Workshops

Please note all the following events and timing are provisional and subject to change.


  • Sat 12:00pm to 1:15pmIn

    J3

    With

    Colin Hume

Colin Hume calls (and writes) Playford-style and American-style dances, and has appeared at many festivals in England, Holland, Denmark, the USA and Canada. If you came to his American Squares workshop at Coventry last year you won't want to miss this one.



  • Sat 12:00pm to 1:15pmIn

    Recital Room

    With

    Jean-Christophe Denis

This workshop will cover everything you need to make the evening Bal Folk with the amazing Sons Libres a particularly memorable event (in a good way!). We’ll go through the basics of the dances they’ll play (bourrées, mazurkas, etc.) but also give some improvisation ideas and generic bal folk good behaviour tips. Total beginner to intermediate bal folk dancers welcome. Real French accent provided.



  • Sat 10:30am to 11:45amIn

    Atrium

    With

    Andrew Swaine, Daisy Black

A practical introduction to the mechanics of calling ceilidh dances. We will be looking at how to break down and teach dances, putting together a programme and working with a band. If you are planning on calling a dance for the first time at the IVFDF survivors’ ceilidh, this is a good place to start!
Suitable for complete newbies and more experienced callers.



Bob will take you through from the absolute basics to give you a toolbox of moves and concepts so that you can join in with any contra dance.  If you weren’t sure what was going on at the Friday contra or want to develop your skills this workshop will be focusing on dance components so it will be useful to you. This workshop will be called mostly gender-free with some reference to gender terms for context.



Scottish country dancing dates from the 18th century and is now enjoyed globally by many. It shares many characteristics with country dancing across Europe, but with its own unique twist.

This workshop will cover the basics for those who have never tried it before (or only done a little), and hopefully will inspire you to go to the IVFDF Scottish dance.



  • Sat 9:00am to 10:15amIn

    J1

    With

    Boggarts Breakfast

Boggarts Breakfast Border Morris from Sheffield will be teaching a dance from our original and innovative repertoire. Previous folk dance experience advised; sticks will be provided but bring your own if you can.



  • Sun 12:00pm to 1:15pmIn

    Link

    With

    Rachel Shaw-Edwards

Ceilidh - social fun dancing
Ceroc - social fun dancing
Born in different eras originally to different music styles. But with lots in common! Come try a different sort of partner dance but one that promises as much fun inclusion and ease to learn.



  • Sat 10:30am to 11:45amIn

    J3

    With

    Danielle Ainsworth

Taster session into the 1930s partnered swing dance of Collegiate Shag. Will teach basic step (separated leads and follows), then a few simple moves (partnered, with rotating around the class) which will allow participants to dance a whole song of shag :) No partner or experience necessary



  • Sun 10:30am to 11:45amIn

    Atrium

    With

    Kirsten Ferguson-Jones

There’s this post-it note on the fridge, right. And when I come across a dance that looks really mean, or really clever, or sometimes just really odd, then it goes on the post-it. In really small writing.
Come and dance those dances.
Some competency assumed, no technique teaching, minimal walking, probable chaos.
Kirsten has a certificate that says she can teach properly, and a long line of witnesses that say she can teach improperly.



  • Sun 10:30am to 11:45amIn

    B015

    With

    Colin Hume

Colin has written dances in many different styles.  He explains how he composes dances, talk about Style, Format and Music, analyses what makes a good (or a bad) dance, and get a bit mathematical about the progression.  Then you have the chance to get together and write a dance, which we try out, discuss, and tweak as necessary.



  • Sat 10:30am to 11:45amIn

    Link

    With

    Andrew Walbran and Lindsey Kennedy

This workshop will explore a series of exercises to help you be aware of your own body, connect with the music and a partner, and lead and follow a variety of movement. We’ll then apply what you have learnt to some of the partnered dances common in balfolk such as schottische and mazurka.

Some previous dance experience is helpful but not required, and no familiarity with balfolk is assumed. While we will be working mostly in the context of balfolk, the principles are relevant to almost any partnered dance (swing, blues, salsa, tango, even contra). This workshop will be taught ‘switch’: everyone will learn to both lead and follow. It should be useful for everyone from beginners to experts, either way there'll be something for you to get out of it.



  • Sat 12:00pm to 1:15pmIn

    Atrium

    With

    Rachel Wallace

For beginner and intermediate callers - discussion and practice of calling contra dances. We'll have live music, and bring your dancing friends to help us out!



  • Sun 9:00am to 10:15amIn

    J3

    With

    Granta Blue Morris

A Cotswold Morris workshop with Granta Blue that will focus on the more unusual dances that they regularly perform. The dances have been adapted for a varying number of dancers from the standard six-man set to the unusual three-man and five-man variations of the same traditional dances.



  • Sat 5:15pm to 6:30pmIn

    Link

    With

    Jen Morgan

Experienced dancers! Do you want to support beginner dancers and help them enjoy the dance? This is the workshop for you. We will look at how we create a welcoming environment for new dancers, what helps beginners and what doesn't, using practical exercises and discussion.



  • Sun 12:00pm to 1:15pmIn

    J1

    With

    Jacob Steel

Doctor Steel is a differently-sane choreographer with a PhD in chaos. Come along and try out some intricate, challenging but rewarding dances in a variety of traditions from his lair beneath a dormant volcano.



  • Sun 9:00am to 10:15amIn

    J1

    With

    Richard Mason

If it’s early Sunday morning at IVFDF then it must be Dances with a Difference!  More dances from the slightly warped mind of Richard Mason. These are ceilidh dances with a twist - best described as dances that fill the gap between ceilidhs and contras. So, skip breakfast and come and get your brain into gear for the day to come.



  • Sat 10:30am to 1:15pmIn

    J1

    With

    Your society

Come and practice your society's display spot in the actual hall you will be dancing in. Sign-up sheets will be available on the reception desk (and is available before the festival on our website, https://ivfdf2017.org.uk/content/display-ceilidh-signup).



  • Sun 9:00am to 10:15amIn

    Recital Room

    With

    Rachel Muir and Ellie Westgarth-Flynn

So you've found yourself at a blues social dance and you have no idea what's going on. Help! This class will give you the tools to be dancing all night long. An American folk dance with African roots, focussing on connection to music and partner, improvisation and general badassery!



  • Sat 9:00am to 10:15amIn

    Link

    With

    Elizabeth Lawson

Stepping for complete beginners - a workshop to give you a kit of flexible moves for those occasions when stepping is required in social dancing. I'll be going through variations on setting, back step, forward step, ranting and how to put these together to look more River Dance and less Dance disaster.



  • Sun 12:00pm to 1:15pmIn

    Atrium

    With

    Arthur Capelier-Mourguy

If you like fancy aerial footsteps and cheerful dances, this workshop is for you! In this workshop we will learn how to dance (one version of) the Basque "fandango" and "arin-arin" dances, as well as other "bouncy", "hands up" dances such as the "carnival of Lantz". Light tricky steps, you can try doing it in Dr. Martens but I would advise lighter shoes! Yet some grip is important.



  • Sat 9:00am to 10:15amIn

    B013

    With

    Mary Fortune

Informal first aid training, with an emphasis on conditions relevant to folk dancers. 

This is the place to come before you have an accident. We will discuss common dancing injuries, and how to tell whether they need medical attention, as well as what to do when someone has had a little bit too much to drink. Do you want to know what to do if you find someone collapsed in the street? Or is there an area of first aid you want to learn more about? I'm happy to cover topics of interest to the audience.



  • Sat 5:15pm to 6:30pmIn

    B015

    With

    Burt Hunter

Gary Roodman is a statistician who lives in New England and composes English style country dances. Unlike most dance composers he chooses a tune that he likes first and then writes a dance to fit. These tunes are an eclectic mix of folk, classical, jazz and other genres. Like all the best dances they flow from one figure to the next seamlessly. Some are quite intricate and not for the faint hearted, although most are relatively accessible to anyone with a modicum of experience in folk dancing, especially Playford style.

This workshop is probably not for the absolute beginner but no-one will be turned away, (providing there is enough room,) and Burt will do his level best to guide you through these very enjoyable dances.



  • Sat 9:00am to 10:15amIn

    B015

    With

    John Brown and Joe Macmahon

For the last year Sheffield ceilidhsoc as been running all its ceilidhs with none gendered calling. This workshop would provide an overview of that experience, how well that has worked, what we have done to over come a issues that change has thrown up, how we've adapted the terms we use and the language.

This workshop is for those interested in the Sheffield experience, and those who would like to look at none gendered calling themselves.



  • Sun 10:30am to 11:45amIn

    J3

    With

    Gog Magog Molly

Formed in 1996 Gog Magog Molly draw from the traditional dances of the Cambridgeshire fens as well as a range of other inspirations including Harry Potter, a one-way system, a doctoral thesis and local punting hazards, all done with our own distinctive geometric precision and danced to a high-energy step-hop. Gogs are an easily spotted kaleidoscope of colour right up to (and beyond!) our carefully unco-ordinating faces.

Come and learn how to dance in the Gog Magog style yourself, no experience necessary but do wear supportive shoes.



  • Sun 9:00am to 10:15amIn

    Link

    With

    Lindsey Ibbotson

Traditional men’s solo dancing from the Highlands of Scotland, now danced by men and women. Conjures up images of battles, Highland games and sword dancing – we can’t guarantee the swords!

If you like learning different steps with a lot of hopping around, this is for you.



  • Sun 10:30am to 11:45amIn

    Link

    With

    Sacha Jackman & Sinéad Boultwood

Come and learn some Irish step to show off in the pub! We'll teach a heavy shoe treble reel step- think Riverdance. Complete beginners and experienced dancers are all welcome. We'll split into groups to make sure you get the most from this session.
Wearing hard soled shoes will help you make some noise, but trainers are great for practicing too.



Play an instrument? Then the IVFDF 2017 Scratch Band needs you! Come along to one or both of the rehearsals to get to know some of the tune sets we'll be playing for the survivors ceilidh in the afternoon. Anyone is welcome to both (or either) but the first session in particular will be aimed more at those who haven't had much, if any, experience playing for ceilidhs while in the second session we'll be trying to play through more of the tunes! Any ability welcome to both sessions. Ability to read sheet is preferable but not required so long as you're reasonably happy picking tunes up by ear. Printed music will be provided.

More information can be found on our website



Play an instrument? Then the IVFDF 2017 Scratch Band needs you! Come along to one or both of the rehearsals to get to know some of the tune sets we'll be playing for the survivors ceilidh in the afternoon. Anyone is welcome to both (or either) but the first session in particular will be aimed more at those who haven't had much, if any, experience playing for ceilidhs while in the second session we'll be trying to play through more of the tunes! Any ability welcome to both sessions. Ability to read sheet is preferable but not required so long as you're reasonably happy picking tunes up by ear. Printed music will be provided.

More information can be found on our website



  • Sun 12:00pm to 1:15pmIn

    B015

    With

    Representatives from your societies

Your chance to have a say how the festival is run. IVFDF is run by representatives from all UK university folk dance societies and this is the chance for us all to get together to discuss plans for future years.



  • Sat 9:00am to 10:15amIn

    J3

    With

    Hugh Stewart

Kentucky Running Set is a dance form Cecil Sharp collected a hundred years ago in Kentucky. Otherwise known as Southern Squares it doesn't involve running (unless the band plays extremely fast) but it can be continuous. It's basically a visiting couple square dance, but the figures are fluid and vary from village to village; hence it's impossible to "do it wrong" -- you are just doing the IVFDF version.



  • Sun 9:00am to 10:15amIn

    B015

    With

    Adina Wineman and Rob Cochrane

Klezmer is an eclectic folk genre, with influences from Eastern Europe and the Middle East. With its imitation of the human voice, it pushes instrumental limits and crosses over with contemporary music techniques. In the session, we will listen to some klezmer, and learn several tunes. Bring your instruments and a willingness to try out something new!



  • Sat 12:00pm to 1:15pmIn

    Link

    With

    Daina Auzins

Social dances from all over Latvia. Come along for a different style of European dance! All of the moves are relatively simple, so suitable for beginners, but also for advanced dancers who would like to learn something new. This workshop will also include steps used in Latvian dancing.



  • Sun 10:30am to 11:45amIn

    B013

    With

    Zoe Harris

Laughter Yoga is a fun and simple way to feel more positive and energised. A smile connects us with others from far away, a laugh releases endorphins and counteracts stress hormones. It has the effect of helping you feel more confident, oxygenating the blood, exercising the cardiac, facial and abdominal muscles...much like dancing but working your cheeks too!



  • Sat 10:30am to 11:45amIn

    B014

    With

    Owen Woods

Owen Woods of the Jazz Ceilidh Project invites melodeon players of all levels to come and talk, play and learn about using the melodeon as a dance instrument.



  • Sat 12:00pm to 1:15pmIn

    B014

    With

    Lucy Oswald

Ever wanted to find out more about music theory? Here is a fun crash course with audience participation in how to learn music theory, and why you should (and shouldn't) care about it!!!

If you would like to, please bring along a musical instrument to try things out!



  • Sun 12:00pm to 1:15pmIn

    J3

    With

    Phil Davies

North West Morris is a very energetic and precise style of morris dancing, originating from the mill towns of Cheshire and Lancashire.

We will learn the basic steps then learn a traditional NW dance. All welcome, whether you are a complete beginner or seasoned expert, but some basic knowledge of folk dancing would be useful. Please wear comfortable shoes you can dance in, such as trainers.

Phil has been dancing NW Morris for 13 years and is a member of the world renowned NW side Customs and Exiles!



  • Sat 9:00am to 10:15amIn

    Atrium

    With

    Xavier Oliver

Come have fun and learn dances from Occitania, the historical area covering the south of France, the Italian Alps and the north of Catalonia!
You’ll encounter some exciting stomping while learning the rigodon, develop your elegant bouncing abilities with the rondeu, tend to your less dignified bouncing skills with the curenta and face some cute little dances in a friendly, fun atmosphere.

You’ll be dancing as a couple, in sets, lines and circles – the fun will never stop and it should be family friendly. Bad jokes will be supplied, just bring yourself, all the friends you like and some chocolate cookies and we’re good to go!



  • Sun 10:30am to 11:45amIn

    J1

    With

    Rhodri Davies

2017 is the centenary of Pat Shaw's (See http://www.patshaw.info/). Pat Shaw was a folk polymath, the author of such famous dances as Levi Jackson Rag and Waterfall Watlz and the associated tunes but also a member of the Welsh Eisteddfod bardic circle, collector of dances and tunes from Shetland and interpreter of historical English Country Dance publications.

We won't be able to get very far through his prodigious output, but we'll try out a number of dances in different styles, including dances in canon.

Come along to sample his dances, to get your head tied in knots and to celebrate the life of this remarkable man.



  • Sat 9:00am to 10:15amIn

    B014

    With

    Edward Wallace and Glen Loper

Bacon Avenue's Edward & Glen share some of their favorite tips and tricks for learning tunes by ear, including how to pick up tunes at sessions or jams. This live-action workshop will include the actual teaching of two tunes suitable for contra dance.



  • Sat 5:15pm to 6:30pmIn

    B014

    With

    Andrew Swaine

Andrew has been playing for dancing for longer than he might admit.  Come and have fun with some tunes from Playford (or thereabouts)



  • Sat 10:30am to 11:45amIn

    B015

    With

    Clare Rose, Lewis Wood, Rowan Kodratoff and Gus Morrice

Some of the tunes written for French balfolk dancing are very catchy – and at only 16 bars long easy to pick up – so it’s not surprising that they’re popular in sessions in the UK. But they’re not always played here in a way that works for French dancing – which can cause confusion since balfolk has no callers and dancers take their cue from the music. This workshop will take you through some tunes which you may know – and introduce some new ones – focussing on the speed, rhythm and phrasing needed for the dance. There will be dancers present to work with. There may be an opportunity to play tunes learned at a bal later in the weekend [with participants from the bal a la voix workshop]. Tunes will be in Gmaj, Dmaj, Gmin, Dmin, dots available.



  • Sat 10:30am to 11:45amIn

    B013

    With

    You

  • Sat 12:00pm to 1:15pmIn

    B013

    With

    You

  • Sat 5:15pm to 6:30pmIn

    B013

    With

    You

  • Sun 12:00pm to 1:15pmIn

    B013

    With

    You

What's missing from our workshop programme?  We're offering you a small space to do whatever amazing, wacky, wonderful or just generally cool thing you think IVFDF-goers will like.  Sign up at reception when you arrive.



  • Sat 10:30am to 11:45amIn

    B013

    With

    You

  • Sat 12:00pm to 1:15pmIn

    B013

    With

    You

  • Sat 5:15pm to 6:30pmIn

    B013

    With

    You

  • Sun 12:00pm to 1:15pmIn

    B013

    With

    You

What's missing from our workshop programme?  We're offering you a small space to do whatever amazing, wacky, wonderful or just generally cool thing you think IVFDF-goers will like.  Sign up at reception when you arrive.



  • Sat 10:30am to 11:45amIn

    B013

    With

    You

  • Sat 12:00pm to 1:15pmIn

    B013

    With

    You

  • Sat 5:15pm to 6:30pmIn

    B013

    With

    You

  • Sun 12:00pm to 1:15pmIn

    B013

    With

    You

What's missing from our workshop programme?  We're offering you a small space to do whatever amazing, wacky, wonderful or just generally cool thing you think IVFDF-goers will like.  Sign up at reception when you arrive.



  • Sat 10:30am to 11:45amIn

    B013

    With

    You

  • Sat 12:00pm to 1:15pmIn

    B013

    With

    You

  • Sat 5:15pm to 6:30pmIn

    B013

    With

    You

  • Sun 12:00pm to 1:15pmIn

    B013

    With

    You

What's missing from our workshop programme?  We're offering you a small space to do whatever amazing, wacky, wonderful or just generally cool thing you think IVFDF-goers will like.  Sign up at reception when you arrive.



  • Sat 5:15pm to 6:30pmIn

    J3

    With

    Warwick Rapper

Come and learn to weave steel with Warwick Rapper! Rapper is an energetic sword dance with bendy double-handled swords, traditionally danced in small spaces in pubs. This workshop will cover the basics of rapper stepping and teach figures to suit beginners to improvers. Hard soled shoes are a plus!



  • Sun 9:00am to 10:15amIn

    B014

    With

    Muffyn

Bored of playing the tune? Finding tunes to difficult to play? Want a new challenge with your violin? Come to a fiddle workshop which is nice on three accounts - 1) You will play a huge amount. 2) Each tune, you will only play one note (we are focusing on rhythms, not notes). 3) Not much ability at the violin is required (but it for those accomplished at the instrument, it will give you a new way of playing your instrument). These rhythms will help you sound awesome, and will enhance the way you play tunes as well. Appropriate to virtually all levels of violinists, and may be a good workshop for other tune instruments (but I will be focused on violins). Led by Muffyn, the chair of IVFDF (so if he looks stressed, you know why!!!)



  • Sat 5:15pm to 6:30pmIn

    Atrium

    With

    Kate Gentles

Solo dancing dating from 19th century Scotland, taught by travelling dance teachers (the ‘dancies’) – almost lost and then rediscovered in the 1950s. The repertoire now includes both old and modern dances, most of which are for solo dancers, although some are written for two, three or four. Looks deceptively gentle, but requires precision and control!

If you like learning steps that are more balletic in style, this is for you.



  • Sun 10:30am to 11:45amIn

    B014

    With

    Richard Montgomery

Shape-note singing is a long-standing American folk tradition of unaccompanied hymn singing in robust four-part harmony from song books like The Sacred Harp. The songs have been featured in the film Cold Mountain and have been sung by folk groups like The Watersons, The Young Tradition and Lady Maisery. Shape-note music is sung around the world in social, non-performance settings, where we enjoy the mixture of great tunes, stark harmony, driving rhythms, dramatic poetry, and occasional bouts of fuguing.
This workshop will be run by the local shape-note singing group and provide an introduction suitable for beginners, with plenty of singing for all involved. No previous experience or ability to read music required, just an enthusiasm to give it a go. Come give your feet a rest, sit down, and sing in harmony!



  • Sat 12:00pm to 1:15pmIn

    B015

    With

    Clare Rose, Rowan Kodratoff and Gus Morrice

There is a huge overlap between songs and dances in the French tradition; many songs have a dance rhythm, and many dance tunes have words ranging from a simple refrain to a lengthy narrative. In some regions, such as the Massif Central, sung dances or ‘bal a la voix’, are a popular form of music. This workshop will teach some French songs written as dance tunes, at the speed and in the rhythm needed for dancing, with optional harmonies. The rhythm of sung French can be different from the spoken language, and this will be discussed. There may be an opportunity to play tunes learned at a bal later in the weekend – [with participants form the French tunes workshop]. Some knowledge of French helpful (translations given), words and dots provided.



  • Sun 9:00am to 10:15amIn

    B013

    With

    Sue Martin

Sue Martin is one of the founder members of the Northampton storytelling club "Storytelling at the Feast of Fools".

Join her for an exciting workshop on the art of storytelling - you'll have the chance to try some storytelling yourself as well as doing some storytelling exercises. We'll also be looking at story songs and putting new twists on traditional folk stories.

If you just want to sit and listen without joining in that's fine as well.



  • Sun 9:00am to 10:15amIn

    Atrium

    With

    Kerry Fletcher

For those budding folk dance teachers who wish to expand their knowledge and skills in teaching in a variety of settings such as, schools, community settings and adult learning.
The workshop aims to give participants a taster of the English Folk Dance and Song Society’s (EFDSS) new one-day course. It will give an insight into what a rounded teaching practice looks like, covering: working with a range of people in different settings; the basics of inclusive and safe dance practice and how to adapt dances for different abilities and levels; explore the partnership between folk dance and folk music – including working with musicians; signpost further professional development and introduce freely available learning resources on the EFDSS Resource Bank and elsewhere, for using folk music, dance and drama.
Before I thought "I wonder if...", now "I know I can!" Participant, April 2016



Dance, as known to those great dancers, Henry and Elizabeth, when we were called the Dancing English, with our great source, Arbeau's Orchesography.
For folk dancers, we'll move lightly through the stately Measure, and concentrate on the sociable Almains and Branles, building up to the energetic Coranto and Galliard.