We held our second annual Playford Ball on Saturday, June 7. The attendance was the best we've had for one of our events, with nearly forty dancers, including a group of ten who came up from St. Louis. We had several brand new dancers at the Ball, including one woman who had seen the announcement in the paper and called me two hours before the dance began. However the increased number of experienced dancers allowed the new dancers to be integrated into the group and made the quality of the dancing the highest we've seen at one of our events.
The band, the Flatland Consort, numbered up to ten musicians during the course of the evening, since some of the band members like to dance as well. They were in very good form and kept us moving with very lively playing.
The dances at the Ball were lead by Susan Burt, Jane Hobgood and Jonathan Sivier. Jane experimented with a medley of The Hole In The Wall, The Geud Man Of Ballangigh and The Queen's Jig.
At the break we were entertained by Jeff Saddler and Carol Luer from St. Louis dancing a couple of 15th century Italian court dances. In addition Denny Franco, also from St. Louis, played a selection on his lute.
I'd like to thank all of the people who helped make the Ball work. In particular I'd like to thank Tess Bennett and Jane Hobgood for all their work on the decorations and Sherri DeWan for bringing so many beautiful flowers to spread around the dance hall.
We have worked out a schedule of events for the rest of the summer and for the fall. In addition to those listed below, Larry Stout and Susan Burt may host a dance at their home in Normal at some time during August.
Sunday, July 6: Independence Day Dance from 3-5 p.m. at the Springer Cultural Center. This dance will feature early American dances from the Colonial and Revolutionary eras. A potluck dinner will follow the dance at a location TBA.
Saturday, July 26: Pool party at Jane Hobgood's, 3 Illini Circle, Urbana. Swimming starts at 3:00 p.m., dancing (in the pool) starts at 4:00. A potluck dinner will follow the dancing. In case of rain it will be postponed to Sunday, July 27.
Sunday, September 7: Dance and picnic in gardens at Allerton Park. Picnic from 1:00 to 3:00, meet at 1:00 at the visitors center. Dancing from 3:00 to 6:00 in the Sunken Gardens.
Saturday, September 20: Dance from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Springer Cultural Center.
Sunday, October 12: Dance from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at the Springer Cultural Center.
Saturday, November 8: Dance from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Springer Cultural Center.
Sunday, December 7: Dance from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at the Springer Cultural Center.
Saturday, December 20: Christmas Ball from 7:00-11:00 p.m. at a location TBA.