Heartsease Dance Group Formed in October 1977
A short history
We began as a small group of friends from St. Neots Folk Club who wanted to do something ourselves as the ‘men folk ‘were out entertaining and we felt like ‘rentacrowd!’
We rehearsed weekly at Longsands School and found ourselves invited to take part in a Festival in Marburg, Germany, as the District of Huntingdonshire was twinned with the Landkreis Marburg/Biedenkopf and they had asked if the district had a Folkdance group to send to the festival to represent England! It was a very nerve racking experience but thoroughly enjoyable at the same time. We hired a coach, raised funds and set off to arrive at the village of Hassenhausen at 4pm to be told we were on stage at 8pm!!
Since those early days we have travelled to Germany regularly - Marburg, Biedenkopf, Stolberg-Harz,The Netherlands - Odorn and Goes,France - Faches Thumesnil near Lille as part of the twinning association of St. Neots.We have also hosted groups over the years.
Heartsease performs at local events such as Fetes, and has appeared at St. Neots Folk Festival several times. We also travel to other Festivals hosted by Morris sides e.g. Sheringham, Leeds, Wisbech and Dorking.
Heartsease has strong links with the Trachtentanzgruppe from Biedenkopf, Germany, and has made lasting friendships with members of the group.
A mixed group attached to Heartsease is The St. Neots Sweeps and Milkmaids. This group was formed in 1978 and performs unique dances all made up in traditional style as a local tradition revived. There are ten dances regularly performed by the group in May in St. Neots, Eaton Socon and Ickwell, or at festivals and special occasions.
We do Maypole dancing on 1st May in the evening on St Neots Market Square, and also perform on Eaton Socon Green at the May Fair held on the May Day Bank Holiday. The St Neots Sweeps and Milkmaids also dance on these occasions.