EFDSS’ Dance Development programme aims to support the development and flourishing of English folk dance in areas such as youth and adult learning, participation, and practitioner development.
We want more people, and a wider range of people, in communities across England to experience and enjoy English folk dance.
English folk dance encompasses a rich diversity of dance forms that have developed over many centuries in communities throughout England. These traditions are alive and thriving as part of a living and evolving tradition, alongside many other forms of traditional dance present in England today.
Folk dance styles include:
We offer training and networking opportunities for folk dancers, educators and callers to develop their skills in dancing, teaching and leading in varied settings.
As well as running the Folk Educators Group and other professional development courses, we deliver one-day training courses. We are continuously developing new partnerships with dance organisations to deliver these courses and events around the country.
Callers' Development Day - This development day, presented by EFDSS’ Folk Educators Group and Dance Development programme, is for experienced and aspiring callers who wish to expand and share their knowledge and skills in calling for social folk dance in varied contexts and settings.
The day will include presentations, panel discussions and workshops, alongside the opportunity to discuss and debate issues around calling and caller training.
How To Teach English Social Folk Dance – sharing knowledge and skills in teaching in schools, community settings and adult learning.
Keeping Folk Dancers On Their Feet – an introduction to safe and effective dance practice.
Steps for Success: English Social Folk Dance Today - a national conference presented in partnership with People Dancing which took place at Cecil Sharp House on 10 March 2018. Find out more and watch the film.
Folk dance is an inclusive, accessible, sociable and fun dance form. Working with young people is important because they are able to learn valuable skills and knowledge, inspiring the next generation of folk dancers.
Folk dance in schools and colleges
Folk Dance in Schools – this short film shows different folk dance styles in creative learning projects at all key stages in schools across England.
We are creating partnerships and championing youth folk dance across the country, including with One Dance UK’s U.Dance national youth dance festival.
Below are links to recent and past EFDSS youth dance projects:
U.Dance 2019 - a short film sharing our Folk Dance and Music Day at the Southbank Centre, London as part of the national youth dance festival.
Maypole Remixed- a youth dance performance, created by Folk Dance Remixed, commissioned by EFDSS for U.Dance 2018, the nation’s annual youth dance festival at DanceEast in Ipswich.
U.Dance 2017 - a taster video made by One Dance UK about U.Dance 2017, including footage from a youth ceilidh EFDSS helped organise with caller Ben Moss and the Will Pound Band.
Life Remixed – a youth dance performance, created by Folk Dance Remixed, commissioned by EFDSS with North West Dance for U.Dance 2016 at The Lowry, Salford.
Spring Force – a morris contemporary youth dance piece commissioned by EFDSS in 2010 in partnership with Pavilion Dance South West.
Inter Varsity Folk Dance Festival
We have been forging links with IVFDF since 2015. We look forward to continuing our support at IVFDF 2020 which will take place in Nottingham from 6-8 March 2020.
We produce many high quality resources for teachers and dance educators.
EFDSS Folkshop – books and CDs to support dance teaching, including best-sellers, English Traditional Dancing and Community Dances Manual.
The Folk Dance Playlist by EFDSS – a diverse selection of folk dance tracks, curated by EFDSS Dance Development Manager, Laura Connelly. The playlist covers a wide variety of style, tempo and regionality.
Find out more about our regular English Country Dancing, Next Steps in English Country Dancing and Morris Dance classes for adults, Youth Ceilidhs and Family Barn Dances, as well as evening dances and ceilidhs on the Cecil Sharp House website.
If you’ve got any questions or ideas, please contact:
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Legacies from the late Rita Smyth and Jennifer Millest.