Eastbourne International Folkdance Festival 2017

Social Dance

cat social

Scott Higgs

Scott Higgs

Joyful, spirited dancing – and much more.

Friday 8pm Many Moods of Playford with Notorious

Saturday 7.30pm Transcendent ECD & Breathtaking Contras with Keeping Thyme and guest Clive Harman

Scott's workshops:

Dance Zweifacher from Scratch + Notorious

Maggots and Fancies (ECD) + Albireo

Pleasant & Delightful (ECD)  + Keeping Thyme

May Morning Mix + Keeping Thyme

Harmony in Motion (ECD) + Kelly's Eye

Many kinds of dancing bring me great joy. In particular, contra, English, morris, and couple dancing each offer wonderful delights. It is my privilege and pleasure to teach and to share these delights with others.

Scott Higgs began dancing in college and since then has travelled the world (25 states and 6 foreign countries) calling for contras and English country dances. Dancers characterize Scott’s contras as “high-energy” and “swingy.” His English dance programs span the spectrum from exuberant to elegant.

Read more: Scott Higgs

Seth Tepfer

Seth Tepfer

Connecting hearts, soles, and music.

Friday 8pm A Stateside welcome with Reel of Three

Saturday 7.30pm Door County #2 with Notorious

Seth's workshops

Contra with flourish + Reel of 3

We rented the entire room! (American) +Kelly's Eye

Contra play + Reel of 3

*Lab-dance - Seth with volunteer callers and Reel of 3

Contra-callers workshops Sunday and Monday
"Creating a programme: The right dance for right now."  Finely tune your programme to the dancers in the room. Callers in this session will create the programme and call in the *Lab session on Monday morning.  Places must be booked with your ticket.

Seth Tepfer is "Atlanta's Dance Magician," calling dances for adults and children like you've never seen before. Known for his infectious energy, his short walk-thru's, and his 'hash-contras', Seth's warm enthusiasm is contagious, and gets everyone moving, smiling, and having a great time. Whether squares, contras, or other folk dances, you can be certain that all involved - novices and experienced dancers alike - will amble away happy and eager to dance more!

Bernie Culkin

Bernie Culkin

Remembering Pat Shaw + Albireo
Bernie Culkin, a member of the Pat Shaw Legacy Group, has chosen a range of Pat's dances to give you an overview of his continuing legacy and contribution to our dance community.  This lively workshop celebrates the centenary of Pat Shaw's birth. A choreographer, dancer, singer, musician and researcher, he inspired a generation to challenge the traditions of English Country Dance and to write new dances so folk dance became 'A Living Tradition'. 

The Goldcrest Collection +Kelly's Eye
This workshop contains English Country Dances from Joseph Pimental's 'The Goldcrest Collection'. A beautiful collection of dances which are not as simple as they might first appear.

Bernie took part in EIFF2015 New Festival Callers Showcase, and 2016 Tea dance. She started dancing in 2011 and instantly fell in love with it. A year later she was persuaded to try calling. Bernie has recently moved to Cheshire and is enjoying dancing with and calling for new friends.
We know you will enjoy her clear calling style and enthusiasm for beautiful dancing.


Chris Turner

Chris Turner

Enjoy Chris's frivolity, elegance and colour at EIFF 2017!

He will be MC for the New Festival Callers Showcase with Kelly's Eye on Saturday afternoon and the Final fling on Monday afternoon.



Colin Hume


Colin enjoys calling a mix of Playford and American-style dances, and believes that if you dance better you will enjoy it more.  We are delighted that he's agreed to call at EIFF 2017.

His schedule so far is as follows:-

Saturday 7.30pm New Favourites with Albireo and guest Brian Stanton
Maureen suggested "Old Favourites" but that's not really my thing! Here are some more modern dances that I really like and hope in time will become old favourites.

Sunday 7.30pm Pat Shaw Ball with Keeping Thyme (ALL TICKETS NOW ALLOCATED)
Pat Shaw wrote dances in various styles, but is best remembered for his Playford-style dances: The Slof Galliard, Monica's Delight, John Tallis's Canon and many more. He was also the first person after Cecil Sharp to study Playford's original wording and offer his own interpretations; his version of Mr Beveridge's Maggot has virtually replaced Sharp's version. 2017 is the centenary of his birth, so what better way to start the festival season than with a Pat Shaw Ball?

Colin's Workshops

Playford with Style + Albireo, (Saturday)
What style do you use for Playford? Colin gives some tips.

Grand Square variations + Kelly's Eye, (Saturday)
John Playford published Hunsdon House in 1675, and since then the Grand Square has been used in many Playford-style dances, Quadrilles and American Squares, sometimes with interesting (and challenging) variations.

Colin's Compositions + Notorious, (Sunday)
Playford-style and maybe some surprises - you'll need to keep your wits about you!



Geoff Cubitt

Saturday  "Thinking outside the Box". dancing with others outside your own minor set. (Reel of Three)

Saturday  "A mixed bag of delights" dances with an American flavour but not contra or squares. (Keeping Thyme)

Geoff  Cubitt

 Sunday  "How to be square" squares from different traditions. (Kelly's Eye)

Sunday  "Home Grown" dances from this side of the pond. (Reel of Three)

Sunday evening "U.S. and us" (Reel of Three) guest Eileen Nightingale

Monday  "A few of my favourite things" not an american site! (Keeping Thyme) mixed

Geoff is well known as a caller for American Squares and Contra and English Ceilidh. He has been invited to call at national dance festivals, including Whitby, Chippenham, Eastbourne and Sidmouth, and is well respected among his peers. He has considerable experience as a dancer himself, particularly in Appalachian clogging. 

His experience as a dancer stands him in good stead when calling, as his sympathy with those on the floor means that he is helpful to beginners as well as extending the expert dancers.


Jeannie Bryon-Williams

Jeannie Jeannie is delighted to return to call and dance with all her Eastbourne friends old and new. She has been dancing in one form or another all her life and loves the fun of folk dance and calling. She enjoys calling a mix of Playford and Playford-style dances.
Jeannie's aim - to get everyone dancing, not just with their feet, but with their whole body!

Take a trip through the Seasons with Jeannie and Albireo (Saturday) Dances with a seasonal or "trip" connection.

Dancing Queens..... No, not ABBA! 
We will look at dances that were around during the reigns of some of our famous queens.  band Keeping Thyme (Sunday)



John and Karen Sweeney


JohnKarenSweeneyFriday 8pm A Multifarious Assortment of Delights with Kelly's Eye

Sunday 7.30pm Diverse, Dazzingly, Delicious Dances, with Albireo


A Cartload of Heys, Reely! (Mixed)  Saturday with Kelly's Eye
“One of the most pleasing movements in country dancing is what they call the "hey"” (“Analysis of Beauty” 1753). Come and see how many different and fascinating ways there are to do a hey!

50 Ways to Swing your Lover , American with Keeping Thyme (Saturday)
Spicing Up Your Swing: We will teach you some of the countless different ways to do a swing, plus some stylish entries and exits. The teaching will be interspersed with fun contra dances to practise these swings. For experienced contra dancers.

Zesty Playford with Notorious (Sunday)
Every generation has its own way of recreating these wonderful old dances. Some of the key facets of Zesty Playford are up-beat music, lively dancing, improvisation and innovation. Just bring lots of energy and a smile!

Karen and John have been dancing, demonstrating and teaching together for 14 years and love travelling and meeting dancers who, like them, are still looking for new styles and ideas. They run three dances a week in Ashford and Maidstone under the name Contrafusion. They just want to share their passion for dance and help people to have fun.




A top ceilidh bands from the North West, Albireo play for parties, fund-raisers, weddings, dances and festivals. The band’s repertoire draws on the English, Irish, Scottish and American traditions, along with self-penned tunes and others from further afield.
Albireo is : Tom Kitching (fiddle, mandolin), Howard Jones (melodeon, Anglo concertina, hammered dulcimer, recorder, vocals), Steve Hodgskiss (piano, English concertina), Pete Crowther (bass guitar, keyboard) and Sean Bechhofer (guitar.)

Read more: Albireo

Keeping Thyme


Keeping Thyme

Eastbourne IFF would not be the same without Julia, Shane and Tina.  We know that they will play lovely, danceable music for you, and then complete the weekend by leading the musicians in the Final Fling on Monday afternoon, and still be smiling at the end of it all.

2017 Pat Shaw Ball with Colin Hume


Kelly's Eye

Kellys EyeBrothers Graham and Kev Prigmore have been playing folk music together on fiddle, accordion, mandolin and bass since the mid sixties, and rhythm guitarist Steve Aldridge joined the band around ten years ago. They regularly perform at folk festivals, dance clubs, ceilidhs, weddings and barn dances. From a gentle waltz or hornpipe to the liveliest reel or jig, Kelly's Eye play dance music that you just can't sit still to. Their talent, experience and sense of humour, combined with a vast repertoire of traditional tunes from both sides of the Atlantic is guaranteed to turn any social event into a dance to remember.
Dance to Kelly's Eye on Friday evening with John Sweeney.  Hear them play at the New Festival Callers' Showcase on Saturday afternoon in the main hall workshops on Sunday.



Lauded as "sparkling" and "exhilarating", Eden MacAdam-Somer and Larry Unger, present a thrilling musical experience in genres that span many continents. Guitar genius Larry joins demon fiddler Eden, to play swing, blues, Zweifacher and Gypsy modes that we know UK dancers will love.

NOTORIOUS has featured at festivals across USA and we enjoyed their music at EIFF 8 years ago.

Read more: Notorious

Reel of 3

Reel of Three

"No one can sit when they play their swinging traditional music from eastern Canada."

"They are .... always in the mood for fun. They can make the whole room swing, and during the interval they are always ready with a song." Tommerup website)

We first heard them in Denmark in 2012 and are pleased that they played for EIFF 2014. They come with really great references from Gareth of ECDB/ Sidmouth Festival.

The line up for EIFF 2017 is: Jørgen Larsen on fiddle, Jeremy Newton on accordion and fiddle with Lotte Kielberg on piano and accordion.

As well as playing for contra at EIFF they will play for a session of Danish dances suitable for all ages.



Tea Dance 2017 - Brian Stanton

Brian Stanton

I started dancing and calling at barn dances and ceilidhs in my teens and came to folk dancing via ballroom dancing. I regularly call folk dance clubs around the Midlands and have had the pleasure of hosting events at Halsway Manor. I have been Dancing Master at a number of period balls and I am a keen member of my club’s Playford display team which regularly performs in period costume at local events and historic buildings.
I love Playford, modern English and American styles of dance and, as a caller, enjoy sharing my enthusiasm with fellow dancers and helping them to get the most from a dance by encouraging them to think of the two big Ts – Timing and Technique. I enjoy the vibrancy of festivals and would like to be more involved and bring my passion for dancing and calling to a wider audience through festival activities.

Tea Dance 2017 - Eileen Nightingale

Eileen Nightingale

Having always had a passion for dancing, I took like a “duck to water” when I discovered folk dancing after I moved to Sidmouth in 1997.
Calling for 15 years now and one of the established callers in the South-West, my favourite dances are American Squares and Contras although I feel equally at home calling English, Scottish, unusual formation dances and fun dances.
My strengths are my intimate knowledge of the intricacies of the dance and my clear, enthusiastic way of putting it over.
I am delighted to be making my debut as a Festival Caller at Eastbourne, where the dancers are of a high standard, and I look forward to the challenge of meeting their expectations.

Tea Dance 2017- Clive Harman

Clive Harman

I've been involved in folk dance and song ever since I first learnt to drive
and could get to clubs under my own steam.  Most of that time has been spent with Ravensbourne Morris Men but early retirement has allowed more time for social dancing, and latterly calling. I call regularly at at two local weekly clubs, Wroughton FDC and our Swindon U3a ECDG.
Dancing comes first for me so I prefer to call what I enjoy dancing myself - well constructed dances with good tunes that stand on their own merits. This  covers an eclectic range from traditional Playford through to more modern ones in historical style, New England contras and the occasional American square for good measure.
I hope my enthusiasm comes across and encourages others so that our dance traditions can stay alive.

Tea Makers needed

If you would like to volunteer to help with the refreshments, it will get you to the front of the queue. You will miss a couple of dances, but not too much if you're efficient!
Please contact Maureen on the email address on your receipt to say which session you would like.  Thank you

Village Hall: Friday evening - Many moods of Playford
Village Hall: Saturday afternoon - Playford/Pat Shaw
Village Hall: Sunday afternoon Tea dance -Albireo
Village Hall: Sunday evening John's "Diverse, dazzlingly delicious dances"
Village Hall: Monday morning ECD with Bernie/Scott & kelly's Eye

Primary School: Friday evening John & Kelly's Eye
Primary School: Saturday morning American
Primary School: Saturday Afternoon 50 ways to swing your lover
Primary School: Saturday evening Scott & Keeping Thyme
Primary School: Sunday morning ECD Jennie & Scott
Primary School: Sunday afternoon Geoff & Seth with Reel of 3
Primary School: Sunday evening American
Primary School: Monday morning Reel of Three- Danish Family dances & Seth's volunteers

Langney Sports Hall: Saturday morning International
Langney Sports Hall: Saturday afternoon Swedish
Langney Sports Hall: Saturday afternoon Jive
Langney Sports Hall: Sunday morning International
Langney Sports Hall: Sunday afternoon Scandinavian



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