Judy King
Mandy de Winter

In her Own Words

I began teaching Circle Dance in 1987 when life’s events took me to Shropshire. I had always loved to dance and Circle Dance had an instant appeal to me - drawing music, as it does, from a diverse range of countries and cultures. There had always been a strong international focus in my life since I was brought up in a guest house – we had lots of visitors from ‘strange places’. I had also, in my ‘wild’ youth, lived abroad and travelled widely. I went to university as a mature student to study French and Linguistics and went on to obtain a P.G.C.E. qualification and to teach French.

I first became involved with Circle Dance in 1984 when I moved to Brighton and by chance went to a Spring Equinox Celebration. I was so smitten by the dancing during this celebration that I joined a regular local group and realised immediately that I had found something that resonated deeply with me. The personal events that took me to Shropshire proved to be the moment to explore the possibilities of this wonderful discovery. I have been teaching Circle Dance full time ever since.

Many other doors have also been opened to me since setting out on the dancing path. Most importantly soon after I began teaching Circle Dance I found opportunities to develop my musical skills. I already played recorder, guitar and piano but soon found myself trying out other instruments like the mandolin, the melodica and the Bulgarian Tambura (which I acquired on a visit there in 1993). I also love to drum and to sing in a variety of languages.

It has been my passion to promote and bring live music to dance events, but I have also made several recordings of Circle Dance music with the wonderful musicians and dancing friends I have met along the way. My dancing path has also led me into the world of choreography. In particular, I have produced two albums of my own choreographies to original music by my musical mentor and friend, Linda Rhodes, as well as creating choreographies to other people's music.

All the personal enrichment that the dance and music-making has brought me has led me to encourage others to open their voices and to find and develop their musical skills.

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