Folk Dancing in Witham Park in the early 20th century

Many forms of dance within any culture might be thought of as ‘folk’ dance. The term is usually reserved for traditional forms of dance but, even so, there are many different forms and styles of ‘folk dance’ even within a single culture.

Some cultures even have dances that they consider to be national identifiers.

Cecil Sharp collected and promoted English traditional folk dances.

He published works on Morris dances, sword dances of Northern England, and country dances. In 1911 he founded the English Folk Dance Society to train folk dance teachers and demonstrate folk dance performances.

In the USA, the International Folk Dance movement became another major repository of folk dances and their performance. The dances were gathered from all over the world, without regard to ethnic background.

These dances became increasingly popular with recreational dancers, at first in the United States and eventually in many other countries around the world.

Some clubs focus on participative social dancing and meet on a regular basis for people who just want to take part and enjoy themselves. Others concentrate on a particular style of dance, which they practice so that they can then give public displays.

It is difficult to imagine folk dance without music and there are bands that specialise in different styles of dance music, who will often be supported by provide a ‘caller’ to tell you how the dance should be performed.

A calendar of known Dance Events, which is updated regularly, and a weekly ‘What’s On’ list of club dance meetings can be obtained by submission of the form below: