English Dance

The entire group glides gracefully through the steps of a dance in the lower level of Brentwood Congregational United Church of Christ. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Irish folk music from the 1700s filled an activity room at the Brentwood Congregational United Church of Christ on Friday night during a dance sponsored by The St. Louis English Country Dancers. The group meets there monthly to learn centuries-old dance steps and then perform them accompanied by a live band.

Tim Hirzel

Tim Hirzel plays a piccolo, one of several flutes he brought. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

At Friday’s dance, about 25 individuals met to commemorate the death of Turlough O’Carolan, an Irish harper, composer and singer.

Dance leader Peter Wollenberg walked participants through dance steps then gave them a chance to perform the entire dance accompanied by O’Carolan’s music. The music was performed on guitar, violins and flute by The Original Speckled Band.

The St. Louis English Country Dancers hold similar dances every two weeks. They meet at either the Brentwood Congregational UCC (on Brentwood Boulevard across from Walgreens) or the Focal Point in Maplewood.

The dances are open to the public and cost from $5 to $7. They meet next at the Focal Point on March 28.

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Stepping Together

Stepping together in an Irish folk dance on Friday night are (from left) Missy Reisenleiter, Mark Rice, Lynnea Brumbaugh and Russell Blyth. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Peter Wollenberg

Dance leader Peter Wollenberg walks the group through the steps of a dance before they tackle it with the music playing. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

The Original Speckled Band

Accompanying the dancers with Irish folk music composed 300 years ago are members of The Original Speckled Band. They are (from left) Paul Stamler, Aileen Murphy, Alena Wheeler and Tim Hirzel. (Photo by Steve Bowman)