HistoryThe dance side (based in Sutton Waldron, North Dorset) was formed in 1989 by Dot Swift and now ran by Penny-Jane Swift. During the winter the children concentrate on learning new dances and are also taught about the roots of our folk traditions e.g. traditional songs, nursery rhymes and festivals.
Throughout the last 30 years we have performed at most of the local fetes, fairs and shows. We have performed at the re-consecration of Shaftesbury Abbey; a tour of Ireland, Sidmouth International Folk Festival; regularly take part in Shaftesbury Gold Hill Fair & Shaftesbury Food Festival, both Swanage & Wimborne Folk Festivals, The Larmer Tree festival & gardens, Cultural Olympics in Weymouth, LONDON 2012 (Olympics & Paralympics) and the Europeade. We have also been filmed for ‘Meet the Ancestors’, Jane Austen programs (in the UK and around the World), Ashmore’s Filly Loo for both the BBC’s Inside Out program & South Today as well as local news and at Kingston Lacy for Ade in Britain (ITV). We can even be spotted in a film "Morris, a life with bells on". Recently we were filmed for countryfile celebrating the Shaftesbury Snowdrop festival. We are looking to attend future Europeade Festivals (Europe’s largest Folk festival with 5000 participants) but are finding fund raising harder each year (approx £10000, mostly transport costs). Unfortunately we are often the only English dance team to attend, when we have attended, although couple more attended in 2019 and we encourage more to attend. We are finding fundraising increasingly hard. If you can help or know any who can please get in touch.
The group is completely volunteer ran (including our musicians), our running costs (costumes, rent etc.) are met by the donations we receive (events, supporters, grants & those parents who can donate).
The Advanced class are looking to take their talents further afield, and welcome invites to future events but we get booked early so please give us as much notice as you can.
Since forming we have performed a wide variety of venues, these include:
Europeade - In 2005 we representing England and Dorset at the Europeade in Quimper France. Again in Zamora, Spain (2006) and in Martigny, Switzerland (2008). plus other.????
Gold Hill Fair ( Shaftesbury ) - this is believed to be the largest free fair in Dorset and Steps in Time have performed here for a number of years.
Sidmouth International Folk Festival - We performed as part of the children's festival and danced regularly on the sea front for a number of years.
Kilkenny festival - As part of our tour in Ireland we performed during the Kilkenny festival.
Shaftesbury Abbey - For the re-consecration ceremony of the Abbey we were ask to create and perform a Medieval style dance to a tune written by Nick Crump, we often perform in the gardens here.
Wimborne Folk Festival - We have performed here for a number of years.
Swanage Folk Festival - We have performed here for a number of years.
Filly Loo - This takes place in Ashmore, and we have been a part of it for about 20 years now. We perform our normal dance slot then take part in the procession through the village holding torches either side of the horn dance. Finally circling the village dew pond for a public dance. From being seen here we have been filmed by the BBC for a Meet the Ancestors special, where we performed this dance as it is believed to be similar to a Stone Age ceremony.
Stourhead Gardens - We dance at this delightful National Trust house and gardens at least once a year and from being seen here featured in an article in the Guardian. ?LINK?
Clarks Village Street - We have danced here a number of times but not recently, normally on or around public and school holidays.
Shaftesbury Snowdrops - We take part in the Snowdrop Lantern parade the dance to wake spring. We have also ran dances/ceights after the parade some years.
Shaftesbury Food Festival - Originally asked to dance maypole in the High Street using the Towns maypole, we now dance in the Abbey Gardens with a mixture of maypole and other traditional dance.
Jane Austen Festival Bath - We have dance here for over 10 years now, It's hosts a number of events and join the prossesion and dance at the end. We have also join them in World record attempt for largest number of people in regency costume.
Larmer tree festival - We dance here in our earlyer years and use to run a Lamb roast as a fundraiser. We would love to return.
Larmer tree gardens - The gardens are not just for the festival and we have enjoyed dancing here over the years. normally with the Anonomuse traveling market.
Frome Festival - We have dance at this viabrent festival the last couple of years.
If we have missed anyone, we're sorry and please let us know.
We have also performed at many local events including Fetes, Village teas, Gardens open and Weddings.