Dance Information Site Link List
Here are some links to sites that might be of interested to dancers, particularly Balkan,
Israeli, Scottish & Morris folk dancers. As always with external links, these may change so
if you spot any that are no longer valid, please contact me
(with their new URLs if known).
Groups I am or have been connected with that have web sites
- Balkanplus. Monthly Balkan etc. dancing in
London, mostly at Cecil Sharp House. For decades monthly Saturday evening dances with different guest leaders plus with some longer workshops with teachers from overseas. Currently the Saturday evening dances are running about 3 times a year. Sometimes with live music from bands such as Dunav, Ygra or Vulpros. (I'm its treasurer.)
- Youlgrave Dance Weekends. The Youlgrave
(a.k.a. Youlgreave) May & August bank holiday weekend dance collaborative holidays. A mixture of Circle Dance, Balkan dance & whatever else people bring in very friendly & fun atmosphere situated in beautiful UK Peak District scenery. (I have attended & taught at it & am now one of the organisers in the 4th iteration of custodians of this event in over 3 decades of it running.).
- Lagabag. Cotswold Morris. Mixed. Near Ipswich. More relaxed than Westrefelda. Unfortunately it has now ended but the website (3rd version) is still live as an archive. (I was in it for several years, wrote my large online set of Morris Dance notes from it & maintained the first version of its website.)
- Westrefelda. Cotswold Morris. Mixed. Near
Ipswich. More perfectionist than Lagabag. (I was briefly in it at its founding when it was short of dancers.)
- Dance East. It used to be called Suffolk Dance and included recreational folk dance. It became much bigger with its own dance centre building and has become one of the UK's 9 national dance councils but now concentrates on ballet/modern type dance for training children into dance careers and hosting performances with little interest in adult dance, and no folk dance or social dance. (It happens to be based in the town where I live and have been to some of its classes & shows.)
- Cambridge University Strathspey & Reel Club. Scottish Country Dancing in Cambridge. In two sections, very lively ceilidh type dancing where beginners could join in to learn and dance & a performance section for the advanced. (It is where I first started folk dancing (in the beginners section) and discovered that I liked it. Unfortunately it was my final year at university so I did not stay long.)
- Stefan & Bethan Freeman. Circle Dance leader & choreographer. Very popular indeed with Circle Dancers & very prolific in choreography. Popular internationally but they also used to run a week Circle Dance group in Ipswich but Stefan is also a composer, multi-instrumentalist, poet, author, travel organiser and works with trauma support through activity groups so unsurprisingly that group passed on to others. (I have been to some of his events, am a friend and have filmed/edited dance videos for him.)
- Zumba Ipswich (Gaby Reeve). My top local area Zumba leader & a prolific Zumba choreographer with frequent very well attended classes. (I have been to it for fun exercise many times when lively local folk dancing was not available & am friends with the instructor.)
- Horo Sheffield. Balkan dance sessions, typically fortnightly. (Run by friend of mine.)
- Luton Circle Dancing. Circle Dance sessions. (Run by friend of mine.)
Note this is not an exhaustive list of groups I have been associated with but those that have websites for contacts &/or timetables. Indeed even the one I have been most involved with & influenced by over the years is not included.
Groups I danced with online during the 2020-2021 COVID lockdowns
All of these used Zoom. Some as broadcast, some interactively.
- Youlgrave Dance Weekends. Circle & Balkan dance. I myself was the one who set up first online version of this event, at just very short notice whilst still doing my day job online. (It returned to being in-person.)
- Horo Sheffield. Balkan dance. Many such UK dance groups were confined to home by the lockdowns but this one, lead by Greg Boyd, went on as much as possible including dividing the group up in sets of 6 members (maximum allowed to meet up) and dancing spaced out with string to 2m (minimum allowed distance between people). Also broadcast online from home (or live streaming when they could meet up) and not only to its regulars but advertised to masses of Balkan UK dancers to join in remotely weekly for over a year. (It returned to in-person but sometimes live-streams.)
- Barnet International Folk Dance Club. Balkan dance. This fortnightly group also went online. It has several organisers in common with Balkanplus so several Balkanplus regulars, including me, often attended. (It returned to in-person but sometimes live-streams.)
- Zumba Ipswich (Gaby). The popular local Zumba leader. She managed to go online early in the lockdown & persisted with a small number of attendees to keep it going then immediately returned to in-person classes as soon as legally allowed - socially distanced as legally required - getting back up to classes of 50 five times a week in the gap between lockdowns in 2021. (It returned to in-person & high attendence.)
- Stockton Folk Dance Camp. It is the major annual west USA Balkan dance course festival in the USA. Many definitive dance notes came from there. In COVID they did it online with repeats for European time zone attendees so for the first time I could attend the famous festival for the first time, albeit virtually, from the UK. I even got the annual pin badge. (It returned to in-person but with some sessions live-streamed.)
- Folk Arts Center of New England. They do the major east
USA Balkan etc. dance course festival in the USA each year (it is on the other side of the USA
from the Stockton festival, the USA is a big place). In COVID they also did one an online
festival with with repeats for European time zone attendees so likewise I was able to attend, virtually, for the first time. (Returned to in-person but some sessions live-streamed.)
- Israeli Dance Institute. Their Machol Europa, the main Israeli folk dance festival in the UK went online too. I attended (even got the teeshirt) for the first time since I went in person 20 years ago. They also do Open Harkada / Machol London weekly dance evenings which went online too. (They returned to in-person but the weekly Harkada is also live-streamed.)
- The Centrepiece, Findhorn. Very gentle Circle Dance with a friendly meditative atmosphere from the place where Circle/Sacred dancing started. Organised online by Brant Bambury. (Originally fortnightly, it continued online post-lockdown as monthly.)
- Dance by Mitchell Wayne. Fun upbeat Zumba-like fitness dancing by choreographer Mitchell Wayne. From New York, USA, but on at suitable times of day for UK attendees. Provided under Next Jump's Community Online Academy scheme for employers. (It continued online post-lockdown. Videos of previous sessions are available free.)
Balkan, East European, Israeli, International & Circle Folk Dancing
Major Annual Events/Workshops/Classes in the UK & the Netherlands (incl. some former
- Zomerfestival in Zevenhuizen, in the
Netherlands. A festival of intensive classes in Balkan dancing from top Dutch Balkan
teachers, in the Netherlands. A festival of intensive classes in Balkan dancing from top
Dutch Balkan dance teachers/collectors/choreographers plus evening Balkan dance partying
etc.. It is the successor (& in similar format to) the Balkan Festival which ran for
many years in Zetten. A great way to get dances at the same time from several of the
teachers who individual teach workshops internationally. Unfortuntely this has now ceased
- Machol Europa in the UK. Europe's
main Israeli dance course holiday. Classes from major popular Israeli choreographers &
teachers plus evening dancing, extra classes, lectures, evening dancing, all-night dance
marathon etc.. Visitors from many countries. Organised by the Israeli Folk Dance Institute.
(Unfortunately the site is currently an awkward Flash-only only one.)
- Doe Dans in the Netherlands. International folk
dancing festival with classes, evening dancing, performances, etc.. Half of it is Balkan
etc. & the other half varies between years. Only a couple of days long but about 2000
attendees, a party atmosphere and a huge amount going on. (In Dutch.) Unfortuntely this has
now ceased too.
- Eastbourne International Folk Festival in the UK.
Used to be two parallel festivals (although one can switch freely if one wants), one on
Balkan, Israeli, East European, Breton etc. dancing, the other on Playford, English Country
& Contra etc. dancing with classes from overseas teachers, evening costume dances,
performances etc.. Unfortunately the former side got too few attendees to be sustainable
and was cut down to a small event in a separate venue with UK teachers.
- Cathy Meunier's Balkan Folk Dance events
including the 'Rivieradance' residential courses in Torquay. Rivieradance is is one a year
in 1920s themed hotel with very good food in winter in the warmest part of the UK with
dance classes all day (or country walking & sight seeing) by 2 high end overseas dance
teachers who vary by year. It always sells out.
- Dance Around the World. Weekend of performances
& classes by (mostly) UK amateur groups in London (usually Cecil Sharp House) .
- SIFD Website. Includes a diary of events
in, near or bookable from the UK. ('SIFD' is the UK's Society for International Folk
- Vitrifolk. Text notes for over 1000 Balkan &
international dances (in a mixture of French, English & Dutch). Also 4000 costume and
location reference photographs, 700 tune basics as MIDI, 900 tunes as sheet music and much
else. By Pierre Parent of the Vitrifolk dance group from Belgium.
- Dick Oakes' Folk Dance
Notes. Detailed text notes for about 300 Balkan & other international dances.
- Bob Shapiro (folkdancernotes.com). Links
to text notes for about thousands of Balkan, Israeli & other international dances.
- Folk Dance Federation of California. Notes for
over 1100 dances scanned from its monthly magazine's archives & course notes over
- Andrew Carnie. Text (& own
shorthand notation) notes for over 1700 international dances. Also many videos.
- Sacred Circles
Touchstone Farm. 500 Circle dances in handwritten Circle Dance notation (plus 500 more
for sale). They also sell music recordings for all of them. It is a pity that most of the
notes are very low detail.
- Andy Bettis's Dance
Steps. Text notes for about 150 Circle, Israeli, Balkan etc. dances.
- Tom Deering's Dance Notes.
Detailed text (plain, HTML & Wordperfect formats) notes for about 40 Bulgarian,
Macedonian, and Romanian dances.
- Israeli Dances dot com. Search
through thousands of Israeli dances by name or choreographer for name, choreographer, year
& album information. Some also have music or video clips and many have notes in
Shorthand Dance Notation Code.
- Evansville International Folk
Dancers. Text notes for about 400 international dances plus lots of MP3s of
international dance music.
- Miami Valley
Folk Dancers. Text notes for about 100 international dances.
- Elsche Korf. Text notes & PDF
sheet music for some traditional Dutch dances.
Greek Dances (2012 version on Way Back Machine). Some popular Greek dances as text with
ballroom-style foot step diagrams by Argyros Argyrou. Site closed but archived on the Way
- Duramecho's Balkan etc. dance notes. This
site. Detailed text descriptions of over 100 Balkan, East European, Israeli, Circle etc.
Dance Demo/Tutorial Videos
- Dunav. An Israeli Balkan dance group with a large
& growing collection of Balkan dance video clips and music recordings for download.
(Not to be confused with Dunav the very long running
London Balkan dance band.)
- Andrew Carnie. In addition to his
masses of text notes, there are many videos.
- FDM: Folkdancemusic & videos. Index to
international dance instruction videos online plus many more that can be given by request.
Also music recordings. About 4000 in their index.
- Of course these days there are huge numbers of dance videos hosted on YouTube for free
rather than individual sites. Be careful though as many Balkan dances published are not
expertly performed and often have the styling wrong. This might be because it tends to be
groups several levels removed from the authoritative sources who publish free videos of
themselves as the definitive source teachers & choreographers I've experienced mostly
keep their videos for their workshops & for commercial use.
- Roma Notation (on Theodor
Vasilescu's site). A notation optimised for fast yet fairly detailed notation of Balkan
type (particularly Romanian) style of dancing. It can be written quickly for the basics
(steps, timing & directions) then optionally fleshed out with styling & other
details. For years I knew of no instructions for this on the WWW, only paper booklets from
various sources, but now the original inventor, Vasilescu, himself has put his instructions
on the WWW in English. A back-up copy of Vasilescu's Roma
Notation instruction is on the Vitrifolk site along with one from Silviu Ciuciumiş in
- Circle Dance
Notation (on Andy Bettis's site). Sometimes called 'Nose Notation' because of the
appearance of the V-shape symbols showing facing directions. Very simple & commonly
used (in many personal variants) for Circle Dances. Not detailed enough for learning or
archival reference from but quick & easy to read & write for reminders.
- Labanotation. A complex
form of notation but capable of great detail.
- Shorthand Dance Notation Code
(on Israeli Dances dot com site). A quick, typeable & highly compressed but
low-detail and very complex character based notation for Israeli folk dances.
Links & Search Engines
- Marucho's animated GIF
folkdances. Loads of cute animated images of small cartoon characters in traditional
costume demonstrating particular folk dances from numerous countries.
- Rikud mailing list. Long standing
mailing list (and WWW based archive) for Israeli dance information. The event announcements
are typically USA dominated but there sometimes useful information & discussion (buried
in lots of chat) also posted to it.
- Eliznik. The site of Nick Green & Elizabeth
Melish, avid British collectors & teachers of Romanian dances folk dances. It has
costume reference photographs and articles about dance styles, history and regional
- Bognor Regis Dance Ensemble. An international
folk dance group run by a friend of mine. Despite the URL, not to be confused with the
Dutch international music publishers also called 'Interfolk'.
- Colin's List Of Worldwide Israeli Dancing
Events (israelidancing.info). Listing of Israeli Folk Dance events worldwide as a
- Hulu dance
tutorials. A list of links to Hulu dancing video tutorials (on an UK Hawaiian shirt
- Morris Teams
Directory. Big lists of Morris sides with links to contact information and websites
where available. A Wiki.
- East Anglia Dance. A listing of dance
social groups in East Anglia by location, by style & by group name. Mostly ballroom
etc. partner dances but includes a Morris too.
- Directory Of Online Morris
Dancers. A directory of Morris dancers rather than sides.
Scottish Country Dancing
English Country Dancing
Folk Dance Music Scores
- The abc Page. Main site for the abc music score
format. Links to archive sites, players, viewers, specs, etc..
- The Web-wide abc Index.
Links to over 20000 tunes in abc format!
- Richard Robinson's
Tunebook. Lots of Balkan, Scottish, Irish, Scandinavian, English & French tunes in abc
- Folkloretanznoten. 2500 international folk
dance tunes in PDF.
- An ABC Library of Morris
Tunes. Morris dance music in abc format.
- Living Circle
Dance (2016 version on Way Back Machine). Brian Steere's site formerly had the phonetic
words & guitar chords to about 100 popular Balkan, Israeli etc. songs & some sheet
music. The site is retired now but the Way Back Machine has a useful copy.
- The Big Round Band. The band of the The
Round, Cambridge University's English country dance club, with English folk music in abc format
with PDF renderings in multiple keys.
- Gog Magog Molly. Molly dance tunes in abc