friends of Greenfield Dance

Hambo Returns to the Grange

By Orin Nisenson. Posted on November 20, 2017.

A while ago I was watching a few dancers dancing a Hambo during a break when another dancer asked me how she could learn to Hambo. I mentioned that when I first started dancing 30+ years ago the Hambo was routinely done during breaks. Now it is only done on rare occasions. With that in mind, the Friends of Greenfield Dance decided to sponsor a Hambo workshop.

What is a Hambo? Hambo is a traditional dance that originated in Sweden in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is a couple dance in 3/4 time, danced to music played with a strong accent on the first beat and a tempo that varies from moderate to fast (100 to 120 beats per minute). The Hambo is a dance with a fixed pattern and tunes almost always have a corresponding eight measure structure.

Van Kaynor put us in touch with Jennifer Brosious and Laine Harris, a couple known for doing dance workshops at the Dance Flurry. On 11/18/17 27 dancers gathered at the Grange to learn Hambo. Van provided the music  and Jennifer and Laine spent the next 2 hours teaching the skills needed to learn how to dance the Hambo.

At the end of the workshop a dancer, not participating in the workshop, came up from the basement and said that at first it sound like a cattle stampede was happening upstairs but at the end of the workshop it sound like a dance was happening.

After a 2 hour break for dinner, many workshop participants returned to the Grange to dance to the Moving Violations. During the break music was provided so that the workshop students had the chance to further hone their newly learned skills.