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 Further help if new to dancing

If you are new to Folk Dancing then this page will hopefully give you an idea of what it is like at one of our evenings.

No previous experience of dancing is necessary.  We are a friendly club and will ensure you are looked after.  Dancing is suitable however young or however old or however in the middle you are.  Our membership ranges from beginners to experienced dancers.  Many of our members have been dancing for very many years, but everyone was once a beginner in the distant past.

You can come on your own, or as a couple, or any other combination.  All dances are done with a partner, and in sets of varying numbers of couples.  But donít worry about a partner, there will be someone to dance with if you come on your own.

Although much is made of dressing up for our annual Playford Ball, that is just one evening a year.  For the other 51½ weeks it is all very informal.  Just wear clothing and (flattish) shoes which will be comfortable for dancing in.

Each evening someone will have been appointed as the caller.  He/she will be telling everyone what to do.  Each dance will be explained and walked through, ie you walk the movements as they are explained.  The dance will then be danced, with music from CDís; the caller will continue repeating the instructions while you are dancing, so it doesnít need to be a great memory test.

Most dances are repeated several times, ie several turns.  What you do will depend on where you are in the set, and will thus vary slightly each turn.  So a four couple set will usually be danced four times, and you will be in a different position each time.  The first (top) couple is usually the main couple with a bit more to do.  Several dances are in longways sets, with any number of couples the length of the hall; couples are in pairs, and each turn you progress up or down the set and onto a new couple, (when you reach the end you normally miss a turn and then start coming back the other way).

Dances vary from slow sedate ones to others which are faster and more lively, but, generally, they are not energetic and you donít need to be ultra fit.  Similarly, they vary in complexity, but most are quite simple.  There are many standard movements in folk dancing, most of which you should soon pick up, and most dances are a combination of these movements, with occasional variations.  The emphasis is on enjoying yourself, in an informal atmosphere; we are not aiming for intricate technical expertise!

Each dance takes about 8 minutes including the initial walk through, of which the actual dancing is about 3 minutes.  We usually do two dances in succession, with the same partner, and the same set formation, then have a very brief break of a minute or two before starting on the next two dances.  There is an interval halfway through the evening, for about 15 minutes, with tea/coffee and biscuits provided.

The videos will give a good idea of what a Wednesday evening is like.  However, the dances may look complicated if you are not familiar with this type of dancing.  So, donít be put off, they are quite easy when you try them!

Regular attendance is not necessary, although of course we hope that you will come often.  Many of our members come most Wednesdays, but some less frequently, and a few just occasionally.  So, if you join, you do not need to take on a commitment to come every time.

If you want any further information, then please phone or email one of the Committee on the Contacts page.  But, otherwise, there is no need to arrange anything in advance - just turn up on a Wednesday from 7.30 and we will look forward to seeing you.  Remember that we meet fortnightly, so check the Calendar first to ensure that you come the right week!

And your first Wednesday evening will be free of charge.