This little number was tweaked for both the Texas Renaissance Festival (as Highland Welcome) and Scarborough Faire (as Welcome to Scarborough) by Miz Ellen Horr, Dance Captain Extraordinaire. It’s actually a variation on a contra dance called Haste to the Wedding – modified slightly to make it easy for patrons with no dance experience to pick up.
A variation of ‘Haste to the Wedding’ by Ellen Horr for the Texas Renaissance Festival circuit.
In case you missed our premiere on WOSU Valentine’s Day night, The newest installment of Columbus Neighborhoods is now available online. Take a look and let me know what you think! I’m very proud of everyone!
I just received my copy of the Renaissance Magazine Weddings issue – guess who was cited in the “Live Wedding Music” article? I will admit that I’m a little bit smiley at seeing my name in a national magazine. Honestly, I’ve put a lot of thought into trying to break into the wedding market. I had a lot of fun doing it previously, and I’d love to teach more people to dance for their big day. Weddings are fun!
Earlier this year, I was lucky to be able to work with Cindy Gaillard and WOSU on their latest Columbus Neighborhoods documentary. It was a fantastic time – not only was I able to bring on-board a lot of very talented reenactor friends, but I also had a chance to teach some really fun Regency/Civil War dances. Coordinating is a really fun job, and I’m incredibly excited for everyone to see the results of their hard work.
We shot about 40 reenactors over two beautiful days out in the Ohio Village. We couldn’t have asked for better weather, and the entire cast and crew got along beautifully. I hope we have another opportunity again sometime to all work together.
Columbus Neighborhoods: Downtown and Franklinton premieres this Tuesday, February 14th at 8:00pm on your local WOSU station. If you’re not local, I believe that it will also be available on wosu.org soon! Check it out!
This Saturday is Historical Dance day again at the Grandview Public Library. We’ll be meeting downstairs in the conference room from 2:30-4:45ish. Please bring comfortable shoes and a mug to sip tea out of 🙂
This month, in a belated celebration of the 4th of July we will be doing an assortment of dances from the late 18th Century – I’m going to try to fit in a few that have Washington’s name in them. They’re progressives, but not too difficult – I think everyone will enjoy them!
Hope to see you all there!
The Steampunk Murder mystery that I wrote for the Ohio Historical Society was a huge success! Thanks in no small part to Ben Hamby, Matthew Senn and Steve Martel for their awesome costume work. I was a little worried, since I ended up wearing about three hats for this show, but in the end it came out smashingly!
You can check out some pictures over here – we hope to do this show again one day.
This month we have a special treat for our monthly Historical Dance class. Sue Wartell, of the English Country Dance Society is going to be teaching a selection of Regency dances in honor of the Louisville Jane Austen Society’s annual Ball. I’m really excited to learn these dances!
Class will be held from 2:30-4:30pm at the Grandview Public Library. As always, tea and snacks will be served, and please bring your own mug if possible. It’s a lot easier to track down your tea when you have a brightly colored mug 🙂
The Louisville Jane Austen Society’s Ball will be held on July 9th – I hope to see some of you there! You can find out more information at their page here.
As always, please wear comfy shoes that you can point your toe in, and don’t worry if you’ve never done Regency dance before! Sue is a fantastic teacher, so don’t worry. See you all Saturday!
I will freely admit to looking for any and all opportunities to teach and dance this dance. I’m not quite sure why it is so much fun, but it really is. I think it’s either all the slipping or the inevitable chorus of “And everyone turn around”. Who knows – all I know is that it’s a blast.
There are a few little changes in this version from the original Playford. Depending on whether or not we’re dancing this for fun or for a show, I will either have everyone always turn single to the right (for fun) or alternate between left and right (for a show). Playford is, as always, not very helpful in letting us know which is correct, so whichever works best for you is great. I have also replaced the siding figure with diamonds purely for fun. If you are feeling more period, please put the siding figure back into the B section – it won’t hurt my feelings at all. Finally, I teach the C section as a 12-count single hey and a turn single for symmetry with the other sections. If you are having trouble finishing the hey in time, please feel free to use the full 16 counts for that and don’t worry about the turn single.
The Black Nag
Originally in Playford’s The English Dancing Master, 1670.
A longways set for three couples, facing the top of the hall, with the man on the lady’s left.
Ahh Hit or Miss(e). A fun little dance, with a confusing history of music and steps attached to it. Depending on the time period and the source, you will get one of two dances, and one of three possible songs. In this case, we’re using “Daphne” for music, and the steps from the 1st Edition (1651) version of Playford. Because of this – the four-person hey in the chorus has only 12 counts and not 16. If you use the music Playford lists, you will get 16 counts. Just something to keep in mind – I prefer ‘Daphne’, but I think that is because I always think of Owain Phyfe’s version.
Hit or Miss
Originally found in Playford’s the English Dancing Master, 1651.
A square dance for two couples facing each other, men on the ladies’ left.
Counts to Nine Productions is Whitney Rowlett Senn, a lifelong dancer, musician and performer. Whitney lives in Los Angeles, California, where she works as a Production Coordinator. She has developed dance programs at Renaissance Festivals and Living History sites across the country, and is currently working on several film projects. In her spare time, Whitney enjoys cooking and throwing parties with good wine and food on tiny plates.
Whitney can be reached at email@example.com.
Positive press about Whitney and Counts to Nine Productions:
“Whitney is an amazing dancer and an even more amazing choreographer. I have had the pleasure of working with Whitney for a number of years and I have yet to find a more qualified and friendly dance choreographer anywhere in the world. A heart of gold with feet to match.” — Christopher Eden, OM Entertainment
“Whitney is an excellent choreographer. In her instruction to the dancers she is concise and patient. Whitney has the ability to choreograph complex dances within a limited timespan and with varying levels of experience of her dancers. She carefully chooses which dances will be performed to ensure they are not only spectacular, but that they are also contiguous with the rest of the performance. Whitney also knows exactly what a musician needs in order to play music for her dances. She communicates this information clearly thus making the job of the music coordinator much easier. Whitney is a wonderful, kind hearted person and working with her is always a pleasure.” — Bethany Duke, Musician and Awesome Person
“I had the privilege to take private lessons in historical dance from Whitney for several months during 2007 and 2008. She is an amazing teacher with a knowledge base of incredible depth and breadth, and clearly has a passion that parallels her skill.” — Alison Farabee, Queen of Numbers and Stuff
“If I could all the top attributes above for Whitney I would. I have been fortunate to work with Whtiney on a number of occasions. She has worked for me an in the renaissance festival industry as a group leader, actor and dance choreographer. The has also worked for me on two occasions as a caterer. I have always been please with her work and professionalism and would not hesitate to hire her again.” — John Hidalgo, Owner, Cavalier Dayes of Texas (1994-1997)
“Whitney is a talented actress/dancer/choreographer with a eye for detail and a very professional approach to her craft. Her dedication and hard work were integral to the success of the entertainment at the Texas Renaissance Festival” — Travis Bryant, Texas Renaissance Festival School Days Coordinator (2007-2010)