English Country, Colonial
English Country, Colonial
George was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, in 1928 and raised in the neighboring town of Salisbury. He went to Salisbury Grammar and Amesbury High School before a four-tour of duty in the U.S. Army. He then attended the University of New Hampshire in Durham.
George began English dancing with the Country Dance Society, Boston Centre, Inc. In 1968, when the leader and principle teacher retired, the Appalachian Mountain Club's Country Dance Society "Cardigan Dance / Hiking Weekend" held near Bristol, New Hampshire, needed another teacher / leader. George was selected and has been teaching English Country Dance ever since. For his years of service to the organization, George was made a "Life Member" of the Country Dance Society, Boston Centre, Inc.
In 1968, with Ms. Joe Ray, George started the South Weymouth English Country Dance Group in Weymouth, Mass. The group grew for a number of years until attrition forced the group to disband in 1998. George says, "This group was very tolerant of me in my beginning years and thus was a great and wonderful learning experience for all of us. This group was one of my extreme joys in the dance field. It was out of this group I was able to present my first George Washington's Birthday Ball in 1984." George has continued presenting the ball ever since.
George was well known as a regular at the Mainewoods Dance Camp, whether he was on the staff or helping in the kitchen or wherever needed and teaching a dance or two at the evening parties. At the 2003 camp, he came up with the idea of "English Country Dances in 3/4 Time" at 2:30 a.m. the first night and they began appearing on the request lists!
"One of my best experiences," George relates, "was to be invited by Ralph Page to lead his November Square Dance Weekend at East Hill Farm in Troy, New Hampshire. In addition to Ralph, other callers were Roger Whynot and George Hodgson. I learned much from them and later I found out they had learned from me! I was there for 17 years. The calling / leading was so superior and enjoyable. Unfortunately, after Ralph passed on, it was not continued as he was the guiding hand; another leader tried but the joy and loss of Ralph had its closure."
George was very active in several dance-related organizations, including
- Past President, Country Dance Society (CDS), Boston Centre
- Past Director, New England Folk Festival Association (NEFFA)
- Past Director, Pinewoods Camp, Inc., Plymouth, Massachusetts
- Past Director, The Revels, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts
- Past Director, Mainewoods Dance Camp, Bridgton, Maine
- Past Bagman, Pinewoods Morris Men (PMM) for 20 year
- Past Eastern Area Vice President, Country Dance & Song Society of America (CDSSA)
- Past Chairman, Playford Balls, CDS, Boston Centre (3)
- >Past Chirman, CDS, Boston Centre, Food Booth, NEFFA Festival
- Past Committee Chairman, Ralph Page Memorial Fund Committee, NEFFA
- Producer, Black Joker Morris First Night Programmes
- Office Manager, CDS, Boston Centre and NEFFA
- Ex-Officio Member, CDS, Boston Centre, Board of Directors
He was the Dancing Master at the Hartford Playford Ball in Hartford, Connecticut, Sudbury Militia Balls at the Wayside Inn in Sudbury, Massachusetts, and the Billerica Colonial Minutemen, Billerica, Massachusetts. He held membership in several dance organizations, including the Country Dance and Song Society of America (CDSSA, Haydenville, Massachusetts), Country Dance Society (CDS, Boston Centre, Inc.), English Folk Dance & Song Society (London, England), New England Folk Festival Association (NEFFA), Pinewoods Morris Men (PMM), and Black Joker Morris Men. He produced over forty Christmas Country Dance Balls and George Washington Birthday Balls. George was on hundreds of Morris tours, including England with the PMM and Black Jokers. He also participated in a dozen performances.
In addition to teaching hundreds of "one-night stands," George taught two dozen organizations, a dozen dance camps, and several workshops. He also reconstructed Early American dances and steps, working closely with Kate V. W. Keller and Chip Hendrickson.
In 2012, the CDSS governing board awarded George its Lifetime Contribution Award.
George published several folk dance-related books, including
- A Choice Collection of Country Dances as Printed and Sold by John and William Neal in Christ Church Yard, Dublin, with their Proper Tunes, whereof many never before published and in an easier method to be understood than ever yet printed, Gathered, Composed, and Corrected by Many of the Best Masters of this Kingdom. Dublin Printed & Sold by John & William Neal in Christ Church Yard. (c. 1726) (Commonly referred to as the "Neal Book" and "A Choice Collection of Country Dances." (Co-author)
- Country Dances from Colonial New York, James Alexander's Notebook, 1730. (Co-author)
Other organizations of which George was a member are 7th Degree Patrons of Husbandry Grange (over 60 years including holding various offices) and the South End Historical Society of Boston.
George also had another interest, glass. He was an Antiques and Collectibles Dealer since 1970 and was a noted convention speaker at such prestigeous venues as the National Duncan Glass Society in Washington, Pennsylvania, and the National Imperial Glass Society in Bellaire, Ohio. He lectured on glass at many historical societies, social organizations, antique dealers associations, and on identification panels. He created a glass display for the Amesbury Public Library in Amesbury, Massachusetts, and had several publications (as well as some in progress), including
- Glass: Geo. Duncan & Sons Manufacturers of Fine Flint Glassware c1891 (Reprint)
- Early Duncan Glassware. Geo. Duncan & Sons. Pittsburgh, 1874 - 1892. (Reprint) (Co-author)
- "No Kissing Allowed in School!" A Virginia Dancing School in 1784 (Co-author)
- "The Richmond Assemblies 1790-1797." (Co-author)
- Ten (10) "Duncan & Miller Glass (Reprints) brochure/phamplets
Although George was quick to remind that he teaches English Country Dance and Colonial dances, you might have found him teaching a Scottish dance once in a while, too!
George A. Fogg, 93, passed away on March 31, 2022 at home in Braintree, MA from a prolonged illness.
Dances George taught include Armstrong's Waltz, The Bonnie Cuckoo, Drapers Gardens, The Duke of Kent's Waltz, Family Waltz, Hole in the Wall, The Lancashire Reel, Leah's Waltz, Two Cousins, and Well Hall.