Ceilidhs & Dances

Things are coming together for the Whitby Folk Week 2019 dance programme!  We’re ready to share some of the highlights with you…


We are very pleased to have some of the country’s finest ceilidh bands and callers joining us, including the first night welcome ceilidh with Whapweasel, plus ceilidhs with Hekety, Bedlam, the famous Themed Ceilidh with Melrose Quintet, and we’ll be finishing off the festival with Blackbeard’s Tea Party! Phil Bassindale, Ian Nichols, Emma Wooders, Martyn Harvey and Baz Parkes will be calling the dances. Plus there will be the very popular daily Family Ceilidhs – more details to follow!


A lot of people asked for more contra in the programme, and asked if we could get a top American caller over. We’re happy to report success on both counts! We are lucky to have the fabulous Diane Silver to call for our contra dances and daily contra workshops. This will include a full evening of contra in the main Pavilion Hall, which will also feature the musical talents of Contrasaurus and English Contra Dance Band, two of the top contra bands on the UK scene right now.


We’re very happy to be welcoming Andrew Swaine to Whitby to lead daily Playford workshops and call for dances, including the ever-popular Playford Costume Ball. Callers Daisy Black and Ivan Aitken will also be leading the Playford dance & workshop side of the programme, and our LNE Zesty Playford will feature the fantastic music of Boldwood.

Social dance

There will be social dances for experienced dancers every evening, led primarily by callers Ivan Aitken and Mike Courthold, plus Andrew Swaine and Bob Morgan, with music from Knotted Chord, 3D and The Falconers.

Dance workshops

The workshop programme will include daily workshops in Contra, Playford (advanced), Playford for All, Running Set and English dance, led by Diane Silver, Andrew Swaine, Mike Courthold, Ivan Aitken, Daisy Black, Martyn Harvey and Joey Oliver.