Summer school

The annual summer schools provide the opportunity to spend a week studying dances of one period with optional classes in other periods. Tuition is provided by dance teachers and specialists of international stature. Classes and specialist workshops cater for all levels of expertise, from beginner to experienced dancer.

The mornings are usually devoted to working in classes on specific topics chosen by the tutors, while the afternoon sessions offer a range of specialist workshops which give students an opportunity to work with different tutors and study different dances.

Activities for the evenings include lectures, informal country and international dancing, and other entertainments. It’s usual on the final evening for an assembly or ball to take place at which all students have the opportunity to present some of the dances learnt throughout the week. Appropriate dress, although not essential, adds period atmosphere to this occasion.

Bursaries are offered for suitable candidates.

For more information about HDS summer schools, or to be added to the mailing list, please contact

Bursaries for HDS Summer Schools

The Nathalie Dolmetsch Bursaries

HDS Trustees may each year provide one or more Nathalie Dolmetsch bursaries to aid the development of individuals in dance skills and understanding of historical dance.  The bursaries give the opportunity to study, in depth, dances of a specific historical period. The summer schools, which last for a week starting towards the end of July are attended by some 30-50 people. In addition to three classes each day, a full programme of options and social activities is offered. The teachers are acknowledged specialists in research and teaching of historical dance. Live music is usually a feature of the summer school. The opportunity is given on the last night to demonstrate dances learned during the week to other members of the summer school, normally in a formal dance setting.


Applicants for bursaries are asked to apply in writing on the form stating their particular interests and experience, how they think that they would benefit from attending the summer school and what they might do with the knowledge and skill gained. In addition, applicants are asked to provide a reference from a tutor supporting the application. Some dance experience, not necessarily relevant to historical dance, is recommended for applicants who are not dance students.
The closing date for applications for bursaries for the summer school is 30th April.
The committee may make or withhold awards at its sole discretion.
An applicant’s financial circumstances may be taken into consideration.
Applications and any enquiries should be sent by email to

Past summer schools