The Early Dance Circle (EDC) is a UK charity that aims to promote the enjoyment, performance and study of historical dance in the UK and beyond. We were formed in 1984 as an umbrella organisation to represent Britain’s historical dance community. We count individuals and groups, both amateur and professional, amongst our members. We are dancers, dance historians, enthusiasts, musicians and other specialists. Historical dance enriches the cultural life of the UK, it’s part of our shared heritage and is of international importance, it belongs to us all.
The EDC promotes a sense of community amongst our members. We also encourage authenticity and research based interpretation in the performance of historical dance. Many of our members are performers, they enjoy recreating the dances of courts, country houses, assembly rooms and theatres. They adopt the latest research into steps, patterns and music into their performances. Our subject is always evolving. Dance historians re-examine the historical treatises and new sources come to light, the EDC acts as a focal point to disseminate new information within our community.
The EDC encourages our members to share their enthusiasm and interests, both with each other and with the public. We sponsor a National Festival each autumn, an Annual Lecture each February and an Academic Conference of early dance every second year. Our Conference Proceedings are published and are available for study. We publish a Calendar of Early Dance Classes & Events, our own Circular (private members magazine) and Books on dance education and research. We assist the public to find Groups, Societies, Classes and Teachers near them. The EDC has sponsored the creation of The National Resource Centre for Historical Dance. We also offer Grants and Bursaries for early dance activities. We are proud of our members and seek opportunities to represent and support them in their historical dance activities.
The governance of the charity is conducted according to a formal constitution, copies of which are available to our members on request.