An enjoyable long weekend for dancers and musicians to deepen their knowledge and understanding of folk dance, and to try out aspects of folk dancing, calling and playing music in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
In morning workshops the dancers group will look at how callers, dancers and band interact to produce an enjoyable dance, and are encouraged to try calling a dance and liaising with their musicians. Separately, the musicians group focuses on playing the tunes as a band, bringing out the characteristics of different tunes and on phrasing them to suit the dance movements. After lunch is free time and after tea there are optional straw-craft and singing workshops. All the groups are small which gives a supportive atmosphere where Leaders are approachable and difficulties may be discussed. You’ll work together to put on a Playford Ball on Saturday (costume welcome) and a Ceilidh on Sunday.
“The food, dancing, company of friends and new acquaintances, excellence of staff, the hospitality… wow!” Participant
Arrive Friday from 4pm; depart Monday after breakfast.
Who’s it For?
Musicians – all instruments welcome. Some tunes are in keys outside G and D. If in doubt contact David via the Manor. You will need to be able to read music, which will be available in advance.
Dancers – you’ll have some experience of folk dancing and be keen to learn more, with the possibility of calling a dance of your choosing should you wish.
The singing and straw-craft workshops are suitable for all abilities, and provide some variety to the weekend.
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.
Julie Kimber-Nickelson is a qualified music teacher who for many years has sung folk songs and been a member of choirs. She is enthusiastic about encouraging people who have always wanted to sing but have lost the confidence to try.
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.