A long weekend for dancers & musicians to enjoy together, with morning workshops in music / dance, a little free time in the afternoon, optional straw-craft and singing workshops between tea and dinner, and social dances on Saturday and Sunday evenings.
Under the guidance of Vicki Baker, dancers will explore how callers, dancers and band interact to produce an enjoyable dance, with opportunities to try calling a dance. Musicians, led by David Bradley, will focus on playing as a band, and performing tunes in an interesting and danceable fashion! With a supportive atmosphere and approachable leaders, the two groups work together to put on a Playford Ball on Saturday (costume welcome) and a Ceilidh on Sunday.
For the first time the weekend includes the AGM of the Halsway Manor Society, which will take place at 2pm on Saturday afternoon. Members attending the weekend will of course be welcome and encouraged to attend, and we may have a few extra members staying on to swell numbers for the evening dance.
Who’s it For?
The musicians’ side of the course is designed for players of any instrument who can read music. Some tunes are in keys outside G and D. If in doubt contact David via the Manor. Music, both Playford style and Contra, is available in advance.
The dancing is aimed at people with some experience of folk dancing who are keen to learn more. If you’re interested in trying calling then this can be included too.
Optional singing and straw craft workshops are designed to be fun for both beginners and those with some experience, offering the chance to learn something new and to develop existing skills.
David Bradley is an experienced musician and band leader in the field of folk dance, folk festivals, folk holidays and barn dancing. His current bands are Narrow Escape and Ad Hoc, having previously run Mixolydians for about 40 years. He has played for many top callers from Pat Shaw to Geoff Cubitt. His main instruments are accordion and piano.
Vicky Baker is based in Staffordshire and has over 20 years experience of all styles of Folk Dancing including Maypole, Playford, American, and Scottish. She has worked with local bands at Saturday night dances as well as club nights, calling for all age groups and abilities and is registered as a caller for Holiday Fellowship breaks.
After several years in the role of singing tutor, Julie Kimber-Nickelson has chosen to step down tutor this year; we’ll announce our 2020 singing tutor shortly.
Dorothy Seedhouse has been secretary of the Guild of Straw Craftsmen for the last 10 years. She is experienced in using straw decoratively i.e. making pictures using marquetry techniques, Swiss straw methods, and traditional plaiting including corn dollies.