Steps In Time - Community Dances From Around The World

Kids Dance Here Comes Sally

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Now - by popular request - Bill & Kath bring you "STEPS IN TIME" - a rich dance experience for your children!

All the children will be dancing the whole time - in longways sets, circles and squares; solo, with partners, and perhaps changing partners. All music is 'live' - played by Bill & Kath - no recorded tracks.

The only requirement is a large empty room or hall with a power point. You'll receive teachers notes with the dance instructions and music afterward.

Maximum number per show - two classes (30 odd children per class - total about 60-70). This ensures personal attention for the children. **Minimum booking of two shows at a school. Schools with a roll of under 95, please contact us - the booking options are slightly different.

Swing Your Partner

Through The Arch

Here Comes Sally, Walking Down The Alley


What do you mean by 'Community Dances'?

We mean dances in which people dance together as a group.

Ballroom dancing is partner focussed, with little interaction with other couples apart from trying not to crash into them. Modern dancing (post-twist) tends to dispense with partners almost entirely, so a dance floor could be full of people dancing solo by themselves, almost oblivious to each other!

Community dances imply interaction not only with a partner (where appropriate), but with other couples too. A lot of the dances are in formations such as circles, squares and longways sets, and some are just random couples. Some require no partners, and in most of the ones that do, we don't insist that boys have to dance with girls (they'll do that anyway in their own good time!)

This sort of dancing is variously known as ceili or ceilidh dancing in Ireland and Scotland, barn dancing in England, hoedown or contra-dancing in USA, bush dancing in Australia and even folk dancing in educational institutions and publications. (The folk who live in communities don't call their dancing 'folk dancing' - only outside observers do!)

You say the dances are 'from around the world'. Just how multi-cultural are they?

We sometimes get requests from teachers for dances from all sorts of countries and cultures to tie in with a theme they're studying. We'd love to help but a lot of countries/cultures don't have the same sort of "community" dances that we teach. Attempts by us to mimic ritual dances of, say, Australian Aborigines or Native Americans would probably be culturally offensive, and not much fun for the kids either! We know very little about Middle Eastern, Asian or African dances. Your best bet is to take advantage of native peoples in your community - a parent perhaps - to come in to share things like that.

We have taught community dances since 1982. Our current repertoire includes dances from England, Scotland, Bohemia (Czech Republic), Italy, Russia and United States. We also sometimes include dances from France, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, the Balkans and Mexico.

You say 'all music is live'. What do you mean by that?

We are both musicians, and are very keen to play our part to inspire the next generation of musicians. Bill remembers his primary school class teacher, Mr. Coop who played piano for singing, and Mr. Francis at high school who played guitar in music class, Kath remembers the camp counsellor who played folk songs on her guitar. Those were the people who made us want to learn to play. Radio and pop stars were beyond our reach, people near us made it accessible!

We also believe that dancing and playing music just naturally go together, so we don't use recorded music for any of our dances, nor do we use pre-recorded backing tracks to try to make us sound better than we are!

Kath mostly plays piano accordion for the dances, Bill plays tambourine, lagerphone, guitar, sometimes mouth organ, pipe and tabor and small percussion instruments.

We usually include at least one singing game or 'play party' which is accompanied only by the singing of the dancers, so that they can do it themselves long after we've gone. We have revisited schools a year or more down the track where kids have performed these again without prompting from us! We've also watched in lunchtime as little kids learned these dances from the bigger kids by joining in and copying them. That's the way these dances were passed on in the old days.

For small schools (under about 95), what we offer is a single program for the whole school. We include some things especially for the younger ones, some just for the bigger ones and some for everyone. If the oldest and youngest kids are 'buddied' together for some things, that helps a lot too (not just for the dances - it really helps the school spirit!)

Can you tell me a bit more about the teachers' notes you give?

Because we would like to see schools adding some of these dances to their regular programmes, and also to encourage musicians in the community - teachers, parents, even the bigger kids - to have a go at playing for dancing, we include not only thorough instructions for all of the dances we teach, but also simple music - melody line and chords.

So what's the main thrust of "Steps in Time"?

First of all, we believe that community dances are like games - people do them for the same reason that people play games - to have fun! So we want the kids to leave at the end of the session saying "this dancing sure is fun! I'd like to do more of it!"

Secondly, we hope some kids will think - "playing music looks a lot of fun, and it doesn't look that hard - I'd like to have a go!" They will be tomorrow's musicians.

We hope this FAQ has helped to answer your questions about our dance show. To sum up, "Steps In Time" is an exciting, participatory, educational dance program. It is unique - it's the only program of its kind to be offered to New Zealand schools.

To book a "Bill & Kath" school show, contact us by email or phone (details below) or check out the Bookings page.


Bill & Kath Worsfold - Kiwi Entertainers!
RD 3 Warkworth 0983, New Zealand
Phone: +64-9-425-9538

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This page was last updated December 2, 2008.

Website designed and maintained by Kath Worsfold.