Jump the Broom: Broom Dancing

Suitable for Key Stage 2 and above

This workshop is lively, great fun and can have a competitive edge to it! Broom dances were once performed by individuals all over the country. We aim to teach some simple traditional steps and moves, before adding a creative dimension and then finishing with a challenge for the brave!

Background

Folk traditions are the customs, dances, songs, stories and music of very ordinary people handed down from generation to generation and broom dancing is a great  example. Most homes had a broom so it didn’t cost anything. All over the country there are records of dancers having  fun and using great skill when performing steps and energetic feats with a good honest broom! We have photographs of a Hampshire broom dancer in Cheriton so we know it used to happen locally. In the West Country today there are still Broom Dance competitions held every year.

Workshop Session

This workshop starts with a short demonstration and video clips to give the context before warming up the group using activities introducing the tune and laying the foundations for the dance. Simple traditional broom dance steps, based on the Dartmoor Broom Dance, will be taught and then a chance to be creative and to devise a new move or two will follow.

Finally, for the more energetic there will be a competitive element added to finish the session!

This workshop can be combined with a session using mini melodeons, enabling half the class to play along with the melody while the others dance.

Workshop timing:  negotiable, minimum 1 hour sessions in a half or full day.

We provide: 15 brooms for the workshop, live music played on fiddle and melodeon, and we leave a recording and the sheet music of the tune used in the workshop.

You provide: up to 30 children, a large uncarpeted space, and a screen and equipment to show video clips.

Link with:  PE, Local History and Geography topics, Music