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Last Updated: Monday, 5 July, 2004, 12:15 GMT 13:15 UK
Pupils step up for clog classes
Clog dancer
Western Power Distribution sponsored the workshops for pupils to learn about diverse cultures
The build up to the National Eisteddfod in Newport is stepping up with a chance to try out clog dancing.

Schools in the area have been hosting workshops to give pupils a taste of traditional dances.

Classes are being held with the eisteddfod just a month away and set out to encourage English-speaking children to participate in the exclusively Welsh language event.

As well as traditional Welsh dance, there has been a chance to discover Indian classical dancing.

Clog dance tutor Huw Williams, who was taking pupils through their paces at Maindee Primary School, said: "It's important to keep good rhythm but the style of Welsh clogging is so different to anything else in terms of clog dancing or step dancing.

"Everyone loves it because it's good exercise and children especially because they have wooden shoes on their feet and can make some noise."

Madhvi Dalal
Madhvi Dalal is teaching Indian dance alongside the clog workshops

Elfed Roberts, director of the National Eisteddfod, said the workshops were an important part of the two-year preparations made in local communities before the event.

He said: "We've done this in many areas over the last few years and it's been very well received and some children have continued clog dancing and joined groups."

Madhvi Dalal was teaching Indian dance alongside the clog dancing, to emphasise the different cultures which would be celebrated at the eisteddfod in Newport.

She said: "It's similar in some ways to clog dancing in that the rhythm is composed by the feet, the only difference with Indian dancing there is a lot of visual expression.

The workshop at Maindee Primary School, Newport
Maindee pupils get a chance to dance - and dress up

"The purpose of the workshops is that we can share the different cultures of Wales, put them together into a more cosmopolitan Wales and share our cultures."

Mr Roberts added: "It's very important for us to give local communities the opportunity to participate.. either they will become Welsh speakers or at the very least interested in Welsh culture and traditions.

"You don't need to be able to speak Welsh, or write poetry for example - we want the people of Wales to take part, come along and enjoy the eisteddfod."

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17 Mar 04  |  South East Wales


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