15th December

Paul and Clare Sheridan

Paul and Clare Sheridan will be doing a workshop at Gainsborough, Feb 2018, where they will take you through the basics of flatfooting. The style that grew out of the Appalachian mountains combining the stepping from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland with the African slave rhythms and native American forms of dance.

Look for them strutting their stuff in the concerts, along with other dancers, do come and join in, Old Time music is made for dancing to. Paul will be doing a demo Friday evening with one of the bands.

Clare and Paul were part of Roughshod, an Appalachian clog team that performed across the country, Ireland, Germany, France, North Carolina, from 1988 to 2003, they were recognised as one of the teams most true to the style danced by the original Appalachian performance team The Green Grass Cloggers, from North Carolina.

You will see the couple on their board at various sessions among the musicians throughout the weekend. Do come and join us for a dance and a chat. Clare is your dance rep on the FOAOTMAD committee.

Clare Sheridan

Dance at Gainsborough Festival 2017

It was so wonderful to have use of the classrooms for sessions. We danced to some amazing tunes from our lovely musician friends taking turns on the boards for hours on end. We enjoyed the concerts and had some dancing opportunities up front with some good friends and fabulous music. All the acts were riveting, I stayed throughout which I rarely do.

We were bowled over by Evie and Keith’s performance at the concerts on Friday and Saturday and were sad that Evie’s workshop coincided with ours on Sunday. I did catch Keiths body music workshop which was a real challenge and made sounds and used parts of my body I had not imagined as musical (even my derriere, pardon my french)

Saturday’s Flatfooting workshop on the school hall stage was well attended by about 18 people 15 of which were beginners. Starting with a warm up to get our muscles in the mood and to relax our arms we went on to cover the Tennessee Walking Step which is a four beat rhythm using the flat foot, a toe lift, a toe drop and a heel. We touched on rock hopping towards the end which adds an up to a flatfooting sequence which is all down with knees bent and feet close to the ground.

The square dance was great fun and well attended, we even got the St John’s Ambulance workers to join in. We especially enjoyed Evie singing the calls.

On Sunday Evie took to the stage with most of our beginners from the day before but we had quite a few in the gym, some that joined us when they came to pack, so we ended with 10 and they all improved during the hour and a half that we played with the four beat Tennessee Walking step by leaving beats out, making it syncopated, replacing shuffles from clogging steps with toe drops and going from flatfoot to rockhopping and back again.
All in all a very enjoyable festival.

Clare Sheridan

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