Dancing is a universal and primal form of expression, and it is something we can all enjoy. What’s more, it’s a healthy and fun way to bring more exercise into our lives. Anyone, at any age, can enjoy group dancing, from the very young children to senior citizens.
This guide presents a series of original group dances inspired by both folk and contemporary dances. It focuses on dance as a way for anyone and everyone to engage in movement while having fun and interacting with others.
Author Mark L. Greathouse, in collaboration with his wife, Helena, offers original piano compositions and professionally written choreography designed to match the music exactly. To further aid in learning the dances, this teaching tool also provides links to online videos demonstrating each dance and the music to go with it.
Improve your coordination, bring more movement into your life, and have fun with dancing! Dancing for Fun can show you how.
“I searched for ideas to help in developing my physical fitness lessons. I was introduced to Dancing for Fun, Book 1. My students and I had a lot of fun. It is a valuable resource.”
—Colleen Thompson, Kindergarten Teacher Sherwood School District, Oregon
Mark Greathouse has a master’s degree from Stanford University and has composed more than seventy piano compositions, some of which are used in this book. He and his wife, Helena, a former international judge of rhythmic gymnastics for twenty-nine years, have created several CDs and perform music regularly around their home city of Portland, Oregon, and take their music each year to various places in the US and Europe.
Mark and Helena Greathouse are a musical duo and live in Portland, Oregon. Mark plays the accordion, and Helena sings and dances. They call themselves Greathouse of Music. Mark’s introduction to music began at the age of five when his father, a music teacher in Portland, Oregon, introduced him to the accordion. During his teenage years, Mark won several awards for his accordion performances before going to Europe to study German, where he met his future wife, Helena, from Prague.
Since age seven, Helena sang on the Czechoslovak national radio. Throughout her childhood, Helena performed in musicals on both the Czechoslovak national TV and live theater in her native Czechoslovakia. Her dance teacher was a direct pupil of Isadora Duncan, Jarmila Jerabkova.
In her teenage years, Helena turned to competitive sports, competing in rhythmic gymnastics for twelve years in Europe on the advanced level. That led to pursuing an international judging career later in her life (including three World Championships, Pan American and Goodwill Games, and two Olympics).
Mark loves to compose melodies, especially on the piano. It turns out that they lend themselves quite well to dance. This combination of melody and dance has led to writing Dancing for Fun, books 1 and 2. The dances have been professionally choreographed, and Helena’s extensive rhythmic gymnastics background has helped immensely in capturing the exact movement in written form.