The U3A Country Dance Group
Group Leader Arthur Barnett Contact: 01630 655186
Email Arthur by clicking the contact icon.
Market Drayton sessions are held on alternate Fridays from 10.30am to 11.30am at The Scouts' H.Q. (Off Elizabeth Court.)
Whitchurch sessions are held on alternate Fridays from 10.30am to 11.30am in The Edward German Room at The Civic Centre.
IMPORTANT NEWS Friday 13th March
Because of the Coronavirus pandemic I am sorry to say that there will be no more Country Dancing sessions for the time being. The very nature of our activities means that we are in very close proximity to people and we have personal contact by holding hands. Added to this we are members of the older generation and therefore more susceptible to infection. I'm sure that you will realise that this was a very hard decision to make but as leader of the group I felt it was my duty to reach this very difficult choice to protect the health of all our members. Please keep in touch with me and any alterations will be posted on this page.
I hope that we shall be soon meeting again as a group but until then my very best wishes and thanks to you all for your wonderful support.
From the 8th of May 2020 we have been meeting online via Zoom and so we are continuing Country Dancing in our own homes. It's good fun and the exercise is welcome. You also have to have a good imagination, but a least we are meeting as a group and can see familiar faces each week. Just install Zoom on your computer and join us for dancing every Friday morning at 10.30am
|Civic Centre, Whitchurch.||Scouts' H.Q., Market Drayton|
|FRI 4th Sep Zoom 18||FRI 11th Zoom 19|
|FRI 18th Sep Zoom 20||FRI 25th Sep Zoom 21|
|FRI 2nd Oct Zoom 22||FRI 9 Oct Zoom 23|
|FRI 16th Oct Zoom 24||FRI 23rd Oct Zoom 25|
|FRI 30th Oct Zoom 26||FRI 6th Nov Zoom 27|
|FRI 13th Nov Zoom 28||FRI 20th Nov Zoom 29|
|FRI 27th Nov Zoom 30||FRI 4th Dec Zoom 31|
|FRI 11th Dec Zoom 32||FRI 18th Dec Zoom 33|
The Market Drayton Country Dance Group was formed on the 28th October 2002 and members met at the Scout Headquarters in Market Drayton on alternate Fridays from 10.30am – 11.30am. Elizabeth Court is off Shrewsbury Road opposite "The Joiners Arms."
The group is led by Arthur Barnett, a retired head-teacher, who has been teaching Country dancing for over 60 years. He has a wide knowledge of Country dances and has a huge collection of Country Dance Music and dance instructions.
A couple of years after the group had been formed, members of Whitchurch U3A joined the club and so the group had between 12 and 20 members attending each session.
In late 2008 Arthur was asked how he felt about running a group in Whitchurch and so on the 6th February 2009 a combined membership of Market Drayton and Whitchurch U3A met at the Whitchurch Civic Centre in the Edward German Room.
The group now meets on a weekly basis, one week in The Scout Hall, Market Drayton and the following week in Whitchurch and members can go to either one, or as many do, to both sessions. The Whitchurch session is from 10.30am to 11.30am on alternate Fridays and is held in the Edward German Room in The Civic Centre, Whitchurch. To date the group has met weekly through the cold of winter or the heat of the summer months. We now have 18 - 28 dancers each week and so we are getting near our limit of 30 members.
However, new members are always welcome and are not required to bring a partner with them, but of course couples are again very welcome. No experience of Country Dancing is necessary although the ability to count to sixteen and a sense of rhythm is an advantage. A good, sensible, non-slip pair of shoes is a very good idea.
Over the last sixteen years over three hundred and fifty different dances have been taught and many are firm favourites with the group.
There is no fixed programme each week, Arthur provides dances for the number attending, so that no one is left sitting on the side and not dancing, if this can possibly be avoided.
Various formations of dance are used, including two couple, three couple, four couple, five and six couple dances. Circle dances are divided into big, double and Sicilian Circles and are used for fairly large numbers.
Dances in long sets are divided into longways for as many as will, duple and triple minor sets both proper and improper sets and occasionally in Becket Formation. Square sets of four couples are always popular and special set dances by Playford always present a challenge. Lately we have been using dances from the Jane Austen period.
Between six and ten different dances are used during a session.
The whole idea of the group is to meet together for some healthy exercise in the form of various dances, some good music, some wonderful friends and above all real enjoyment.
Each session costs just £1 for the hire of the room and as somebody once said, “That’s the best £1 worth of value I’ve ever had.”
We often have a free week if our funds can afford it.
Arthur is also the caller for "The Tern Valley Tinkers," a very talented Ceilidh Band based in Market Drayton.
For information about booking the band go to:-
Tern Valley Tinkers: email@example.com
Do come and try our very friendly sessions.
You can visit another Group Page from here.