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I discovered English and American dancing in 1976 when my family and I went to Pinewoods Camp for the first time.  That experience changed my life forever.  I had been an international dancer for many years (I still am), but I had never encountered any dancing that so totally captured my fancy.  In 1981, I began teaching country dancing on a regular basis, and in 1982, inspired by a James Galway recording of "Le Basque" by Marais, I tried writing my first English Country dance, "Kneeland Romp".   That dance marked the beginning of, perhaps, 35 or 40 "collaborations" I have had with famous composers (Handel, Bach, Vivaldi, Chopin, Praetorius, et. al.).  In recent years, I have also collaborated with younger composers (that is, ones who are actually alive).  Jonathan Jensen is most notable among them.  Jonathan and I have created 25 or so dances together.
I am a retired college professor.  I taught, among other subjects, Statistics and Applied Mathematics.  My background in that kind of problem solving has probably influenced the way I go about writing dances.  With the music as my framework (the tune almost always comes first for me), I enjoy trying to find elegant solutions (in a mathematical sense) to interesting dance puzzles--sequences of figures that are logical, economical, easy to follow, and that obscure the underlying complexities.  The trick is to avoid any contrivance that might tip off the dancers that we are working within tight constraints imposed by figures and music.  After dancers have learned one of my dances, I would like the flow of the dance to seem as inevitable as the flow of the music, with little need to concentrate on what comes next.  I may not ever achieve that, of course, but I find the pursuit great fun.


      Rowena (my "Dancing Wife") and I have four children, Barbara and Jenny ("The Fair Ladies Palmer"), David (the "Good Man of Cambridge"), and Sarah (the "Belle of Northampton" and the actual "Sarah"), and six grandchildren,
("Emma Turns Three")

("Benjamin's Birth Day")

("Dear Abby")

("Alexander's Birth Day")

("Anna Turns Five")

("Nina's Smile")

You can reach Gary at gmroodman(AT)