Belfagan was started n 1981 and though none of the original members are still dancing with us, we do hear from them from time to time, and several of them still remember their favourite dances and can be persuaded to join in without much arm-twisting. The present side numbers about fifteen dancers, and a group of around six musicians who play regularly for practices and dancing out.
The name Belfagan (pronounced Bel/FAY/gan) derives from three possible sources:
1] the Cumbrian expression to "give it welly!";
2] a notional "lady of the Workington (or possibly Maryport) dockside called Belle Fagan;
3] another version of the Cumbrian expression, used when, for example, a lad breaks your window with a football, and you rush out, shaking your fist, crying, "I'll give you belfagan!!!"
Choose your favourite! We don't mind.
As there was a history of clog dancing associated with Cumberland and Westmorland, the historical forerunners of the modern Cumbria, it seemed a natural choice to dance in clogs, and to use garlands and sticks to dance with. The sticks represent the cotton bobbins that were such a major part of the mill girl's life.
We practise on Monday evenings from 8:00pm to 10:00 at Eaglesfield Village Hall from September to April. Find it on Google Maps below:
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