Reports of folk dancing appeared many times in the local press during the nineteenth century.
Mrs Walter Kelsey started the first known folk dance group in Gainsborough in 1932. They were called folk dance classes and were held in the Fanny Marshall Institute on Church St. These classes closed in 1939 due to the war.
After the war they were restarted by Mr & Mrs Walter Kelsey and were held in the Old Hall in Gainsborough (Mrs Kelsey also gave piano lessons under her maiden name of Marjorie Gant L.R.A.M.).
In the years after the war the Gainsborough group of dancers were very involved in the Lincolnshire District of the EFDSS (English Folk Dance & Song Society) and Gainsborough hosted many a District Committee AGM, some in Gainsborough Old Hall.
In those days there would have been Morris, Sword, and Folk dancing in the villages local to Gainsborough. Late in the afternoon all would meet at The Old Hall for the District Committee AGM. In the evening a folk dance would be held in the great hall at The Old Hall.
The now Gainsborough Folk Dance Group is still dancing into the 21st century.
Record Breaking Club Night
On a Club Night during 2016 with Sonia Middleton calling a total of nineteen dances were performed.
Dancing started at 8.00pm and finished at 10.45pm, a tea break for twenty minutes took place at 9.10pm. This was not a prepared event, it just happened; needless to say dancers and caller were exhausted by the end of the evening.
The dances were as follows;
Breas of Dornoch
Miss Johnstone of Ardrossan
Duke of Kent's Waltz
Zephuss & Flora
18 dances in all, however Breakdown was danced twice so a total of 19 dances were counted that evening,
This is the highest number of dances ever recorded during a Club Night in Gainsborough.