Born in Cyber Space – Residing and Dancing on Cloud Nine
When we come down to Earth, Symmetry becomes a truly Global Dance Organization. Our Board Members are from the UK, USA, and Canada. Symmetry Callers are from the UK and USA. Our volunteers are from all around the world. Symmetry’s “house band”, Vicki and Jonny, are from the UK.
Symmetry English Country Dancing (Symmetry ECD) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation registered in Virginia.
Address on file: 7288 Hanover Green Drive, Mechanicsville, VA 23111 (please do not use this for contributions)
A brief history of Symmetry English Country Dancing
In March of 2020, when the pandemic shut down their meeting place, some members of the Charlottesville ECD group decided to start meeting on zoom. Using a few simple dances from 21 Easy English Country Dances published by CDSS, a teacher called dances while attendees danced around their living rooms, kitchens, or wherever they had space. Teaching and calling ECD on Zoom was new to everybody. It was a hard slog at first. They spent more time learning how to use Zoom than dancing. But people persisted and spread the word. Soon dancers were joining from Florida, North Carolina, Maryland, Missouri, and more.
The group was encouraged to invite people from other groups, now that geography was no longer a limitation. A notice was posted on the CDSS website. Sharon Spangler and Gerald Pottern of Raleigh, NC, saw the notice and joined. They were charmed by the group’s quirks, from doing Duke of Kent’s Waltz and Alice every week to ending with a “teddy bear waltz.” Sharon was asked to call a dance and she began calling weekly on Sundays starting in June 2020.
With a regular caller, the group could expand. Symmetry’s founder drew on her expertise with organizing and working on Zoom to put the group on a solid foundation. With the group’s input, she and Sharon worked out their vision of good calling on Zoom: two walk-throughs and calling throughout. Sharon’s husband Gerald provided useful demonstrations of the moves while Sharon focused on giving clear calling and instructions.
It was time for a new name. The name Charlottesville ECD no longer seemed to fit this group of dancers, most of whom had never met outside Zoom. It was truly a virtual dance community and needed a name not tied to any one locality. Symmetry seemed a good choice.
At the February 16th (2021) dance, The Symmetry Waltz by Dave Marcus became Symmetry’s theme song.
We honor the musicians who provide the recordings our callers use by including this information in our archived dance lists.
We are also honored and fortunate to have U.K. musicians Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer offer their excellent live music for Symmetry callers, as often as their schedule allows!
As of March 2023, Symmetry is now a not-for-profit corporation directed by a group of dancers and callers from across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. who are committed to keeping online English country dancing available even post-pandemic, since we feel there is still a need and interest in this. We welcome those interested in online calling to contact us, and those who share our continuing interest in online dance options to support our continuation.
Stay tuned to the website for more about our ongoing adventures!
President still to be determined
Mady Newfield (IL,USA): Vice President
Louise Adler (CO,USA): Treasurer
Susan Burt (IL, USA): Secretary
Robin James (UK): Member at large
Louise Perron (QC,Canada): Member at large
Martha Edwards (MO,USA): Member at large
Eileen Hug (NV,USA): Member at large
Gloria Jacobs (OR, USA): Member at large
Jonathan Balk (FL, USA): Member at large