The St. Louis English Country Dancers St. Louis ECD logo

(Local 1651)

English Country Dances are Back!

The Life of Dr. John Martin Ramsay 1930-2024

As almost everyone reading these notes knows, our beloved Dr. John Ramsay passed away during the early morning of Wednesday, May 8, 2024. We will all miss this wonderful, astonishing dancer, who chose to grace the world with “amity, joy, civility” through his love of English Country Dance.

John was born in 1930 in the southern United States. He attended Berea College in Kentucky, where he joined the Berea College Country Dancers. John danced wherever he lived, and he led innumerable groups to draw others into the joy of dancing—at Celo Community in North Carolina while he was farming and teaching public school; at Iowa State University while he was getting his Ph.D. in genetics; at the John C. Campbell Folk School at Brasstown in North Carolina, where he was Director; then back at Berea where he became the Director of Recreation Extension. In the process, John took dancers all over the world, including to Denmark, Japan, Korea, Guatemala, Czechoslovakia, China, and on and on.

John’s impact on dance in St. Louis has been profound. Beginning in 1995, John and his wife B Meyer introduced hundreds of homeschoolers to English Country Dancing. They also trained about fifty dancers via a CDSS Young Leaders Workshop in 2008. Moreover, they founded Dance Discovery, an historical dance performance troupe to mark the bicentennial of the 1804 Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery Expedition. Dance Discovery is still much in demand and still in operation—twenty years on.

John also wrote and self-published a number of books—fiction and nonfiction—about people, dogs, etc. His deftly veiled autobiography Life of a Don: Life Stages from a Male Perspective is frank and spicy. It also, with characteristic honesty, looks at the whole span of life, including its end.

From all the ECD dancers in St. Louis, dear Dr. John Ramsay: Rest in Peace

R. Taylor
St. Louis English Country Dancers
May 10, 2024

NEWCOMERS ARE WELCOME
Come with or without a partner

Our Upcoming Dances

StLECD English Country Dance

Friday, Jul 12th, 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
 

$10

at First Congregational Church on Wydown

All the way upstairs (handicap accessible, elevator, chair lift).

Please join us!

Proof of COVID vaccinations is required.

StLECD English Country Dance

Friday, Aug 9th, 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
 

$10

at First Congregational Church on Wydown

All the way upstairs (handicap accessible, elevator, chair lift).

Please join us!

Proof of COVID vaccinations is required.

StLECD English Country Dance

Friday, Sep 13th, 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
 

$10

at First Congregational Church on Wydown

All the way upstairs (handicap accessible, elevator, chair lift).

Please join us!

Proof of COVID vaccinations is required.

For events after Sep 16, 2024, or to import/attach/merge the calendar with your own, visit:

The StLECD Google Calendar

When and Where do we usually dance?

StLECD currently dances on the 2nd Friday of every month.

Location:

First Congregational Church
All the way upstairs
6501 Wydown Blvd
Clayton, MO 63105
(click for Google map)
Or Click here for an old fashioned printable map with detailed text directions.

There is ample parking available in the church lot.

Beginners are warmly welcomed. All dances will be taught and called. No partner or costume required (comfortable clothes and shoes recommended).

7:00 pm: Workshop - come learn the steps you'll need before the evening's dance.

7:30 pm: Dancing to live music.

We'll dance until 9:30 pm, with a short break in the middle (snacks generously contributed by the dancers). The dancing concludes with a waltz.

$10 - please join us!

Proof of COVID vaccinations is required.

StLECD dancing at the First Congregational Church

Other English Dances Nearby

Childgrove English Country

Friday, Jun 28th, 7 pm - 9:30 pm
 

$10

at The Monday Club in Webster Groves

Proof of Vaccination required.

Caller: Jill Horn and Peter Wollenberg

Band: Ragged Robin: Billy Boyer, keyboard, Martha Edwards, violin

More info:https://childgrove.org/

Childgrove English Country

Friday, Jul 26th, 7 pm - 9:30 pm
 

$10

at The Monday Club in Webster Groves

Proof of Vaccination required.

Caller: Bob Green with John Notgrass opening

Band: Ragged Robin: Billy Boyer, keyboard, Martha Edwards, violin

More info:https://childgrove.org/

Childgrove English Country

Friday, Aug 23rd, 7 pm - 9:30 pm
 

$10

at The Monday Club in Webster Groves

Proof of Vaccination required.

Caller: Peter Wollenberg and (maybe as of 5/8) Courtney Cartwright

Band: Ragged Robin: Billy Boyer, keyboard, Martha Edwards, violin

More info:https://childgrove.org/

For events after Sep 16, 2024, or to import/attach/merge the calendar with your own, visit:

The Wentzville Google Calendar The Childgrove Google Calendar

What Is English Country Dancing?

English country dancing typically involves lines of men facing lines of women; the dancers walk patterns with their partners and with other couples in the set. Our chief dance leader is Peter Wollenberg; all dances are taught from scratch each evening. You can attend with or without a partner.

Beginners are welcome at all events! Each regular dance evening starts at 7:00 with a beginners' workshop so that newcomers can learn the fundamentals of English country dancing.

The St. Louis English Country Dancers (Local 1651) are members of the Country Dance and Song Society, CDSS.

what is the cost for dancing?

The cost of a regular dance is $10.00 per person, with a student rate of $5.00. (Fancy-dress events are higher -- watch this space.)

Who Are The Musicians?

Live music for every dance evening is provided by the Original Speckled Band.
Members of the band are:

What Should I Wear?

Wear comfortable clothes and soft-soled flat-heeled shoes.
You can come with or without a partner.

We have a Facebook page

(You do not need a Facebook account to see it).
Many thanks to Russell for maintaining it!

And we have T-shirts!

Check out the design here
and a picture of Russell wearing one is here.
To order a shirt, e-mail Paul (pstamler@pobox.com).

Whom Can I Contact?

Please call Paul Stamler at (314) 288-9106 for more information, send an email to Paul pstamler@pobox.com.

Web site is maintained by Dan tech@DanKlarmann.com

Cecil Sharp

In the early 20th century, folklorist Cecil Sharp spearheaded the revival of interest in English Country Dancing in the UK and North America. He founded the English Folk Dance Society (now the English Folk Dance & Song Society, or EFDSS), reconstructed many dances from old notes and manuals, collected dances and traditional songs both in England and in the Appalachian region of the USA, and forged a revival that we and many others are honored to continue into the 21st century. In celebration of Sharp's 150th birthday (he was born Nov. 22, 1859), St. Louis English Country Dancers hosted a tribute to Sharp. We asked Dr. John M. Ramsay, who learned his dancing from Sharp's associates, to talk briefly about Sharp and his work. John's remarks may be found here.

How About Some Additional Dance Links?

How Do I Get Onto The E-Mailing List?

Send an e-mail to Paul Stamler (pstamler@pobox.com) or click here: pstamler@pobox.com.

Thank you for visiting the St. Louis English Dancers' website. Now come dance with us!