What is Balfolk?

Balfolk is a tradition of music and dance from across Europe

A fun, easy form of dance popular across europe, something like a European ceilidh.

Thousands of people of all ages attend festivals such as Boombal (BE), Damada (FR), Andanças (PT), Gran Bal Trad (IT) and the Grand bal de l’Europe (FR). There are vibrant folk dance scenes in towns and cities across Northern Europe, France and Italy, and a growing dance scene in London.

What dances do you do?

We do popular folk dances from across Europe, with a particular focus on French styles. Among others these include circle dances like the Chapeloise and Cercle Circassien, partnered dances including Schottish, Mazurka, Waltz, Polka, dances which take the form of long, snaking lines – many of which are Breton and some dances like bourée from central France.

Is there a caller?

Because the dances we do are all very simple forms, we don’t have a caller.

Instead, many of our dances start off the evening with a beginners dance workshop to show you the basics. Everyone’s happy to show you the steps, and its easy to pick up – You’ll be able to join in right away!

But I’ve never done it before, won’t I embarrass myself?

There’s no right or wrong, it’s all about having fun, and sharing the joy of music and dance with your friends and people from the local community. Come and give it a try!

What should I wear?

Our dances are not formal balls, but we love dressing up and we think they’re a great excuse to get out your favourite dress or smart waistcoat, so don’t be afraid to put on you sunday best if you’d like, or wear whatever you’re comfortable in!

Footwear deserves a special mention – something with a slippy sole is best so you can spin easily and unlike tango and salsa, we don’t recommend high stiletto heels (a small heel is fine, or flat shoes). Again, comfort is key.

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