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At the heart of English folk

English Country Dancing

Such good fun, everyone helps each other out and we all laugh a lot. We're definitely improving!

Participant, March 2018


Learn English social folk dancing (country, ceilidh, and barn dancing) and related styles from further afield.

Explore England's social folk dance heritage, from the past and present, in this friendly and inclusive class.

Develop dance skills, increase your fitness and gain the confidence to attend the dance or social occasion of your choice, whilst having fun!


Who is it for?

This sociable class is open to everyone over the age of 16 years - there's no need to bring a partner.

It is suitable for dancers of all levels of experience, including absolute beginners. 

The class is accompanied by live music: competent musicians playing portable, melody instruments are welcome to join the band. Sheet music is provided.


What can I learn?

Participants learn a diverse repertoire of dances and develop skills in English country and ceilidh dancing, and learn occasional dances from related traditions from further afield. 

A key feature of English Country Dance is an emphasis on the various figures and patterns made by the dancers.  This not only helps with spatial awareness but encourages social interaction, as referenced in the literature of Hogarth, Jane Austen and many others. All sorts of interesting historical nuggets are brought to light during the class to help put the dances into their social context.


When does it take place?

Thursdays 7.30–10pm

Spring term 2018: 4 January – 22 March (12 weeks)

Summer term 2018: 19 April – 19 July (14 weeks)


How can I take part?

Spring term fees

Term fee: £84 | £66 concessions (advance booking required)
Carnet of 8 tickets: £60 | £48 concessions (advance booking required)
Drop-in: £8 | £6.50 concessions (payable on the night)

Book now  


Who leads the class?

The dances are led by tutor and caller Mike Ruff.

Mike Ruff is an experienced folk dance educator and caller and has worked for over 40 years with people of all ages in many settings including schools, festivals and folk dance clubs. He is known for his enthusiastic and inclusive teaching, his wide and deep knowledge of English country dancing, and his ongoing research into the history and background of traditional dance. Mike is the author of several popular folk dance teaching manuals and director of educational organisation Tradamis. He is also a musician playing the accordion with ceilidh band Quicksilver and singing with the music hall duo Allcock & Brown.

The live band is led by resident musician Ian Cutts. Ian started playing for country dancing during his final year of university and has over 30 years' experience of playing for classes, ceilidhs and club nights, both as solo player and bandleader. He has compiled the music books used by the band for this class. He is also an experienced dancer.

Promoted by the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS)

Terms and Conditions

Refunds: all courses are non-refundable unless the course is cancelled by EFDSS.

Concessions are available to people who are in full-time education; in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance; in receipt of Income-Based Benefit (such as Income Support, Housing or Council Tax Benefit, Working Tax Credit, Pension Credit). For concessionary rates please call the box office on 020 7485 2206. The box office is open between 9.30 and 17.00 Monday to Friday. Evidence of concession will need to be provided before the start of term by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a copy of your supporting documentation.

Click here for further information on the Terms and conditions for classes and courses run by the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS).

For any other queries, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call the Education department on 020 7241 8953. 


Discover more

Want to focus more on the music? Why not attend our Saturday Folk Music Workshops?

Inspired by English Country Dancing and want to explore the world of folk dance further? Why not try out a morris class?