English Country Dance

What is English Country Dance?

Think about movies like Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility or Emma and you have indeed seen English country dancing. English Country Dance is not only dances from long ago. The dance is thriving, and new dances and tunes are appearing every day. Music for English dance ranges from hauntingly beautiful tunes to driving reels and jigs.

There are no lessons or classes required to come dance with us. At the beginning of the dance there is a teaching session that will help you to become familiar with terminology and figures. Each dance is taught by the caller (teacher) before it is danced. The caller continues to prompt the dancers as needed. Since the pattern of moves of each dance is repeated often, dances are easy to learn. Both beginning and experienced dancers happily dance together.

You do not need to have a partner to come dance with us. Many people come to the dance alone. Dancers are encouraged to dance with many different partners throughout the evening. In fact, the easiest way to learn is to dance with someone who is more experienced than you!

Wear comfortable clothes. Dancers tend to dress informally. Most people dress casually, for ease of movement, and in anticipation of mild to vigorous exercise. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes. (Many dancers prefer smooth, leather-soled shoes that are worn for dancing only to keep the grit of the world off the dance floor.) Please refrain from wearing perfume or using heavily scented personal products. 

Videos

Want to see what English Dancing is like?  Here are a few videos that show the variety music and figures.

Cockle Shells was originally published in 1701 and is still danced by during many dance events

Diana’s Maggot is from 2017 and done to a waltz tune.  English dances are choreographed to reels, jigs, Waltzes and other types of music

Leather Lake House was published in 1788.  This video shows a variation of that old dance and has been renamed Leather Lake Cottage.  

Where and When

See the calendar for specific dates and event details.

There’s a regular dance most Fridays at 7:30p. It’s open to all and when requested, there’s a first-timers’ orientation at 7:15p.

Burlingame Water Tower Dance Hall
8936 SW 17th Ave
Portland, OR 97219

There’s an experienced English dance is usually 3:00-5:00p on 2nd Sunday of the Month from October to July. It’s open to all, but we usally spend little or no time on basic moves, so it helps to have already have some English Country Dance experience. (No street shoes permitted beyond the entrance).

A Renaissance School Dance Hall
0234 SW Bancroft St
Portland, OR 97239