» Workshops

Here is a sample of some of the workshops available during the festival. There will be many more workshops during the festival, of many different types.

Event Type | All | Dance | Instrument | Other | Technical | Vocal |

Balloon Modelling

By : Jenny Harding | Venue : The Raynor Lounge | Type : Other | When : Saturday Morning (Slot 1) | Length : 60 mins 

Ever seen a balloon modeller and thought 'ooh that looks fun'? Yes? Then take a daily dose of randomness and learn the basics! Beginners welcome and all materials supplied , just bring your imagination!! Places are limited- so please sign up at reception.


By : Martin Collins | Venue : Gallery Room 2 | Type : Other | When : Saturday Morning (Slot 1) | Length : 60 mins 

Learn the 'Mindfulness of Breathing' meditation from a Mitra in the Triratna Buddhist Community.

Advanced English Ceilidh

By : Steve Harris | Venue : St. Andrews | Type : Dance | When : Saturday Morning (Slot 1) | Length : 60 mins 

Take your ceilidh dancing to the next level! Challenging but not complicated! Not suitable for ceilidh beginners

Irish Set Dancing

By : Chris Berry | Venue : Croft House main room | Type : Dance | When : Saturday Morning (Slot 1) | Length : 60 mins 

The "set" is a form of social dance, originally derived from the quadrille. Sets are danced by four couples in a square, to traditional Irish music. This workshop aims to provide an introduction to set dancing and is suitable for dancers with no previous experience.

Klezmer Music Workshop

By : Jo Veal, Josie Wexler | Venue : Broomhill Spiritualist Centre | Type : Instrument | When : Saturday Morning (Slot 1) | Length : 60 mins 

Klezmer is sexy, emotive Jewish music from Eastern Europe. Come and learn to play it with clarinetist Jo Veal and fiddle player Josie Wexler, who are sufficiently sexy and emotive to do it justice.

Beginner's Scottish Country Dance

By : Debbie Hammond | Venue : St Andrews back hall | Type : Dance | When : Saturday Morning (Slot 1) | Length : 60 mins 

Get a flavour of Scottish country dancing with us, try out some of the typical steps and formations in some simple reels, jigs and strathspeys . Please bring a big smile, shoes you can dance in, and be prepared to enjoy yourself.

Calling Workshop

By : John Brown | Venue : Gallery Room 1 | Type : Other | When : Saturday Morning (Slot 1) | Length : 60 mins 

A beginners' calling workshop. Learn how to get started and perhaps practice for the survivor's ceilidh.

Italian Dance

By : Davide Panzeri | Venue : Croft House back room | Type : Dance | When : Saturday Morning (Slot 1) | Length : 60 mins 

From the Occitan valleys to the hills of Romagna come on a journey of unexpected delights and discover some of the lesser known group dances from northern Italy. These simple but engaging dances and cheerful italian tunes will take you straight to the heart of the Festa, and you will discover how to flirt on the dance floor Italian style!

Rapper (no, not that kind!)

By : Professor Elemental | Venue : The Gallery | Type : Vocal | When : Saturday Morning (Slot 2) | Length : 60 mins 

Professor Elemental can teach anyone to be a Hip Hop emcee and he'd very much like to teach you. The finer points of writing lyrics, making songs funny and rapping in front of an audience are all addressed in this dynamic and fun workshop for all ages.

Dancing around the Alps

By : Xavier Oliver | Venue : TV Studio | Type : Dance | When : Saturday Morning (Slot 2) | Length : 60 mins 

If the hills are alive with the sound of music, clearly there must be people dancing to it. Come and learn dances from the French-Italian Alps, from the noisy rigodon to the shocking courento, not forgetting the odd gentle touch inbetween. Terrible puns provided. No Alp horn required. Swiss chocolate very welcome.

Welsh tunes

By : Cat and Ceri | Venue : Gallery Room 1 | Type : Instrument | When : Saturday Morning (Slot 2) | Length : 60 mins 

For those new to to Welsh music, come and learn a couple of Welsh tunes played for dancing. Music will be provided, but tunes will be taught by ear, so ability to read music is not necessary.


By : Matt Crum | Venue : Octagon Meeting Room 1 | Type : Instrument | When : Saturday Morning (Slot 2) | Length : 60 mins 

Intermediate to Advanced - We will look at how to embellish tunes with simple melodic techniques and chord combinations. Bring your own melodeon if you want to join in

Scandi Tunes

By : Ruth Walton | Venue : Broomhill Spiritualist Centre | Type : Instrument | When : Saturday Morning (Slot 2) | Length : 60 mins 

Intermediate Scottish Country Dance

By : Debbie Hammond | Venue : St Andrews back hall | Type : Dance | When : Saturday Morning (Slot 2) | Length : 60 mins 

Learn some of our local Scottish country dances, originating from Sheffield and nearby. Basic knowledge of steps and formations assumed, but will be reviewed.

Guitar Tunings

By : Gav Davenport | Venue : Gallery Room 2 | Type : Instrument | When : Saturday Morning (Slot 2) | Length : 60 mins 

This workshop will explore C tunings as an introduction to how open and altered tunings can extend your playing technique. Taught by ear, this will explore tune playing, accompaniment for songs and chordal options. Suitable for intermediate players upwards with steel string guitars. A capo would be beneficial.

Zesty Playford

By : Rhodri Davies | Venue : St. Andrews | Type : Dance | When : Saturday Morning (Slot 2) | Length : 60 mins 

An introduction to dances from the classic English collection published at the end of the English Civil War. There is a movement afoot to bring vitality back into these dances following previous IVFDF workshops on this theme. Be part of it. Lust provoking attire optional.

Sheffield Carols

By : Jess Arrowsmith | Venue : The Humanities Conference Room | Type : Vocal | When : Saturday Morning (Slot 2) | Length : 60 mins 

Ok so it is not quite the season, but in preparation for next year's Xmas festivities, come and learn a couple of songs from the unique repertoire of local Sheffield pub carols. Parts will be taught by ear but music will be available for those who want it.

Klezmer Dance Workshop

By : Stephen Nutt | Venue : Croft House main room | Type : Dance | When : Saturday Morning (Slot 2) | Length : 60 mins 

Klezmer Dance Workshop lead by Stephen Nutt - these circle, line and square dances all come from the repertoire of early Jewish dances from Eastern Europe and Russia. Dating from the 1860's through to the early years of the Nineteenth century they are basically celebratory wedding dances - very accessible, all fully taught, no need to come with a dance partner!

Sound Engineering

By : Tom Wright | Venue : Octagon Meeting Room 1 | Type : Technical | When : Saturday Morning (Slot 3) | Length : 110 mins 

Q&A Style workshop with Tom A Wright and guests. Live sound Engineering problems solved from Microphone techniques to EQing and use of effects. BRING YOUR PROBLEMS AND QUESTIONS! Note pad and pen advised.

Clog Dancing

By : Fiona Taylor and Sarah Dalrymple | Venue : St. Andrews | Type : Dance | When : Saturday Morning (Slot 3) | Length : 60 mins 

Fiona and Sarah have been dancing together for many years as part of Blackadder Rapper and Step, Gaorsach and The Demon Barber Roadshow. They will be sharing a selection of their favourite hornpipe steps aimed at dancers at beginner - intermediate level.

Swedish Dance

By : John Stewart | Venue : Croft House back room | Type : Dance | When : Saturday Morning (Slot 3) | Length : 60 mins 

Ready for something new? Learn amazing couple dances to haunting Swedish music. Suitable for beginners and intermediates. Tip: Shoes that can slip and slide work best for these turning dances.


By : Feet First | Venue : Croft House main room | Type : Dance | When : Saturday Morning (Slot 3) | Length : 60 mins 

Making a Tune Your Own

By : Josie Wexler | Venue : Broomhill Spiritualist Centre | Type : Instrument | When : Saturday Morning (Slot 3) | Length : 60 mins 

Scared to write tunes? Not sure how to begin or don't know how to construct a good one? In this workshop we will write one communally, use tricks to get musical creativity flowing and start to explore how to write a great tune.

Fiddle Repair/Fiddle Making

By : Conrad Brimacombe | Venue : Gallery Room 3 | Type : Technical | When : Saturday Morning (Slot 3) | Length : 60 mins 

Have you ever been told by music shop that you need to take better care of your bridge? Do your pegs stick and crack when you try to turn them? Has your soundpost ever fallen down at an inopportune moment just before a gig? Many people think that violin maintenance is something best left to highly trained technicians. For most types of repair this assumption is certainly correct but there are a few things that you, as a player can easily learn how to do that will keep your instrument in better shape. Covered in this workshop will be the following topics: How to fix a bent bridge, how to sort out sticky pegs, how to put a fallen soundpost back up. Also covered will be how to identify warning signs of things that are falling apart that you should take to your local music shop before they become bigger problems.


By : Jo Veal | Venue : Gallery Room 1 | Type : Instrument | When : Saturday Morning (Slot 3) | Length : 60 mins 

Suitable for beginners/intermediate. We will look at clarinet technique, playing by ear, how to create harmonies and ideas for improvisation. Most of the workshop will be by ear, however sheet music is also provided.

Can't Sing, Won't Sing

By : Jess Arrowsmith | Venue : The Humanities Conference Room | Type : Vocal | When : Saturday Morning (Slot 3) | Length : 60 mins 

Would you like to be able to join in choruses but feel you shouldn't because you "can't sing"? Come along to this absolute beginners singing workshop and learn some techniques and exercises to improve your skill and build your confidence.

Breton Dancing

By : Jean-Christophe Denis | Venue : St Andrews back hall | Type : Dance | When : Saturday Morning (Slot 3) | Length : 60 mins 

You find your pinkies are under-used while dancing? This workshop is for you! These dances from Brittany, a Celtic region West of France, are energetic group dances, usually in lines or circles, with repetitive footwork that will provide you with a very special feeling - even without using Breton cider. Neither experience nor Breton crepes necessary (but welcome!).

Greek Dance

By : Sofia Papadia | Venue : The Raynor Lounge | Type : Dance | When : Saturday Afternoon | Length : 60 mins 

Greek traditional dances are very diverse in rhythm, music and style. Usually danced in an open circle they are fun, social and suitable for all abilities. This workshop will focus on dances with unusual rhythms and patterns from all over Greece. No partner necessary. Wear trainers or similar supportive shoes and comfortable clothes.

Euro Dance (French dance workshop and Bal)

By : Sheffield Euro Session | Venue : City Hall Ballroom | Type : Dance | When : Saturday Afternoon | Length : 100 mins 

Let us take you on a whirlwind tour of delicious French dances, from sensuous swirling couple dances to dream-like line dances and exuberant bransles; and then stay with us to revisit old favourites and discover new ones in our very own Eurosession bal. Tip: shoes that can slip and slide recommended.

Scratch band rehearsal

By : Conrad Brimacombe | Venue : Broomhill Spiritualist Centre | Type : Instrument | When : Saturday Afternoon | Length : 60 mins 

Learn the tunes and arrangements for playing in the Survivors Ceilidh scratch band


By : Becky Ball | Venue : The Octagon bar | Type : Other | When : Saturday Afternoon | Length : 60 mins 

Have you always wanted to learn to knit but been too afraid to start? Well come on down at IVFDF and learn the basics to give you a whole new hobby for life! There will be a charge of £3 for materials (but you can take them away with you). Places will be limited to 8 - sign up at reception. Experienced knitters also welcome to sit in for a knit and natter!

Contra Workshop

By : Andrew Swaine | Venue : Croft House main room | Type : Dance | When : Saturday Afternoon | Length : 100 mins 

Story Telling

By : Tim Ralphs | Venue : Gallery Room 1 | Type : Other | When : Saturday Afternoon | Length : 60 mins 

Tim Ralphs is host of Sheffield's foremost storytelling club, The Story Forge, and received a British Award for Storytelling Excellence in 2012 for his collaboration with Simon Heywood on The Epic of Gilgamesh. In this light-hearted workshop Tim will explore the foundation of performance storytelling and look at how we can adapt traditional material to suit our own voice and style. For all levels of experience, bring your tongue and as many ears as you have!

The Physics of Music

By : Richard Hornby | Venue : The Humanities Conference Room | Type : Other | When : Saturday Afternoon | Length : 60 mins 

Ever wondered what makes an instrument sound the way it does? Or how a simple vibration can make beautiful music? The Physics of Music workshop aims to explain the science behind the music that we know and love. No previous knowledge of Physics is necessary! (Workshop kindly supported by the Institute of Physics)


By : Deadly Nightshade | Venue : Croft House back room | Type : Dance | When : Saturday Afternoon | Length : 60 mins 

During this fun and friendly Workshop, Secrets of the Boudoir Burlesque will give you an introductory look into the world of Burlesque. Deadly Nightshade will teach you how to pose like a pin up and create a simple routine, without the need for removing any clothing. PLEASE NOTE: This workshop is for women only.


By : Mark Safe | Venue : St Andrews back hall | Type : Dance | When : Saturday Afternoon | Length : 60 mins 

This workshop will cover the cajun waltz, two-step, and then finsh off with jitterbug.

IVFDF Reps Meeting

By : Central IVFDF | Venue : Octagon Meeting Room 1 | Type : Other | When : Saturday  | Length : 60 mins 

2 representatives can attend from each society to discuss Sheffield IVFDF and future IVFDFs

Cotswold Morris

By : Pecsaetan | Venue : Croft House back room | Type : Dance | When : Sunday Morning (Slot 1) | Length : 60 mins 

Dances With a Difference

By : Richard Mason | Venue : Croft House main room | Type : Dance | When : Sunday Morning (Slot 1) | Length : 60 mins 

Its early Sunday morning at IVFDF, so it can only be Richard's 'Dances with a Difference'. Yes, he's back with more dances to jolt your brain into action and tie you in knots. For those who have never been before, this workshop is a chance to do some ceilidh dances that you would never get to do in a regular ceilidh. Some old favourites and some brand new dances - all the product of a slightly warped mind!

Blues Dancing

By : Megan McDonald and Craig Thomson | Venue : The Gallery | Type : Dance | When : Sunday Morning (Slot 1) | Length : 60 mins 

Blues music was borne of the African American experience, particularly in the South. It came from the African rhythms in spirituals and folk ballads. Along with Jazz, Blues is an American idiom, a synthesis of African and European sounds. Blues dancing grew naturally along with the music. It combines elements of both African dance and European partnered dance. Common in rural and urban juke joints alike, the dance spread and developed as the music did. It is characterised by a strong interpretive and improvisational spirit, and an emphasis on connection between the dance partners and the music. Once tried never forgotten, you don't need a partner, wear comfy shoes and we'll do the rest! Taught by the International Teacher Megan McDonald and her beautiful assistant Craig Thomson.

Appalachian Intermediate

By : Jake and Dann | Venue : The Raynor Lounge | Type : Dance | When : Sunday Morning (Slot 1) | Length : 60 mins 

Border Morris

By : Boggart's Breakfast | Venue : The Octagon | Type : Dance | When : Sunday Morning (Slot 1) | Length : 60 mins 

Come and learn some unusual figures and interesting dances with Sheffield's very own purveryors of non-traditional border morris.

Scratch band rehearsal

By : Conrad Brimacombe | Venue : Octagon Meeting Room 1 | Type : Instrument | When : Sunday Morning (Slot 1) | Length : 60 mins 

Learn the tunes and arrangements for playing in the Survivors Ceilidh scratch band


By : Victoria Nauen | Venue : Broomhill Spiritualist Centre | Type : Other | When : Sunday Morning (Slot 1) | Length : 60 mins 

An All levels Yoga class taught by Sheffield-based Victoria Nauen. Victoria is a British Wheel of Yoga/Yoga Alliance instructor who has taught and trained, both in the UK and internationally. She teaches Ashtanga Yoga, as well as Hatha classes and workshops for dancers. This class is designed to wake up the hips and hamstrings and get creative juices flowing! Some mats provided but if you have your own please bring it along. For more information please see www.yogadiva.co.uk.


By : Radio 4 | Venue : Gallery Room 1 | Type : Other | When : Sunday Morning (Slot 1) | Length : 60 mins 

It's been a busy weekend so why not have a relaxing workshop and catch up with this weeks events in Ambridge.

Reed repairs melodeons

By : Steve Dumpleton | Venue : Gallery Room 2 | Type : Technical | When : Sunday Morning (Slot 1) | Length : 140 mins 

Come and learn the basics of melodeon maintenance to keep your box in tip top condition! Topics covered include melodeon anatomy, reeds and valves, mechanics and action, bellows care, repairs and maintenance, basic toolkit and caring for your instrument.

Dark Tunes with Darker Accompaniments

By : Hazel Mayow (and sundry Kraken tentacles) | Venue : The Humanities Conference Room | Type : Instrument | When : Sunday Morning (Slot 1) | Length : 120 mins 

A chance to learn some weird and lesser-known tunes – and share some obscure things of your own if you like. Think minor keys,silly time signatures, that kind of thing, Part two will include some tips on dark accompaniment to cover weird and wonderful chord structures. Any instrument welcome and indeed encouraged, taught by ear but dots will be availiable.

Irish Step

By : Fiona Bradshaw | Venue : The Raynor Lounge | Type : Dance | When : Sunday Morning (Slot 2) | Length : 60 mins 

Come and learn a jig in the Irish soft shoe style. Fiona Bradshaw started Irish dancing at the age of 8, competing at feis all around England and Ireland, including the GB, all Ireland and World championships. She also performs English clog and has been step dancing for nearly 20 years. This workshop is for all abilities from complete beginners to experienced dancers. Wear flexible, comfortable shoes and bring lots of energy!

Sign Language

By : Rob Richards | Venue : The Gallery | Type : Other | When : Sunday Morning (Slot 2) | Length : 60 mins 

A beginners guide to British sign language. Rob's workshop will show some of the basics of how to sign, never again will you be in a noisy pub unable to communicate to your friends that you would like them to pass you a pink sugary donut.

Metal Vocals

By : Martin Collins | Venue : Auditorium | Type : Vocal | When : Sunday Morning (Slot 2) | Length : 60 mins 

Come and learn how to perform heavy metal screams with the vocalist from Sheffield's premier folk metal band, Northern Oak.


By : Richard Masters | Venue : Gallery Room 3 | Type : Other | When : Sunday Morning (Slot 2) | Length : 60 mins 

This workshop will focus on narrative lyrics - perspectives, dialogue and action. Please bring a pen and some paper.


By : Gog Magog | Venue : Croft House main room | Type : Dance | When : Sunday Morning (Slot 2) | Length : 60 mins 

Gog Magog Molly do manic street dances that are almost entirely unlike the traditional dances of the Fens. Unlike most morris dancers, we don't have sticks or bells or hankies, but rely for our fearsomeness on being as loud and colourful as possible, and on the angularity of our movements.

Rhythm playing for Ceilidhs

By : Tom Wright | Venue : Octagon Meeting Room 1 | Type : Instrument | When : Sunday Morning (Slot 2) | Length : 60 mins 

A Rhythmic approach to playing for Ceilidh dances. Tom A Wright discusses his approach to rhythm playing for Ceilidh. Basic drumming rhythms for Jigs, Polkas, Hornpipes, Waltzes, etc. Open to non-drummers too.


By : Black Swan | Venue : Croft House back room | Type : Dance | When : Sunday Morning (Slot 2) | Length : 60 mins 

Learn a few fast and furious figures from Black Swan Rapper, excessive courage and boundless aggression advised.

Afro-Cuban Dance

By : Loo Yeo | Venue : Broomhill Spiritualist Centre | Type : Dance | When : Sunday Morning (Slot 2) | Length : 60 mins 

Loo introduces you to Afro-Cuban dance using the traditional rhythmic vocalisation technique, as delivered to rapturous reception at CID-UNESCO’s World Congress on Dance Research in San Marino last year.

Long Sword

By : Handswoth | Venue : Octagon council chambers | Type : Dance | When : Sunday Morning (Slot 2) | Length : 60 mins 

One of Sheffield's longest established dance sides