Ceilidhs & Dances

Whitby Folk Week 2019 welcomes you to an exciting line up of dance events throughout the festival week!

Whether you’re new to dancing, an experienced dancer or somewhere in between, if you like trying something different at workshops, love energetic ceilidhs, want to bring the kids or have never been to a ceilidh before – there’s something here for everyone.

The dance programme includes ceilidhs, contras, Playford dances, family ceilidhs, Northumbrian dance, mixed programme dances, daily workshops in Running Set, Irish Set, Contra, Playford and more!

There’ll be ceilidhs with several of the country’s favourite English ceilidh bands and callers, featuring Whapweasel & Nick Walden, Hekety & Ian Nichols, Bedlam & Emma Wooders, Silver Street & Charlotte Rich, Melrose Quintet & Martyn Harvey, and Blackbeard’s Tea Party & Baz Parkes, and the Northumbrian Dance with Hedgehog’s Skin, plus display spots from some of the many excellent dance teams performing at the festival. The Themed Ceilidh and the Final Night ceilidh are some of the highlights of the festival week.

For those with younger children there are early evening family ceilidhs every day, featuring a variety of the dance bands and callers on the programme, with entertainment spots and storytelling too!

We have a treat for contra dance fans, with evening contra dances and daily workshops led by popular and highly respected US caller Diane Silver, and music from two of the UK’s current top contra bands, Contrasaurus and English Contra Dance Band. Contra Night in the Pavilion Hall and the Challenging Contras (and squares) dance in the Exhibition Hall will be highlights of the programme.

There’s plenty of Playford featured in evening dances throughout the week and two Playford workshops every day. Wednesday night is Playford Night with the ever-popular Costume Ball and late-night Zesty Playford dance in the Pavilion Hall. Callers Andrew Swaine, Ivan Aitken and Daisy Black will be leading the programme, with fabulous music from Boldwood, Knotted Chord, 3D and The Falconers.

Callers Ivan Aitken and Mike Courthold will be leading the mixed programme social dances alongside expert dance bands Knotted Chord, 3D and The Falconers, plus dances with callers Andrew Swaine and Bob Morgan.

The daily workshops include Running Set with Mike Courthold, Contra with Diane Silver, Playford with Andrew Swaine, Playford for all with Daisy Black and Ivan Aitken, and a variety of dance workshops with Martyn Harvey, Mike Courthold and Joey Oliver to learn something a bit different!