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Le Vendredi danse

We are extremely proud to have our local eurofolk group Le Vendredi Danse be part of the festival again. Friday night at the Civic Hall (upstairs) from 7.30pm (for musicians) and 8pm for dancing (but doors open 30 minutes before). As ever, there will be expert tuition to indoctrinate or refresh dancers into the wonderful world of bourees, mazurkas, schottisches, breton dancing. Check out their Facebook page to get a full playlist of tunes and dances scheduled for the evening. Musicians welcomed to join in. There will also be a bar!  Admission £6 on door or via weekend festival ticket. 

Ceilidh dances

If you like Ceilidhs, there are two on offer !  Saturday evening at the large Civic Hall we present the fabulous Bellamira with our favourite caller John Brown.   Holmfirth Civic !   tickets £10 and £6 u/16

On sunday at 2pm until 3pm we offer our free family ceilidh at the Methodist Church. Music by the Ribble Beck Band.

There is some doubt regarding the road closure on Hollowgate both Saturday and Sunday, due to the impending works. We won't know this, nor the precise route of the parade, until much nearer the day. Meanwhile dancing will also be in various spots in and around the small town centre all weekend. On Saturday, there will be a grand procession, culminating in a spectacular show dance performance in Victoria Park overlooking the town centre. We also hope to have dance workshops for people to join in with. 
If you want to have a dance yourself, there will be a French music and dance session on Friday evening, a ceilidh on Saturday evening and a family ceilidh on Sunday afternoon. (see above)
Dance sides for the 2024 Festival

Boggarts Breakfast are a Border Morris side from Sheffield, known for their elaborate blue face paint, and their mostly self-written dances, with their own twist on the Border Morris tradition.

Bradshaw Mummers are a mumming side, formed in 1972. They are Halifax based and perform traditional and self-written mumming plays up and down the country.Traditionally when performing, to prevent being recognised, they would blacken their faces with soot, but now being more sensitive, they find other colours or ways to do this.This year they will be bringing the 'Plumtree Plough Monday' play to Holmfirth.

Cutlers Gate are a Border Style Morris Team conceived in 2020 amidst the chaos of the Covid Epidemic. They currently boast 20 members. This year their repertoire will include some of their own dances as well as some they have learnt from experience of others. Their kit is based on the colours of a Peacock. Based in Sheffield their name is a nod to the great cutlery industry of the City and a very tiny road off Derek Dooley Way.

Feet First were founded in 1985, and are the UK's longest running Appalachian dance team. They perform traditional Appalachian steps choreographed into performance dances in much the same way as the American Appalachian teams do. The dances themselves have a wide variety of influences e.g. ballroom, Irish, Greek, clog, morris and jazz, and new dances are continually being added to the repertoire. Above all the dancing is high energy, fast and fun.

Fiddle ‘n’ Feet Appalachian dance team was formed approximately 20 years ago. They are based in Shipley, West Yorkshire. Their style of dancing originates from the American Appalachian Mountains and they use tap shoes and dance on boards. They are accompanied by their musicians who play old time and bluegrass tunes.

Fidlers Fancy Morris are a North West tradition from Stockport. The original Fidlers team was founded in the late 1880’s by a Stockport fish merchant, Charles Burgess Fidler, to provide recreation and entertainment for Stopfordians and collect money for local charities. The present team, formed in 1977, perform traditional dances from around the North West of England, accompanied by accordion and percussion.

Flagcrackers of Craven are a mixed Border side wearing clogs, tatter jackets,
decorated hats, and bells. In the traditional style of border Morris they disguise their faces with red and black face paint. They are delighted to be dancing at Holmfirth this year, and are looking forward to meeting up with friends old and new to share music and dance. They will be supported by a merry band of talented musicians performing and entertaining in their unique Flagcracker style


Foxs Morris started in 1999. They practice at Cookley School in Worcestershire with members coming from all around the area. They wear mainly red and green as these were the colours of the school uniform at the time. Foxs Morris dance in the ‘Border’ Morris style. This is apt given the proximity to the border with Wales. Each year they hold their own day of dance called Skulkfest."

Hathor dance troupe perform a mixture of Traditional and (slightly) more Modern belly dance styles. Over the last 24 years they have performed at hundreds of Community and Charity events as well as Private Functions, and always encourage audience participation. They rehearse at a dance studio in Huddersfield, where Troupe leader Ann Wear runs all her classes.

Hebden Bridge Hill Millies are a women’s Cotswold Morris side based in the quirky Pennine mill town of Hebden Bridge. The team try to reflect their home town in their outfits channelling their inner mill worker but with a sprinkle of Norah Batty. So they are delighted to be back dancing again in Holmfirth. Formed in 2004, they perform a range of different village traditions using both sticks and hankies – although to be more exact they are yellow dusters.

Leeds Morris Men dance in the Cotswold tradition, with bells, sticks and handkerchiefs, their colours and the owl on their waistcoats are taken from the Leeds coat of arms. They have been performing in the Leeds area for nearly 70 years, and regularly perform at festivals and events all over the country, as well as abroad in France, Germany, Belgium and Holland

Milltown Cloggies are based in Dukinfield, Greater Manchester and have been dancing both locally and across the country since 1989. They dance in the North West tradition, wearing clogs. Many dances originate in the mill towns of Lancashire and North Cheshire. Their eclectic band provides the lively music. They still have five of their founder members in their side.

Minster Strays are a mixed morris side who dance both Cotswold and Border dances.Their colours are green, burgundy and gold. They are based in Ryedale, North Yorkshire, with members from the towns and villages around York, Malton and Scarborough.The side was established 21 years ago, and named themselves after the historic green spaces of York.

Pecsaetan Morris (pronounced “Peck-suh-tan”) are a women’s Cotswold side, formed in 2001 and based in Sheffield. Look out for precise lines, unusual Bledington hook-legs (ask one for details!), and fabulous music.

Powderkegs are a mixed side of Border Morris dancers and musicians formed in 2001 and based in Whaley Bridge in the Peak District. They take their name from the old gunpowder mills near their home, and their red, yellow, and gold tatters symbolise fire. The side’s evolving repertoire includes an explosive mixture of traditional and more modern dances, including a number of dances written by the side’s own members.

Ryburn Longsword Dancers are based in Ripponden, near Halifax, and have
specialised in traditional Yorkshire Longsword dance since 1994. Longsword is a Yorkshire-based form of traditional dance performed in a circle, making a sequence of movements in which they go over or under the swords, usually ending with the display of a sword 'lock'


Saddleworth Morris Men perform their own North West Morris dances, written and developed by the side over the years. Each dance is named after a Saddleworth village. A member of Saddleworth receives two bells for each clog at the start of each season. Longer standing members have vast clusters of bells on each clog. They organise the Saddleworth Rushcart every August.

Saddleworth Women's Morris and Clog are a new North West Morris and step clog side which started in January 2024. They practice at Denshaw Village Hall in Saddleworth each Wednesday evening. The idea for the side came out of discussions on a local community Facebook page in autumn 2023. However, 2 people who saw this were Lucy Marstin a former Wakefield Morris dancer, and Ed Worrall a dancer and musician with Saddleworth Morris Men. After they ran a whirlwind social media campaign locally in Saddleworth, they now have some 25+ active members!

Slubbing Billy's are a mixed North west Morris side, founded in 1986, with a distinctive purple, woollen kit and fresh flowers in their bowlers hats. Most members live in the Holme and Colne Valleys and they practice on Tuesday evening in Slaithwaite. They are an inclusive side and are always happy to welcome new dancers and musicians – no prior experience necessary – so please talk to them if you would like to give Morris dancing a try.

Thieving Magpie is a mixed border Morris side from Marsden in the Pennine Hills of Yorkshire, formed in 2006. They like waving big sticks around and yelling. They may not be a vision of terpsichorean delight, but they do give it some welly. The collective noun for Magpies is a 'murder' but they haven't murdered anybody yet.. Their motto is 'Leave nowt but wood,blood and feathers!'.

T'Owd Man Border Morris. Dancing Morris with Attitude (in a border style) since 2020. T'Owd Man is the affectionate name given to the medieval bas-relief carving of a lead miner, currently found in St Mary's Church, Wirksworth, Derbyshire and believed to be the earliest existing depiction of a miner. They wear tatters of black, silver and grey to pay homage to the lead mining heritage of their local area.

Wakefield Morris were formed in 1980 and have performed at many folk festivals throughout England, gaining a reputation for a fast and lively dance style. They perform North-West Morris which originated in Lancashire in the late 19th century, where teams took part in the annual village carnival processions. Some of the dances Wakefield Morris perform were traditionally used in such processions, but over time the team has also written many dances of its own. The team colours of blue and gold are taken from
the crest of Wakefield City.


Whip the Cat were formed in 1999, they are an inclusive and diverse team that can be found tip-tapping around the pubs of Nottingham and beyond, they are on the prowl in Holmfirth to provide exciting, high energy performances. They will also be dancing for us during the interval of the ceilidh on Saturday evening.

400 Roses & T'Thorns, formed in 2005, are a group of belly dancers and musicians from Yorkshire and Lancashire based in Shipley, West Yorkshire. Their unique style is a fusion of tribal belly dance with UK folk dance and formations, danced to traditional UK folk music - expect something a little different!

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