Erin Mansfield

Erin Mansfield (she/her) is a young but very experienced caller who has worked with some of the biggest names in the UK E-Ceilidh scene. Making her festival debut at Warwick Folk Festival in 2018 with Tautas Roks, Erin has since gone on to become a favourite among festivals and ceilidh series alike; calling alongside household names like Whapweasel, The Canny Band and Granny’s Attic to name just a few! Her trademark wit, humour and insurmountable energy places Erin firmly in the realm of the UK’s top ceilidh callers

Orly Krasner

Orly Krasner loves to share the joy of English Country Dance as a dancer, choreographer, and teacher. She is a regular part of the teaching rotation in New York City and is a frequent guest for dance evenings, special events, and festivals across the USA and abroad. She has taught at Pinewoods Early Music Week and trained teachers in Japan under the auspices of the National Federation of Teachers of Folkdance. Orly loves a challenge: she’s been studying traditional Japanese dance (and how to wear a kimono) in addition to learning Baroque dance (and anticipating a minuet-step revival)! As a choreographer, Orly is working on her second collection of original dances. Celebrations, her first book and CD, includes “Algorhythms,” “Longevity,” and “When Laura Smiles.” In real life, Orly credits her discovery of country dance with helping her finish her PhD dissertation; she currently teaches in the music department at the City College of New York.

Contrary Faeries

Contrary Faeries arise from Sheffield to delight, entrance and enthral! Their tunes and songs whisk dancers away to a land where you will forget your troubles, your cares, and the life you lived before… and if you’re lucky you might get to return.

Contrary Faeries are Joshua Rowe (they/them) on fiddle and Sol Loreto-Miller (they/them) on piano, who first played together at Sheffield Scratch Contra. Recognising a fellow chaotic fae spirit, they formed Contrary Faeries on a 4am drive back from Whitby Folk Week 2019 and swore to wreak fabulous havoc on the contra dance world, or at the very least steal the occasional name. Since then they have played at dances up and down the country to enthusiastic response.

Alison Rowley

Alison is a highly experienced ceilidh caller, known for delivering calm and clear instructions with patience and humour. She enjoys choosing dances that are interesting and fun for dancers of all skill levels. Alison has worked with many renowned bands including Blackbeard’s Tea Party, Whapweasel, Out Of Hand, Granny’s Attic and the Glorystrokes

Magpie Lane

Magpie Lane is a five-piece band from Oxford, specialising in traditional English songs and dance tunes, playing lesser-known material from the archives alongside well-worn favourites.

The band’s front man, Ian Giles, is blessed with one of the finest voices on the folk scene: warm and mellow, but with great power when required. With four lead vocalists the quality of the singing – whether individually or in harmony – is never in doubt. This vocal strength is matched by the band’s instrumental prowess, accompaniments being sensitive or rollicking as each song demands. And when it comes to playing dance tunes, the front line of Mat Green and Andy Turner on fiddle and concertina has few peers. Jon Fletcher and Sophie Thurman complete the line-up, with gorgeously-played guitar, bouzouki and cello. After 30 years of live performance, and with ten critically-acclaimed albums under their belt, this is the band’s Whitby Folk Week debut.

Frog on a Bike

Established for over 30 years, Cambridgeshire’s Frog on a Bike have often been described as “The flat lands’ finest folk-rock ceilidh band” and are fast becoming a staple of the English ceilidh circuit, which includes many of the UK’s biggest folk festivals.
Composers and creative interpreters of traditional tunes, Frog on a Bike’s frenetic energy, distinctively big folk-rock sound and driving rhythm is guaranteed to have you up and dancing. With a luscious line-up of sumptuous melodeon, recorder, fiddle and mandolin, backed by a riotous rhythm section of electric guitar, bass and drums, you won’t be disappointed you came along for a ride with this treasure from the Fens.

Fosbrooks

Fosbrooks play Great British Music to accompany their unique clog dance routines. After 40 years of successes they have been considerably reduced in numbers by the pandemic but are still enthusiastic and determined to continue. The dancers performing at Whitby will be from 12 to 28 and these will represent all ability levels of the current group. They are all delighted to be back at Whitby again!

Ewan Wardrop

Ewan Wardrop is an actor, dancer, multi-instrumentalist and musical comedian. He began his career as a dancer for Matthew Bourne’s dance company, performing around the world, on Broadway and in the West End. As an actor he has appeared in productions for Shakespeare’s Globe, The RSC, The Old Vic, Kneehigh Theatre and Complicite amongst many others. In 2012 Ewan wrote and performed in a critically acclaimed one man show on the life of George Formby for the Edinburgh Festival. He has been a member of The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain and step dances and plays banjo ukulele with The Servants Ball. He also created the experimental Morris side, The Bo Diddlers. He has most recently appeared as Matthew Pyke in the RSC’s Buddha of Suburbia.

Bellamira

Bellamira hail from Sheffield, the folk capital of England. They bring influences such as klezmer, Appalachian, morris, and eurobal, and forge them together with the sensibilities of punk, EDM, ska, and fusion. Always a breath of fresh air and a dancer’s treat. With Josie Wexler on fiddle and vocals, Robyn Wallace on squeezebox, Patrick Rose on guitar and vocals, and Mina Rowan on drums.

The No Lazy Dancing Dance Band

The No Lazy Dancing Dance Band was formed after meeting the melodeon player and historian, Bob Ellis at a Dales dance in Kettlewell, Wharfedale. Bob had spent nearly a decade researching musicians, callers, tunes,and dances throughout the Yorkshire Dales. From this research he published a book, “There Was None of this Lazy Dancing!” as well as establishing an archive at the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes. His vision was to revive the traditions of music and dance in the Dales which faded away in the 50’s and 60’s. Our band was formed to participate in this project. Our repertoire consists of tunes from Bob’s book and from other manuscript sources from Yorkshire and the North including those of Joshua Jackson, Laurence Ledley, John Clare and William Calvert. The bands musicians are Tom Richardson on guitar; Alan Nuttall on English concertina; Georgina Lawes on flute; Mark Wallace; Amy Chestnut on fiddle; Peter Barnard on Anglo concertina and Kate Bilmore on bass clarinet.

Ken Watson & Nina Hansell

Ken Watson and Nina Hansell are father and daughter, hailing from Grimsby, and are both musicians and dancers with many years of experience playing for ceilidh dances, clog and morris teams and leading English music sessions.

Ken has been playing melodeon for morris, clog and step dancing for more than 50 years and is adept at accompanying many different styles of dance. He is well known for his precise style, light touch and perfect tempo and is a joy to both dance and listen to.

Nina has been playing violin since she was 6 and has been dancing since she was 8 years old. Now living in Oxfordshire, Nina is probably best known for her bouncy fiddle playing in ceilidh bands The Bismarcks, PolkaWorks and Oxford NAGS. She aims to provide functional dance music that people find impossible to sit still to.

Jean Smith

Jean started clog dancing in September 1988 when she joined Newcastle Cloggies which opened up a world of folk festivals at home and abroad. She was a member of the Instep Research Team and the Instep Dance team for a number of years before forming Twostep, a dancing partnership with Ian Craigs. This led to the development of their own duet routines creating new steps and and adapting steps borrowed from established clog traditions. Jean retired from formal performance following Whitby 2022 but still enjoys teaching and dancing in more informal settings.

Black Swan Rapper

Winners of Dancing England Rapper Tournament (DERT) 2024 will be running Rapper dance workshops for us as well as performing around the town – catch them at official dance spots throughout the week, though no doubt they’ll also do an evening crawl or two around the pubs!

Chipping Campden Morris Dancers

Campden Morris Dancers are known for dancing their own unique tradition, which is not performed anywhere else in the Morris world. Deceptively simple, it is beautiful when done energetically, particularly in a large space. They pride themselves on being a welcoming and friendly side with several strong family bonds stretching across the generations. They  are proud of their tradition and can trace their history back to the 1700s. Whilst they are a traditional Cotswold side, they look to the future and plan to keep Campden Morris Dancers alive and well in the 21st century!

Harlequin Morris

Harlequin Morris are a tribute to what they see as living traditions from the Cotswolds, that are exciting, energetic and uplifting for both dancers and audience members. The side was formed in June 2013 by a small group of friends from around the country, who wanted to learn and dance more difficult and challenging traditions in a polished manner. The side dress in an array of different coloured shirts, black and white ribbons and black waistcoats, so they hope this will help you spot them from a distance!

John Tams

Whitby – a soul town, significant in John’s life since the 60s when the embryonic folk festival could be contained entirely in The Seamen’s Mission – Loveless, Binless et al. It is his honour to return, albeit as a soloist after over 50 years of collaborative performing – Muckram Wakes, Albion Band, Home Service, Barry Coope, The National Theatre (WarHorse), television (Sharpe), radio (The Radio Ballads) and multiple stages at festivals and clubs but never until recently alone. John’s solo adventuring is entitled “Don’t Get Me Started….” – let’s see where it takes us?

John Tams; singer, songmaker and inactivist

Rebecca Hearne

Rebecca Hearne is a folk singer from Rotherham, South Yorkshire, and comes from a long line of Irish and English musical performers. Inspired by traditional folk music from the British Isles and beyond, Rebecca blends straightforward acapella vocal performance with contemporary pop music, academic research, and principles of mythology, folklore, and magic to create a truly enchanting sensory experience. Favouring lesser-known tales, the bizarre, and the disquieting, Rebecca blends folk songs with contemporary influences to create mesmerising performances punctuated with charisma, wit, and sparkle, resulting in a transcendent atmosphere of bacchanalian warmth and chaos.

Culverake

Culverake are a new traditional singing trio promising gusto and harmonies a plenty. Made up of Seb Stone, Matt Quinn and Lizzy Hardingham, they breathe new life into timeless melodies.