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At the heart of English folk

U.Dance 2012 Appetizer

Youth folk dance showcase performance

In July 2012, we were invited by Youth Dance England (YDE) to present a youth folk dance ‘Appetizer’ performance at The Clore Ballroom, Southbank Centre, London, as part of YDE's national youth dance festival, U.Dance 2012.

The performance, on Sunday 15 July, featured the dynamic dancing of seven of the best youth folk dance groups/sides from around the country. Nearly 80 young people ranging in age from 6 to 25 performed to around 400 enthusiastic audience members!

Between them they demonstrated the diversity and vitality of English folk dance as performed by young people in England today.

Earlier in the year we had worked in partnership with Laban Youth Dance Company to introduce their dancers to Cotswold morris. Following two initial morris workshops, they went on to choreograph a joyful new folk-inspired contemporary piece which was also performed at the U.Dance Appetizer.

The participating groups and forms of dance were:

  • Fosbrook Folk Education Trust, Stockport, Cheshire: clog and step dance with band 
  • Ramsey Junior School Molly Dancers, Ramsey, Cambridgeshire (organised by Norfolk Our World Festivals): molly and broom dances
  • Fun with Folk Dance, Camden, London (organised by EFDSS): flower garland dance
  • Black Brook Morris, Plumpton, East Sussex: Border morris
  • Moulton Morris Men, Moulton, Northamptonshire: Cotswold morris
  • Laban Youth Dance Company, Lewisham, London (organised by Trinity Laban): folk-inspired contemporary dance
  • Maltby Phoenix Sword (Maltby, South Yorkshire): rapper sword dance


“The addition of the folk dance platform really enhanced the programme and brought a wealth of dance styles to the festival which would not normally be represented... The young people’s enthusiasm, skill and creativity attracted a large audience which added to the buzzing festival atmosphere!” Claire Somerville, Dance Performance Manager, Youth Dance England


Watch this short film of the Appetizer performance, called I love English folk dance! as it features brief interview clips with some of the enthusiastic dancers as well as their vibrant dancing! 


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