Welcome to the Norwich Historical Dance Website

Norwich Historical Dancers perform 15th c. in Norwich Castle - click to enlarge

Norwich Historical Dancers perform 15th c. in Norwich Castle

The musicians of 'Minstrels Gallery' playing for Norwich Historical Dance at Norwich Castle, 2014 - click to enlarge

The musicians of 'Minstrels Gallery' playing for Norwich Historical Dance at Norwich Castle, 2014

Norwich Historical Dance was formed in 1984. We are a collection of enthusiasts brought together by a love of the music, costume and dance of past centuries. Our aims are to promote and preserve the knowledge of Early Dance, its place in our cultural heritage, and to enable the enjoyment of such dance by members of the group and the general public. As far as possible the group employ live music, often with period instruments, for their performances with musicians like 'Minstrels Gallery', also in costume.

Come and see us perform - see our events page, or contact us to book us for performances, weddings or Workshops.

Masked and head-dressed dancers participate in the experience of a 'Jacobean Masque' from the 17th c.

Masked and head-dressed dancers participate in the experience of a 'Jacobean Masque' from the 17th c.

Jacobean Masque Dance Workshop

Dancers enjoyed a day with Anne Daye which was both a dance workshop and an entertaining history lesson. It included some hilarious 'monkey business' as well as the stately court dances we expected. Dancing in masks and head-dresses was a new experience for many and we enjoyed the benefit of live music provided by Jane from 'Minstrels Gallery'.

Dancers enjoying learning new dances at Cambridge 2013 - click to enlarge

Dancers enjoying learning new dances at Cambridge 2013

Norwich and Cambridge Early Dance Weekend

A practical course in 15th Century Dance with emphasis on style and presentation intended for those already acquainted with this period. The tutor, Jorgen Schou-Pederson, has had a long and distinguished career in teaching dances of many periods. Download booking form.

The venue, Belsey Bridge Conference Centre, is set in a peaceful rural location in Ditchingham near Bungay in Suffolk. The course will run from registration at 5.30 pm on Friday 10th April to 4 pm on Sunday 12th April. Saturday afternoon will be free. Accommodation is for two nights with all meals included. This is the annual dance course run by Norwich Historical Dance in association with the Cambridge group 'Capriol'.

"Gathering Peascods" at Diss, June 1st 2014 - click to enlarge

"Gathering Peascods" at Diss, June 1st 2014

First World War Commemoration

Norwich Historical Dance and Fiddlesticks Morris side's participation in the commemoration of the start of the First World War at Diss on the 1st of June 2014, was a great success and was crowned with a fly-past by a Spitfire!

The Poppy Farandole danced by NHD ladies to the singing and drumming of the NHD men - click to enlarge

The Poppy Farandole danced by NHD ladies to the singing and drumming of the NHD men

Early Dance Circle Festival

Members of Norwich Historical Dance performed at the Early Dance Circle Festival 2014, at Denman College near Oxford. The group enjoyed a wonderful weekend at this showcase for similar groups and individuals from around the country. In amongst varied and entertaining presentations, NHD performed a short programme of dances based on their recent performance at Diss for their World War 1 commemoration. The scene starts with happy village dancers but the drum calls the men to war and finishes with the Poppy Farandole, danced to the singing of first the men and then the ladies who sang as they danced. The packed assembly of spectators found it very moving and poignant.

The Galliard: Tudor Dancing - click to enlarge

The Galliard: Tudor Dancing

Have a go!

Take a leap back in time….!

Anne Boleyn lost her heart to Henry Tudor but you can keep your head as you learn a range of dances from the 15th to the 20th centuries

Try a FREE introductory session. 7.30pm on Thursday evenings at Norwich High School, 95 Newmarket Rd, NR2 2HU. Phone to check details.

Enquiries: Anthea Block: 01603 452732. For more information, please download our flyer.

Norwich Historical Dance offer friendly classes under Amanda’s caring tuition with the possibility of performing in costume.

Dancing is a great way to exercise both body and mind to a wonderful range of music, as well as learning about the dances, culture and costume of earlier times.

Gill in 'Triumph', in rehearsals, EDC Festival. 2014 - click to enlarge

Gill in 'Triumph', in rehearsals, EDC Festival. 2014

Anne Gillian Ward, 1929 - 2014: An Appreciation

Gill loved to dance! She was dancing to the end…. For a fuller appreciation, please visit our special page: Anne Gillian Ward: An Appreciation.

Norwich Playford Ball

Norwich Historical Dance are pleased to announce that they will be taking over the running of the much loved 'Norwich Assembly Ball' starting in November 2016 with their first 'Norwich Playford Ball'. More information to follow and our grateful thanks to Freda for organising the Balls for so many years.