Ryburn Three Step

Did you know that Ripponden is home to a traditional English folk ‘industry’? Ryburn Three Step is a Ripponden-based group which organises a range of regular activities and special events in and around the Ryburn Valley. If you went to school in the valley, you might remember Pete or Sue Coe visiting your school and teaching songs and dances. The group is called ‘Three Step’ because they promote songs, dances and tunes mainly from traditional English Folk Music. They organise lots of activities within the area including tune sessions at the Old Bridge Inn on Monday evenings, step dance workshops on Tuesdays, longsword dancing on Wednesday nights and a singing group on Thursdays. They also run monthly folk nights at the Malthouse pub, monthly barn dances and a spectacular Mummers play at the beginning of January.

On Saturday 11th March they are holding two barn dances in the Victoria Hall in Ripponden. The first is a Family Barn Dance (5-7pm), tickets £3, and later a Village Barn Dance (8-11pm), tickets £5 (ring 01422 823099). Funds raised go to Ripponden School PTFA. Live music will be provided by the Offcuts Band and expert callers will guide everyone through the moves – no experience is necessary. So why not put on your dancing shoes and bring your friends for an energetic, fun night out in Ripponden? It’s hard not to smile when you’re dancing!

Ryburn Longsword Dance is a Yorkshire-based form of traditional dance performed by five, six or eight dancers linked together in a circle, moving over and under their metal swords. The dance normally ends with the production and display of a ‘lock’ where swords are intertwined in one of a variety of shapes. The Longsword group has been dancing together since 1994. Some of their dances are traditional and come from villages across Yorkshire, whilst others have been created by members of the group. Most years they can be seen dancing at local events such as Spaw Sunday in Cragg Vale, Littleborough Rushbearing and Sowerby Bridge Rushbearing, but also at folk festivals further afield. Last year they danced at festivals in Todmorden, Chester and Brittany. They welcome dancers of all ages and abilities to their Wednesday evening practices which take place from 7.30pm until 9pm at 103 Oldham Rd, Ripponden. They are very lucky to be able to dance to traditional live music for their practices, which are very friendly and informal. Their ultimate aim is to dance with precision and style to public audiences, so dancers and musicians are encouraged to attend practices regularly.

If you would like to try Longsword Dancing, please contact Pauline Jones on 01422 823099. Details of all Ryburn Three Step’s activities are available at www.ryburn3step.org.uk