A great article by Richard Powers,Instructor and dance historian, Stanford University Dance Division, Department of Drama.
For centuries, dance manuals and other writings have lauded the health benefits of dancing, usually as physical exercise. More recently we've seen research on further health benefits of dancing, such as stress reduction and increased serotonin level, with its sense of well-being. Now we've heard of another benefit: Frequent dancing apparently makes us smarter. A major study has added to the growing evidence that stimulating one's mind can ward off Alzheimer's disease and other dementia, much as physical exercise can keep the body fit. Dancing also increases cognitive acuity at all ages.
In 2001 The Demon Barbers, winners of Best Live Act at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2009, brought together some of England's most exciting young traditional dancers to create the high energy spectacular Demon Barber Roadshow. Used to pushing the boundaries of English traditions they now take a further step and invite three young hip hop dancers for a night out at their local pub 'The Fighting Cocks', resulting in one of the most innovative and compelling dance shows this side of the millennium.
A great page of links to videos of many different styles of dance put together by John and Karen Sweeney.
Conductor and musician Charles Hazlewood plans to put clog dancing firmly back on the map in this BBC FOUR documentary, with the help of expert clog dancers Laura Connolly, Brenda Walker, sword dancers The Kingsmen and 140 newly trained men and women from across North East England, when one sunny Saturday, in a busy square in central Newcastle, they ambush the public by staging a four-minute mass flash mob clog dance
Playford/Molly performance by Gog Magog Molly. Part of 'The Secret Life of TED' at Sidmouth Folk Ferstival 2013.
Bellowhead were joined on stage by the outrageously athletic Demon Barber Roadshow for a Big Band, clog and rapper extravaganza
Cape Breton music, stepping and social dancing
See the wonderful CDSS video "Spread The Joy" produced to celebrate the centennial of the Country Dance and Song Society
Dance historian Graham Christian discussed his new book, "The Playford Assembly," a major new collection of historic English dances published by the Country Dance and Song Society in celebration of its centennial year. Christian's talk will be enhanced by demonstrations of the dances by CDSS dancers and musicians. "The Playford Assembly" (a follow-up to the seminal 1990 collection "The Playford Ball," also published by CDSS) features 125 historical dances edited for use by contemporary dancers and dance leaders. Reflecting recent scholarship, it revives many of the older dances based on the advice of a committee convened by the author. He will discuss his selection process and the history of English country dance in England and the United States, as well as cultural aspects of the era in which the dances were created.
When you listen to music, multiple areas of your brain become engaged and active. But when you actually play an instrument, that activity becomes more like a full-body brain workout. What’s going on? Anita Collins explains the fireworks that go off in musicians’ brains when they play, and examines some of the long-term positive effects of this mental workout.
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