Friday, 22 May 2015

Meet the team: Mike Courthold

Time for you all to meet our Social Dance organiser at the Chippenham Folk Festival, Mike Courthold.

Name: Mike Courthold

Where are you from?: Hungerford, Berkshire

What is your festival role?: I am the Social Dance Director

What is your folk festival experience?: I have extensive folk festival experience having been calling a wide spectrum of dances and events for 34 years. Through energetic English Ceilidhs and American Contras, to barn dances you are sure to have come across me at some point. I have entertained at Sidmouth, Chippenham, Lichfield, Eastbourne, IVDVF and Broadstairs to name but a few.  In 2004 I became the Dance Director at Chippenham Folk Festival.

Is there any other folk trivia you'd like to share with the readers?: I'm a freelance caller and have worked with many different bands. I was responsible for resurrecting the Callers' Workshop & Showcase Dance for Sidmouth '98 and '99 and have introduced similar workshops here at Chippenham. I began folk dancing whilst at University in 1970. Folk is very much in the family. I met my wife Rita through dancing and both sons, Chris and Adam dance too. In fact Adam also helps with the Chippenham Folk Festival as our webmaster.

Finally can you tell us a fun fact about yourself?: I once called a barn dance for work colleagues in Hawaii! During the day I work as cryogenic and control systems engineer, currently producing very large toys for particle physicists.

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