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At the heart of English folk
Steps for success

Steps for Success: English Social Folk Dance Today

In March 2018 we held a practice-sharing national conference for everyone involved in, interested in, and who cares about English social folk dance.


It was a lively day with case study presentations, practical workshops, advice sessions and panel discussions that asked: ‘What helps English social folk dance to thrive? What are the barriers to success and how can they be overcome?’ 

The conference was aimed at callers, dancers, teachers, organisers, leaders and musicians who work with country, ceilidh, Playford, contra, barn dance and other forms of social folk dance, with people of all ages and backgrounds, in diverse settings including dance clubs, schools, community and arts centres, healthcare settings and many more.

Presenters and workshop leaders and sessions included:

Keynote speaker

  • Chris Stenton, Executive Director, People Dancing: the foundation for community dance



  • How Did We Get to Where We Are Today?—Derek Schofield
  • Contemporary Barn Dances in Buckinghamshire—Chloe Middleton-Metcalfe
  • Hot Topics in Social Folk Dance—Jake Wood
  • Social Folk Dance in Education—Sheena Masson and Kerry Fletcher
  • The Morpeth Rant: Evolution of a Dance—Sean Goddard
  • Awaken Village Interest in Dance (AVID) and Isle Dance 4 Health, North Lincolnshire – Peter Barnard
  • Cornish Folk Dance, a growing tradition – Helen Musser
  • Knees Up! Cecil Sharp ceilidhs – Mary Panton



  • Dance for Parkinson’s — Musical Moving (Anna Gillespie and Martina Schwarz), presented in partnership with Dance for Parkinson’s UK Partnership
  • Gender-free Calling — David Oliver
  • Cultural Diversity and Folk Dance — Folk Dance Remixed (Kerry Fletcher, Natasha Khamjani, Alex Hackett, Ben Moss, Frank Wilson)
  • How to Improve and Enjoy Your Dancing — Mike Wilson-Jones


Information and discussion sessions

  • Safe and Inclusive Folk Dancing — Jen Morgan
  • Effective Marketing — Peter Craik
  • Music for Dancing — Simon Care and panel (including Deborah Chalmers, Bryony Griffith, Sheena Masson and Mike Ruff)

Download full programme 

Presented by EFDSS in partnership with People Dancing: the foundation for community dance

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