Justine Stephens, one of the driving forces behind the revival of The Children's Dance, introduced me to the Bodmin variation of "North Cornwall Furry" as we demonstrated the dance for the wonderful dancers. Subtly different to all the other variations of this dance I've ever come across, with just four steps forward (rather than the usual 8), right hand star, left hand star, followed by four steps forward, right hand star, left hand star. A perfect 'fit' to the music!
Freelance photographer, Peter Hodges takes the official pictures of the dancers - do check out Peter's excellent photography and courses here.
Note the temporary gold & blue sashes, stitched together by Thea Palmer up at the upholsterers near the library in Bodmin (thanks, Thea!).
Stepping out like gazelles . . . "one, two, three, hop". Top tip to conserve energy and give the littler ones a chance of keeping up: keep the steps quite low.
Four 1-2-3-hop steps forward . . .
Right hand star for two 1-2-3-hop steps . . .
Left hand star for two 1-2-3-hop steps. Repeat the sequence for the 2nd part of the tune - four 1-2-3-hop steps forward, right hand star for two 1-2-3-hop steps, left hand star for two 1-2-3-hop steps. Continue until you reach your destination (the opposite end of town!).
Musician Carlton Crouch plays the tune, while Justine sings the words . . .
Justine and one of the wonderful parents recollect The Children's Dance from the time their own children took part in Bodmin Heritage Day . . . "...all the parents used to help out with the costumes...bonnets, shawls & skirts for the girls..."..."...it was Pauline who used to come into each school from Bodmin Heritage to teach the parents the dance, so they could teach their children..."
Keep your eyes on the Bodmin Heritage Day - The Children's Dance page for future rehearsals, updates and fund-raising initiatives.
Here's to persuading as many parents and guardians as possible in the Bodmin area to let their wonderful children experience the thrill of participating in Bodmin Heritage Day - The Children's Dance on Saturday 2nd July 2016!
Huge thanks to Sam & Sally Deakin for generously providing the rehearsal space and persuading his students to participate, to Carlton for the music, the amazing young people, and the effervescent energy of the volunteers.
Feel free to share any old pictures of the dance you might have, and your own stories either here, or on the Bodmin Heritage Day - The Children's Dance page - it'd be fantastic to hear from you.
Meur ras! Thanks! :D