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“Dance the World Around”
In the ten years since we released our first CD, Peel the Banana, I have discovered an incredible variety of dances from all corners of the globe. Each culture has its own unique dances, but each culture’s dances also share common ground with cultures around the world.
This CD has a sampling of dances from North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania – some are appropriate for pre-schoolers and older children; some are more appropriate for teens and adults, and many dances bridge the generations. All of these dances can be learned very quickly because they are dances of the folk!
“Peel the Banana”
The CD and Companion Book present a popular sequence of dances from school residencies, family dances, and community celebrations (such as weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, family reunions, and good ol’-fashioned barn raisings). For each track on the CD, we note the number of times a dance pattern repeats and indicate formations for the dance. For most tracks, we include calls the first two times through. All tunes and dances are traditional unless otherwise specified.
Dance traditions are passed down through the generations to celebrate important occasions and to provide diversion from everyday life. The delight and exhilaration inherent in community dancing comes from the music, the spirit of cooperation, and simple, repeated patterns of movement.
In the “Peel the Banana” (or “casting off”) pattern, pairs of dancers in two long lines walk towards the musicians; the head pair turns back to back and “peels” the lines to the far end of the hall.
To facilitate review and continued learning, teachers often ask me to write down the dances I teach, and the music that is played for them. I’ve done just that!
“This CD is dedicated to my grandma, Mary Sofer, who loved to dance in the last years of her life, and encouraged me to dance. We never danced together, but I am carrying on her joy of dancing wherever I go. Better late than never!”