Newsletter of the Central Illinois English Country Dancers

Spring 2001

The attendance at the monthly dances this fall was very consistent, averaging 20 dancers. Hopefully we can maintain this core of regulars and bring in new dancers to increase our group.

Highlights of the fall were the very nice dance we had at Allerton Park in September and our Halloween Masked dance in October. We found a new location at Allerton, being forced to relocate from the Sunken Garden, which had been made rather soggy by the recent rains. The place we found was a garden hidden behind some hedges with a nice grassy center bordered on either side by banks of flowers. It was ideal for longways dances, though a trifle narrow for large circle dances.

Once again this year our Halloween dance was very successful with lots of fine costumes. We even persuaded a few of the people who were at the Springer Center for an art show to join us for a few dances. The dances we did were; The Black Hag, Ghoul Man of Ballangigh, Haunted Hunsdon House, Haunted Red House, Irish Witcheewoman, Rufti in Mufti and The Spook of Kent's Waltz.

We had some bad luck with the weather this year for our Christmas Ball. The night was cold and the forecast was for snow and winds that would make travel difficult. This kept some people at home and kept away people who might have come from out-of-town. The snow began falling during the dance, so we had to cut the evening short and weren't able to do all of the dances we had planned. However those people who did brave the weather had a fine evening of music and dance. The band was in fine form and the dancing was some of the best we have seen. Once again we were entertained by the Mummer's play and had some great refreshments at the break. Thanks to everyone who helped make it a memorable occasion.

The park district has had some concerns about damage to the floors caused by improper shoes worn by people in the various groups who use the Springer Center. We have been asked to set a policy of requiring everyone to bring a pair of clean soft-soled shoes to change into at the dances at Springer. Bring a pair of clean tennis shoes or leather soled dance slippers. This will minimize the grit brought in from the outside, which can act like sandpaper on the floor and will avoid black heels and soles which can leave marks on the floor. We would like to thank everyone in advance for their patience and willingness to help out with this situation.

Simon Kos is a grad student at the U of I from the Czech Republic. He will be leaving in February to take a post-doc position in New Mexico. He has been a long-time member of the dance community and has been active in contra, English and folk dancing. Some friends of his were planning a farewell dance party for him on January 20 and since we had a dance scheduled for that evening we decided to combine our dance with the party. We hope that everyone will come, enjoy a variety of dancing and say goodbye to Simon.

Spring 2001 Schedule:

Most dances will be held at the Springer Cultural Center, 301 N. Randolph in downtown Champaign. We ask for a $1.00 donation at these dances to pay for the use of the facility. There may be an admission charge for special events.

Saturday, January 20: Potluck and farewell dance party for Simon Kos in the Wesley Foundation Great Hall at the corner of Green and Goodwin in Urbana. Potluck - 6:30 (bring your own table service). English, contra and folk dancing - 8:00.

Sunday, February 18: George Washington's Birthday Dance and Tea Party from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Springer Cultural Center. This dance will feature early American dances from the Colonial and Revolutionary eras.

Saturday, March 17: dance from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Springer Cultural Center. It's St. Patrick's Day so we may try some Irish dances.

Sunday, April 22: dance from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Springer Cultural Center.

Sunday, May 6: dance from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Springer Cultural Center. If the weather is nice we may go across the street to Westside Park.

Saturday, June 2: 6th Annual Playford Ball from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. at a location to be announced

For further information:

Jonathan Sivier at 217/359-8225 (
Jane Hobgood at 217/328-1708
The CIECD web page:

For the current schedule and further information return to the CIECD webpage
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