Name: Sarah Clough
Home town: Stoke-on-Trent
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.