About Eurosession

Sheffield Eurosession is open to all. Anyone who wants to play can lead a tune or join in at their own level and the musicians are always happy to take requests for dances. The session is run by a small group of volunteers. If you’d like to offer help or make suggestions, please do so! Sheffield Eurosession is aligned with both traditional and balfolk styles and we are willing to explore any kind of dance originating within Europe, without being too fussy about how to define this. Sessions so far have been influenced by Breton, French, Portuguese, Scandinavian, Klezmer, Basque and Bulgarian traditions.

Sessions are normally monthly, starting at 8pm if there’s a themed pre-session workshop, or 8:30pm if not, and the evenings continue to 11pm and beyond.
(Note that there is normally a pre-booked musician for the workshop).
We also hold extra occasional gigs with bands and teachers from other places. Here are the next few dates:

Virtual events

Thursday 10 September
E-connected Scandinavian Music Workshop and Eurosession 

Contact & List

For more information you can email Eurosession: sheffield.eurosession at gmail.com

You can sign-up to our email list using our Subscribe page.

Our Facebook page also sometimes has more recent updates immediately before events.

Thursday 10 September, e-connected Eurosession and Swedish music workshop

The summer may have ended, but Eurosession lives on!

On Thursday 10 September, you have another chance to join our virtually mediated, Eurosession get-together, this time with a Swedish music workshop taught by the talented John-Francis Goodacre.

Venue: Zoom

Times: 
8:00 – 9:00pm Music workshop  
9:00 – 11:00 pm Open session. 

If you plan to share a tune, it may sound better if you turn on the Original Sound feature in your Zoom settings before the session (you’ll also need to use a computer and not a phone/tablet).

Donations. We invite participants to make a donation of around £5 to Sheffield Eurosession if you enjoy the evening and this is affordable for you. Donate via our website.

About the workshop:

Transport yourself to the forests and dance floors of western Sweden!

John-Francis Goodacre

John-Francis Goodacre is a fiddle player from Leicestershire who has lived and studied music in Sweden, where he immersed himself in the fiddle traditions of Scandinavia. In this workshop he will teach a Swedish dance tune, focusing on the rhythm and energy that makes this music irresistible to dance to. The workshop will be taught by ear, and will pay special attention to fiddle technique and bowings – though all instruments are welcome! 

The rest of the evening should provide the same experience as the our previous virtual sessions’ – marvellous musicians, delicious dancing, and a bit of chatting. Here are some tips for maximum enjoyment:

Everyone:
To switch views between one musician and all participants, see top right on your screen, or https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362323-How-Do-I-Change-The-Video-Layout- Please mute your audio when you are not speaking / leading the music, and use the Chat feature for background communication. There are also likely to be intermissions for general chat and catching up.

Musicians:
In our sessions we prioritise tunes from the balfolk scene and other traditional dancing genres from across Europe (preferably not English and Irish, because we have plenty of those in other local sessions!).
In the Zoom sessions, only one person (or device) can broadcast at any one time; if you want to play a tune then put a note in the chat about the genre of dance you’ll be playing for – this will help the session organisers to figure out a running order. A few of our session regulars will be on hand to get the music going.
When you’ve been chosen to lead, it’s helpful to tip the dancers off about the dance type you’ll be playing, then select Original Sound (top left) when you want to play, and turn it off again for normal voice transmission.

Dancers:
Get your dance shoes on; if you have a danceable space, book it for the evening, You can attempt to dance the right genre of dance at the right time (albeit half a beat behind!). More important is to dance as though no-one is watching, or as though you can cheer up everyone else who is watching! Or turn your video off if you feel freer dancing in private.

Eurosession is an inclusive and caring space for all.
Invite your co-space-sharing mates / family / teddy-bear along if appropriate 🙂

See you soon,
xx Eurosesh

Thursday 13 August, Virtual Eurosession and Swedish Menuet with Jessica Abrahams

Time for an evening’s entertainment during your staycation?

On Thursday 13 August, you have another chance to join our virtually mediated, Eurosession get-together, this time with a Swedish Menuet workshop taught by the fantastic Jessica Abrahams.

Venue:  Zoom

Times: 
8:00 – 9:00pm Dance workshop  
9:00 – 11:00 pm Open session. 

If you plan to share a tune, it may sound better if you turn on the Original Sound feature in your Zoom settings before the session (you’ll also need to use a computer and not a phone/tablet).

Donations. We are now inviting participants to make a donation of around £5 to Sheffield Eurosession if you enjoy the evening and this is affordable for you. Donate via our website.

About the workshop:

Jess began European folk dancing in 1986 , and delighted in exploring French/Breton dance and Scandinavian dance. 6 years later she started passing on her expertise, and has taught at festivals and dance club meetings in the UK, and also abroad in France, Portugal, Germany, Sweden.  More recently she has shared selected videos online – see Bright Heart Moves On

The dance she’ll focus on in the workshop is the Swedish Folk Menuet (i.e. Minuet), which has a lilting sense of elegance and grace. It is traditionally a partner dance but there is little actual contact with the partner, so it can also be danced solo very successfully – very handy in the current circumstances!

In most of the dance you don’t have to do any turning, so it can be a relaxing break from high energy polskas, but can also be spiced up with optional turns and also feels great when danced energetically to faster music.  The dance is delightfully versatile because unless you are a purist, it can be danced enjoyably to any steadily pulsing music which can be counted in sixes, such as slängpolskas, other even-beat polskas, some bourrées, and 3/2 hornpipes. 

In this workshop Jess will encourage you to enjoy the feeling of being ‘with’ the music, and also share some transferable skills relating to your body awareness and movement coordination.  The workshop is suitable for anyone who can hear beats in the music and walk in time to them.  Join us on Thursday to reconnect with your body’s love of movement.

The rest of the evening should provide the same experience as the our previous virtual sessions’ – marvellous musicians, delicious dancing, and a bit of chatting. Here are some tips for maximum enjoyment:

Everyone:
To switch views between one musician and all participants, see top right on your screen, or https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362323-How-Do-I-Change-The-Video-Layout- Please mute your audio when you are not speaking / leading the music, and use the Chat feature for background communication. There are also likely to be intermissions for general chat and catching up.

Musicians:
In our sessions we prioritise tunes from the balfolk scene and other traditional dancing genres from across Europe.
In the Zoom sessions, only one person (or device) can broadcast at any one time; if you want to play a tune then put a note in the chat about the genre of dance you’ll be playing for – this will help the session organisers to figure out a running order. A few of our session regulars will be on hand to get the music going.
When you’ve been chosen to lead, it’s helpful to tip the dancers off about the dance type you’ll be playing, then select Original Sound (top left) when you want to play, and turn it off again for normal voice transmission.

Dancers:
Get your dance shoes on; if you have a danceable space, book it for the evening, You can attempt to dance the right genre of dance at the right time (albeit half a beat behind!). More important is to dance as though no-one is watching, or as though you can cheer up everyone else who is watching! Or turn your video off if you feel freer dancing in private.

Eurosession is an inclusive and caring space for all.
Invite your co-space-sharing mates / family / teddy-bear along if appropriate 🙂

See you soon,
xx Eurosesh

Thursday 9 July, Virtual Eurosession and Music Workshop with Emily Bowden

 BY SUSANNAH DIAMOND

Ready for another virtual Eurosession?

On Thursday 9 July, you have another chance to join our virtually mediated, Eurosession get-together.   The basic plan is the same as last time, but this time we’ll have a music workshop taught by the wonderful Emily Bowden.

Times: 8:00-9:00pm Music workshop;  9:00-10:30 pm Open session. 

Venue:  Zoom

Times: 
8:00 – 9:00pm Music workshop  
9:00 – 10:30 pm Open session. 

Important: If you plan to share a tune, please use a computer and not a phone/tablet, and check out how to turn on the Original Sound feature in your Zoom settings before the session.

NB. This event is free, but if you enjoy the evening, and can afford to do so, please donate to Age UK’s Coronavirus emergency appeal:  https://donate.ageuk.org.uk/public/donate.aspx?content=coronavirus-a

About the workshop:

Emily is a musician, composer and teacher from London. She began her musical life as a classical violinist, and fell in love with folk music and improvisation in her early twenties. Her compositions have become core repertoire for the Anglo-Belgian Balfolk Trio, ‘Emily and the Simons‘. 
In this workshop, Emily will teach one or two of her wonderful tunes, with tips about working with other musicians to create a marvellous experience for dancers.  All are welcome, although confidence with your instrument and with learning by ear will be helpful.  Bring your hunger for playing, and come drink your fill!

The rest of the evening should provide the same experience as the two previous months’ – marvellous musicians, delicious dancing, and a bit of chatting:

Everyone:
To switch views between one musician and all participants, see top right on your screen, or https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362323-How-Do-I-Change-The-Video-Layout- Please mute your audio when you are not speaking / playing, and use the Chat feature for background communication. There are also likely to be intermissions for general chat and catching up.

Musicians:
A few of our session regulars will be on hand to get the music going. One person (or device) will broadcast at any one time; wave your instrument when you want to play, or use the ‘raise your hand’ feature, and the lead musician can choose/nominate the next player. 
When you’ve been chosen to lead, select Original Sound (top left) when you want to play, and turn it off again for normal voice transmission. 
NB. Mute your audio when you are not the lead musician and are just playing along at home. If you think you know the genre of dance that you might be playing, tip the dancers off at the start of your tune – thanks! 

Dancers:
Get your dance shoes on; if you have a danceable space, book it for the evening, There may be some experimental attempts to dance the right genre of dance at the right time (albeit half a beat behind!). More important is to dance as though no-one is watching, or as though you can cheer up everyone else who is watching! Or turn your video off if you feel freer dancing in private.

Eurosession is an inclusive and caring space for all.
Invite your co-space-sharing mates / family / teddy-bear along if appropriate 🙂

See you soon,
xx Eurosesh

Thursday 11 June, Eurosession and Halling workshop

Ready for another virtual Eurosession?

On Thursday 11 June, we will be offering another wonderful virtually mediated, Eurosession get-together.   The basic plan is the same as last time, but this time the dance workshop will be taught by Lucy Huzzard, of the fantastic Third Beat Collective.

Times: 8:00-9:00pm Dance workshop;  9-10:30 pm Open session. 

Venue:  Zoom 

Important: If you plan to share a tune, please use a computer and not a phone/tablet, and check out how to turn on the Original Sound feature in your Zoom settings before the session.

NB. This event is free, but if you enjoy the evening, and can afford to do so,
please donate to Age UK’s Coronavirus emergency appeal: https://donate.ageuk.org.uk/public/donate.aspx?content=coronavirus-a

About the workshop:

Lucy Huzzard will be bringing the attitude and energy of this Norwegian competition dance to the confines of your kitchen/living room/shed. This traditional dance ranges from walking with attitude, to spinning on your head, and Lucy will be focusing on some tricks and flair to add to your next dance-off. Expect a fair workout! (No head spins thankfully!)

Wear comfortable clothes, shoes that can turn easily and ideally with springy insoles for additional comfort. This workshop will be a great way to free up the body from crouching at computer screens, and reward yourself with some zestful stretches. Lucy has trained in Sweden and is part of the Third Beat Collective; this workshop is not to be missed!

The rest of the plan is basically unchanged from last time – marvellous musicians, delicious dancing, and a bit of chatting:

Everyone:
To switch views between one musician and all participants, see top right on your screen, or https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362323-How-Do-I-Change-The-Video-Layout- Please mute your audio when you are not speaking / playing, and use the Chat feature for background communication. There are also likely to be intermissions for general chat and catching up.

Musicians:
A few of our session regulars will be on hand to get the music going. One person (or device) will broadcast at any one time; wave your instrument when you want to play, or use the ‘raise your hand’ feature, and the lead musician can choose/nominate the next player. 
When you’ve been chosen to lead, select Original Sound (top left) when you want to play, and turn it off again for normal voice transmission. 
NB. Mute your audio when you are not the lead musician and are just playing along at home. If you think you know the genre of dance that you might be playing, tip the dancers off at the start of your tune – thanks! 

Dancers:
Get your dance shoes on; if you have a danceable space, book it for the evening, There may be some experimental attempts to dance the right genre of dance at the right time (albeit half a beat behind!). More important is to dance as though no-one is watching, or as though you can cheer up everyone else who is watching! Or turn your video off if you feel freer dancing in private.

Eurosession is an inclusive and caring space for all.
Invite your co-space-sharing mates / family / teddy-bear along if appropriate 🙂

See you soon,
xx Eurosesh

Thursday 14 May: Virtual Eurosession and Workshop

Ready for another virtual Eurosession?

On our usual Eurosession evening on Thursday 14 May, there will be another opportunity for a virtually live, experimental Eurosession get together, even if we can’t all hold hands…   

The basic plan is the same as last time, but this time we’ll begin at 8pm for our first ever technologically mediated dance workshop.

Times: 8:00-9:00pm Dance workshop;  9-10:30 pm Open session. 

Venue:  Zoom

NB. If you plan to share a tune, please use a computer and not a phone/tablet, so you can access some important additional Zoom functionality.  

About the workshop:

image.png

We’ll share the Danse des Sept Sauts, a dance from the Basque that is danced with others, but not holding hands – so it’s perfectly reasonable to learn it as solo individuals during this time of physical distancing.  We have danced it at Eurosession before, and it’s a good opportunity to revisit it.  It has a simple structure, with just enough complexity to be intriguing, and you can dance this as gently or energetically as you choose. If you’d like to attempt to connect brain cells and body into some kind of working order, then do join us!

Here’s a snippet of the music: 

And if you’d like to learn the tune, check out both the dots and the play-back on: https://abcnotation.com/.  

NB. This event is free, but if you enjoy the evening, and can afford to do so, please donate to Age UK’s Coronavirus emergency appeal.

The rest of the plan is basically unchanged from last time – marvellous musicians, delicious dancing, and a bit of chatting:

Everyone:
To switch views between one musician and all participants, see top right on your screen, or https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362323-How-Do-I-Change-The-Video-Layout- Please mute your audio when you are not speaking / playing, and use the Chat feature for background communication. There are also likely to be intermissions for general chat and catching up.

Musicians:
A few of our session regulars will be on hand to get the music going. One person (or device) will broadcast at any one time; wave your instrument when you want to play, or use the ‘raise your hand’ feature, and the lead musician can choose/nominate the next player. 
When you’ve been chosen to lead, select Original Sound (top left) when you want to play, and turn it off again for normal voice transmission. 
NB. Mute your audio when you are not the lead musician and are just playing along at home. If you think you know the genre of dance that you might be playing, tip the dancers off at the start of your tune – thanks! 

Dancers:
Get your dance shoes on; if you have a danceable space, book it for the evening, There may be some experimental attempts to dance the right genre of dance at the right time (albeit half a beat behind!). More important is to dance as though no-one is watching, or as though you can cheer up everyone else who is watching! Or turn your video off if you feel freer dancing in private.

Eurosession is an inclusive and caring space for all.
Invite your co-space-sharing mates / family / teddy-bear along if appropriate 🙂

See you soon,
xx Eurosesh

Thursday 9 April: Virtual Eurosession

Missing the Eurosession vibe? 
On our usual Eurosession evening on Thursday 9 April, there will be an opportunity for a virtually live, experimental Eurosession get together, even if we can’t all hold hands…

When: 8:30-10:30 pm
We’ll connect via Zoom, at https://zoom.us/j/227901420,
Clue for the password: the most common Scandi dance we do

NB. If you plan to share a tune, please use a computer and not a phone/tablet, so you can access some important additional Zoom functionality.
Also Eurosession will not be recording this session. Please don’t share recordings without explicit permission from those involved.

Here’s the plan for marvellous musicians, delicious dancing, and a bit of chatting:

Everyone:
To switch views between one musician and all participants, see top right on your screen, or https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362323-How-Do-I-Change-The-Video-Layout- Please mute your audio when you are not speaking / playing, and use the Chat feature for background communication. There are also likely to be intermissions for general chat and catching up.

Musicians:
A few of our session regulars will be on hand to get the music going. One person (or device) will broadcast at any one time; wave your instrument when you want to play, or use the ‘raise your hand’ feature, and the lead musician can choose/nominate the next player. 
When you’ve been chosen to lead, select Original Sound (top left) when you want to play, and turn it off again for normal voice transmission. 
Mute your audio when you are not the lead musician and are just playing along at home. NB. If you think you know the genre of dance that you might be playing, tip the dancers off at the start of your tune – thanks! 

Dancers:
Get your dance shoes on; if you have a danceable space, book it for the evening, There may be some experimental attempts to dance the right genre of dance at the right time (albeit half a beat behind!). More important is to dance as though no-one is watching, or as though you can cheer up everyone else who is watching! Or turn your video off if you feel freer dancing in private.

Eurosession is an inclusive and caring space for all. Invite your co-space-sharing mates/family/teddy-bear along if appropriate 🙂

Cancelled: Thursday March 12: Eurosession and workshop: musical communication

Sorry folks, we are cancelling tonight’s event to help people to stay well for longer in the current context.

All the best, Eurosesh xx

Note different venue and timings for March!

Venue: Crookes Social Club, S10 1TD
8pm:       Eurosession will open early for balfolk music offers and dance requests
9:30pm:  Workshop for both musicians and dancers
10pm-11pm: More Eurosession

So in our March get-together, you can settle in from 8pm for Eurosession tunes and dances. We’ll take a break at about 9:30pm for a workshop on musical communication involving both musicians and dancers, and then free up for more open Eurosesession after the workshop.

Communication between musicians and dancers
Illustration by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay. Photo by Ben Reid.

The workshop will be led by experienced dancers and musicians within Sheffield Eurosession. The aim is to focus on the relationships between musicians and dancers through the medium of simple melodies.
We will explore our capacities as musicians and dancers to attune to others within the room, and to generate and respond to different feelings or impulses within the framework of a traditional dance tune and form.
This workshop is for both musicians and dancers – so grab your instruments and/or dance shoes and your curiosity, attention and playfulness for a journey beyond melodies and into musical communication. The workshop will use simple tunes and dances, and newcomers to balfolk are welcome to join either as musicians, dancers or both!

Contributions: £5 donation if you can afford it. Newcomers free. All welcome.

See you soon, Eurosesh xx  

Thursday 13 February: Portuguese workshop and Eurosession

Although the formalities of Brexit are fast unravelling the formal ties with our European allies, we can still come together to enjoy the wonderful dances from multiple European traditions.

For February, we’ve an exciting offer of Portuguese from André Dias, so come on down for the 8pm workshop to acquire a little sashay in your hips and a sparkle in your eye.

image.png
Image from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLpeiIjZFz8

We’re planning to pack in the Regadinho (a stylish mixer), Repasseado (a lively mix of greeting and celebration), and Mazurka Cabo Verdiana (which returned somewhat sassy from a lengthy trip to Cape Verde).  We’ll have music from the ever versatile Jo Veal on clarinet.

To be followed at 9pm by our usual open Eurossession of offers and requests.  
Normal venue: Upstairs in Shakespeare’s. 
£5 if you can afford it. All welcome!

All the best, Eurosesh

Swedish Dance Workshop (Boda)

This January, we’ve shifted Eurosession from our usual Thursday to next week (Thursday 16th) instead, so we can welcome the lovely HesterandRolf Dahlstrom from Stockhom for a Scandinavian dance workshop.

Hester and Rolf have many years’ experience performing and teaching dancing and will be looking at a variety of traditional dances, particularly Boda, in which a lifting musical style is used to create a pendulum of balance between the partners.   Music will be provided by fantastic fiddle player Nicky McConkey.

And instead of Shakespeares or Hagglers… just to keep you on your toes…  we will now be in the lovely Sheffield Yoga School on South Rd in Walkley.
Please bring indoor shoes or danceable socks to wear so we can keep it nice and clean, and bring instruments for a session after the workshop. Magic.

4 January – New Year Bal with ‘Trois Pas D’Ici’

Sheffield Eurosession are delighted to welcome Trois Pas d’Ici – a great new trio of three young women from the south of France.

Booking form available here – reserve your place now

This young French trio play wonderful traditional music from Poitou in the south of France, as well as Auvergne and Sweden. With two driving fiddles and diatonic accordion, they produce some great dance music from their region of Poitou including the Congo, Avant-deux, Maraichine and Bal Limousine. But they also play standard balfolk dances such as bourées, mazurka, scottish, valse, etc. and some less known such as Rond d’argentons or Bourée 3 temps from the Morvan region. And to top it all they also sing in harmony for dancing – a beautiful experience.

As they say “hear our strings (vocal and steel), bellows, keys and bow.” with Nina Lachia and Marie Peyrat both on violin and Lucile Marsac on diatonic accordion, as well as voices and bellows. Listen at: https://soundcloud.com/3pdchttps://fr-fr.facebook.com/3PasdIci/

Programme:

4pm-5.30pm Poitou dance workshop £5

6pm-7.30pm join us at Blue Moon cafe for dinner https://www.bluemooncafesheffield.com/

8pm-10.30pm bal (a mixture of balfolk and Poitou dance) £10/8

10.30pm onwards music session for all. Bring your instruments!