Classes

We will offer several classes and workshops for the 2017-2018 Regular Season. For more details, please refer to the Programming Descriptions below.

All Tuesday night classes and dances/workshops run from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m and are held at the Lutheran Church of the Holy Communion. We use the entrance at 2111 Sansom St., Philadelphia, PA.

Wednesday night classes/workshops run from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. and are typically held at The First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia, 2125 Chestnut St. Philadelphia, PA.

What is a Workshop?
A workshop is a session that works on reinforcing and expanding the concepts you already know at that program. On a given night the content varies, typically based on what the dancers want to work on. For example, one week the Plus workshop might spend a little time reviewing "Relay the Deucey" or "Crossfire", while the Advanced Workshop takes a closer look at on "All 8" figures, or the Challenge I Workshop might work on those pesky "Magic", "Siamese" and "Phantom" Calls or whatever our dancers ask for in review. Or, if no one has any particular requests, it might look a lot like a dance or focus on whatever trouble spots present themselves on Club nights or at Saturday Dances throughout the year.
While we'd love to see you every week, Workshops are not Classes that build from week to week with new content, and you do not have to attend every one to have a successful Workshop experience. That said, our Callers are always working to help you hone your skills, build your confidence on the floor, and help to avoid common errors our Callers might encounter elsewhere in their travels so you can be prepared for dancing any floor - any where. Each week will have a specific focus that might just help with that bug-a-boo call that's recently given you grief. You never know!

What is a regular Class?
Each class night builds on the previous class night. We can usually bring people up to speed if they miss the first, and maybe the second night of class, but joining a class that is already in progress after that is not recommended if you have no prior square dance experience. While we ask that students make every effort to attend all classes, we realize that life sometimes interferes. So, given a good effort on your part, we'll certainly accomodate you if you absolutely have to miss an evening once in a while.

Fall/Winter/Spring 2017-2018

Mainstream/Plus DBD Class: Tuesdays, 10/3/2017-3/27/2018
       (24 weeks, no class 12/26/17; All-Skate 1/2/18)

Explore the depths and nuances that exist within the first 100(ish) Calls that make up the CallerLab Mainstream and Plus lists. Similar to a Workshop in that no new Calls will be introduced, we’re calling this a Class as we’ll take a closer look at everything from refining and better understanding the Fundamentals to exploring Extended Applications of the Calls using the same exact definitions that we’ve learned - only now sometimes from non-standard positions and to/from a-typical formations that might make them “feel” like something new is being taught. Though DBD (Dance by Definition) isn’t really a curriculum that can be taught from beginning to end like a typical Class (as one can never really be “done” learning all the ways these Calls can (and will) be used by our Callers), the purpose of this Class is to give our Dancers the opportunity to develop a skill set that is intended to better prepare ourselves to “keep up” with nearly any MS/Plus floor or DBD situation we may take on - no matter how “creatively” the Caller might Call or how odd the formations might “feel”. The focus will be on enforcing and refining core definitions, creating clean, crisp formations, promoting greater awareness of our role(s) in the square (ie. leader/trailer, ends/centers, …) and who you’re dancing with (ie. your wave, your box of four, your line, ...), and increasing Dancer confidence for everyone from our newest Summer Mainstream Graduate(s) to the Challenge dancer looking to reinforce their foundations while lending their experience. The valuable dancership we could gain from this Class time is meant to bolster our adeptness and enable increased self-assuredness in any Mainstream or Plus floortime opportunities we may encounter as well as expand our ability to extrapolate on these foundational skills to apply toward other Programs we may choose to explore (or already dance). In some ways, we might consider this a kind of Advanced Prep Class as the tools learned here are directly applicable to the kinds of things we build on in that Program (and beyond) and where positional awareness and the application of Concepts (over merely executing Calls) becomes more of a focus. Another real opportunity to absorb Betsy Gotta’s 50+ years of Calling history and teaching right here at home. Something for everyone no matter how long we’ve been dancing.
This DBD Class will be aimed at those who want an additional challenge from MS/Plus. Calls will be selected from the Mainstream and/or Plus Lists (announced at the beginning of each tip) and may be called from non-standard positions where the instructor will emphasize the definition of the call regardless of the starting or ending formation.

This class runs concurrently in one room with the C1 Workshop. Class led by Betsy Gotta

Click here for Betsy's MS/Plus DBD Class teaching outline.

Plus Fundamentals Workshop: Tuesdays, 10/3/2017-3/27/2018
       (24 weeks, no class 12/26/17; All-Skate 1/2/18)

This fun and approachable Plus Workshop is intended to be an overview of the complete Plus List with a focus on exploring the Calls methodically - mostly from Standard Positions and common usage - and to examine those Calls that give our Dancers the most grief out on a dance floor. We’ll start by shaking off the rust and the dust from the Summer away from full-time Plus Programming at IS with a general review designed to get us back into the full swing of things. Expect to see some inclusion of Mainstream Extended Applications interspersed as well to tie it all together, as it is upon those building blocks that the whole of Modern Western Square Dance is built. Then onward we’ll go with an emphasis on definition recall, understanding, and application as well as bringing our skills up to real-time festival floor speeds. Our goal is to provide a convivial atmosphere for learning (and social interaction) as well as to prepare our Dancers with the Fundamental tools to engage confidently on any Plus floor anywhere with a deftness that allows us to also enjoy some of the more playful aspects common on an IAGSDC Plus (or Mainstream) floor.
Our Instructor will highlight some of the more complex or sometimes vexing Plus Calls (we’ve all had those few) in each tip within a framework that keeps the full Plus list fresh and available in the evening’s experience.

This workshop runs concurrently in one room with the Advanced Workshop. Workshop led by Dane Bragg.

Advanced Workshop: Tuesdays, 10/3/2017-5/22/2018
       (32 weeks, no class 12/26/17; All-Skate 1/2/18)

Our Advanced Workshop is designed for those Dancers who have been exposed to the Full Advanced List at least once through. You DO NOT need to be an “expert” at the Advanced Program to participate in this Workshop. Quite the contrary, this Workshop is designed to take what you DO know about the Advanced Calls and build on it. We plan to start off slowly with a general overview that will run through the Calls, making note of the things that need the most attention as we go. There will also be an opportunity to review the Calls that have recently been added to the Advanced List by CallerLab - which for some of us will be our first exposure to them. We’ll build on strengthening the Fundamentals as needed based on the level of the floor overall and progress to look at the Calls and Concepts from Standard and (time permitting) Extended Applications as the experience of our Dancers dictates. Working together, we’ll focus on building our skills and enhancing our depth of knowledge with an emphasis on working toward increasing Dancer confidence and bringing things up to real-time festival floor speeds so our Dancers can feel more confident about joining any Advanced floor time opportunities they encounter. There’s so much more to explore in all of our Workshops than could ever be covered in a single Class. And the Advanced Program is no exception. This Workshop affords us the opportunity to experience just a piece of what we, as Dancers, could do with the content available to Callers using the Calls that make up the Advanced List.

Joe Bradshaw will lend his experience and humor to keep things flowing and fun and will be open to suggestions throughout the Workshop on the Calls we might like to see in closer detail in a patient and nurturing environment.

This Workshop runs concurrently in one room with the Plus Fundamentals Workshop through the Fall. Workshop led by Joe Bradshaw.

C1 Workshop: Tuesdays, 10/3/2017-5/22/2018
       (32 weeks, no class 12/26/17; All-Skate 1/2/18)

Who says Challenge Dancer's don't have fun?
Explore the Challenge I Program with a closer look at the list as a whole (instead of starting over where the last Calls taught get comparatively little floor-time) and maybe even laugh with us while we delve deeper into the depth and breadth of the Program in a patient & welcoming environment. Dancers are expected to have been exposed to the Full Challenge I set of Calls and general Concepts at least once through. Like our Advanced Workshop, you DO NOT need to be an “expert” Challenge I Dancer in order to join this Workshop. Indeed, it is designed to take the things that cannot realistically be covered in a typical Class setting as there are so very many ways to apply the various Concepts and extensive Call configurations that exist in this rich Program. Backed by Betsy Gotta’s 50+ years of Square Dance history, we couldn’t ask for a better opportunity to walk through the intricacies of our Challenge I experience. Let’s build our confidence with this Program together!
This class runs concurrently in one room with the Mainstream/Plus DBD Workshop through the Fall. Class led by Betsy Gotta.

Click here for Betsy's C1 Workshop teaching outline.

C2 Class: Wednesdays as scheduled, 10/4/2017-5/23/2018
       (16 weeks, no class 11/22 or 12/27, 2017)

This Class typically meets twice-monthly. We’ll pick up where we left off with the C2 Class content taught through May of last year. Drew Allen will start things off with a full review of the material previously covered (the class list is available here) and then we’ll focus on what we can cover from the remainder of the C2 List as our primary focus each Wednesday night (as our Challenge I Workshop had been moved to Tuesdays for the 2017-18 Season). Challenge Programming can only happen in Philadelphia if we support it. A minimum of 10 Dancers who plan to regularly attend this C2 Class is required for IS to justify the commitment of resources needed to make it work. Some flexibility in published dates may be required to ensure the Class is worthwhile to those who do make the commitment.

Classes are typically planned on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month for (No Class 11/22/2017 or 12/27/2017):

Classes for the second half of the year will be reevaluated based on attendence projections from Class Members.
* Note: This C2 Class is eligible for Board review at any point after the third instance where the Class does not have sufficuent attendance to complete a square (at least 8 dancers) on a planned Class night. Please keep this in mind when committing to attend a Class Night. We know the unexpected sometimes happens. We also need to be responsible to our resources. Thanks for your cooperation!

Prepayment

Prepayment includes all Tuesday classes and dances/workshops in a prepayment period. If prepayment is not paid by the second night of each prepayment period, the dancer must pay the payment-at-the-door rate through the remainder of the current period.

Prepayment is only available as a payment option to dues-paid Club Members (Independence Squares or other square dance clubs) and first-time Mainstream Class students.

Fall/Winter/Spring 2017-2018 Prepayment Schedule - MS to C1

We will be dark for the Winter Break on 12/16/2017 and there will be a Member All-Skate on 1/2/2018
Each period covers eight weeks, regardless of which Tuesday Class/Workshop you are attending.

Payment at the Door

The non-prepayment (door) rate for an individual night is $10.
* Note that if prepayment is not made by the second night in each prepayment period, the door rate applies through the end of the current period.

Financial Assistance is available

Members who need assistance paying for weekly Club-night events are welcome to speak confidentially with our Treasurer.
This policy is extended specifically for those who might not dance with us otherwise due to financial hardship.

Special Discount for Full-Time Students (in the world at large)

A Special Full-Time Student Rate is now available with proof of full-time enrollment in a Seconday, Technical or College Program.
Students receive a discount of one-half the current door rate for weekly Club-night events and Monthly Dances. Please inquire with our Treasurer for details.
Pre-Payment Rates are as follows for full-time students for the 2017-18 Season:

Dues

Dues are $45 annually for the period from June 1 through May 31 of the following year, whenever paid, and are due before - or at - the Club's Annual Meeting in the spring. All dancers are eligible for dues-paid Club Membership after completion of a Full Mainstream Program class. Each member owes dues whether or not he/she is taking a Class and/or Workshop. Dancers attending a Mainstream Class for the first time do not owe Dues.

Members who need assistance paying Dues are welcome to speak confidentially with our Treasurer.

Bad Weather Cancellation Policy

If Philadelphia Schools have an early dismissal, are closed, or cancel afternoon or evening activities due to bad weather, then Tuesday night Classes and Workshops are cancelled. Some resources for finding out if schools are closed: