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Archive -> Autobiography -> ‘As a Tale That is Told’ Extract 42 Page 149-150

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‘As a Tale That is Told’ Extract 42 Page 149-150

Teaching commences and travels around country

It was not long before I was asked to send the girls who had learnt the dances from traditional dancers into 

149
villages, schools, training colleges, factories, in fact everywhere where the welfare of young people was cared for, to teach these beautiful possessions of our native land and everywhere with success for the boys and girls of today welcomed these songs and dances as if some ancestral memory, some instinctive knowledge recognised them and loved them.

In the meantime Mr. Sharp wrote down the music and with the help of Herbert MacIlwaine and the members of my Club the steps and figures of the dances.

Later Clive Carey and I found other dances which he took down, Mr. Cecil Sharp found still more and eventually the tunes and steps and figures were published in book form and are now available for use in teaching and practising the dances.

The collecting of the dances brought delightful experiences as one after another we discovered the old dancers. Sometimes we took one as a guide to take us to others of whom he knew. One of these always insisted on playing his fiddle as he sat beside the chauffeur who drove our car. When we discovered a dance we believed to be genuine we invited the dancer to London to teach the dance himself, as we thought that this was the best way in which to ensure that not only the steps but the spirit was given to the learners. Altogether we had about thirty morris and sword dancers up to town.
 



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‘As a Tale That is Told’ Extract 42 Page 149-150