The English Folk Dance and Song Society websites use cookies.
You can read more about cookies and how we use them here.
Continued use of this site implies that you agree to our use of cookies.  
At the heart of English folk
Kerry Fletcher teaching workshop

Professional Development Day

How To Teach English Social Folk Dance

This training day in June 2018, led by folk dance artist Kerry Fletcher with musician Deborah Chalmers, was for dance educators, callers and others who wished to expand their knowledge and skills in teaching English social folk dance (country, ceilidh and barn dancing) - in schools, community settings and adult learning.

EFDSS is keen to increase the pool of people with strong skills in teaching English social folk dance in a variety of settings. No previous experience of English folk dance was required, although prior experience as a dance teacher (in any genre), or of participating in English folk dance, was deemed helpful. 

The aims of the day were to:

  • Share good practice in teaching social folk dance in schools and community settings
  • Provide practical training in social folk dances
  • Demonstrate how to plan and adapt dances for varied ages, abilities and settings
  • Explore the partnership between folk dance and folk music – including working with musicians
  • Signpost further professional development
  • Introduce freely available learning resources on the EFDSS Resource Bank and elsewhere, for using folk music, dance and drama.
  • Provide a networking opportunity 


Topics covered included:

  • Structure and creativity
  • Figures, formations and conventions
  • Gender-free calling and terminology
  • Adapting dances for differently-abled dancers and odd numbers
  • Approaching folk dance as part of the school curriculum
  • Working with music, both live and recorded - phrasing, rhythm and tempo


 Before I thought "I wonder if...", now "I know I can!"
Participant, April 2016


Kerry Fletcher

Kerry Fletcher trained as a community folk dance artist and works in wide range of settings and with all ages. Most recently, she has been mentored by Kiki Gale (independent producer) via the Dance UK Dancer Teachers’ Mentoring Programme, (in partnership with Dancers’ Career Development, Youth Dance England and the National Dance Teachers Association). She is the Co-ordinator of the English Folk Dance and Song Society’s national Folk Educators Group, established in 2011 to encourage high quality practice in folk arts education. Kerry is also Co-Artistic Director of Folk Dance Remixed –  a dance company working in the outdoors arts arena, they create a sense of joy through performance and participation with their innovative fusion of traditional folk with contemporary hip hop dance and live music, working across generations and cultures. As a community dance artist she runs her own classes and is always keen to encourage new people to English folk dance!




Course content draws from the EFDSS’s publication English Traditional Dancing, a copy of which was given to all course participants.

Presented by EFDSS' Dance Development Programme, and delivered in partnership with dance organisations around the country.


For more information about the next training day or to be added to the mailing list, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | 020 7241 8953