On Bouge, est. 1990, is London’s long-running club for French Balfolk, Bal Trad, Bal Occitan and Fest Noz. After this long Plague Year we are RESTARTING on Friday 10 September, 7.30pm to 11pm

Covid-19: See GOV.UK guidance below.

Covid-19 is still a problem, but we have to learn to live with it: we have to live!; we have to dance!; we have to play music! Please feel free to come if you have had the two necessary vaccinations. If you have not had the vaccinations please contact me. My priorities are to keep people safe, but I will be happy to do the research to see what we can do.

Our NEW centre is:
Heath Street Baptist Church Hall
84 Heath Street
(Please ignore Primrose Hill address and map at side. I’ve not figured out how to change it)
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 the On Bouge Band (aka the Behind the Shed Buskers) 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 will provide French festival freshly washed-up reusable plastic cups and sticky labels to put your name on – please remove the labels at the end of the evening. We will 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


  • 10 September Behind the Shed Buskers, Duo Mistral, David Lowe
  • 8 October The wonderful, the famous … (‘ooh is it???)
  • 12 November Ticket only event: We have a GUEST who will be revealed at the October meeting where tickets will be available, then subsequently apply by email.
  • 10 December On Bouge Christmas Party




Before attending any sporting activities, all participants, officials, volunteers and spectators should self-assess for symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These are:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste

If you have one or more of these symptoms you should not attend any sporting activity, even if your symptoms are mild. You should follow NHS guidance on testing and self-isolation.

On Bouge EXTRA ZoomBal

We meet courtesy of Zoom Online monthly on the 4th Monday of each month, from September to June.  Please join the email list so we can keep you up to date and provide you with the necessary codes to access it (send Chris an email at chris@gigcb.com). Having had to use Zoom this past year or so we have realised that it allows us to virtually get together and dance safe at home with musicians and dancers from ALL OVER THE WORLD. Duo Mistral (Chris & Caroline) are (nearly) always available. 

Dancing is from 8pm to 10.30pm. Please don’t join the ZoomBal before 7.45pm. BYO booze.


All dates are 4th Mondays


  • Monday 27 September
  • Monday 25 October
  • Monday 22 November
  • December: no Extra this month


On Bouge Tea Dances

Nothing to do with Tea! But it’s at sort of tea time! And it’s next to the smashing Highbury Barn, 26 Highbury Park, London N5 2AB, a short walk through Highbury Fields from Highbury & Islington Station. The BTSBs and DM and DL have been playing for these and will no doubt continue playing for them, while the weather holds. And once again we’re always happy to have other musicians.

  • No dates for September onwards, so far, but keep an eye out for an Announcement


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

  • Bourrées come 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. Montagnards are Auvergne bourrées danced in cortège while you slowly make your way to the top and then, helter-skelter-like, you bourrée through the cortège and join it again at the bottom. There are specific styles of bourrée from Berry, Bourbonnais, Nivernais, Morvan, Auvergne, Corrèze and Gascony, 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 Ronde 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 added the Branles 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