On Bouge, est. 1990, is London’s long-running club for French, Breton and Occitan dance. After the over-long Plague Years we RESTARTED LIVE, FACE-TO-FACE DANCING  in September 2021. 

*Please see below for information on the cancellation of On Bouge in July 2022. 

Covid-19: All the rules have now been dismantled and we now have to learn to live with it. And we have to live! We have to dance! We have to play music


Nearest tube: Hampstead
For other possibilities, please consult https://www.heathstreet.org/contact/

Please email chris@gigcb.com to join our email list.

We always have Live MusicDuo Mistral (Chris & Caroline Shaw) are happy to share their years of experience of playing and dancing in various French regions, and our regular On Bouge Musicians  are always there to play. We are negotiating to have specific guests in the coming months 

Please contact Chris if you would like to play. We want to keep up our eclectic mix 🙂 

Please bring drinks and nibbles to share. We always provide French festival freshly washed-up reusable plastic goblets. At the end of the evening we take them home and wash them up again.

Many of the dances we do are danced all over Europe, but we do like to shine a spotlight on dances from specific areas. Fest Noz, Balfolk, Bal Trad, Bal Occitan are titles used to describe what we do. The accent is on dancing with fun, but we usually try and tell you about the context of the dances, fitting them into the cultural traditions of the various regions.

One of the crucial things is simple: if you have ANY Covid-19 symptoms please stay at home and look after yourself: see instructions from GOV.UK below.

All dates are 2nd Fridays, except those marked *


  • 14 January Valentine’s Day at On Bouge, with Duo Mistral (diato, fiddles, boha) teaching Bourrée Planière, Rond de Quercy and Kost ar c’hoad, as well as dances from Central France and Sauts from Béarn. Also featuring the On Bouge band and David Lowe.
  • 11 February NEW Trio Sawney White Bird, featuring our always dynamic friend and musician Ravi Sawney, Heather White and Jane Bird on sax, diato, mouthorgan, concertina and cornemuse.
  • *SATURDAY 12 March
    • 3pm to 6pm: Afternoon Workshop with Trio ZinZon: 3-time bourrées from Auvergne, Morvan, Limousin and Haut Agenais (Bourrée Planière).
    • 6pm to 7.30pm BYO supper.
    • 7.30pm to 11pm On Bouge Bal with Trio ZinZon, the  On Bouge Band and Friends
  • 8 April Duo Mistral are taking the lead again, supported by the On Bouge Band and friends. We’ll be redoing the dances we worked on last month PLUS Breton dances such as Suite de Loudéac, Dans Keff and so on. 
  • 13 May The Famous Five Fiddlers Chris, Caroline, Graham, Ravi and John playing dance music we have learned mostly from our friends from Correze Jean-Pierre Champeval and Olivier Durif. Indeed three of our fiddles were made by Jean-Pierre 🙂
  • 10 June Les Marginaux Mark Stefanicki (hurdy gurdy) & Graham Shelver (fiddle, viola) will be playing a number of “new / unusual / seldom heard” dance tunes mostly from Central France. Duo Mistral will be teaching dances from Gasconny: Congo de Captieux and one or two more involved Béarnais Sauts.
  • *8 July ANNULÉ Following a disastrous On Bouge evening in June with only THREE paying guests (though with good music and dancing as always), we are cancelling the July meeting. The plan was to give you all an extra meeting in July this year to make up for two years of Lockdown, with Pimms No. 1 before going off on holidays! But we are now considering our future. Look out for future On Bouge Announcements. 


2022/23 Season

  • 9 September ANNULÉ 
  • 14 October Look out for announcements about the future of On Bouge.


We dance several types of dances from different regions of France:

  • Bourrées come mostly from central France and are danced in a variety of ways. Most people are familiar with the bourrée droite, where you are in two lines facing your partner and the music is two-time (4/4) or three-time (3/8). Other bourrées are danced in couples or in groups of four or six people. Montagnardes are Auvergne bourrées danced in cortège while you slowly make your way to the top, towards the musicians, and then, like on a helter-skelter, you bourrée through the cortège and join it again at the bottom. There are specific styles of bourrée from Berry, Bourbonnais, Nivernais, Morvan, Auvergne, Limousin and Haut Agenais, with one or two local styles of bourrée elsewhere.
  • Schottische, Mazurka, Polka and Valse are popular couple dances danced all over France.
  • Breton dances such as Gavotte des Montagnes, An Dro, Hanter Dro, Dans Plinn and  Suite de Loudéac are danced in long snaking lines which intermingle and diverge. And we have been working on dances from Léon (north-west Brittany) recently.
  • Gascon dances such as rondeaux and congos. And the Rond de Quercy,  from just to the north of Gascony.
  • Dances from Béarn and Pays Basque (in the Pyrenées Atlantique) such as the sauts, e.g. Sept sauts, La Craba, Dus, Marianne. Danced singly in a circle, with springy steps, but still very much a communal dance.
  • We have now addedBranles from the Vallée d’Ossau, Béarn.

For more information, and to join the email list, please email us on chris@gigcb.com and like us (or whatever the current term is!) at www.facebook.com/onbougelondon