative means of transportation first.

We recommend that you take an MBTA bus or train to the Square, and then walk the rest of the way. From the Square just walk north on Mass Ave (Rt 2A), staying on the west side of the street until you reach the end of the Cambridge Common at the intersection with Waterhouse St. Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church should be directly across Mass Ave. By the way, if you are on Mass Ave. then you are moving north when Harvard Yard is off to your right.

(Mapquest map) (Google map)

If you are feeling lucky and are determined to drive then you certainly can try to look for parking on the street. Check the street signs as some parking meters are in effect until 8pm. Try looking on Kirkland and Oxford St near the Harvard Science Center, or on Mass Ave and Garden St next to the Cambridge Common. Although those are the closest parking spots to the church, there are many other streets with non-permit parking available. However, it can take some time to find an open spot. Good luck! For the less patient, there are commercial parking lots on Church Street, at the corner of Eliot and JFK, and near the Charles Hotel.

Contact Information

For more information or parking, email < harvardecd at cds-boston dot org >

Dances done so far this year (2016/17)
Dances done previous years
CDS Boston Centre home page
Last updated: May 12 2017