Ceilidhs & Dances

dancers and bands in Whitby Pavilion

Whitby Folk Week is proud to offer a wide variety of dance events during the festival week. Whether you’re into buzzing evening ceilidhs, interesting and engaging social dances, or energetic contra and Playford dancing, there’s something for everyone in the programme!

Dance workshops are another big part of the festival, with a choice of week-long workshop series and one-off workshops throughout the daytimes, with options both for experienced dancers and for people wanting to try out a new dance style.

There are also family ceilidhs especially for children and their adults, and the Themed Ceilidh is always a special highlight of the week.

Plus there will be oppportunities to get involved in calling and playing for dancing too, with an open ceilidh band led by The Hedgehog’s Skin on Friday evening (with a chance to play through the tunes together first on Friday lunchtime), and dance calling workshops with Martyn Harvey for those aiming to boost their skills to festival caller level (with some optional performance slots available during the week).

More info:

What’s on which day: Ceilidhs & Dances

Open Ceilidh Band with The Hedgehog’s Skin

Festival calling workshops with Martyn Harvey

Themed Ceilidh Announcement

The theme for the 2024 Themed Ceilidh is: “Into the Woods” – Let your imagination take you into a fairytale or nursery rhyme wonderland! What would the Brothers Grimm have worn to dance a Cornish Sixhand Reel?

Ceilidh & dance artistes

As ever, we are very excited to present to you a line-up of top ceilidh and folk dance bands, callers and workshop leaders for 2024! Here’s who we’ll be dancing to during the festival week:

Ceilidh bands & callers

Whapweasel (Sat) * Bedlam (Sun) * The No Lazy Dancing Dance Band (Sun) * Relentless (Tue) * Steamchicken (Tue) * Bellamira (Thu) * Melrose Ceilidh Quintet (Thu) * The Hedgehog’s Skin (Fri) * Frog on a Bike (Fri) * Erin Mansfield (Sat) * Nick Walden (Sun) * Pete Coe (Sun) * Martyn Harvey (Tue/Thu) * Bob Morgan (Tue) * Alison Rowley (Thu) * Joey Oliver (Fri) * Sue Coe (Fri) * …plus new callers from the festival calling workshops!

Folk dance bands, callers & workshop leaders

Andrew Swaine (Playford) * Daisy Black (Playford for All) * Charlotte Rich-Griffin (Contra) * Rhodri Davies (American Dance) * Orly Krasner (English Dance) * Jerry O’Reilly (Irish Set) * Annabel & Nigel Sharp (Running Set & Scottish dance) * Contrasaurus * Contrary Faeries * Vicki Swan & Jonny Dyer (Weds) * Albireo (Weds) * The Falconers * Stradivarious * Morris Oxford

Folk dance performers are booked for the full week unless otherwise stated here. Check the what’s on which day page to see who’s performing when.