Penguin dancing with hankies

Sheffield IVFDF 2022

25th – 27th February

What's On

Penguin dancing with hankies
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with Hekety and Charlotte Rich-Griffin – The Octagon

Friday 19:30 – 22:30

Mixing traditional and self-penned tunes, Hekety have been playing cutting edge English dance music since their formation in 1997. Based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire they have performed to much acclaim at festivals and other events throughout the country.


Charlotte Rich-Griffin is an enthusiastic ceilidh and contra caller based in Oxfordshire. Charlotte started calling ceilidhs in 2013 with Warwick Folk. Since then she has spread her wings to call at Sidmouth and Whitby folk festivals. She is delighted to be calling at Sheffield IVFDF, the city where she attended her first IVFDF!

This event is sponsored by Nottingham Folk Dance Group!
Charlotte Rich-Griffin

Contra welcome session

with Charlie Turner – Uni Central

Friday 19:40 – 20:00


with Vertical Expression and Charlie Turner – Uni Central

Friday 20:00 – 23:00

One of the UK's most high-energy contra dance bands, Vertical Expression are well-known for delighting dancers at festivals and dance series across the UK, Europe and beyond! Their driving double bass and guitar foundation, layered with rhythmic fiddle and melodeon tunes and foot percussion, makes them one of the most danceable bands around. They excel at picking just the right tune for the dance and maintaining the connection between dancers and music.

Vertical Expression standing in a row holding their instruments

Charlie Turner has been dancing and teaching for as long as she can remember, but a move to San Francisco transformed her contra dancing and started an international calling career. Now based in Cambridge, UK, she brings the best of the West Coast to contra crowds, with clear, friendly teaching and satisfying dance selections. She emphasises connection, fun, flow and inclusivity in dance.

Charlie Turner on stage holding a microphone

Techno Playford

with Bearded Dragons and Daisy Black – The Octagon

Friday 23:00 – 01:15

Out of fire and darkness rise the mighty Bearded Dragons.

Blending traditional and electronic styles, they are pioneers of Techno Contra, Techno Playford, and Electro Folk in general — at the very cutting edge of folk dance music.

They are fiddle playing behemoth Benjamin Rowe, and keys and synths monster Vic Smith.

Bearded Dragons
With influences ranging from traditional British, Irish, and American; to electronic genres such as EDM Techno, Synthwave, Glitch, and Ambient — Bearded Dragons weave a musical experience that is entirely unique. They are joined by lighting design wizard Amy Worrall, to transcend the dancefloor into another dimension.

Daisy is a caller based in Sheffield, where she runs the popular dance and music session, Playford in the Pub. She calls for ceilidhs, and tends to mix older dances with more modern ones. She particularly enjoys making seventeenth century dances lively and accessible for new and more experienced dancers. When not calling, Daisy is a storyteller and a lecturer in medieval performance at the University of Wolverhampton. Her programmes are energetic, dynamic and somewhat silly.

Daisy Black

Late night dancing

with You! – Uni Central

Friday 23:30 – 01:30

Welcome (back) to Playford

with Rhodri Davies – The Octagon

Saturday 09:00 – 10:15

Playford published the first major collection of English country dances in 1651. This session is intended for those who have not danced this style before or have not danced it during a couple of years of enforced dance abstinence. We'll ease back into dancing and a Saturday morning with some of the basic, classic dances.

Introduction to Balfolk

with Sam Tetley-Smith – Uni Central

Saturday 09:00 – 10:00

A whistlestop tour through the dances you’re most likely to find at a bal in the UK.


with Pete Grassby – Gallery Room 1

Saturday 09:00 – 10:15

A simple beginners introduction to the G/D melodeon. Bring your own or a borrowed one. I shall have a limited number to loan on a first come basis. No need to read music, although I use a simple tab system. Come and chat on the Melodeon Repairer Stall.

Scratch Band Practice

with Robyn Wallace – Gallery Room 2

Saturday 09:00 – 10:15

Learning to play in a dance band and playing through the tunes for the Survivor's Ceilidh on Sunday. Come to one or both if you want some practice before the dance. Tunes are available here and are well known session tunes. Copies of music will be available at the workshop. No previous experience playing in a band required. Bring an instrument.

Niggun Session: A song session without words

with Isaac Montagu – Gallery Room 3

Saturday 09:00 – 10:15

Gather for a song session with no words allowed! We'll learn a bit about niggunim, wordless songs from the Ashkenazi Jewish tradition, and sing them and pick them up from each other just like in a folk session. No prior knowledge needed.

Scandi Fiddling

with Nicky McConkey – Council Chambers

Saturday 09:00 – 10:15

Come and share the wonders of Scandinavian dance music! Tunes will be taught by ear, with a focus on finding the right feel for dancing. This is suitable for musicians who are comfortable with their instruments (intermediate), certainly not limited to fiddles!

Interpreting Playford

with Andrew Swaine – Uni Central

Saturday 10:15 – 11:45

What do we really know about 17th and 18th century country dances? Why are there different versions of the same dance? If someone tells you you're doing it ""wrong"", how sure can they be? See what some historical country dance publications and manuscripts look like, different things we can learn from them, and maybe have a go at interpreting some yourself. Those who have encountered Playford dances before will get most from the workshop but all should find something interesting!

Wheelchair Inclusive Folk Dancing

with Leeanne, Zsofi, and Phill – Foundry

Saturday 10:15 – 11:45

Do you know someone in a wheelchair? Can you see yourself dancing together and having fun? This is Wheelchair Inclusive Folk Dancing. Come and learn how to approach wheelchair dancers, what are the questions you should ask before bringing them into dancing. How to include them and work together as a team in different Folk dancing. Come along and dance with Leeanne, our fabulous wheelchair dancer under the calling of Zsofi and the great music of Phill. Make it as interactive as we can: ask your questions specified to your type of dance, group, experience. We will have fun.

This event is sponsored by the English Folk Dance and Song Society!

Govend (Kurdish dance)

with Ozgur – Studio

Saturday 10:15 – 11:45

Kurdish dances are a form of circle dance, usually in a line with dancers holding hands. These are non gender rules dance.

Beginners’ Contra

with Sam Tetley-Smith – The Octagon

Saturday 10:30 – 11:45

Some simple contra dances. No experience necessary.

Folky Games

with Elion – Gallery Room 2

Saturday 10:30 – 11:45

Want to make some new friends? Or just want an excuse to let your inner child out! Come along and play/teach some folky-esque games!

Bodhrán for Beginners

with Matthew Blackburn – Gallery Room 3

Saturday 10:30 – 11:45

The bodhrán is the iconic Celtic frame drum; played with a single stick and the other hand within the frame. A limited number of bodhráns will be available, although bringing your own will be helpful. This workshop will be aimed at absolute beginners, with the goal being to set you up to make progress alone. We will begin with holding the stick and ensuring the proper wrist action. We will then apply our new skills to the common rhythms of reels and jigs; with a focus on the clarity of the pulse of the rhythm.


with Ella Sprung – Council Chambers

Saturday 10:30 – 11:45

Suitable for both beginners and seasoned polska dancers, this workshop will offer an opportunity to immerse yourself in beautiful Swedish music, and to work on your polska technique and your connection with your partner and your own body. Ella Sprung is a graduate of the Eric Salhström Institute’s one-year Swedish Folk Dance programme. Flat, smooth-soled shoes are highly recommended. Polska is a couple dance, but there is no need to attend with a partner, and we will be switching roles and partners throughout.

Welcome (back) to Ceilidh

with Sheffield Ceilidhsoc – The Octagon

Saturday 12:00 – 13:15

Want to ease (back) into some basic ceilidh dances? Come for a tour of the basics of ceilidh, and some fun with our lovable ceilidh monsters. Anyone is welcome here, but those who haven’t been to a ceilidh before, or haven’t been for a while, should be able to come and find their feet!

Contra Magic

with Charlotte Rich-Griffin – Uni Central

Saturday 12:00 – 13:15

Tada! There's your partner! Join me for a contra workshop exploring dances with lots of travelling and some unusual moves. These dances will get you lost and (hopefully) found again. All dancers welcome (including beginners), but you'll have to be awake!

Beginners' Appalachian Dance

with Feet First Appalachian – Foundry

Saturday 12:00 – 13:15

Appalachian step dancing is a high energy percussive dance form with similarities to tap, Irish step dance and clog dancing. Local team <a href="">Feet First</a> will guide you through the basics - suitable for complete beginners. Wear hard soled shoes or taps.

Lindy Hop

with Peter Marsh and Rosalind Williams – Studio

Saturday 12:00 – 13:15

Come learn the fundamentals of Lindy Hop, a stylish and bombastic partner dance danced to the best jazz music from the roaring 20s. No experience or partner required!

Sea Shanty Choral Singing

with William Curtis – Gallery Room 2

Saturday 12:00 – 13:15

During this workshop, come along to learn to sing Sea Shanties in four-part SATB choral harmony, without accompaniment. The ability to read music is beneficial, but not essential, as we will go through all parts during the workshop. Similarly, some experience of choral singing is beneficial but not essential, and the main focus is on enjoying the songs! As this is not a dancing or instrumental workshop, no particular footwear or instrument is required. This workshop is designed for all genders, but you may choose to sing whichever register you feel most comfortable with.

Calling 101 - Currently CANCELLED

with Erin Mansfield – Gallery Room 3

Saturday 12:00 – 13:15

What does that even mean..?! Erin runs newbies through the basic dos & don'ts, jargon, and troubleshooting for aspiring callers. No experience necessary!
- Speak to front desk if you want to run something similar!!

Bal and Breton

– Council Chambers

Saturday 12:00 – 13:15

Last-minute sign-up! You'll just have to go find out what it's all about!

UK/Indian social dance fusion

with DANCE:SOCIAL – Uni Central

Saturday 18:00 – 19:45

DANCE:SOCIAL is a project launched in summer 2021 that brings together social dance teachers and musicians from different dance styles and cultural backgrounds to share ideas and create exciting new dance experiences. At IVFDF 2022 you'll be treated to a social dance that combines Indian and English dance styles, with Lisa Heywood and Nisha Lall guiding you through the moves. They'll be joined by a fantastic band including the talented Vijay Venkat and Mel Biggs who will be weaving a musical tapestry drawn from both musical cultures. All dances will be taught/called and everyone is welcome!

This event is sponsored by the English Folk Dance and Song Society, and the Society for International Folk Dance!

Nisha and Lisa Vijay and Mel


with Powerhouse and John Brown – The Octagon

Saturday 19:00 – 22:00

Powerhouse are a five piece ceilidh band consisting of melodeon, flute, electric guitar, bass and drums. Brought together by a mutual love of rock, beer, general geekiness and ceilidh, they combine traditional tunes with rock riffage and pop culture to tempt even the most determined non-dancer.

The band consist of

John has spent many years training to be a professional cat herder in the foothills of Crookes. Since that time he's been calling gender free up and down the land (mostly up, down is a long drive), from Festivals to Ceilidh Clubs, and the odd Social Occasion.

This event is sponsored by The University of Sheffield Alumni Fund!
John Brown

Scottish Country Dance

with Fourth Road, and Kirsten and Liz – St Andrew's

Saturday 19:00 – 22:00

Based in North East Fife, Fourth Road bring an exciting new concept to the ceilidh scene. With an eclectic mix of classic ceilidh with added foot stomping rock and a punk style vibe, this 3-piece rock ceilidh band will liven up the dance floor with their buzzing enthusiasm, talent and energy. Featuring Grace Emery on violin, Sam De Pasquale on electric guitar and Al Clark on drums. With decades of experience between them on the ceilidh scene that stems the length and breadth of the UK, this band will take you on a musical adventure with classic song covers to jazz jams and traditional ceilidh with a modern twist, that will make even the Forth Road bridge rock and roll. Kirsten and Liz are experienced Ceilidh and Scottish Dance teachers and callers based in Aberdeen. Nathaniel is less experienced, but that's because he's only two. They've had tons of practice barrelling unsuspecting students through strip-the-willows and schiehallion reels alike, and promise to deliver an evening of relaxed and accessible Scottish chaos. All welcome. Non-gendered calling, dances called throughout.

This event is sponsored by the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society!

Fourth Road Kirsten and Liz

Scottish Country Dance Programme


with Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer, and Rachel Shapiro Wallace – Uni Central

Saturday 20:30 – 23:30

Vicki Swan & Jonny Dyer have developed an enviable reputation for their ability to reimagine folk and folk dance music; creating sounds that are simultaneously new and progressive, and yet entirely sympathetic to the tradition.

They have become deeply involved in folk dance over the last ten years; contra, ceilidh and 'social dance' both as the duo and as Purcell's Polyphonic Party.

Vicki and Jonny
They often insert performance elements into their dance music. You are very likely to find yourself dancing to a song - and we dare you not to sing the chorus as you go.

Rachel Shapiro Wallace is a dance caller who strives to communicate the joy of dancing, whether she is calling at a dance, festival, weekend, wedding, or public event.

Having stumbled upon contra dancing in Boston, Rachel eventually realized her passion for calling after moving to Chicago. Since then she has called throughout the United States, and since moving to her current home in Edinburgh, Scotland, Rachel has called in Paris and the United Kingdom.

Rachel's high-energy approach involves clear, concise walk-throughs, flexibility in teaching and programming, and working with the band to create that groove that dancers love.

This event is sponsored by The University of Sheffield Alumni Fund!


with the Rheingans Sisters – The Octagon

Saturday 23:00 – 01:00

The Rheingans Sisters make playful, powerful and richly connecting music that is wholly contemporary while deeply anchored in folk traditions. The award-winning multi-instrumentalists, composers and folk scholars are nominated for 'Best Duo/Group' at 2019 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Over the last five years, three critically acclaimed albums and a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award win for 'Best Original Track' in 2016, audiences across the UK, Europe and Australia have been utterly captivated by their very special live performances.
The Rheingans Sisters: Rowan and Anna against a white and black brick wall
Photo credit: Elly Lucas
Drawing on their pan -European musical scholarship and their spirited mission to make connections between the music of different geographical roots, they have developed a rich artistic approach to the deconstruction and reimagining of traditional music alongside their own beguiling compositions. Performing live, the sisters are inimitable; full -hearted performers and spontaneous, on -stage improvisors, with adventurous use of fiddles, voices, banjo, bansitar, tambourin à cordes, spoken word, dancing feet and percussion. A unique and unmissable act on the folk and world music stage today, Rowan and Anna play a plethora of instruments in their live shows, many of them handmade by their luthier father Helmut Rheingans who is based in their native Peak District home. The Rheingans Sisters released their much anticipated fourth album in 2020 on the Bendigedig Label.

This event is sponsored by The University of Sheffield Alumni Fund!

Late night dancing

with You! – Uni Central

Sunday 00:00 – 01:30

Dances for the Brave

with Rhodri Davies, Adam Hughes, Bob Morgan, and Sam Tetley Smith – The Octagon

Sunday 09:00 – 10:15

A workshop of hard, ultra-hard and not-actually-that-hard-but-quirky dances in a mixture of contra and English social styles, written by an easily-bored chaos theorist whose work tends to spill into his play and taught and called by a team of the finest callers around. If you want a preview of what you'll be getting into, many of the cribs are available on the internet at . WARNING: this workshop is specifically aimed at more experienced dancers who want a challenge. While beginners who want a challenge are also welcome, especially if you found the Saturday dancing too easy, please be aware that you may get lost a lot.

Maypole Dancing

with Elizabeth Lawson – Uni Central

Sunday 09:00 – 10:15

Come and have fun dancing around our maypole. We have 24 ribbons and we'll be swapping people in and out if needs be. This is a slightly unusual workshop in that you should be able to go away knowing how to lead a maypole session yourself. (There aren't many things you can become an expert in during an hour!)


with Pete Grassby – Gallery Room 1

Sunday 09:00 – 10:15

A simple beginners workshop for penny whistle in D. Bring your own whistle or use one from my stock, which you can buy half price after the workshop. No requirement to read music (I don't!) See me on the Melodeon Repairer stall.

Song Session

with Jeremy Grace – Gallery Room 2

Sunday 09:00 – 10:15

Casual singaround / folk song session for all comers! You are warmly invited to bring songs (trad and modern alike), to join in with other people's shanties, and/or to start something from one of the lyric books that will be provided to jog your memory with well-known songs. Instruments can accompany (eg chords) if they wish. Whether you know one song or dozens or none, whether you feel confident in your voice or have never sung around people before, and whatever language you sing in, we're glad to have you.

Bodhrán for the intermediate

with Matthew Blackburn – Gallery Room 3

Sunday 09:00 – 10:15

The bodhrán is the iconic Celtic frame drum; played with a single stick and the other hand within the frame. A limited number of bodhráns will be available, although bringing your own will be helpful. This workshop will be aimed at those who have experience playing a range of basic rhythms and want to develop fluency. We will focus on consciously skipping beats, rim-striking and adding triplets at various places within a rhythm with a view to understanding the impact on the ‘feel’ of the music. We’ll also troubleshoot individual issues as much as possible.

Dances from the Bs: Brittany and Bulgaria - CANCELLED

with Jean-Christophe Denis and Mirela Bozhinova – Council Chambers

Sunday 09:00 – 10:15

Have you missed exercising pinkies, hearing bagpipes, dancing on weird rhythms and exotic languages? Then this workshop is for you! We will travel back and forth between Brittany and Bulgaria, exploring the similarities and differences between the local dances and music. These dances are group dances (circles or chains), high on energy, and lots of fun. Open to dancers of all levels. This workshop has been cancelled.

Boggart's Breakfast Border Morris

with Boggart's Breakfast – The Octagon

Sunday 10:30 – 11:45

Boggarts dance non-traditional Border-ish Morris. I will be teaching a Boggart written, geometrically interesting dance. Our dances tend to the challenging side of positional choreography. So bring your dancing boots, ready for The "Impossible Dance".

Contra Triplets

with Sam Tetley-Smith – Uni Central

Sunday 10:30 – 11:45

Triplets are 3-couple dances using the style and moves of American contra. I wrote a lot of triplets over lockdown (some in the style of modern contra, and some slightly weirder) and want to try a few of them out. For people who are comfortable with basic contra.

Deaf Awareness and Basic Sign Language

with Blue Sue – Gallery Room 2

Sunday 10:30 – 11:45

This workshop aims to raise awareness of the needs of Ddeaf and hard of hearing dancers, and will cover ways to be inclusive of these dancers and some useful signs. Please note that masks must not be worn for the duration of this workshop, as they would inhibit communication with the workshop leader.

IVFDF Rep's Meeting

Chaired by John Brown – Gallery Room 3

Sunday 10:30 – 11:45

Come represent your society and shape the future of IVFDF! Contact our email or facebook page if you'd like to have anything added to the agenda.

Relaxed Quiet Dance - CANCELLED

with Sol Loreto-Miller – Council Chambers

Sunday 10:30 – 11:45

An alternative to the noise and busyness of evening events, come to this mixed style dance designed to be friendly to those prone to sensory overload. There will be no amplification (except caller's mic) and no flashing or changing lighting. Chatting during walkthroughs is discouraged if possible, but it is understood that some people may need to make noise to express themselves. There will be a relaxed attitude to dropping out mid-dance if needed, and emphasis on consent for different swings etc. A dance list will be available on the door. Numbers may be limited to prevent crowding. This workshop is now CANCELLED

Constant Contra Medley

with Charlie Turner – The Octagon

Sunday 12:00 – 13:15

Just Keep Dancing! Allow a cavalcade of IVFDF's finest contra dance callers to guide you through a constant stream of changing contra dance - no walkthroughs and no interruptions! If you want a break or to ask somebody else to dance, just stop dancing at the end of the set and join back in when you're ready. Suitable for dancers comfortable with common contra figures.

Party in a Time of Plague

with Elizabeth Lawson – Uni Central

Sunday 12:00 – 13:15

I'll be doing dances from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, looking at a variety of ways these have been interpreted and trying them out.

Yorkshire Longsword Dancing

with Handsworth Sword Dancers – Foundry

Sunday 12:00 – 13:15

Have a go at this fast and furious style of sword dancing with one of the country's only traditional longsword teams, based right here in Sheffield! Handsworth Sword have been dancing Yorkshire longsword for around 150 years. This workshop will give you a taste of their intricate and energetic dances.

Collegiate Shag

with Caitlin & Charlie – Fusion

Sunday 12:00 – 13:15

Want to learn how to shag? No, not like that - this workshop is family friendly! We'll be learning the basics of Collegiate Shag, a African American vernacular dance popular in the ballrooms of 1920s and 1930s Carolina. It's a style of Swing Dance that's fast paced, bouncy, and pretty silly - have a look!

Scratch Band Practice

with Robyn Wallace – Gallery Room 2

Sunday 12:00 – 13:15

Learning to play in a dance band and playing through the tunes for the Survivor's Ceilidh on Sunday. Come to one or both if you want some practice before the dance. Tunes are available here and are well known session tunes. Copies of music will be available at the workshop. No previous experience playing in a band required. Bring an instrument.

Intermediate Genderfree Calling

with John Brown – Gallery Room 3

Sunday 12:00 – 13:15

Have you done a bit of calling, and have wondered about this new gender free/neutral calling style all the cool kids are doing? Well this could well be the workshop you've been looking for! Or phrased in a sightly more serious way, this workshop should work well for those who have never called gender free but would like to explore it, and for those who have been calling for a little while gender free. We will look at some of the different techniques, and how you might apply them, and how finding different ways of explaining things can improve your skills as a caller.

Rince Gaelach: Trebles, batters, and rallies

with Sacha Charlie – Council Chambers

Sunday 12:00 – 13:15

This dance history workshop is a whistle-stop tour of Irish dance: its roots, evolution, and modern development both in and outside of Ireland, starting with the earliest days of Pagan worship right up to the Gaelic Revival, the Riverdance era, and today’s preservation efforts. There will be opportunities to learn some of the basic building blocks of hard shoe dancing, comfortable shoes with a hard sole or non-squeaky trainers are recommended for this. If not, socks work too! Stay for the dancing or just sit in for the history lesson.

Survivors’ Ceilidh

with You! and MC Sioned Davies – The Octagon

Sunday 14:00 – 17:00

So, you’ve made it this far… the only thing for it is to spend the rest of your energy up dancing, playing and calling at the survivors’ ceilidh! There will be a sign up sheet at the front desk if you would like to try your hand at calling! The music will be provided by the wonderful IVFDF scratch band lead by Robyn Wallace - bring an instrument and join in!