Name: Sarah Clough
Area: South Devon
My background is in folk dance and morris dance. I've never been a great mover on a dance floor but I don't believe that should stop anyone dancing, it's a natural instinct to move to music. Toddlers bop about without a second thought and we lose that freedom with inhibitions we pick up with age. The thing I love about folk dancing is it is accessible to almost anyone, you don't have to have any particular talent or skill, it's all about having fun in a group, as well as enjoying the band while getting a bit of exercise. I'm pleased that I can pass that enjoyment on to others, talk through the moves with a group of people whether complete beginners or more experienced, and have everyone participate in the dancing.
I have a range of dances in my repertoire - some of the more common English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh and American choices plus some more obscure dances... I aim to never use a dance unless it is one I enjoy to dance myself, and although I do call well known dances, in the main I seek out the more unusual choices to keep things fresh for all attending. I have also started writing my own dances and do tend to gravitate towards the more complited patterns so watch out!
I call for weddings, birthdays and other events where there is often a high number of beginners, as well as for public ceilidhs where there is a mixed range of experience amongst the dancers. I tailor each set list to the crowd present, and like to chat with the dancers to find out what has inspired them to choose a ceilidh (for private events) or what their favourite dances are (for experience ceilidh-goers).
I can also run a ceilidh with gender-free calling, for those who want to escape the traditional positioning of men and women within a set.
I am a member of the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) which means I have public liability insurance for events with an attendance up to 200 people.
The larger photo at the top of the page is from my first full gig with the Hacklers back in 2015. The smaller profile photo is from Oxfolk 2019, Copyright Keith Holloway