Margaret Bary (Brooklyn, NY) is a lifelong dancer and dance educator. She teaches English Country Dance at Country Dance New York, and other dances in the region, and calls community dances at a variety of local venues. Along with her family, she has been a regular participant in CDSS Campers’ Week for many years, leading dances for all ages, teaching sword dance workshops and serving a stint as Program Director. Margaret is active on the steering committee of Pourparler, a national gathering of teachers of traditional dance and music in schools and communities. As a member of Half Moon Sword, she hosts the NYC English Sword Dance Ale, and performs locally, as well as at festivals. Margaret has a background in Modern Dance, holds an MFA in Dance Choreography and is a Certified Laban Movement Analyst. Underlying all of her work with children and adults, Margaret believes that participatory dance experiences foster joy, self-expression and connection between people.
Sharon McKinley has been calling ECD for 20 years, and has been the English Dance Chair in Baltimore. Before ECD there was International folk dancing, and since ECD there have been contra, morris and sword. All of her dancing has been done as an adult (weren't most of us klutzes as kids?). She has taught children and their parents at the Maryland Renaissance Festival for three decades, and presented a workshop on dance for future teachers at a local community college for many years. Dancing is for everyone, as Zoom is teaching us! Can't wait to take hands four again.
I live in Annapolis, Maryland, and fell in love with traditional dance when I began contra dancing in 1986. One thing led to another. Since that time my husband, John Wells, and I, have danced as often as possible, both locally and at dance weekends and dance camps. We founded our local dance 32 years ago.
By 1990 I had begun calling contra and square dances in the greater Baltimore-Washington area. In addition to the local dances, I have called at series dances in Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. I have also done a series of dance residencies with our county school system.
Throughout that period we attended English dances on an irregular basis, but in 2010 we became regular dancers at our local dances, and I made my first forays into calling and teaching ECD. I completed the mentoring program offered by the FSGW English Country Dance Committee.
Dancing and leading English dances, with its wide variety of musical forms, styles, the richness of its repertoire, has given me a much greater appreciation of how dance and music are related in traditional dancing. With the advent of virtual dancing, we are exploring new ways to dance these same dances without the benefit of dancing with others, as well as learning new dances created for one or two dancers. We are keeping the tradition alive!