The National Youth Folklore Troupe of England (NYFTE) is a talented group of young people aged between 10 and 18 with a passion for English traditional song, music and dance. The team was formed in 1990 to provide an opportunity for young people to participate in and perform English folk traditions in a public arena.
NYFTE performances are a mixture of traditional material complemented by modern items in keeping with the tradition. Teaching is undertaken by NYFTE leaders, experienced team members or visiting tutors, whilst musical accompaniment is all performed by team members. Our repertoire reflects the huge variety of traditions that can be found across England. Currently included are Cotswold, Welsh Border and North-West Morris, Molly, Garland, Stave, Clog and Broom dances, Rapper and Longsword, and social dance, plus tunes and songs from small groups or the whole ensemble.
As a national team with members living all over the country, we run two intensive training residentials where most of our rehearsals happen - a weekend in February and a week around the Easter holidays which culminates with the entire repertoire being performed for the first time at a Spring Concert. Our focus then shifts to performing - NYFTE attend between four and six weekend Folk Festivals or other events between the months of May and September. These often involve a range of performance activities such as showcase concerts, ceilidhs and street busking, and NYFTE-led workshops, along with rehearsals as needed and some well-earned, equally important down-time to socialise with the rest of the team. A brief description of the activities and successes of NYFTE members during 2022 is available here. For a comprehensive list of performance dates in 2023, please see here. To enquire about booking NYFTE for an event in 2024, please use the form on the contact page.
NYFTE is run by a committee who provide the necessary support and opportunities for the young people to perform. For more details, please see here.
Whilst we welcome general enquiries about membership at any time during the year, we only run our Audition/taster day once a year in February. This is an opportunity for everyone involved to get to know each other. NYFTE leaders look at attitude, stamina, skills and potential as well as assessing how the young person would fit into the current team. The day is also an opportunity for the young person to meet existing team members, discover how NYFTE works and decide whether it is an organisation they wish to commit to. We do have a limit on the number of people in the team, and operate a waiting list. For more information about joining NYFTE, please see here.
NYFTE is currently not in receipt of any regular funding other than that generated by the subscriptions and event costs footed by the families of NYFTE members themselves. Consequently, we are especially grateful for the donations we receive from benefactors such as folk clubs, events and individuals who appreciate the work NYFTE does – thank you. Such financial gifts enable us to run our van, provide specialist equipment such as rapper swords, clogs and music stands, and invite specialist tutors. In 2022, a bequest in memory of Mike and Mary Isaacs has enabled us to set up the Family Support Fund to help those families who might otherwise struggle to enable their young people participate in NYFTE events. For more information about donating to NYFTE, please see here.
NYFTE is affiliated with: