FAQs — Washington Spring Ball

Frequently Asked Questions (& Answers)

Click on a question to see the answer.

Attire — What is acceptable attire for attendance at the Ball?

  • Clothing: Variants of this question are "how dressy is the Ball" and "what period" is appropriate for costumes?
    • Period dress is not required for Ball attendees. Dances on the program may range from Playford (17th century) to modern compositions. Dancers at past balls have worn attire meant to reflect dress of various periods. Some ladies wear ball gowns and men may wear suits and even tuxedos. Attire tending toward more formal wear is appropriate for the Ball. Comfortable, dress-up attire is another descriptor of appropriate attire.
  • Shoes: Dancers should wear comfortable shoes with soft soles to both the practice session and the Ball. Soles must be clean and free of grit to help protect the dance floor.

Changing clothing — Where can dancers change clothes before the Ball?

Areas for will be provided for changes of clothing before the Ball. Signs will be posted to direct dancers to changing rooms for ladies and men.

Do attendees need to know the dances before the ball?

  • A practice session will be conducted on the afternoon of the ball so dancers can "brush up" on dances that they are less familiar with. Basic English country dance figures will not be taught at the practice session.
  • During the Ball, each dance will be briefly talked-through and dances may be prompted for a few rounds after they have started. However, there will be no walk-throughs nor teaching.
  • For the enjoyment of all, we suggest that dancers avail themselves of opportunities to practice ball dances before the day of the Ball.
  • Ball dances will be taught during FSGW's weekly ECD in Glen Echo, MD. Dancers are encouraged to attend these events to learn basic figures and Ball dances.
  • See "Where can dancers obtain instructions for the dances?" for more info.

Is the Ball a "for those who know" event?

The Spring Ball is a fun and welcoming event with a line-up of dances to appeal to most dancers and is not a "for those who know event." (See answer to immediately preceding question.)

Where can dancers obtain instructions for the dances?

  • Instructions for Ball dances will be available in ball programs distributed at the practice session and available at the ball for those who do not attend the practice.
  • Instructions for dances will be made available on the Resources web page when completed by ball organizers. Check back from time-to-time if you don't see live links on the Resources page.
  • Videos of Ball dances will also be linked from the Resources page; check back from time-to-time.

Will sheet music be provided for dances conducted at the Ball?

Many of the tunes for the dances are in the "standard" references for ECD tunes, i.e., "Barnes I" or "Barnes II." See Resources for a index to tunes in the Barnes books, and, for links to sheet music for those tunes not listed in Barnes.

Tell me about the venue. Is it air conditioned?

The facility at Cherry Hill park was designed for dancing. It has a wood floor for comfortable dancing and is nicely air conditioned.

Will food and drinks be available?

  • Potluck: There will be a potluck dinner between the afternoon practice session and evening dance; dancers local to the greater Washington/Baltimore Metro area are asked to bring a dish to share. Dancers from out of town, traveling from greater distances, may come as our guests.
  • Snacks and drinks will be available during a break around the mid-point of the Ball
  • Water will be available during the event. Water and soft drinks will be available during the potluck.
  • Restaurants: For those not attending the potluck and seeking nearby repast, see Restaurant Tips for a list of restaurants located near the Ball venue, including info about cuisines.

Is public transportation available to get to the Ball?

METRO bus No. 83 runs from the College Park Metro station, on the Green Line, to Cherry Hill Park. Visit Metro's Trip Planner, and, view a bus route and schedule — download a PDF. Note that the last bus leaves Cherry Hill Park at 9:26 p.m. so consult with organizers at the Ball to arrange a ride, e.g., to a Metro station. Dancers might also provide a ride if convenient to their commute to/from the Ball.

I hear that there may be camping near the Ball venue. How do I make arrangements to camp?

  • Camping at Ball Venue: The Ball is being held at the Cherry Hill Park conference center. The park includes a camp ground with cabins, tents and spaces for RVs. Dancers interested in camping should contact the park directly — Cherry Hill Park web site). They offer discounts to members of certain RV clubs and associations. The park also touts that it is the camp ground closest to the sites in Washington, DC. Being in a major Metro area, the prices are higher than other locations.
  • Greenbelt Park Campground, maintained by the National Park Service, is located about 4 mi from Cherry Hill Park ( Google map). The park is surprisingly secluded for a major metro area. Tent camping and sites for RVs/trailers, without hookups, are available. A dump station and potable water tap are available. Campground info.

Is reduced-rate admission (scholarship) available?

Work scholarships are available to those who need assistance paying for admission. Contact the Ball Chair or Registrar for information about availability (see "More Questions," below, for contact info). Note also that there are also discounts for students and for early registration.

What opportunities for volunteering are availalble?

Volunteers are always welcome and needed. Opportunities include,

  • Decorating the hall
  • Setup and cleanup
  • Helping with the potluck
  • Contact the Ball Chair or Registrar to volunteer (see "More Questions," below, for contact info).

More questions? Contacts?

Consult the main ball page for more info, e.g., to view the program of dances, to register, for directions, tips on where to eat near Cherry Hill Park, etc. If your questions are still unanswered, send an email to the , or, to Carol Marsh, .

FSGW Logo   fsgw.org

Valid HTML 5 Valid level 3 CSS