Traditional folk music, dance and customs - Harrogate, North Yorkshire - Chas Marshall's Website

Knaresborough Country Dance Club

Everyone is welcome at this long established folk dance club, from beginners through to experts

Enjoy an informal evening of country dancing

Please note that the club is closed at the moment due to coronavirus restrictions. The plans at the moment are to start again in January 2021, but we will only start when the conditions seem right.

The club meets on Thursdays from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Note the revised times.

Autumn Term - 5th September to 19th December 2019
Spring Term - 9th January to 2nd April 2020
Summer Term - 23rd April to 9th July 2020

A new venue from September 2019.

The dancing takes place at the Gracious Street Methodist Church in the Castle room . This room is downstairs. The post code is HG5 8AN. There are car parks next to the venue and the Knaresborough bus station is close by..

Dancing is generally to music from CDs played over the club's own P.A. system and dance club members share the calling duties - the dance instructions are provided on a series of cards by the Dance Organisers. On several occasions throughout the year, dancing will be to a live band or with a guest caller - see dates below. There is a break half way through the evening for refreshments and a brief rest! Tea and biscuits are donated by members.

Club members pay a small annual subscription. Visitors pay a £3.00 entrance fee which includes light refreshments. Tea and biscuits are donated by members.

Some important dates to note:


23rd January - Tony Whitehead - Guest Caller
13th February - Blind Panic - Live Music
27th February - Village Hop Band - Live Music
19th March - Blind Panic - Live Music

On Thursday 14 July 2016 past and present members were invited to Knaresborough Country Dance Club's 30th Birthday celebrations at King James's School, Knaresborough.
The caller was Tony Whitehead
John Cheesbrough took the trouble to record the occasion with his camera - the results can be seen here -




Knaresborough Country Dance Club and Highside Folk Dance Club - Joint Ventures

These two dance groups share a joint venture of dances in Ripon held on a Saturday night, every couple of months. See here for more details.


The Club has five officials:

Chairman: Keith Burton, email address, Telephone 01423 569907
Secretary: Sheila Broom
Treasurer: Jeanette Mower
Dance Organiser: Dorothy Griffin
Music Organiser: Ian Griffin



Knaresborough Country Dance Club has been established for over thirty years.

Here is some history taken from the Knaresborough Post newspaper - this was printed in 1998.

Stepping out to keep dancing tradition alive and kicking

Continuing the Knaresborough Post's series featuring local societies we focus this week on Knaresborough Country Dance Club. Enthusiastic member Mrs Eleanor Mayhew tells of the happy sociable time they have learning new dances.

If you would like to write about your society and have a photo taken of your membership, please contact Vonni Wilkins at the Knaresborough Post, 90, High Street, or telephone Harrogate 869272.

Knaresborough Country Dance Club began as an evening class in 1973 at King James's School. The aim, then as now, was to have a happy sociable evening whilst learning English country dancing.

It combined good exercise with good company and provided a pleasant evening out for all.

Some 12 years ago in 1986 it was decided to change the status of the group from an evening class into a club, and it has been a club ever since then. The chairman of the club, Mrs Phyl Hardacre, encourages anyone who is interested, to call dances. We have guest callers: Ian Porter and more particularly Tony Whitehead have helped us in this respect.

Favourite dances can be requested, especially when visiting musicians enliven the proceedings. We have visits from Malcolm Dewes fairly regularly and other bands such as Dogsbody and the Polka Dots.


It is a very friendly group of people. Some of the members have belonged to it for 15 or 16 years. They enjoy the Christmas end of term parties and club dinners. Everyone is welcome.

Country dancing goes back hundreds of years. The dancers were danced by country people on festive occasions such as weddings, Christenings, May Days, midsummer, harvest and Christmas.

Queen Elizabeth I watched her subjects dancing in the castle courtyard at Warwick and because of her interest, country dances were added to the formal dances which were danced at court.

The Dancing Masters of the day began making up new dances, which were danced to lively tunes or more stately music. These dances were then taken up by the country people. They were more friendly, less formal than the court dances and they could be danced by everyone.

The same is true today. Everyone can do country dancing, often called folk or barn dancing. Nowadays barn dances are held regularly in many places, not always in barns!

If you would like to learn more of these dances come to Knaresborough Country Dance Club. It always helps if you have some knowledge of the dances before you go to a barn dance. Our dances are varied. Some are stately, arranged in long lines and date from the 18th century. Others are more modern lively dances, arranged in square or circle formation.