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Celebrate Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month

FolkActive are delighted to be part of this year’s New Forest Arts Festival this June! We’ll be teaching and performing at Forest Arts in New Milton as part of their Heathland to Housing Exhibition which documents and celebrates Gypsy communities who have lived for centuries within the New Forest.

Saturday June 10th is a FREE Family Day, Celebrate and Create at which we’ll be running family friendly stepping workshops.

On Thursday June 15th we’ll be part of a performance of “The Hither Side of the Hedge” celebrating  the work of Alice Gillington who lived alongside Gypsy families in the New Forest 100 years ago. This follows a rare opportunity to see Romany storyteller Peter Ingram in a one-man show “An Hour of Merriment and Mirth”.

On Saturday June 17th come to a New Forest Dance with Jigfoot playing for a night which combines regular ceilidh dances with some collected by Alice Gillington.


Winter Warmer Dance and Concert with Southampton Folk Orchestra and Four Marks Folk Band

Saturday January 14th 7:30-10:30 p.m

Twyford Parish Hall, Hazeley Road, Twyford, Winchester SO21 1QY
A chance to dance the Christmas excesses away to the combined forces of Southampton Folk Orchestra and Four Marks Folk Band, with calling from Jo Harmer to guide you through the dances, and short concert spots from each group separately and together.
Light refreshments, bring own drinks.
Entry by donation – all money collected will go to the Muze Trust, supporting music education in Zambia

Wheelchair Ceilidh Dancing at the Mary Rose Academy

What a joy and privilege it was to share music and dance with the wonderful children and young people at the Mary Rose Academy in Portsmouth as part of the Live Music Portsmouth Ceilidh Project.

If ever we needed proof of the power of music to motivate and energise we found it when a lovely teenager slid out of her wheelchair to join in with some stepping at the end of the wheelchair ceilidh.

Thank you to the amazing staff at the school and to Portsmouth Music Hub for the funding.



Portsmouth Schools Autumn Ceilidh Project

This week will see the culmination of three city-wide folk music and dance projects involving 28 primary schools in Portsmouth over the last 12 months, when over 500 children from these schools get together to dance at six ceilidhs.  Arts Council funding enabled Portsmouth Music Hub to commission FolkActive to take folk musicians into 12 schools to perform and to play for folk dance workshops over the last four weeks. Over 800 children have benefited directly from these workshops since September. This project builds on two earlier folk music and dance projects which had already reached another 700 youngsters in Portsmouth primary schools.  The city is certainly reconnecting with traditional culture!

School for Social Entrepreneurs Graduation October 6th

It’s the end of FolkActive’s year on the Hampshire School for Social Entrepreneurs start up programme. October 6th is Graduation day,  an opportunity to  celebrate the vision and energy behind the amazing projects which have been taking shape and developing with the support of the SSE, all of which will be making a real difference to peoples lives in the future.

At FolkActive we’ve used the time, the business training and the funding to focus on developing activities to use in the future with frail older adults.  We’ve been piloting sessions with dementia support groups over the last few months, as well as exploring the potential for using Music in Health Care settings locally.  It’s also been an opportunity to reflect on the company’s social impact and how the different areas of our work can consolidate and connectsse-2016. Watch this space: plans are afoot!


FolkActive Dance Wednesday 14th September

After taking a summer break during August,  we’re looking forward to the FolkActive Dance on Wednesday 14th September.

We’ll be at Freemantle Community Centre with our regular caller Graham Taylor.

Cath, Nic and Gill from Jigfoot will be providing the live music so you might not be able to resist a bit of local stepping within with the social dances. Remember, dancing is so much better for you than going to the gym! It’s great exercise, sociable and great fun. Why not bring a friend!

Wednesday 14th September 1.30pm to 3.30pm
Freemantle Community Centre, Randolph Street, Southampton SO15 1HE
Entry £4 per session
Refreshments available

Steppin’ Time!

June is definitely going to be busy. We have some great stepping projects coming up based in Tadley, Swanmore and Yateley schools. The projects have been set up in partnership with EMTAS and Hampshire Music Hub, using music and dance workshops to connect young people with local cultural traditions.

Tadley is the home of the Nash family, besom makers by Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen, so broom dancing is a must. The clip shows a Dartmoor broom dance competition, but we hope a Hampshire version will be created!