Folk in Motion

Wolk Rules!

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Colour photograph of wolk dancer1) Wolk is danced in pairs. These can be any combination of male and female you like. A group of pairs make up a team. Teams of eight are ideal, but there are a number of dances that can be danced with fewer or more.

2) Each pair is assigned a colour, with one partner being a dark shade and the other a light shade. For practices, wear a ribbon on your chair so that everyone can see which colour you are.

3) Apart from moving your head to acknowledge the person you are dancing with – and moving your joystick or wheels, of course! – there are no body movements in wolk. If you can’t move your head, or are being pushed, no matter – it is the eye contact with the other dancers and the people watching that is crucial.

4) One team member takes responsibility for each dance, learning it thoroughly so that they can call the detail to the other dancers if necessary as well as knowing the formal calls.

5) Keep the dance moving; don’t just move from position to position. Unless the choreography requires you to stay still while other dancers move, keep moving at all times.

6) Stay aware of the other team members, and the space you are dancing in.

7) Teams dance at the pace of the slowest member. If it helps, get the person with the slowest chair to start their movements early; they should appear to lead rather than finish last. (This can also help the rest of the team to know when to move.)

8) Power chair users should anticipate the movements with their joysticks to avoid starting late (unless your chair is ‘dance enabled’ to remove the delay).

9) Everyone takes responsibility for each other’s health and safety as well as their own – be mindful of each other. Manual chair users should wear gloves to avoid blisters.

10) Have fun! This will matter much more to anyone watching than if your dancing is perfect.

Arts Council England Lottery Funded; Newham London; efdss english folk dance and song society

Colour photograph of dances huddling round to chat.


Photo: Hugh Hill