Make your own free website on
Sandy Silva and Laura Risk
Sandy Silva - percussive dance
Laura Risk - fiddle

Class and Residency Descriptions:
The following are offered as 45 minute - 2 hour classes. Any of these can be explored in depth as the focus of a 1- 5 day residency. All classes have a strong participatory component. Classes are adapted to accommodate age level, music and dance experience, context in which the class is offered, and cultural backgrounds of students. Introducing the session(s) with a concert demonstration by Sandy and Laura is highly recommended to provide familiarity and create enthusiasm among the students.

1. Tradition and Innovation - An exploration of traditional Celtic and American styles through live performance and video, leading to a discussion and demonstration of the role of innovation in tradition.
2. Rhythm Exercises for Musicians and Dancers - An intensive rhythmic workout aimed at developing precision timing, honing internal rhythm, feeling and performing various grooves, understanding complex accent patterns, and developing rhythmic independence of body parts.
3. Body Percussion Fundamentals - Vocabulary of sonic movements, for creating a visual and rhythmic body drum feast, is explained, demonstrated and taught.
4. Body Percussion Choreography - Create a body rhythm "musical" using the body as an instrument, with or without music accompaniment.
5. World Rhythms in Dance - Exploration of many world dance styles, including Spanish Flamenco, American Tap, Hungarian Legenyes, Celtic Stepdance and Appalachian Buckdance, to discover what they reveal about the cultures from which they have emerged. Includes discussion of history, anthropology, immigration patterns and other influences on the dance. Taught through lecture, video, demonstration and practice.
6. Celtic Stepdance - Overview of dances styles of Ireland, Scotland, Cape Breton Island and Quebec.
7. Appalachian Buckdance - Precursor of Tap, influenced by Celtic, Native and African population, also called "clogging."
8. Percussive Dance Improvisation - Demystifying the tools of improvisation, for beginning to advanced students.
9. Scottish Fiddling for Musicians - Learn traditional Scottish tunes by ear and use bowings, ornamentation, phrasing, and rhythmic grooves to play them in the Scottish idiom.
10. Scottish Fiddling for Listeners - Explore the various worlds within the Scottish idiom through lecture, demonstration, and audio.
11. Scottish Music in the 18th Century - Lecture and demonstration on the traditional/classical crossover in Scottish music during the 18th century. This can also be hands-on for musicians.

Laura:,, 514-727-3171