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Folk Dance

After the successful introduction of the historic Music Room at Sidholme Hotel with its glass chandeliers, magnificent painted dome and musical-motif frieze, we will be using it again as the home of folk dance.

The tried and tested formula in the Folk Dance programme – big mornings, challenging afternoons and fun evenings – is back again for 2020.

Big Mornings include American Dance with THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, a bunch of up-and-coming English contra callers who are beginning to get busy, with music by CONTRASAURUS and NOZZY. English Dance will be overseen by BROOKE FRIENDLY (USA) with music provided by THE TWO PAULS (Hutchinson and Sartin), MOLLIE KOENIGSBERGER and RICHARD JONES.

Afternoon sessions feature Irish Set from KEVIN & CAROL MONAGHAN and IN HELEN’S SHOES; Danish Dance from JEREMY NEWTON and DE SMÅ GRÅ; Scottish Country Dance with BRIDGET FLETT and Early Dance and Music with HELEN RICHARDS and EGLAMORE.

Beginners are in the safe hands of SOL LORETO-MILLER, with music by JOSHUA ROWE and THEO PARMAKIS. There will also be a very special pair of weekend workshops by HANNAH MOORE on dancing with your partner- come and learn how to be the partner everyone wants! We’re also hosting a special series of workshops by CHLOE MIDDLETON-METCALFE on her Forgotten Social Folk Dances project, with music by JAKE MIDDLETON-METCALFE.

Every evening there will be a Festival Dance Club with FRANCES RICHARDSON in charge of mixed fun social dance, assisted by the music of JOVIAL CREW. Alongside that will be a full programme of English and American dances, the spectacular Playford Ball, an Irish Set Dance Ceili, Eurobal Nights with Patrick Bouffard’s CENTRALBAL and a final Celebration Contra to round off the week.

An evening of celebrating Northumbrian Dance, with a focus on the style of dance still popular that area. Music by the SILVER STREET CEILIDH BAND. New to Sidmouth this year, a Stepping Ceilidh, organised by members of Instep as step dancing from many regions grows in popularity. Simple and fun stepping with social dancing, plus a few spots. Music by BROWN BOOTS.

So, who are the “Magnificent Seven”? And what do they mean for contra dance at Sidmouth Folk Festival 2020?

The Seven are a collection of up-and-coming  British contra callers who are making names for themselves as rising stars – hard on the heels of the current core of much-loved contra callers!

Our Seven are: Rhodri Davies – mentor and caller-wrangler for the project  – plus Rhianwen Davies, Bob Morgan, Charlotte Rich-Griffin, Nicola Scott, Charlie Turner and Jake Wood.

The plan is that they will each have a morning session to create their own workshop on dance or style, plus the opportunity to call some of the evening contra dances.

The Magnificent Seven will be very ably supported by bands Contrasaurus and Nozzy.

We hope you will enjoy this new approach and come along to test your preconceptions – and have some fun – in a safe and happy environment. We’re excited about this new venture for Sidmouth 2020 and hope you will be too.