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May Heydays at Evesham is the relocated and renamed Eastbourne International Folkdance Festival (EIFF). After 44 years at Eastbourne, we needed to move because of the difficulties posed by having three venues at some distance from each other.
Our extensive English programme of workshops and dances offers modern and historical dance (including Playford and other styles and eras) with a variety of live bands from England and/or the States. In 2019 Eastbourne started offering two English Balls for which dancers were invited (but not obliged) to wear historical costume or formal dress. The success of this means that we will continue to have two Balls at May Heydays, one on Saturday and one on Sunday.
Festival-goers also enjoy a great selection of American contras and squares, again with a variety of live bands from England and/or the States. These workshops and dances will be led by callers from the UK and/or the States.
Our International guests will teach dances from different regions of the world, with a special emphasis on the Balkans. Owing to the range of tunes and styles involved in International dancing, workshops are mainly taught with recorded music; only for the evening dances will there be live musicians.
But May Heydays also offers an eclectic mix of other dance styles, traditional and modern. To give you a few examples, we may throw in French and Northern European couple dances, Jive, Lindy Hop, Cajun or Argentinean Tango.
A further string to the festival's bow is our commitment to providing opportunities for caller training. May Heydays will continue the Eastbourne tradition of offering club callers the opportunity to call for a festival audience during the Callers' Showcase. There will be two experienced callers present. Feedback will be given privately to one caller while the next caller starts their dance. This way, dancers won't have so long to wait and callers will receive a one-to-one with their mentor.
In 2020 the festival will also include a "Callers' Round" where callers can meet up and exchange notes. The sessions will be moderated by Robert Moir (Saturday) and Colin Hume (Sunday).
In addition to our dance programme, from 2020 we will offer a selection of guided walks for non-dancing partners. We are also planning singing and music workshops.
The good news is that Contrasaurus, who made such an impression at Eastbourne last year, have agreed to make a return visit in 2020, so all the American events will go ahead as planned. See the Programme page for more details.