The Phoenix returns for a second year of dancing excellence
April 26–28, 2024
Lenox Community Center, Lenox MA
About the weekend
We are delighted to announce the return of The Phoenix, the annual event promoting the highest standards in English country dance. This year, in a world of tumultuous change, we are celebrating the spirit of the evergreen: favorites and classics from our very rich heritage, which reaches back into the 17th century and extends forward to the careers of cherished choreographers such as Brian Wedgbury, Philippe Callens, and Fried Herman.
We anticipate with pleasure the return of world-renowned caller Andrew Shaw, complemented by Graham Christian, author of The Playford Assembly. They will be accompanied by the lively and beautiful music of Karen Axelrod, Audrey Knuth, and Eric Martin.
Who should apply to The Phoenix?
Although it is crucial to keep introducing new dancers to English country dance, The Phoenix is not an event for new or uncertain dancers. Easy familiarity with all of English country dance’s core figures, the building blocks of choreography, is assumed, as well as the ability to perform them effectively without assistance.
We are looking for two kinds of dancers: already-excellent dancers eager to expand their knowledge of the repertoire and refine their strategies for being good partners and neighbors, and skilled dancers eager to improve their technique, carriage, and fluency. Dancers should have the energy and stamina to participate in as much of each session as possible, and the generosity to share their experience with other dancers. We want to dance well together and find that we are a bit taller and brighter Sunday evening than we were Friday afternoon.
Masking: Attendees are encouraged, though not required, to wear an N95 or equivalent mask at all times while upstairs in the ballroom or anteroom.
Testing: We advise testing before you travel, especially if you are coming any great distance. We will require a rapid test before the start of dancing on each of the three days. Please present your proof of a negative test result—either a photo or the test itself, from a test taken no more than 4 hours before—in the upstairs anteroom before you enter the ballroom. We will provide test kits free of charge on-site.
Liability waiver: All dancers must sign and return a waiver of liability.
Recent exposure? Not feeling well? If you don’t feel well or have had any Covid or respiratory symptoms within 48 hours before the weekend, don’t come. If you’ve had or been exposed to Covid within SIX days, don’t come. Full refunds will be given for any cancellation due to Covid concerns.
- All attendees must wear an N95 or equivalent mask at all times while upstairs in the ballroom or anteroom, except staff (that is, callers, musicians, and sound).
- All dancers must present proof of a negative rapid antigen test in the upstairs anteroom before entering the ballroom on Friday night, Saturday morning, and Sunday morning. The Phoenix will provide test kits free of charge onsite.
- On Friday, please test in the large room on the first floor of the Community Center and then present proof of a negative result upstairs before entering the ballroom.
- On Saturday and Sunday you can test in your lodgings or downstairs in the Community Center and show your results upstairs before entering the ballroom.
- All participants must submit a signed waiver of liability, which will be sent to applicants upon acceptance.
- If you don’t feel well or have had any Covid or respiratory symptoms within 48 hours of the practice or ball, don’t come. If you’ve had or been exposed to Covid within SIX days, don’t come. Full refunds will be given for any cancellation due to Covid concerns.
Frequently asked questions
The cost of the weekend will be $200 per person.
Unfortunately, yes. We will make the final decision by March 15, 2024. If you are flying, check with your carrier about their refund policies. If the weekend is cancelled, you will receive a full refund of your application fee.
You should anticipate greater demands on your concentration at the workshops. A workshop might focus on perfecting two dances, or even a single challenging dance. Although callers may still interject style points at the social dances, the sessions will be a little more relaxed. As ever, our pleasure comes from dancing well together.
Because space is at a premium, we will not be able to accommodate non-dancing guests.
Attendees will make their own arrangements for lodging. We will provide a list of local options with your registration acceptance.
To cap costs for the weekend, we will not be supplying food and beverages beyond tea, coffee, and water.
But like last year, on both Saturday and Sunday dancers will have the opportunity to order sandwiches to be delivered to the Community Center for lunch.
At all other times dancers should feel free to use the downstairs dining area to eat meals brought from home or takeout bought in town. A list of restaurants will be provided to applicants upon acceptance.
Applicants without U.S. bank accounts may delay payment until they are accepted to the weekend. We will also be accepting PayPal this year; see How to apply for details.
Both the application form and $200/person payment must be received before your application can be considered.
If you applied last year, you may email instead of filling out a new application.
[Further details below]
The cost is $200/person.
With your PayPal transaction, please include a note “Phoenix” and your name/s.
If you prefer, you may send a check instead — payable to AAECD, memo “Phoenix,” mailed to: The Phoenix, P.O. Box 4, Hatfield MA, 01038-0004
If you applied last year and were accepted or waitlisted, you don’t have to fill out the application form again. Simply email Steve at email@example.com stating your intention to apply, and send your payment for $200 per person.
Only full-time registrants will be considered.
Admission will be limited to 68 dancers, chosen at the discretion of the instructors. Acceptance decisions will be emailed in early February. Accepted applicants will be asked to submit a signed liability waiver at that time. A limited number of applicants may be placed on a wait list. Applicants who are not accepted may request feedback on the reason for this decision.
Should you need to cancel, we will send you a refund if we can fill your slot. Cancellations due to changes in program or staff are subject to the same policy.
If you test positive for Covid or are feeling ill, please cancel and you will receive a full refund of your application fee. We want you to come, but only if you are healthy.