There are 59 classes.

A few dances from the Il Papa manuscript

The Il Papa manuscript from early 16th-century Italy, contains a number of dances little done in the SCA. Come join us to learn some!

A Hands-On Introduction to Early Notation

Reading medieval music in modern notation imposes modern notions of measure, phrasing, and tonality. Reading it in the original notation allows us to get closer to the composer's intentions and the head-space of a medieval performer, and can help achieve those elusive, magical "medieval moments". We'll start with an overview of differences between modern and medieval notation, then spend most of the class reading examples. Bring melody instruments you play fluently, such as recorder, gamba, fiddle, voice (if you have good pitch memory), etc. If you have multiple sizes (e.g. SATB recorders), bring them.

All Arbeau's Branles

We will try to make it through (and maybe even discuss) every branle in Orchésographie by Arbeau, as reconstructed by the teacher.

Another look at the Gresley Dances with Music

Now we have reconstructed all of the Gresley dances without music, it is time to have another look at the ones with music and apply what we have learned to these reconstructions. Dances: Talbot and Prenes a Gard - maybe Esperans if we have time

Another new Lovelace ECD

  • Dafydd Cyhoeddwr
  • Florence on Saturday at 10:15AM to 11:15AM
  • Hands On
  • Low
  • Beginner

Highway to Westminster is a Lovelace dance that I thought had no music. Some researchers in England, however, pointed out the connection to an entry in an early 17th century lutebook, and the tune works very well with the dance. Which means that a third totally new dance (name, at least) has come out of the Lovelace Manuscript ready to be taught to the (Known) world!

Beginner 15th c Italian

Italian is not hard! Don't sit out at the balls when the Italian dances come up. Join the fun! Steps will be taught, both the easy way and the 'fancy' way. We will do Amoroso, Anello, and Gelosia (more if time permits).

Beginner Ball

This is in addition to the evening balls and is a chance for the newer dancers to get a chance to shine...

Beginning ECD Upgrade

  • THL Henry of Maldon
  • Bruges on Friday at 10:15AM to 11:20AM
  • Dance
  • Average
  • Beginner

These are dances that many have learned, and many have taught, but this time they're being taught as reconstructed by the teacher from Playford. You might not have learned them the same way before.

Belfiore Revisited

  • Conandil
  • Florence on Saturday at 9:00AM to 10:00AM
  • Hands On
  • Average

Experience a new reconstruction of Domenico’s Belfiore. After taking a fresh look at this dance I revised my reconstruction, creating a different aesthetic. This dance is accessible for any level of dancer. Familiarity with 15th Century Italian footwork is helpful but not required.

Bianco Fiore

  • Dafydd Cyhoeddwr
  • Ball Room on Sunday at 9:00AM to 10:00AM
  • Average
  • Intermediate

This 16th Century Italian dance for two couples seems to be a teaching dance, where the men gradually "teach" the women the fancy 'galliard' part of the dance until on the last repeat, both the men and the women do a slow, easy (but fancy) 'galliard' together.

Bizarre How?

  • THL Henry of Maldon
  • Bruges on Friday at 9:00AM to 9:50AM
  • Dance
  • Average
  • Intermediate

Bizzarria d'Amore as reconstructed by the teacher from le Gratie d'Amore by Cesare Negri, with discussion of the options and reasons for this version.

Bowed Strings

This is a class taught by members of Renaissonics. More detailed information to follow.

Bringing Your Work to a Broader Society Audience

You've been practicing long and hard on a performance. You've done some interesting research. You've taught some great classes. How to you share that with others in the Society? It can be difficult explaining what goes into the work you do to people who are not also performers. This class will talk about ways to share your works to a broader audience past other dancers or musicians. Take the opportunity to highlight dance and music to teach others about what we do and maybe get them more interested in joining us in our fun. At the same time get yourself some credit for your own efforts too. We will discuss: entering arts and sciences competitions, entering arts and sciences displays, entering a performance versus entering research, how to write documentation, and how to talk to non-performers about your arts. This class should be helpful for any performance art but specifically dancers - both European and other - and musicians.

Burgundian Basse - An overview

  • Wilhelm of Northpass
  • Heidelberg (204) on Friday at 9:00AM to 10:00AM
  • Intermediate

This class will explore Burgundian Basse and give some detail to what I have found to be the most graceful and the most under-appreciated of the period styles. An overview of the available sources for basse found in Burgundy, France, and England in the 15th and 16th centuries will be discussed. Next these sources will be compared and contrasted to synthesize what we can learn from the form as it changed between places and century. Finally, we will conclude with a discussion of what we can assert or reasonably conclude about the performance of this wonderful, graceful form.

Cascarde Allegrezza d'Amore

  • Lord Maurin Lessault ( David Barnes)
  • London (205) on Saturday at 11:30AM to 12:30PM
  • Dance
  • Average
  • Advanced

Come learn a complex and fun cascarde for three people. Allegrezza d'Amore has a little of everything. Students should be familiar with 16th Century footwork.

Changing Fingering and Changing Clefs

In this class we'll discuss how to go from a C recorder to an F recorder, and then spend most of our time practicing doing just that. Some fairly straight-forward music will be handed out that's suitable to different sizes of recorder. For more advanced players we'll have some editions of the music in various C clefs, Baritone Clef, French Violin Clef, and facsimile.

Chant and Black Notation

This class is being taught by Martyn de Halliwell. The very beginnings of notation (10thc-11c) Students will learn note values and how to understand the inflections of early notation. Practical application, vocal application. Beginners welcome.

Damnes a Bassadanza by Domenico

The class will cover the footwork and floor pattern for this lovely bassadanza for three dancers. Damnes includes some unusual figures, and ends with the dancers in single file facing the side of the hall.

Dances from Shakespeare

Why does Duke Senior say “With measure heap’d in joy, to th’ measures fall” at the end of As You Like It? Why is it a taunt when the French ambassador tells Henry V “there’s nought in France / that can be with a nimble galliard won”? Learn more about the culture of Shakespeare’s time by trying out some of the dances he and his audiences were familiar with. No dance experience necessary, but you will get some exercise!

Dances from the Chigi Manuscripts

In 2004, a new collection of dances from the Chigi manuscripts, now held in the Vatican libraries, were brought to light. Transcriptions of these dances, including a brief analysis, were published by Fabio Carboni, Barbara Sparti and Agostino Ziino, in Music Observed. This class will present what we know about this collection, how the dances therein fit into the Sixteenth century Italian dance genre, and what has to be done to reconstruct these dances today.

Doppie Mutanze: Double Galliard Variations

Advanced, double galliard variations from Compasso’s 1560 book. We will learn 6-8 “finishing move” combinations.

Drumming for European dance

Whether you're a new drummer, an experienced musician new to drumming, or an experienced drummer new to Renaissance dance music, this class has something for you. We'll cover the basics of communicating with musicians and dancers, basic rhythms and appropriate tempos for Renaissance dance music, how to prevent things from going wrong, and how to handle it when things go wrong anyway. No drum or experience is necessary.

Early Progressive English Country Dance

  • THL Henry of Maldon
  • London (205) on Friday at 1:30PM to 3:40PM
  • Dance
  • Average
  • Intermediate

We'll be doing some progressive country dances that never heard of Hole in the Wall or The Female Sailor. Likely dances to be covered include Lady Cullen, Nonesuch, and The Chirping of the Nightingale.

English Country Performance Pieces

These two dances make lovely performance pieces because they have unusual moves. Picking of Sticks features the V changes, the Shuttles and Cocks, and the Sheepskin hey. Parsons Farewell is 2 couples with 3 verses and choruses but is fast and has frequent dancing with the other couple and 4 person heys.

Gracca Amorosa

This class will teach the dance Gracca Amorosa, an energetic 16th century Italian dance for individual couples.

Gresley Favorites

A section of our favourite Gresley dances. Dances: Lybens, Rawty, Green Gynger, New Year, Armynn

Horse's Branle

We will look at the original instructions for Branle de Chevaux from Arbeau's Orchesographie to explore all the possibilities and compare the variations done throughout the SCA. No experience necessary.

How to Play and Sing in Tune

In this class we'll practice singing and playing in Just Intonation. Bring your voice or your non-fixed-pitch instruments (like recorders and violins) and we'll make some consonant noise together.

Inns of Court

The Inns of Court were the social center of Elizabethan London and there were certain dances one was expected to know. No experience necessary, nothing fast, just walking. We will also talk about the social and historical context.

Intermediate English Country Dance

  • THL Henry of Maldon
  • Ball Room on Saturday at 11:30AM to 1:30PM
  • Dance
  • Average
  • Intermediate

We'll see how many of the less easy dances we can get through in the time allotted. Dances may include the Sloane version of Parson's Farewell, If All the World Were Paper, Whirligig, and Newcastle (a primarily Playford version).

Intro to White Mensural Notation

If you've ever seen a facsimile of 16th century music, you'll know it's not quite the same as modern notation. In this class we'll look at some facsimiles, and discuss how to read this notation, how it differs from modern notation and how it is similar to modern notation.

Introduction to Galliards

Basic to intermediate 6-beat galliard variations from Compasso and Arbeau.

KWDS Wrapup /roundtable

  • Wilhelm of Northpass
  • Community Room on Sunday at 9:00AM to 10:30AM
  • Round Table

As in previous years, this is a chance to work through what worked /did not work and to talk about future years.

La Catena d'Amore

  • Dafydd Cyhoeddwr
  • Paris (305) on Friday at 11:30AM to 12:30PM
  • Low
  • Intermediate

This is a 16th Century Italian dance with several sections, but without complicated step-work. It is essentially a mixer-style of dance, where everyone gets to dance with everyone else. There is also a very cool "dance magic" section in there that shouldn't be missed!

La Gaillarde

  • THL Henry of Maldon
  • Florence on Saturday at 2:45PM to 3:45PM
  • Dance
  • High
  • Intermediate

The French galliard according to Arbeau, taught to whatever skill level turns up once the class begins. We might also get into a bit of lavolta.

Lessons from the Il Papa manuscript

Domenico's manuscript is from 1455; Caroso first publishes in 1581. There are a couple of manuscripts from roughly halfway in between, around 1510. We will look at one of them, the so-called Il Papa manuscript, and discuss what we have learned from it regarding the transition from the 15th-century to the 16th-century Italian dance forms.

Let's Piva!

A spritely class that will teach a set of Italian dances that all feature the piva step. Dances to be taught are Petit Vriens, Petit Rose, and Belfiore.

Let's dance a Canary!

  • Lowrie Leulyn ( Nadine Latief)
  • Florence on Saturday at 11:30AM to 12:45PM
  • Dance
  • High
  • Intermediate

This class wil teach the basics of a Canary and how to improvise one! A knowledge of the common steps of 16th century italian dancing is recommended.

Lovelace vs. Playford

  • Dafydd Cyhoeddwr
  • Bruges on Friday at 2:45PM to 3:45PM
  • Low
  • Beginner

Learn several Lovelace dances that also appear in Playford's 1st Edition, with the intention of being able to dance both versions at a Ball. Some of the dances taught will include Harts Ease, Cuckolds All A Row, Goddesses, and more as time permits.

Master Class with John Tysen and Renaissonics

  • John Tyson
  • Ball Room on Saturday at 1:30PM to 3:00PM
  • Performance
  • Intermediate

Bring your music ensemble to this session with the Masters of Renaissance Dance Music. Please be prepared to play 1 or 2 pieces as a group for a Master session. You will be critiqued and encouraged by the teachers and given performance based instruction on how to better your performance as a group. Solo players are invited to watch and if time permits will be able to play in a final closing session. Ensembles and groups must register with the Music Class coordinator prior to the event.

Memorizing Dances

This class will mostly be a discussion class about how to memorize dances. Feel free to share your tips for learning and/or memorizing dances.

Mommy, where do dances come from?

Sure, your local dance master teaches you dances - but that's like saying milk comes from the grocery store. In this class we'll take an introductory look at some of the primary sources from which we draw the dances we do in the SCA. We'll see how some popular dances are described, talk about the different approaches authors took, and learn why dance reconstruction often requires some puzzle solving and experimentation. This class will be a good orientation for dancers coming to KWDS to broaden their understanding of period dance.

More Complex Gresley Reconstructions

In this class we will work through a few of the longer Gresley choreographies which we do less frequently. Dances: Bugil, Egle, Temperance (m)

My favorite ECDs

My favorite ECDs are for four couples in a square. We'll dance Hyde Park and Faine I Would If I Could (and more if there is time). There is no fancy footwork -- the fun comes from the floor patterns.

My favorite galliards

If you're ready to move beyond the cinq pas, come try some fun and challenging galliard sequences from other dances. We'll play with sequences from dances like Fedelta d'Amore and Alta Mendozza and maybe even do some Volta. And yes, we will take breaks in between so everyone can catch their breath.

No Partner Required

A series of dances where you don't have to worry about finding someone to dance with - just jump right in and join us! Dances taught will include War Bransle, Montard Bransle, and Dargasan. Additional dances may be included if time permits.


Some of them are genuinely new steps, while some are new names for old steps or different instructions for steps that were in Il Ballarino. Learn some of the "new" steps needed to dance choreographies from Caroso's second book.

Ornamentation and Improvisation

This class is being taught by Renaissonics. The class wil focus on leaning ornamentation in dance or any kind of music. Will include ear training that can benefit solor or ensemble playing, personal expression and rhythm. This will help the musician in their learning melodies by ear (which is important for dance musicians. Will also cover the technical benefits inherent in the flexibility required when improvising. Every participant will receive a packet of information on Renaissance improvisation/ornamentation, practice materials, pieces, bibliography, etc.

Playing for the Ball (a)

Private Practice Session

Playing for the Ball (b)

This is a one hour session to work on specific music for the ball. Players are welcome to attend and rehearse particular pieces of music. Bhakail Branslers is the Moderator for this session. This can work as a moderated rehearsal and "jam" session

Playing the Renaissance side drum

The Renaissance side drum is the predecessor to the modern snare drum. In this class, we'll cover the basics of playing a side drum. We'll review the parts of the drum, how to hold the drum and the sticks, the basics of rhythm, and what we know about period rhythms. This will be a hands-on class; bring a pair of drumsticks and a drum, if you have one. Some loaner sticks will be available.

Salti del Fiocco

  • Lord Daniele di Padola
  • Paris (305) on Saturday at 10:15AM to 11:15AM
  • Practice
  • High
  • Advanced

Come learn how to kick the tassel! These fancy gagliard steps are great practice to learn spins and jumps, with which to ornament all your steps. The intent of this class is practice, practice, practice. These steps are unlike most of what we do. While previous dance experience will probably be helpful, general athleticism is probably more important.

So You've Been Asked to Run Dancing . . .

An SCA event is coming up, and you have been asked to run the dancing for it. That's great! Now what? Geared towards the beginning dance instructor, this information-based class will cover basic skills such as how to coordinate the necessary dance-related components of an event (teachers, music, etc.) and how to construct set lists. Experienced dance teachers are welcome to join us and offer additional advice and input!

The Shady Valley

  • THL Henry of Maldon
  • Florence on Saturday at 1:30PM to 2:30PM
  • Dance
  • Low
  • Intermediate

Ombrosa Valle is an Italian balletto, recently reconstructed by the teacher from Il Ballarino by Caroso. It looks and sounds just a bit like another Italian dance that you might have encountered before.

The Spagnolette: a Comparison

In the 16th century Italian dance sources, there are seven known choreographies called Spagnoletta available to us, by four different authors. Come learn the differences and similarities between them, and how they work to the music.

Three versions of Belrigardo

  • Dafydd Cyhoeddwr
  • Paris (305) on Saturday at 1:30PM to 2:30PM
  • Average
  • Beginner

There are three versions of Belrigardo, a ballo in the 15th Century Italian repertoire. All three are obviously related, and all three can be done to the same arrangement of the music - and thus, at the same time. This is another opportunity for chaos at the Ball - we can have all three version happening at the same time!

What was Playford Hiding?

  • Dafydd Cyhoeddwr
  • Heidelberg (204) on Saturday at 9:00AM to 10:00AM

The Lovelace Manuscript gives us a broader understanding of what English Country Dancing might have been like in the mid-1600s. Learn what Lovelace can teach us about the style of dance that Playford and all of his publications did not.

Whirligig advanced ECD

Whirligig is a fun dance once you are on the same page and have it down. It is an advanced English country Dance because it has complicated choruses that do not repeat and an progression which does. The main problem seems to be getting on the same page to start with. I will explain why I use this version in the handout, and I will teach the one I know. That way we are on the same page. We will repeat the dance until we get how it goes so you get a feel for the fun of it. This is a great performance piece because the figures are complex to watch. I would like to see it done more.

You may recognize the name, but you don't know the dance.

  • Dafydd Cyhoeddwr
  • Paris (305) on Saturday at 2:45PM to 3:45PM
  • Low
  • Intermediate

There are a few dance names in the Lovelace Manuscript that also appear in Playford's 1st Edition, but the dances are nothing alike. These differences include at times not only the steps, but the basic pattern, and sometimes how the music is arranged.