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Celebrating Dance Master Philippe Callens

Monday 2 Dec 4pm — Friday 6 Dec 10am, 2024

To make a booking enquiry please complete the form below. We will contact you to confirm availability and complete your booking.


Full board per person (tuition, activities, all meals & accommodation):

£430– single ensuite room
£390– sharing an ensuite room
£390– single non-ensuite room
£355 – sharing non-ensuite room

Camping per person (tuition, activities, all meals):


Non Resident (tuition, activities, all meals except breakfast):


This midweek course is a tribute to the inspirational and much-missed dance master Philippe Callens (Antwerp, 21 March 1962 – Esneux, 17 February 2021) and his wide-ranging enthusiasms – from English dance reconstructions through to dances in the New England style and his own stylish English dance choreography.

In 1990, Philippe founded the Anglo-American Dance Shop (AADS) in Belgium with Luc Blancke and Frieda Van Vlaenderen, bringing dancers from across Europe to dance with Philippe and the best of American and English teachers.

During this special week at Halsway, AADS will launch a new collection of Phillipe’s unpublished dances alongside an accompanying CD featuring accomplished musicians Paul Hutchinson (accordion), Karen Wimhurst (clarinets) and Dries de Maeyer (recorders and whistles). Dance caller Simone Verheyen, a long-standing friend of Philippe will be joined by the well-loved EFDSS gold badge holder Madeleine Smith.

Dynamic, live dance music was a passion for Phillipe and during the afternoons, the emphasis will be on exploring Madeleine’s statement “dance is music made visible”, as well as giving dancers a chance to participate in music workshops led by virtuoso wind player Dries de Maeyer.

Who is it for?

Dancers with a basic knowledge of Playford and English dance traditions.

The Team

Simone Verheyen started dancing at the ripe old age of 11 and hasn’t stopped since. Influenced by Philippe Callens and AADS, she discovered the English Country Dances and New England Contra Dances in the late eighties, and this repertoire has been her favourite pastime ever since, especially the English repertoire. Having been one of Philippe’s closest friends, she is very fond of his dances and for her it’s a point of honour to keep his legacy alive. Her repertoire stretches from the earliest Playford collections to contemporary choreographers. Simone regularly teaches in Flanders and the Netherlands, She has also taught in England, Scotland, Wallonia and Germany.

Madeleine Smith learned her art from some outstanding teachers, including Pat Shaw and Ethyl Anderson. She is known for her clear calling and teaching, her sense of fun, and her ability to use her extensive knowledge of country dancing and its historical context to create interesting workshops and dance programmes. As a musician, Madeleine works on the principle that ‘dance is music made visible’, and puts the tune, phrasing and rhythm at the centre of her teaching. She was the recipient of an EFDSS Gold Badge in 2022.

Based in Brussels, Dries de Maeyer is a young, virtuosic recorder and whistle player spanning the Baroque music through to Belgian, Swedish and English folk repertoire. He will explore ornamentation, arranging and some Belgium tunes with those participants who bring along instruments.

A well known face at Halsway, Paul Hutchinson is regarded as one of the top accordionists in the country. His versatile and imaginative approach to rhythm, voicings and melody not only infuses the much-loved repertoire of Belshazzar’s Feast, Pagoda and Clarion (to mention a few bands) but has delighted dancers worldwide. Karen Wimhurst is a composer and clarinettist spanning jazz, classical and traditional musics. Karen and Paul joined forces as Pagoda Project. Their album Clarion/Pagoda Duo received 5 star reviews in Songlines and FRoots and was featured on Songline’s Top of the World CD.

…a performance packed with stunning musical technique and interpretation of original material interspersed with wonderfully humorous introductions! What a treat….! Fine Times Recorder