Dance Program — Class Levels & Descriptions

The dance program in 2023 will offer instruction from three core dance traditions  — Appalachian Old-Time & Body Music with Evie Ladin, Québécois Step Dance with Pierre Chartrand, and Irish Step Dance & Sean-nós with Kieran Jordan. Over the course of the week, students will work with each of the three instructors through daily core classes, special one-time classes in Franco-American Step Dancing with Cindy Roy, and optional enrichment workshops.

Classes are 75 minutes in length. Levels are designed for students at Novice, Intermediate, and Advanced levels. Classes will include a combination of recorded and live music.

Class content from each teacher will include: technique, repertoire, musicality, improvisation, as well as social dance. The material will be progressive, so you are encouraged to choose the level that allows you to have your best dance experience, ideally at the beginning of the week. (If you are uncertain which level will be the best match for your goals and skill set, we are happy to help advise you — click here for more info)

Choose from the following “major” dance programs:

The Moose (a.k.a. Novice)
This track is for students who are new to dance, or those returning to dance after a hiatus. A gently-paced class, with clear break-down of steps, plenty of repetition, slower tempos, as well as an introduction to the musical structures and history/cultural context for the dance traditions.

The Seals (a.k.a. Intermediate)
This track is for dancers with step dance and/or percussive dance experience in at least one style. Dancers should be comfortable dancing at traditional “session” tempos, should have a few steps that they are able to dance comfortably on their own, and some experience with creating/improvising in a class setting.

The Bears (a.k.a. Advanced)
This track is for experienced dancers who are confident dancing solo, and creating and improvising, with a solid understanding of musical structures. This class is intended for dancers who are seeking new repertoire and improved technique, as well as nuance in developing a personal style.

The Eagles (a.k.a. Advanced Professional & Pre-professional)
This exciting multi-instrumental program is focused on helping experienced players and dancers develop their artistry at the very highest level, and develop the skills they will need to become the next generation of “musical ambassadors” in traditional music! This track offers a limited number of spots for dancers — please contact the AFTMD Artistic Team for more info!

Click here for more info on the Eagle program.

The Acadia Festival of Traditional Music & Dance is a project made possible by a grant from the Maine Traditional Music Association and supported by Fractured Atlas, a national 501(c)(3) non-profit devoted to empowering arts organizations. Website art by Anabelle Keimach and Annelise Papinsick.