History

Chesterfield Garland was started in 1977, as part of the Queen's Silver Jubilee Celebrations.

 

Garland Dancing is a fairly recent English dance tradition which began in the 1800s in the mill towns of the North West of England. Most of the dances bear the names of towns there, e.g. Lancaster, Goostrey, St Helens. As girls moved from rural areas to the newly industrialised cities, they took their dancing traditions with them and adapted them.

 

Most of the figures in the dances are inspired by the movement of the machinery in the mills - the wheels and cogs which made constantly changing patterns. The mill owners encouraged their workers to take part in this healthy activity, which could reflect well on their mill or factory, especially during Wakes weeks or at fairs where 'their' team was taking part.

dancing at Ashover

 

These dances are part of a living tradition. As well as the traditional dances, new ones are still being created (such as 'Chesterfield' and the 'Barton Hop', written in memory of a founder member of Garland).

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Chesterfield Garland Dancers - www.chesterfieldgarland.org.uk