Here’s a taste of some Welsh folk dance activities over the past few months…
Llanelli Cerdd Dant Festival 2019:
November 9th, 2019— the stage coverage for the dance competitions was excellent as the complete performance of each group was shown to allow TV viewers to decide for themselves where they placed each team!
The dance “The Square Mile” composed by Mavis Williams-Roberts in memory of Dai Williams – leader of Dawnswyr Tawerin, was the set dance. Music by Eirlys Phillips. Each team chose their own variation to perform as per instructions. And all gave a different variation of the dance. As well as Dawnswyr Nantgarw, Dawnswyr Tawerin and Dawnswyr Talog, it was particularly pleasing to see a completely new dance group appear on stage for the first time, Dawnswyr Gŵyr. Congratulations to this group for their performance on stage – they danced with great joy and danced in “true folk style” as instructed.
The first prize went to Dawnswyr Tawerin – very appropriate as it is a dance designed for members of this group and their style. Secondly came Dawnswyr Nantgarw, which gave the dance a completely different style. Third place went to Dawnswyr Talog, who gave a similar version to Tawerin, but again with a slightly different style.
The clogging performances shown were again completely different in style. but typical of the various Dance groups’ style. Dawnswyr Talog’s experienced steppers were awarded first place; Adran Penrhyd came second; and third was Clocswyr Cowin. Sadly, the youngsters from Bro-Taf had problems with their music on stage which was very unfortunate as they managed to give a different and interesting performance which included flags.
Whether you came 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or just staged, the most important thing was that you took part and enjoyed your dancing.
The WFDS’s 70th anniversary celebrations:
The reports on the Society’s 70th birthday celebrations held in St. Fagan and The Vale Hotel, Glamorgan found that the event was thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended. The main entrance to St Fagans National Museum of History was packed with Welsh dancers in the afternoon, and visitors were delighted with the feast of costumes, melodies and various dances. In the evening there was an opportunity to feast and enjoy a ‘twmpath’, with guest of honor Jean Huw Jones.
WFDS Executive Committee
The society’s Executive Committee met on February 8th, 2020 in Rhayader. The current situation, as a result of Covid-19, has affected many of the decisions, including the proposal to support the travel costs of teams who agree to dance on behalf of the Dance Society at the National Eisteddfod. It was also agreed to offer financial assistance to teams planning to travel to dance festivals abroad, provided the groups were members of the WFDS and successfully met the criteria. It was agreed that the Society would share a total of no more than £2,000 for such applications, with no group receiving more than £500 each.
A few days after the committee, we heard the sad news of the death of our former President, Marion Owen, on the 10th of February. A tribute to her and all her work with Welsh folk dance can also be found on our website.
A visit to Karelia and Finland
At the start of the new year Dafydd and Bobbie Evans, were lucky to visit some of their friends in Karelia and Finland. They had very much hoped that Skylark & Artforge would be able to travel to Wales again this year for their 10th visit to the National Botanic Garden’s Day of Dance on July 11 (2020). Sadly due to Coronavirus this is not now possible, although it is still hoped that the Day of Dance will go ahead as planned.
Traditional Folk Dance Festivals
Due to the current situation the events below may eventually be cancelled but here is a summary of festivals organised by WFDS groups (please check for updates on the website’s ‘Events’ section):
30thMay 2020. Llangadfan’s Day of Dance
26th &27th June 2020 Gwyl Ifan, Cardiff
11th July 2020 Day of Dance, National Botanic Garden of Wales
Contact: R. Evans 01994 484 496 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
All are welcome whether as groups or individuals.
Aberystwyth Day of Dance –17th October 2020
Contact: Anneth Prosser – e.mail: email@example.com
There were three Welsh folk dance groups hoping to support the 2020 Irish Pan-Celtic Festival which was to be held once again in Carlow, Dawnswyr Caernarfon and also Dawnswyr Tipyn o Bopeth who have only missed this festival three times since 1987, and a group from Conwy.
The Carlow Festival has always been extremely well organised with plenty of events to enjoy. Unfortunately, due to the Coronavirus pandemic this important event has been cancelled.
This year Dawnswyr Talog are celebrating their 40th birthday! Other groups close to Talog, are celebrating as well, namely Aelwyd Hafodwenog – also 40 years, and Aelwyd Cynwyl Elfed celebrating 10 years of dancing and clogging. Congratulations to all three Carmarthenshire groups and a big thank you to all the leaders for their hard work over the years.
We wish to thank Bobbie Evans for sharing her newsletter as a basis for this overview. If you wish to add further Welsh folk dancing news to the website please send an e-mail to: