The English Folk Dance and Song Society is a national organization that aims to develop the folk arts. It provides a wide range of services, such as gigs, classes, and courses, alongside conferences and talks aimed to promote the appreciation and practice of English folk dance and song culture. Various sections of the community are catered to, including young people, adults, and families. In addition, it offers professional development opportunities for those dedicated to advancing in the folk arts.
One of its initiatives, the National Youth Folk Ensemble, engages young people through music and dance. It also offers a similar programme specifically for London-based children. It further provides holiday courses and initiatives centred around making the folk arts accessible to young people with disabilities.
Cecil Sharp House, the hub of the organization, houses a choir, Sunday folk music workshops, dance classes, lectures, and talks. It also hosts a range of services for adults, aiming to cultivate a deeper understanding and wider participation in the folk arts.
The English Folk Dance and Song Society also has programs catering to families. These include family-friendly barn dances and events designed to be engaging and enjoyable for individuals of all ages.
For professionals and enthusiasts, the organization offers a dance development program and a Folk Education Network. This network provides resources such as beginner's guides and a glossary to aid in understanding folk arts. It offers opportunities such as showcases, bursaries, and Artist Development programs to cultivate talent in the field.
The organization also extends its partnerships to schools and colleges and provides educational resources. In addition, artists are offered different opportunities for growth and exposure, such as commissions and grants. It aims to preserve and promote English folk arts both through music and dance, having a dedicated Folk shop that sells CDs and publications related to the genre.
In term of support, it encourages donations to fund its various projects and activities. Memberships are available, with various categories catered to individual patrons, groups, libraries, and institutions. Notably, it also provides insurance for its member dance clubs.
Overall, the English Folk Dance and Song Society stands as a comprehensive resource for those interested in the folk arts, providing a broad spectrum of services from education to community engagement, artist development, and support for the propagation and preservation of English folk arts.