Whilst this book features Dancing in the East Riding there is a lot more going off in Yorkshire. I am always surprised at nthe number of dance venues still functioning for classes, medals and competitions. Undoubtedly a healthy pastime for a great many people it is good to feel a resurgence for dance.
Dancing as a Sport
The Yorkshire Dance Festival took place in Sheffield earlier in September. There were 28 classes of ballroom and latin and details can be found on Dance Info Sports that boasts ‘Everything you wanted to know about competitive dance world and dancesport.’
The 2012 Olympics created the idea of a 2012 dancers getting fit by dancing in city centres. A more traditional programme of dance events is on Dance Yorkshires web site.
Dancing as a Career
Yorkshire Dance in Leeds is a charity based operation that offers training courses and more dance related activities. It has just received more funding from The Arts Council for a Lift project to develop the work and careers of a selected group of talented dance practitioners. There will be an expert career mentoring programme and support for artists. The Riley Theatre is based at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and runs an edgy programme and various courses.
The Russians have the kosack, the Spanish the flamenco. If Yorkshire had a dance of its own, it’d involve swilling a pint of Tetley’s to and fro in front of the football while shouting ‘Leeds! Leeds! Leeds!’. Thankfully they don’t teach you the ins and outs of that dazzling composition, but you could learn some more credible forms of groove — street, jazz, tap and ballet are just a few of the jigs that you could be mastering here. Jangle that spangle, girlfriend. according to the Itchy guide.
The Butchers Dance
A guy has spent many years travelling all around the world making a documentary on Native dances. He thinks he has every single native dance of every indigenous culture in the world on film. He winds up in a pub in Sheffield where he hears about the seldom seen and sacred “Butcher Dance.”
The guy’s a bit confused and says, “Butcher Dance? What’s that, I thought I knew all the worlds great dances?” After a great deal of persuasion he gets an invite to the local dance hall. With great excitement because he believes he has uncovered a great new dance format he turns up at the appointed time.
A deathly hush descends over performers and spectators. The guy is becoming caught up in the fervour of the moment himself. This is it. He is about to witness the ultimate performance of rhythm and movement ever conceived by mankind. From somewhere the rhythmic pounding of drums booms out and locals begin to sway to the stirring rhythm.
Then he hears “You butch yer right arm in. You butch yer right arm out. You butch yer right arm in and you shake it all about…..