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The Vale Islanders

Photograph courtesy of Howard Hill


The Vale Islanders is a group of dancers and musicians who perform Playford English country dances of the Seventeenth Century in the costume of the period.

The group started in Charney Bassett in the autumn of 1995 and gave its first public performance on May Day 1996 on the village green.

The name reflects the roots in the island villages of the Vale of White Horse and the dancing aims to reflect the dances of the ordinary people of the Vale 350 years ago.

The dances are taken from “The English Dancing Master” first published by John Playford in 1651. This contains instructions for 105 dances along with the tune for each dance.