About Childgrove Country Dancers
Childgrove started in the late 1970s, somewhere between 1974 and 1978. The dancers in those days did dances that today's dancers might not quite recognize as contra dances. They danced the "chestnuts" and they danced English dances, and Morris dances. The "zesty" contra style was not long in arriving in St Louis, but the dance style in the early days was rather different.
Childgrove Dancers have often been involved in other dance forms as well. If you were a contra dancer in the early days, you might very well be an ISDA-er also (International Folk Dance) or Scottish, or Skandi-dancer (Scandinavian Couples Dance) or a Shape Note Singer! Over time, dance interests among our dancers changed, and these days you'd be more likely to see groups of us at Cajun, Swing dancing, Blues dancing or Zumba!
As our dancers developed other dance interests, Childgrove under Mac McKeever's leadership was, and still is, open to new ventures - there was a decade-long period of intense interest among contra dancers in Swing dance, and Childgrove sponsored a bi-monthly swing dance. About twenty or so years ago, Childgrove took the Waltz Parties under its wing - those were an outgrowth of an interest in Vintage dancing, but they settled into the format we now enjoy at our monthly Waltz Parties. Flash Dancing was the brainchild of a Childgrove board member, and we had a wonderful run of about ten years of "just showing up and dancing" at various (outdoor) places around town. A few years back, another board member thought it would be a good idea to develop the art of calling dances in St Louis, and Childgrove backed the Calling Parties and the Hatchling Dances (now called Callers Choice Dances). A while later, a new English Country Dance series joined the organization, along with an English/American Dance Weekend, High Tea & Whiskey, which morphed into a ruffian-free dance called High Tea & Sarsaparilla and is now a straight English Country Dance Weekend called, simply, High Tea. The St Louis Waldorf School partnered with us from 2013-2015 to create a monthly Family Dance (now on hiatus) before the Callers Choice dances, then in 2018 we started up another Family Dance series.
All this while, Childgrove has also kept up steadfast support of Missouri-style old-time music. Childgrove maintains close ties and cooperation with the St Louis Folk School, and many Childgrove dancers play some folk instrument or other. Some attend the Folk School, and we all enjoy the many fine old-time bands around here at our dances!
Childgrove also has a long-standing successful partnership with Dance Discovery, a performing dance troupe originally pulled together to do the dances of the Lewis and Clark era. Together, Childgrove and Dance Discovery have sponsored some excellent events featuring contra, English Country Dances, and Colonial and Civil War period American dances.
We hope you'll take advantage of all these wonderful offerings.