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Columbia Missourian

ArtTalk: English country dancing is easy to learn with Mid-Missouri Traditional Dancers

October 17, 2012 | 3:54 p.m. CDT

This article is a part of ArtTalk, a new Missourian project inviting people from the arts community to tell us what’s cooking around town. To submit something you're excited about and open the eyes of the community to local art, fill out the form at the bottom of this story. Find past submissions here.

Here's the latest in the series, written by Krishna Fogle, pictured below.


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I’ve been an avid contra dancer since I went to my first dance in Columbia about seven years ago. Recently, I’ve also been enjoying discovering the fun of English country dancing and want to get the word out about this addition (which is partially funded by the Columbia Office of Cultural Affairs) to the Mid-Missouri Traditional Dancers schedule.

Just as with contra dancing, English country dancing is also easy to learn, and this series is open to all ages and levels of experience. Each evening of dancing will feature live music and will be taught by an experienced and enthusiastic caller.

The artsy part of English country dancing, to me, is that so many of the dances (many over 400 years old!) were written to be danced to particular tunes and fit the music very precisely! Over time, one can experience the satisfaction of connecting a particular dance to its own piece of music, which is very nice — something like seeing a familiar face in a familiar place. The dance and music combinations can vary from stately or elegant, where you learn how to use the space on the floor to use up the amount of time you have between figures, to bouncy and skippy where it can feel like a game to quickly get to the right place in time.

I hope this will pique interest and help you to make some new friends on the dance floor!

Additional information:

A few videos:

Have something from Columbia’s arts and culture scene that you’d like to share with the rest of the community? Become a part of ArtTalk.

The rules? There aren’t many. Describe works of art, places, events, workshops, exhibits or anything else arts-related. The only restriction is that you can't share your own work. To submit, fill out the form below or email the same information to us at

This invitation is part of the Missourian's partnership with the Public Insight Network. Read more about that here.

Questions? Contact Joy Mayer, the Missourian's director of community outreach, at or 573-882-8182.