24 - 27 May 2024
24 - 27

Culture and community expectations at folk dance events

If you are a new dancer
  • Feel free to ask anyone to dance! You’ll learn faster from experienced dancers.
  • Trust the caller. You can ask for another walk-through if you need one.
  • If you'd rather dance with someone you know, consider joining sets with more experienced people if you'd like to learn more.
If you are an experienced dancer here’s how to support new dancers
  • Listen to the caller during walkthroughs, and walk everything through fully without flourishes.
  • Only touch other dancers as the dance requires it.
    • Pushing is never helpful. The most helpful thing you can do is to be in the right place at the right time.
    • You can also guide other dancers using your eyes or gesturing.
Asking people to dance / being asked to dance
  • Anyone can dance with anyone, and you can ask anyone to dance.
  • Anyone can choose to decline a dance without giving a reason.
Respect other dancers' boundaries
  • Remember that other dancers may have different comfort zones from yours.
  • If you’re not sure what someone is comfortable with (e.g., swing holds), ask them.
  • Pay attention to your partner’s body language. If how you dance is making them uncomfortable, change how you dance.
  • If you have an injury or a disability that changes the way you would like others to dance with you, communicate this to your partner and your set.
  • Be aware that other people may have injuries or physical limitations you don’t know about, so be gentle when dancing with people you don’t know.
Be sensitive when doing variations
  • Variations and flourishes are welcomed provided that you get to the right place at the right time to start the next figure and you don’t confuse or disorientate newcomers.
  • If you’re not sure if someone will welcome a flourish or variation, ask them.
‘Dance with who’s coming at you’
  • Anyone can dance either role at any time, and anyone can dance with anyone, regardless of gender or presentation.
  • Please 'dance with who's coming at you', i.e., trust people to be dancing the role they’re in intentionally, regardless of their appearance, and that they’ll communicate if they’re confused or need reassurance about where they are meant to be.
    • Even if they are confused, it is more important to be welcoming than 'right'.
    • Please do not split up other couples or try to swap a couple you might think are dancing the 'wrong' role.
  • Please do let us know what you think, via the feedback forms in the Neeld or at folk.dance@chippfolk.co.uk.
  • All feedback will be discussed in detail after the festival, and will inform plans for the future.
  • Issues relating to folk dance during the festival can be reported anonymously via the form at Google Docs. The mailbox connected to this form will be monitored throughout the festival.