May Day celebrations probably began more than 2,000 years ago, when they were raucous affairs, marked by drinking and dancing to welcome the return of summer, and the promise of crop growth and animal fertility. They were part of the genre later known as country dancing.

Country dancing steps and sequences changed flexibly with the times, being incorporated into dances at the 16th century court of Elizabeth I, for example, and became the main form of social dancing in England and its colonies until well into the 19th century.

Music accompanying English country dances ranges from lively and boisterous reels and jigs, to elegant, romantic waltz time, providing a contrast in steps, formations, tempo and mood.

As members of the Rotherham u3a Country Dancing group can testify, two hours of country dancing certainly exercises body and brain, and is almost guaranteed to boost energy levels and lift the spirits.

The group meets on alternate Wednesdays between 10.00am and 12.00pm to enjoy various styles of dancing, from the Jane Austen era to the present day, from elegant dances to Barn Dances and American-style contra dances. New members, whether beginners or experienced, with or without a partner, can count on a friendly welcome.

The movements of each dance are explained by an excellent and experienced caller.

The more well-versed dancers are happy to help beginners and less confident dancers. Partners are changed frequently. It’s fun and sociable to dance, learn and to laugh with a variety of people.

The emphasis is on enjoying the dancing, and the social atmosphere. Celebrate May with this friendly dance group!

For more information, contact Denise Young on 01709 306550 or visit