California Folk Dance Traditions Instruction Booklet
The Booklet contains 9 simple dances, a song for the waltz, a paragraph on history of the word, Fandango,
Author's note, follow-up questions for teachers and students, blank page for teacher's notes.
Please note if you already have the Instruction Booklet and CD; scroll down to "How to use this instruction booklet..."
AVAILABLE NOW! **California Folk Dance Traditions Instruction Booklet and CD. Created by Deborah Fischbach and The Alta California Orchestra
as part of
American Masterpieces-California Residency Program; retail $22.00
Wholesale and NPO orders: please call, International orders: e-mail order items with shipping address and
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Call Deborah 707 937 2133 e-mail director@InstituteforTraditionalStudies.org
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*Las Blancas Flores (Waltz with words and chords for the Song), Partner Positions and Three Waltz Styles
*La Varsouvianna de Watsonville (European couple dance AKA Put your Little Foot)
*El Coyote (California native game dance)
*La Contradanza (Any 2 part waltz, such as the Broom dance)
*La Contradanza de Sonoma (A variation on ‘La Empanadas’ native to California)
*Heel and Toe Polka (European Polka)
*C’est la Fille de la Meunière (The Miller’s daughter, bridge dance from French Countryside)
*Saut du Lapin (Jump of the Rabbit, a fun circle dance from Southern France)
*Tarentella (A lively dance from Southern Italy)
SAMPLES from the book: below; Cover art by Melissa Fischbach; "Dancing into the book!" with sponsor's logos: and below that; Inside, sample text and figures by Deborah Fischbach; "Dance Instruction!"
Author's notes on Fandango and dance instruction:
The Fandango evolved from Spain and later came simply to mean dance generally. The earlier Fandangos had a set order
of dances with a Dancing Master or “Tecolero” leading each dance. Fandangos became the informal dances of the rancher during the
Rancho era (1822-1844) where foods like mussels, huckleberries, and mutton might be served. The women, seated apart from the men,
were introduced by the “Tecolero” while the men remained on horseback with their spurs hung across their saddle as an indication of
their desire to dance. The Dance Master would often begin dancing with a lady, the men dismounting to cut in. Every hacienda had a
string band and Californios would dress up in their best clothes: women in wide flaring bright colored skirts with embroidered and
lace shawls, men in bespangled gaiters, wide colorful sashes and fancy jackets to dance at the local fandango, a public event.
Note from the author: I have simplified these dances, using my intuition and love of both children and dance to guide me. Some of
the dances have couples waltzing around each other, while keeping the entire group moving in a clockwise circle. One can choreograph
the dance to fit your space and dancers ability. I like to keep instructions simple, with emphasis on listening to the music for the
changes and having fun while learning. There is no wrong way. If the children are humming the tunes while dancing, you have been
Companion CD Front cover: l to r; David Brown on violin with Deb in background playing castanets,
Deborah on large frame drum, Marianne on guitar, The Tunes and Melissa on frame drum in middle and bottom row l to r; Brian on guitar,
Ernie on mandolin and Barbara Brown on ukulele.
Back cover: Sponsor logos; Institute for Traditional Studies, California Arts
Council, California Art Lover license plates, National Endowment for the Arts and (logo not pictured) Western States Arts Federation or WESTAF.
I have many helpers to Thank;
Riantee Lydia Rand who danced and sang several dances to us when Robert Thomas was still alive and we were researching repertoire for the Orchestra.
Barbara Brown Invaluable as dance consultant, musician, studio floor director and hostess.
David M Brown Great with musical notation, language advise, musical talent and engineering.
Jeanette Johnson helped with proofing both the dance steps and the grammar, spelling and continuity.
Melissa Fischbach is ever patient with computer, art, program and editing advise.
Patty Milich of California Arts Council was always helpful, ready and willing to advise me.
Sue Endrizzi Morris of California Artists Management for endless advise on web site, contracts, and so much more!
Evo Bluestein for his advise and experience teaching children and adults.
The Alta California Orchestra for all their MUSIC!
Brian and Marianne Steeger for musical talents, advise and participation.
Ernest Fischbach for his musical talents and patience.
Lee Birch for his extensive research, kind encouragement and wonderful music.
Andrea Cleall my sister, for introducing me to dance and art.
Barnardo for reminding me I am an artist/dancer.
Everyone else whom I've somehow forgotten from my kindergarten teacher (dancing with scarves) to my students today (always teaching me).
Also those who have gone before us;
Charles T. Lummis, Lucille Czarnovski, Richard Chase, Robert D. Thomas, Ben Cleall, Chris Carnes for their dedication, documentation and inspiration to music and dance.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR HIGHEST GOOD AND THE HIGHEST GOOD OF ALL.!!
Here's a link to a printable PDF version of the How to use this Instruction Booklet.
OR JUST READ IT HERE!
California Folk Dance Traditions Instruction Booklet and CD. How to use this instruction booklet...
Hello, I’m so glad you have a copy of my booklet and CD.
Here are some suggestions which should help you to make several lesson plans using this booklet. After you read my suggestions and look over the booklet, if you have questions regarding how the steps go or the timing, or music please call me, Deborah at 707 937 2133.
Read the back cover of the booklet to get an overview of the programs goals.
Read pg. 14; the top Fandango paragraph can be read to students; the Note is for you.
Read pg. 02; save clapping exercise for students or partner reading *(see below).
Page 15 is for working with listening skills; You can play one song a day or one for a few days then ask follow-up questions regarding that tune. Have the children talk about the music & the immigrants who may have introduced it to the dance repertoire of the community. Discuss the parts of the tune (pg 2) and the timing. Make up clapping exercises; refer to pg 2 for examples.
Follow-up questions should facilitate discussion of peoples and cultures of different lands. You can then go to a map and find those lands.
Timing; Next to each tune/dance there is a time signature. The top number is
the actual count and the bottom number tells you the size of the note. (3/4 timing is a count of 3 - quarter notes to a measure) For our purposes we will just deal with the top number. On page 15; I count a polka; 1, 2, 3, 4 however, the time
signature is 2/4 so it actually should be counted; 1, and, 2, and. Either way works
for the dance and music. If you’re doing a clapping exercise for 2/4 polka, you could have half class clap; 1, and, other half clap; 2, and; or any combination you like. (2/4: rest,1; clap, and; 2; and ) (2/4: clap,1; rest, and; clap, 2; clap, and).
Listen to the tune and talk about the dance with students before trying it, if possible.
Assign a 'Caller' (who is not dancing), assign partners and pick a head couple for each set, (Sets as in the Bridge Dance).
One can pick or assign partners before you get to the dance floor.
El Coyote Picking Partners also works for the 1st waltz in coyote, one would also choose the 1st Coyote then too. I've found if the caller chooses a coyote (from dancers not yet partnered after the change to waltzing) by holding up his/her hand and announcing, "This is our new Coyote" the dance progresses better.
Alternate beginning for the Bridge dance; have both lines (facing each other) step right and kick left to begin; then lines will be opposite and not kick each other!!
* partner reading = Reading this book with 2 other teachers or students, so someone can read and the others can try the exercises or steps to music, then switch.
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