Toby Bennett is a dancer and dance teacher specialising in traditional step dance, particularly the rich traditions of English step clog. His dancing combines energy, attack and speed with lightness and fluidity – he has performed and taught widely including Europe, Egypt and the USA. He is also an experienced teacher working with all abilities from absolute beginners to advanced dancers.
Toby enjoys working closely with traditional musicians focussing on tight music-dance integration and spontaneity in performance. As well as performing solo he performs with the four piece band Stepling and the trio Frances | Bennett | Hartley.
Twice a champion clog dancer Toby has studied with numerous teachers including a number of the key figures in the clog revival such as Sam Sherry, Pat Tracey and Mrs Marhoff. His current repertoire includes steps from various traditional sources as well as his own dances, but he is best known for his interpretation of the Lakeland (Westmorland) step dance tradition.
Starting as a folk dancer (and winner of two clog dance championships) Toby went on to train in other forms of dance including contemporary dance and ballet before becoming a professional dancer and later a dance educator. Returning to his folk dance roots he draws on this rich experience in his performance and teaching of English step dance.
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Photo credit: Hugo Lane