The Dancing Master: Playford Dancing for Beginners

Playford dance workshops - people dancing

About the workshops
Learn the English country dances featured in Playford’s 1651 collection, The Dancing Master, and used in modern film and television including Bridgerton, Pride and Prejudice and Poldark

These workshops are designed for those with no experience of Playford dances and are suitable for complete beginners. Caller Steph West will lead dancers through the steps, accompanied by musicians Matthew Coatsworth and Giles Lewin.

Bring your new expertise to the Playford Ball on Saturday 13 January 2024.

Please wear appropriate non-slip footwear (soft sole shoes or trainers) for dancing.

Dates & locations
The workshops take place on the following dates. The dance content is the same for each workshop.

Sunday 5 November 2023, 12–1pm: Blackwell Hall, Weston Library (map) – this workshop is now fully booked.
Thursday 30 November 2023, 7–8pm: Cherwell School North Site, Marston Ferry Road  (map) – this workshop is now fully booked.
Wednesday 6 December 2023, 7–8pm: Cherwell School North Site, Marston Ferry Road  (map)
Parking is available at Cherwell School North Site.

Book your tickets via Eventbrite. There are 24 spaces for each workshop. You'll receive an automated confirmation when your booking is complete.

About the performers
Steph West is a musician, educator and caller, best known as a harpist and for her ability to build confidence and enjoyment for beginners. Steph’s current projects include an electroharp, drums and voice duo with Paul Rademeyer, the English Harp Project with Matthew Coatsworth and accordionist Tom Evans, and work with RNS Moves as a performer and composer.

Giles Lewin specialises in medieval music and the traditional music of Europe and the Middle East. He has played with The Carnival Band, June Tabor, Maddy Prior, Bellowhead and the Dufay Collective amongst many others. His album Time’s Chariot focused on music from Playford’s Dancing Master.

Matthew Coatsworth is curating The Dancing Master display at the Bodleian Libraries. A former member of Boldwood, he plays with The Warleggan Village Band, First Folio and with Steph West’s English Harp Project.

The Weston Library and Cherwell School are wheelchair-accessible.

Find out more

You can find out more about the Dancing Master project here, the exhibition The Dancing Master will be held at Blackwell Hall from Saturday 2 September – mid January 2024.