Cape Breton Step Dance Classes

Scottish immigrant communities in Nova Scotia have been dancing a percussive dance form, now known as Cape Breton step dancing, since the early 19th century. Cape Breton steps can be performed solo or integrated into social set dances. Beginner to advanced dancers of all ages are invited to attend. Boston is one of the few places outside Nova Scotia to hold regular dances and even has its own distinctive set. This dance style is enjoyed and performed by men, women, and children of all ages. Come be part of a very unique dance tradition!

Fall 2017 Step Dance classes:
September 23 through November 4, 2017
Saturdays, 1:00 – 2:00 pm at the Canadian American Club, 202 Arlington St., Watertown, MA; drop-in at $15/class; wear comfortable clothing and bring hard-soled dance shoes.

Gaelic Club
The Boston Gaelic Club meets every third Sunday at the Canadian American Club in Watertown, MA. I often teach Cape Breton step dancing with Mary MacGillivray at 12:30 pm, then Gordon Aucoin leads a Cape Breton music session at 2:00 pm, and then an open mic session usually featuring instrumentalists and Gaelic singers starts at 3:30 pm. It’s a fun, family-friendly gathering. The dance workshop is run only by specific request, so please email if you are planning to attend.

Highland Dance Classes
Highland Dance is an athletic dance form fusing the rhythmic attack of dynamic footwork with the strength of balletic line. My classes offer a unique approach to the artistry and history of this demanding dance form. Fall 2017 Highland classes will also run starting Saturdays from September 23 through November 4 at the Canadian American Club from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Cost is $15/class. Appropriate leg wear would be leggings, tights, or shorts and knee socks, and appropriate footwear would be soft-soled dance slippers or gillies.

Scottish Country Dance History workshop
Join Jen Schoonover and Susie Petrov in the Pub at the Club on Saturday, September 23, from 3:00–5:00 pm for an afternoon of discussions, videos, and social dances. Have you ever wondered how country dancing was being done when Miss Milligan got started codifying Scottish Country Dancing movements? In this workshop, we will watch footage of dancing filmed in the 1930s by Ion C.B. Jamieson, one of the founding members of the Scottish Country Dance Society, as well as film clips from the National Library of Scotland. We will dance some of this repertoire in historic style ourselves, and compare these movements to today’s motifs. We will also try out dances collected and notated by dance master D.G. MacLennan and researchers Tom and Joan Flett that never made it into the RSCDS canon. Cost: $10 for RSCDS members and students; $12 for general admission

Jen Schoonover has performed Scottish dance at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and in July, 2004, was honored to represent “the Boston States” in the Chestico Days stepdancing festival in Port Hood, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada. Jen has performed locally at Gaelic Roots, the New England Folk Festival, and Boston Celtic Music Fest. She performs regularly with Highland Dance Boston, Kieran Jordan Dancers, and Round the Corner Movers.

For more information, please contact 617-901-7649 or outrageoussocks [at] gmail.com.