We dance, play and sing because we enjoy it! England has a rich tradition of folk dance and music, rooted deep in the past but still living in the present and changing into the future. We want to share our enjoyment of all this with others, both with visitors from overseas who are interested in England, and at home with anyone who appreciates this intrinsic part of our culture.
Our group is different from most folk groups in that we perform a wide range of dance forms. Our shows usually involve most of our sections. So, in 30 minutes you might see us:
- in couples dancing a lively country dance in Victorian costume or a stately court dance in early 18th century costume,
- as a group wearing clogs stepping out a virtuoso Northern step dance,
- in a team clashing sticks and ringing bells in a Cotswold Morris dance,
- wearing bright red sashes and whirling slings in a rousing North-west Morris dance,
- singing an old English song in folk harmony
- or performing mumming plays
- and our musicians will be leading and encouraging us for all of these with a range of traditional and modern instruments.
We charge for performances at most events, to cover our costs of equipment and costumes for the different types of dance. Each year we support a number of charities, particularly local organizations for the handicapped, whose members are our most vocal supporters.
Since our foundation in 1975 we have presented an increasingly wide range of dances and songs: a miscellany of the rich and varied traditions of England. Our only requirement on members is their interest in folk tradition, and the will to learn to display it. We are based and practise in and around Harpenden in the District of St Albans, Hertfordshire.