cumberland shuffle: utterly unique

If you’re craving something different — something new, and maybe a little inspiring — you should try Cumberland Shuffle on for a change. This past weekend was run by Breanna Perry and Morgan Kestner, and featured Peter Loggins and Mia Goldsmith as instructors.

The idea is this: why let go of dances of the past? Instead, we should learn them. Study them. Dance them. And be inspired by them.

Cumberland Shuffle was a great event. There was a lot of energy in the event, as people seemed to truly enjoy learning these classic dances. For myself, I most enjoyed re-learning St. Louis Shag, and I really enjoyed both First Stops and Second Stops. I thought Peter & Mia did a great job teaching the classes, even despite the spacial challenges presented.

I was not a huge fan of the Peabody class, but I think that’s greatly influenced by the spacial restrictions on the class — it was far too crowded to learn anything worthwhile in that class, making it incredibly frustrating to even watch.

I thought the choice of performances for the event were great. I especially enjoyed Morgan’s Burlesque routine — because even though I’ve seen it three times now, it is always entertaining (and I thought it was her best performance yet!). I also really enjoyed the Tranky Sham; mostly, those three (Lindsay, Breanna, and Beth) did a great job of pushing through the choreo despite it’s clear difficulty. It makes me want to go out and learn it, too!

The biggest downfall to the weekend was the venue choices for the classes. While I understand that there are limited venues to choose from in Nashville, I was really frustrated on Saturday (though only mildly annoyed on Sunday). Naomi at the High Society Meetup emphasized always learning from every class, no matter if it was filled with beginners or masters, which made  huge impact on how I wanted to approach this weekend at Cumberland Shuffle; however, I’m not sure she anticipated a lack of space to even move.

While I’m sure I could have bumped and bruised my way through the class, I had no desire to do so. However, I must admit that Peter and Mia did a great job handling the spatial challenges! Though they might have been able to move through the material a bit quicker with a little more space, they definitely got the feel of the dances across in every class.

All in all, a great event. Anyone interested in history or looking for a unique influence on their dancing should really look for Cumberland Shuffle next year!


Finally, to our not-really-there host, Lacie, who is fantastic and hilarious and one of my new favorite people of Nashville, a special thanks: for the use of her house despite being away, for the multitude of beds which nearly resembled a small hotel, and for a fantastic home-made dinner on Sunday night. Oh…and sorry about that whole thing where the toilet overflowed and leaked into the kitchen below. Next time, we’ll try not to flood your house!

(And thank you Beth, for being our pseudo-host!)


2 thoughts on “cumberland shuffle: utterly unique

  1. Man, all you guys who were in classes for Cumberland Shuffle made me so proud–I didn’t hear any complaints about the venues, and it seemed like everybody banded together to deal with the lack of space as best they could. It was super nice to see all the attendees being so professional.

    I know that as a dancer, I’m sometimes frustrated by small spaces. And that goes double as a venue organizer, when I have to settle for less than what I want, even after I’ve exhausted the town in search of venues. Kudos for being awesome, and thanks for the write-up! :)

  2. Pingback: dance posts: reference / archive | The Lindy Affair

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