Renaissance Dance

Queen Elizabeth so loved the country dances that she made her courtiers dance them for her pleasure. Some of the dances had been around for centuries and were finally written down, along with their tunes, by John Playford in the 1660s.

This workshop offers a choice of two dances—Gathering Peascods, a simple circle dance for as many as will, and a more advanced dance called Goddesses, a longways dance for groups of eight.

These dances are suitable for all ages and skill levels. They are nothing more than fast walking in patterns. Each dance is taught by walking through the figures, then dancing them to traditional music. A list of the appropriate dance terms, the figures of the dance, a calling card, and a CD of the music can be made available upon request to schools and communities that wish to continue passing on the dances.

Tames has had a passion for dance most of her life. She has trained and performed in a variety of dance styles all over the West Coast. Throughout her performing career, she danced with the Oregon State Ballet, Newcastle English Country Dancers, the Veil of Isis Dancers (Middle Eastern with an emphasis on modern Egyptian), Elliott Bay Morris Dancers, and the Ballard Locks Long Sword Team. She is an avid contra dancer and enjoys waltzing and swing dancing with her husband.

Tames studied theater and history at Willamette University in Oregon, and theater at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and Dell Arte School in California. She worked for many years with the California Renaissance Faire as a dancer and an instructor in Elizabethan dialect and culture. More recently, she has been a speaker for the Washington State Commission for the Humanities in their Inquiring Minds series.