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At the heart of English folk

English Country Dancing

Dancing in this class is a joyful experience; it is a real pleasure to learn in a light-hearted atmosphere with good teaching and good company.

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

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! 

If you can’t make the whole term no need to worry – just come along when you can.  Each week’s programme of dances is adjusted to suit the numbers and experience of those who are there. 



Who is it for?

These sociable classes are open to everyone over the age of 16 years. Young people aged 12 to 15 are welcome when accompanied by a responsible fee-paying adult.

There's no need to bring a partner.

The classes are suitable for dancers of all levels of experience, including absolute beginners. 

The classes are accompanied by live music. 


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 7.30–9.30pm 


Term dates

Spring term: 23 January - 26 March 2020


How can I take part?

Termly Fee
£75 | £60 concessions (advance booking required)

Drop-in Fee
£10 | £8 concessions (payable on the night)
Loyalty card: purchase five drop-in tickets and your sixth ticket is free
Group discount: buy five tickets for the same date and get a sixth free

Spring - 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 music is led across the term by Ian Cutts and Ruth Rose.  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)

Enthusiastic teachers and live music. Great atmosphere and a wonderful variety of dances at different levels.

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 9.30am and 5pm 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.

Further Terms and Conditions information 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?