There are 48 classes.

15th c. English dance: Gresley for the Groggy

There are many choreographies to choose from in this little 15th century booklet of dance from England -- with many interpretations. We will dance some fun and simple dances from the Gresley manuscript using the reconstructions of Emma Danskona from Ealdormere. Dances will include New Yer, Rawty, Petygay, Armyn, and Hawthorne.

15th c. folk dance: Chirintana, Piva and Saltarello

This class shall cover a choreography called Chirintana, a folk-like dance that bears striking resemblance to the 17th c. dance La Trenchmore, along with two improvised folk dance forms from the 15th c, the saltarello and the piva. Instruction shall review footwork and movement drills, as well as leader and follower technique, with a dash of cultural history as told through first-hand accounts.

16th century balli

This class will include two dances by Negri: Alta Somaglia and Bassa Gioiosa.

A suite of branles:

  • ( Julia Hagmann)
  • Lower gallery on Saturday at 1:45PM to 3:15PM
  • Low
  • Beginner

Fun 16th c. French dances for couples in a circle. Do not worry if you do not have your own partner - we will form pairs during the dance class! Level: intermediate-beginners. We have a nice set of branles with some possible variations to show - Branle des chevaux (Horse’s bransle) - Branle des lavandiers (Washerwoman’s branle) - Branle de sappots (Clog bransle) - Branle des pois (Pease branle) - Branle Cassandra Depending on time, we might teach some of the variations we in Ad flumen caerulum know. The dance will be group-taught. At the beginning of the class, we will demonstrate the dance, then we will explain & teach it – in english and if needed parallel in German as well. In addition, we have available a video “dance-step bibliothek” (just for private use) where you can see how the steps of the dance are done. Also a cheatsheet will be available and the music too. Note to participants: we will be filming our class at KWDS. To get all this nice data, please bring a data stick with you, or give us your email addy in order to receive a dropbox link with the data.

Altezza d'Amore

This is a fun, but complex dance from Fabritio Caroso's Nobilta di Dame (1600). You and your partner will engage in a pedalogue (a dialogue with feet). This allows for plenty of opportunities for playful interaction or perhaps one-upmanship. Good agility and a solid knowledge of 16th C. Italian dance is highly recommended for this class.

Arranging Music for Bassadanza/Basse Danse Tenors

It seems many beautiful 15th C Italian balli and basssadanza do not get performed because of the issue of, as a musician, ‘what do you do with bassadanza mesura?’, but there are various satisfying solutions.

Beginning Caroso dances

If you've enjoyed watching virtuoso dancers perform dances from Caroso and Negri but haven't had a chance to try any, start here! We'll learn two of the most accessible dances in Il Ballarino: Villanella and Ballo del Fiore. Steps and style will also be covered.

Beginning English Country Dance

This class will teach the basic steps of English country dance--an easy, fun, and lively 17th c. dance style. We'll also cover a few of the more common English country dances you're likely to run across at balls within the SCA.

Bizzaria d’Amore – a 16th c. Italian dance by Negri

  • ( Julia Hagmann)
  • Lower gallery on Thursday at 10:00AM to 11:00AM
  • Average
  • Intermediate

Dance for groups of 4 people. Level: advanced This is a charming, upbeat 16th c. Italian dance for sets of two couples that affords the chance to flirt with everyone while demonstrating grace and poise. It will be group-taught. At the beginning of the class, we will demonstrate the dance, then we will explain & teach it – in english and if needed parallel in German as well. In addition, we have available a video “dance-step bibliothek” (just for private use) where you can see how the steps of the dance are done. Also a cheat sheet will be available and the music too. Note to participants: we will be filming our class at KWDS. To get all this nice data, please bring a data stick with you, or give us your email addy in order to receive a dropbox link with the data.

Bransles, brawles, branles!

The 16th century bransle (spelled variously in various regions of Europe)generally consisted of a line or circle dance of a more simple nature. They could be smooth and sedate, or boisterous and energetic. We'll cover as many simple, patterned, and mimed bransles as time allows. Learn the tunes, too, so the feet know what to do when the musicians start. No experience needed but it is helpful to know left from right.


A Cascarda was a lively 16th century Italian dance described in the works of Fabritio Caroso. This class will teach three cascarde from Il Ballarino (1581): La Castellana, Fedelta, Gracca Amorosa

Courtship gone awry: Fia Guilemina for Four

Set to a popular, somewhat bawdy French chanson, this dance seems to tell the tale of a double courtship gone somewhat pear-shaped. This is doubtlessly one of the most complex choreograhies that exist in the 15th century, but the challenge only makes it all the more interesting, and its mastery can be utterly elating. This dance will put to practice all six key elements of the 15th c. Italian repertory: misura, memory, air, partitioning the ground, manner and movement.

Dance in Transition

This class will comprise two mini-lectures. Both will discuss late 15th century/ early 16th century dance. The first talk will discuss the Il Papa manuscript and how the steps and forms of these dances transition between the 15th c Bali to the 16th c cascarde using reconstructions by Roselyne de l'Estrangere and Daniele da Padolaon. The second talk will examine the Greley manuscript and whether some remnants of the Gresley style can be found in the Inns of Court dances.

Dressed up Pavans: 16th Century Balletti

This class will teach two balletti from Il Ballarino (1581) by Fabrito Caroso. These dances start out pavan-like, but have a faster section at the end. Gratia d'Amore Contentezza d'Amore

Easy period and sca songs

Singing period songs can be easy and fun. The class is suitable for anyone who wants to sing, no previous singing experience required.

Final Masque Rehearsal

This is a final rehearsal for the Masque, all hands on deck!

Gresley Roundtable

This roundtable is a chance for those interested in 15th c. English dance as found in the Gresley manuscript to brainstorm, discuss the latest research, available resources, music, and step reconstructions. Bring what you know, what you do not know, and your questions!

Inns of Court

These dances are from Elizabethan London (late 1500's) and were danced by the upper class. Everyone is doing the same thing at the same time and are easy to learn. No experience or fast movement is necessary.

Intermediate English Country

  • Baronness Evelynne Merrymet
  • Lower gallery on Friday at 11:15AM to 12:15PM
  • Dance
  • Average
  • Intermediate

We will be working on Grimstock and Picking of sticks and other English Country with non repeating chorus' as time permits. The handout will include a copy of the Playford as well as the construction we will use.

Introduction to Persian Dance

  • Music Room on Saturday at 9:00AM to 10:00AM
  • Dance
  • Low
  • Beginner

A discussion of the sources (or lack thereof) for Persian court dance of the 16th-17th centuries, followed by an introduction to some basic movements and gestures. There are no surviving dance manuals or choreographies from this period, so the dance style must be reconstructed based on period depictions in visual art combined with elements of 19th-century “classical" Persian dance. At the end of the class, we’ll practice some combinations to traditional Persian music.

Marchesana: Tempo-changing balli for beginners:

Marchesana is a lovely little danced courtship in typical quattrocento style - flirtation, elegance, moments of tantalizing, almost socially unacceptable proximity to one's partner. While truly an intermediate-level dance, this class is tailored for beginners who want to try their "hand" at a dance with tempo changes - footwork will be covered, and we will go through footwork drills to practice both the figures in the dance as well as changing from one tempo to another.

Masque rehearsal: Mercantia

This class will cover the Masque dance Mercantia, in which one lady toys with the affections of three men (the paradigm can also be inverted depending on gender ratios...). Footwork will be reviewed briefly as a warm-up, and the class will be spiced liberally with cultural and historical tidbits from primary sources. Focus will be on those performing in the Masque, but others are welcome to come and learn.

Masque rehearsal: Pizochara

This class will cover a highly amusing dance for four couples that emulates the consequences of committing young women to convent life. This dance will also be included in the Masque, so students may have the chance to perform it during the ball. Footwork will be reviewed as part of the warmup, and cultural tidbits thrown in to help students experience the proper zeitgeist.

Masque Rehearsal: Sword dance

This is for Masque performers only for the Sword Dance.

Masque rehearsal: Tesara

Tesara is a gorgeous 15th c. dance for ten people, one that emulates the act of weaving cloth. Although not explicitly labeled as a performance dance, this one clearly is such. This dance will be included in the Masque, so students may end up performing during the ball if they are so inclined.

Masque Rehearsal: Tesara and Sword Dance

This is a rehearsal for Masque performers only.

More complex dances from the Gresley Manuscript

This 15th century English manuscript includes a number of more challenging dances. The steps are relatively simple but the sequences need quick wits to remember and perform. Depending on the wits and patience of the participants, we will attempt ‘Northumberland’, ‘Armynn’ and ‘Talbot’.

My favorite galliards

The cinq pas or cinquepace is just the beginning! Come try some fun and challenging galliard sequences from other dances. We'll play with sequences from dances like Alta Mendozza and maybe even do some Volta. And yes, we will take breaks in between so everyone can catch their breath.

Mysteries of the Burgundian Basse dance revealed

Why did Northern Europe around 1500 go wild for a slow dance in which very little happens? We will start from the manuscripts and establish the underlying principles that allow both dancers and musicians to perform a variety of ‘new’ dances with the briefest instruction.

Parson's Farewell/Whirligig

A couple of more interesting dances from Playford 1. They look good for performance pieces. Some prior English Country dancing preferred.

Part I: Theatrical Dance of the Renaissance

Part one of a three part series: An introduction to the theatrical dance, with a workshop of Emilio Cavalieri's "O Che Nuovo Miracolo" performed at the wedding of Ferdinando de'Medici and Christine of Lorraine in 1589.

Part II: Theatrical Dance of the Renaissance

Part two of a three part series: An introduction to the theatrical dance, with a workshop of Emilio Cavalieri's "O Che Nuovo Miracolo" performed at the wedding of Ferdinando de'Medici and Christine of Lorraine in 1589.

Part III: Theatrical Dance of the Renaissance

Part three of a three part workshop: An introduction to the theatrical dance, with a workshop of Emilio Cavalieri's "O Che Nuovo Miracolo" performed at the wedding of Ferdinando de'Medici and Christine of Lorraine in 1589.

Performance Before the Court

Their Excellencies the Baron and Baroness of Knights Crossing, Hosts of this great occasion, cordially invite all dancers to present what they have learned to Them and Their courtiers. Dance groups should inform Countess Judith by 11am Saturday morning as to which o the dances they will be performing. If you do not wish to perform, you are welcome to join the audience and admire the skill on display.

Performing from Memory

Playing from memory was standard in the Middle Ages, and still is in most cultures today. It frees you as a musician to work with the dancers, and makes a good impression, and it is not as hard as it looks. This will be a short class on tips on how to start playing from memory, why you should want, and the benefits. And also some practical experience on simple tunes.

Playing Music for 15th C dance

Dance music in the 15th C is very different from later music and needs to be treated differently. This hands-on workshop will explore the various aspects that make it a different sound-world, and how to bring them out in performance for dancers.

Queen of the Dance: Damnes, a bassadanza for 3

Bassadanza is described by Cornazano as the Queen of the Dnace, an elegant syncopated rhythm that engenders grace and flirtation. Damnes is a very interesting dance for two men and one woman in which the men are clearly competing for her attention, and the lady is clearly enjoying it. The class assumes a basic knowledge of 15th c. dance; I will cover ornamentation and liberally spice the proceedings with first-hand accounts of dance in the 15th c.

Queen of the Dance: Pelligrina, a bassadanza for three

This class shall cover the ornamented, virtuoso version of the dance Pelligrina, Designed for two women and one man, this dance is a lesson in elegant flirtation. disappointed expectations, and grace. Footwork and ornamentation shall be reviewed and drilled, along with the rules for dancing as prescribed by Messer Guglielmo Ebreo da Pesaro.

Reading movement: translations from ms to dance hall

How do we translate a text into movement? What do we know about body language in the Middle Ages? What are the things we need to think about when reading manuscripts on dancing? This class will start from recent work on gesture and body language in the Middle Ages, and discuss what that might mean to our understanding of medieval and Renaissance dance.

Reconsidering the lilly: Gelosia, Amoroso and Belfiore

This class will teach a new reconstruction of three popular SCA dances: Gelosia, Amoroso and Petits Vriens, three 15th c. dances that have long been popular in the SCA, but that have ultimately fallen victim to the Grapevine Effect. The new reconstructions present a more precise, virtuoso dance than their predecessors, with greater opportunity for flirtation and grace - you will not be disappointed! Prior dance experience recommended, but footwork and ornamentation will be drilled as part of the warmup.

Rostiboli Gioioso

This is a fun romantic 15th century Italian dance that can be interpreted to tell several salacious stories revolving around courtship gong awry. Some learn one of the most popular social dances in the SCA!

Simple 15th c. dances: Petits Vriens and Petite Rose

This class will cover two simple dances of the 15th century, namely my own reconstructions of Petite Rose and Petits Vriens. Basic 15th c. footwork will be covered, along with ornamentation and styling. Dance instruction will be spiced with cultural context and first-hand accounts!

Simple dances from the Gresley Manuscript

Dating from the end of the 15th century, this is our earliest source for dancing in England. This class will cover a selection of dances from the manuscript that are quick to learn, fun to dance, and have very catchy tunes, including the delicious combination of Orynge and Grene Gynger. Note: This class is taught by Mistress Caitlin de Courcy of Gatia.

Social dancing for beginners - with flirting tips

We'll learn 2-3 fun and easy dances along with what and how to talk to your partner - with some flirting lessons tossed in! Dances TBD but may include Black Alman, Pavan (excellent flirting opportunities with this one)and Gelosia.

Songwriting in period style

Analyzing period music styles and using the structural analysis as a tool to help songwriting. Some knowledge of music recommended but not compulsory.

Surely You Joust?

You may have thought that jousting was just for knights on horseback. However there are several dances in Il Ballarino (1581) where Fabritio Caroso describes the dancers doing jousting-like moves. We will learn two of those dances, Maraviglia d'Amore and Bella Gioiosa.

The Old Measures: Dances from the Inns of Court

In the late 16th and early 17th Centuries, revels at the Inns of Court in London began with a sequence of stately dances known as the Old Measures. This introductory class will teach a selection of those dances, including the basic steps needed to dance them.


A beautiful 15th century Italian bassadanza with an interesting floor pattern and a chance to pose.

Unscheduled or Canceled Classes

  • Introduction to the Pattricke/Lovelace/Church Manuscript
  • Playford is not the ultimate definition of English Country Dance