Category Archives: Uncategorized

Dance in the New Year with Sun Assembly!

On New Year’s Eve, let’s dance “In the Fields of Frost & Snow!”
Or maybe “Zephyrs & Flora,” in this crazy climate year!!
Either way, join us for an array of English Country Dances:

Dec. 31st, 8:30 to midnight
at Murphey School (Shared Visions Retreat Center)
3717 Murphy School Rd., Durham / off Old NC 10.

Music by Hey Fever, which is Julie, Walt, Joey and Roz!
With calling by Leah, Russell, Sharon, Eric, Allan, etc.
All dances taught!

Bring snack or dessert & dances shoes or socks.
Suggest donation – $25 (or less); Sun Assembly members – $20;
12 & under – FREE!

Flier:  Link





Cecil Sharp Appalachian Photographs Exhibit: Jan. 20 – Feb. 11, 2017

The Country Dance & Song Society (link), in conjunction with the English Folk Dance and Song Society (link) and the North Carolina Folklife Institute (link), is sponsoring a local exhibition of the Appalachian Photographs of Cecil Sharp.

The exhibit runs from Jan. 20 to Feb. 11 at Through This Lens, 303 East Chapel Hill Street, Durham, N.C.

This is the first American exhibition of these photographs!

Flier to share:  link.

For more information about activities celebrating the legacy of Cecil Sharp and Maud Karpeles, please visit these online resources:  Website (link) and Facebook page (link).

January 2017 Announcements

Happy New Year!

Dance of the Month: Our January dance of the month is A Solstice Snow, a modern longways duple minor by Gary Roodman. Please find instructions here (link), and a video (link).

Join or Renew Membership: If you haven’t already, it’s time to join or renew your Sun Assembly membership! Regular Membership is $20, which includes discounts to special events and a quarterly newsletter. Sustaining Membership is $250, which includes admission to all weekly dances for the year, discounts to special events, and a quarterly newsletter.  You can renew at a weekly dance or mail it in using the form and instructions in the Winter newsletter (link). 

Celia Wright Live Music Fund: Contributions to the Celia Wright Live Music Fund are always welcome and appreciated. Donations can be made at any of our weekly dances and special events. Donations to this fund are tax-deductible, and help to support the wonderful live music we have throughout the year!

Sun Assembly Spring DanceFest, March 11-12, 2017: Registration is open for Spring DanceFest, featuring renowned ECD teacher and early musician Gene Murrow from NYC. The event will take place at the Murphey School, Shared Visions Retreat Center, in Durham. Mary McConnell will also be teaching a Saturday afternoon workshop on “Scottish Dance for English Country Dancers.” Fabulous live music will be provided by our own Julie Gorka (piano), Dean Herington (clarinet, piano) Atossa Kramer (clarinet, piano), Joey O’Donnell (viola), Mara Shea (fiddle), and Walt Robinson (recorders). For more info, see the flier (link) or visit the special Facebook page (link). 


February 10-12 Mid-Winter ECD Weekend (Asheville, NC): Brooke Friendly from Ashland, OR, will be leading a weekend of dances, workshops, and singing. Live music provided by Andrea Hoag, Atossa Kramer, and Lisa Smith. For the complete schedule, registration information, and dance lists, visit this website (link). Early registration deadline is Feb. 3.

March 4 George Washington Ball (Williamsburg, VA): The Williamsburg Heritage Dancers’ annual ball will take place in the Sadler Center at the College of William & Mary, from 7:00-11:00pm. An afternoon refresher session will be held from 1:00-3:30pm. All attendees must register by Feb. 27. For registration info and the program of dances, visit this website (link).

Keep on dancin’!

Dance on New Year’s Eve

Everyone is welcome.  All dances will be taught, and no partner or experience is necessary.

Allan, Gail, Leah and Russell will lead our annual New Year’s Eve celebration, starting at 8:30 p.m. at the spacious and beautiful Murphey School, 3717 Murphy School Road in Durham.

Live music by the Ark Angels (Julie, Walt and friends).  Bring a finger food to share at the break (no alcohol, please) , and wear non-marking shoes or socks to dance in.

Admission is $20 members; $25 non-members; FREE for kids under 12 and Duke students.

Flier:  link

Questions?  Call 919-286-2202 or email

November 2016 Announcements

Dear Dancers,
Things you should know:

       30th Anniversary Celebration This Thursday, Nov. 10: Please join us as we celebrate
Sun Assembly’s history and current vitality.
 Dancing, with live music, will be from 7:30-10:00 p.m. at the Freedman Center.

Dance of the Month: Our dance of the month is Newcastle, a 4-couple set dance from
Playford’s Dancing Master, 1st ed., 1651. These are the instructions (newcastle_carl-wittman). Video:  link.

Thanksgiving Dance (Nov. 24): We will be dancing on Thanksgiving, from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at the
reedman Center. Come dance off that turkey–and bring your friends and family too!

Dec. 15:
The Highlanders play for Sun Assembly
Dec. 31: Sun Assembly’s New Year’s Eve Dance
Feb. 10-12: Asheville’s ECD weekend with Brooke Friendly
Mar. 4: George Washington Ball in Williamsburg, VA
Mar. 11-12: Sun Assembly’s Spring DanceFest with Gene Murrow

Happy Dancing!

Theme for Sept. 29 Dance (5th Thursday!)

The theme for the Sept. 29 dance is “From Cottages and Barns to Castle.”

Throughout September, we’ve been visiting “Hatfield House” as our Dance of the Month.  Come this week to visit other abodes and dance halls – some cozy, some grand, from both sides of the Atlantic – but all celebrated in the English dance repertoire with dances named in their honor.

September 2016 Announcements

Dance of the Month: Our dance of the month is Hatfield House, an original 2-couple dance, by Charles Bolton.  Bolton reconstructed many English country dances, as well as devised choreographies of his own.  The entire Bolton Collection can be freely accessed through the CDSS Online Library:

Fandango ECD weekend, Sept. 23-35: 
English Country Dance Atlanta is hosting its annual Fandango dance weekend September 23-25.  Joseph Pimentel is the principal caller, with music by Goldcrest.  The weekend provides a great opportunity to enhance your repertoire and skills, as well as to meet dancers from all over the Southeast.  For registration, schedule, bios, and other event info, visit:
Adirondack Dance Weekend, Sept. 30-Oct. 2:  Features contras, English, waltzing and jamming (also hiking and kayaking), with four callers, including our own Pat Peterson.  See for more information.
Open Mike Night, Oct. 6:  Have you been itching to teach a dance?  Or, try calling for the first time?  Here’s your chance!  If you’d like to call a dance, please let Eric Conrad know by Sept. 29.  All experience levels welcome.

October 27:  Sun Assembly’s Halloween Dance (get your costumes ready!)
   November 10:  Sun Assembly’s 30th Anniversary Celebration Dance (more details

   December 31:  
Sun Assembly’s New Year’s Eve Dance, at the Murphey School,
Durham, NC

ECD Live music flash mob this Thursday!

We’ll have an entire orchestra for an extra LIVE MUSIC session THIS THURSDAY, August 18.
The occasion is visiting violinist Amy Cann.
Julie and Walt will join for their last time before leaving on sabbatical.
Mara, Joey, and Dean will add to the numbers.
Come one, come all for fabulous music and dancing!  Pat will be teaching.