Sioe Llyn y Fan Fach Show

Latest news:
Following the demand for more performances of the Llyn y Fan Fach show after the National Eisteddfod, an extra performance has been arranged for Saturday, 11th October at Theatr y Gromlech Theatre, Crymych.
Another performance is scheduled in November (date and venue to be confirmed).
Watch this space!

2014 Eisteddfod

The National Eisteddfod at Llanelli was a huge success. We must congratulate all our members for their colossal effort on various committees, in concerts, with the primary schools project, performances on the smaller Eisteddfod stages, in the Literature Ceremony dance and of course in the ´Llyn y Fan Fach´ show and all the competitions. The hard work certainly payed off and some performances will be remembered for a long, long time. Well done one and all!

Eisteddfod Sir Gâr 2014 Results:

Lois Blake Memorial Trophy: 2nd
W.F.D.S. Trophy: 1st and 3rd
Dance Group Under 25 years: 1st
Female Solo Stepping: Cerian 2nd
Male Solo Stepping: Tomos 3ydd
Duo / Trio / Quartet Stepping group: Tudur, Cerian and Lleucu 1st, Gareth, Elliw and Tomos 3rd
Stepping Group: 1st
"Props on the Spot!": Gethin and Tudur 1st, Mared; Elliw and Tomos 2nd, Cerian and Lleucu 3rd

Practice makes perfect!

The Eisteddfod´s visit to Carmarthenshire:
The weeks leading up to any National Eisteddfod are always hectic for the Talog dancers but in 2014 this is particularly true. Not only is the Eisteddfod in our home county and with that comes extra organizational responsibilities but also there are new and exciting projects to prepare for, apart from the usual dance and stepping competitions.
One such project is the "Llyn y Fan Fach show - a fusion of folk dance, traditional songs and drama with a pinch of humour sprinkled on top. Llyn y Fan Fach is a lake in the Carmarthenshire Beacons and is possibly one of Wales´ remotest and most beautiful locations. It has become famous because of the myth surrounding it, which tells of a local shepherd falling in love with one of the lake´s mer-people. It is certainly a compelling tale and if you are on the Eisteddfod field on Sunday, 3rd August at 1pm or Monday the 4th at 3:30pm, make your way to the Literature Pavilion - you will not be disappointed!

Summer Stories

August´s first highlight was a summer wedding. Congratulations to Cerian and Stuart and best wishes for a happy and prosperous future from the team.
Following a visit to the National Eisteddfod held in Denbighshire, twenty six dancers made the journey to Broadstairs Folk Week. It was a wonderful week with perfect weather and a fantastic response to our Welsh dance and stepping displays. The biggest surprise was how many people came up to us in the street to praise the variety found within Welsh folk dancing and to share their Welsh connections with us. We also enjoyed watching the English stepping tradition on display and joining in some ceilidh and Morris dancing. Definitely a memorable week!
August´s last event was a Treasure Hunt, a yearly chance to socialise before the Autumn diary is opened. Thank you Gethin, Ffion and Leisa for organising and well done to Carwyn, Mared, Elen and Tomos for winning the prestigious prize of a box of chocolates and the pleasure of organising next year´s treasure hunt!
Many of our members have done well in their A-level exams and will soon be off to various colleges and universities. We wish them all the best and look forward to catching up if they´re home on a Tuesday night and fancy a dance or two!

National Eisteddfod 2013

Although we weren´t competing fully it was yet another busy Eisteddfod week for the team. We started with a day of entertaining in different locations around the field on the Tuesday, followed by various competitions on subsequent days.

Congratulations to the following members on their success and a big thank you to the accompanists and coaches.

Solo Female Stepping Dance
2nd Alaw Ifans
3rd Mared Evans

Stepping Group
1st Dawnswyr Talog

Under 25´s Team Dance
1st Dawnswyr Talog

Stepping Duet, Trio or Quartet
3rd Tomos, Mared, Alaw, Leisa

Dawnswyr Talog Dancers´ Gala Concert

At 7:30pm on 6th July at The Lyric Theatre, Carmarthen, the exceptional voices of the Three Welsh Tenors join forces with Dawnswyr Talog Dancers in a charity gala concert. Both acts make an unique combination sure to captivate one and all. The appealing mix of rhythmical stepping and folk songs; arias and show tunes; ribbons, clogs and tuxedos are sure to make it a night to remember!

Tickets are priced at £15, and £10 for children and OAP´s. To purchase your ticket contact the Box Office on 0845 2263510, one of Dawnswyr Talog´s members or visit T-Hwnt Welsh Gift Shop, Carmarthen. Proceeds will be shared between Wales Air Ambulance and Cancer Research Wales.

2012 events

It has been another busy year for Dawnswyr Talog dancers with various bookings in the diary throughout the year and the usual week-long visit to the National Eisteddfod in August. Amongst the more serious business of competitions we enjoyed a day of performing at various venues on the Eisteddfod field on the Tuesday, and the highlight of the week was being able to participate in a clog dancing flashmob on the Friday. There were hundreds of dancers in the jam-packed pavilion and the thirty or so Talog dancers had a fantastic buzz from joining in the pioneering experience.

Another exciting event was the Bryn Terfel Scholarship competition in October. Cerian Phillips represented the dance category, with the help of some Dawnswyr Talog members. She had three fantastic routines which ranged from the traditional to the modern and from the poignant to the dynamic. An excellent showcase of clog dancing!

Since September we have a new chair, Siwan Davies, who has also had a busy year as she and her husband Eirian, welcomed their baby daughter Neli Mai into the world in May. A few weeks earlier Aron and Nerys, two other members, welcomed their third daughter Leah Gwen into the world. Best wishes to both families.

As we look forward to 2013 we shall be busy helping out with the fundraising and organisation for the Carmarthenshire National Eisteddfod in 2014. We’re also very excited to be arranging a gala concert with the Three Welsh Tenors in July and going on a tour to the Broadstairs Dance Festival in August. Enough to keep us out of trouble then!

Gwyl Cerdd Dant Festival

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the very succesful Gwyl Cerdd Dant Festival on November 12th. The results are as follows:

Stepping Group - 1st
Secondary School Age Dance Group - 1st
Over 16´s Dance Group - 2nd

The National Eisteddfod, Wrexham

If you were looking for a Dawnswyr Talog member during the first week in August then you had to visit the National Eisteddfod field near Wrexham with its proud pink pavilion! As you can see from the results below, it was a hectic yet successful week:

Girls Solo Step Dancing
1st Cerian Phillips
3rd Lleucu Phillips

Boys Solo Step Dancing
1st Gethin Page

Stepping Duet, Trio or Quartet
1st Grwp Cymysg Talog
3rd Merched Talog Girls

Folk Dance Party under 25 years
1st Dawnswyr Talog

Group Step Dancing
1st Dawnswyr Talog

Lois Blake Memorial Competition
2nd Dawnswyr Talog

Preparing for any competition requires both hard work and commitment and we are very thankful for all the help we receive from coaches, accompanists, wardrobe organisers and supporters alike.

Video clips can be seen in the ´Results´ section on the BBC website (link below):

Day of Dance

The Day of Dance at Wales´ National Botanic Garden has become a regular feature on our calendar. The event is organized by Mrs Bobbie Evans, and as usual this year´s gathering was a wonderful combination of Welsh and international folk dancing. As you can see from some of the pictures it wasn´t possible to organize the weather, but despite the showers Talog dancers thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Pictures on Flickr

Summer Fun

The summer is always a busy time of year for the dancers with invitations to perform at a variety of concerts, weddings and ´twmpaths´.

The National Eisteddfod is also nearing and once again Talog Dancers will be there in force! Best wishes to all the competitors in Wrexham and a big thank you to every one who has helped Talog with this year´s preparations.

The Bryn Terfel Scholarship

Congratulations to Cerian Phillips on her wonderful performance in the Bryn Terfel Scholarship competition again this year. The standard, as always, was very high and Cerian´s programme was one of the highlights. Her modern choreographic work on the zombies dance was very striking and it was a pleasure for so many Talog group members to be able to dance alongside her on stage. Once again, Cerian proved to be an excellent ambassador for both the traditional and modern elements of Welsh step dancing.

More pictures on Flickr

Cerian´s Big Performance

Best wishes to Cerian Phillips who is competing in the prestigious Bryn Terfel Scholarship later on this month. This is the second time Cerian has had the honour of challenging for the scholarship.

All eight competitors will be showcasing their talent in a grand concert held in Pontrhydfendigaid Pavilion on Sunday, 17th October 2010. The evening will be televised on S4C, and all Talog members can´t wait to see Cerian´s performance!

Remebering Hugh ´Vet´

It is with great sadness that we pay tribute to one of Dawnswyr Talog´s founding members, Hugh ´Vet´ Davies, Y Ffawydd, Meidrim.
Both Huw, and his wife Eirwen were amongst the Talog dancers competing at the National Eisteddfod earlier this month, and his sudden death on August 20th is a shocking loss to the whole community.
Our thoughts are with the whole family, Eirwen; Catrin and Dyfrig; Sioned and Rhys; Enlli, Llyr, Cadi, Lleucu and Mabel.

A Service to celebrate his life will be held at Capel y Graig, Trelech on Saturday, September 4th at 1pm. Donations, if desired, to Bobath Cymru and Craig y Parc Special School, will be kindly received by Mr Dafydd Evans, Ffynnon Lwyd, Trelech, Carmarthen, SA33 6QZ or the Funeral Director Euros Thomas, Gwarallt, Meidrim, Carmarthen, SA33 5PS.

2010 National Eisteddfod

In the weeks leading up to August, Talog Hall was a hive of activity, with the dancers preparing for six different competitions being held at the National Eisteddfod in Ebbw Vale. The results were excellent although the lack of entrants in more than one of the competitions was very disappointing. We can only hope that our endeavors showcased the highest standard of dancing and kept the Welsh dancing traditions in the public eye.
As always, we must thank all the teachers and musicians for the hours of work they put in to prepare for the various competitions. It is best not to mention individual names, but it is safe to say that the driving force behind everyone was Eirlys who never fails to inspire.
Having read the editorial comments made in this year´s edition of ´Danws´ magazine, it will be interesting to see how the Welsh Folk Dance Society responds to what some see as a mini-crisis in the Welsh folk dancing world. Until then, we shall strive to pass on the best of our dance traditions within our small, rural community in Carmarthenshire.

Click below to see some photos of the competitions, or alternatively go to the BBC Wales website to see video clips:
(Under Results Section)

Pictures on Flickr

30 Years of Memories

As Dawnswyr Talog are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year we have decided to create a gallery of pictures capturing some of the highlights of the past thirty years. As you browse through the pictures you will catch a glimpse of the group’s development from “the lumps of lard” they were in 1980 (as described by a not so kind judge during their first outing to compete in the National Eisteddfod!) to the experienced performers they have become.

Dawnswyr Talog’s main aim is promoting the Welsh Folk culture and heritage, both locally and beyond. Local concerts and twmpaths are the mainstay of the Talog dancers’ diaries but regular trips abroad give the group broader horizons and audiences. Another particular characteristic of Dawnswyr Talog is the strong family element, and as you browse through the pictures you will see that the young children in the earlier photographs have now become some of the group’s leading members.

Keeping younger members involved is vital if the group is to continue developing and there is always a willingness to experiment both with music, costume and new steps. Long may this practice continue and best wishes for the next thirty years!

Click here to see the gallery.

The Bryn Terfel Scholarship

Congratulations to Cerian Phillips on her wonderful performance as part of the Bryn Terfel Scholarship held in Cardiff on 10th October.
This was the first time Cerian has competed in the scholarship but, after such giving such varied dances of the highest standard, we sincerely hope this won´t be the last.

The National Eisteddfod, Bala

It was another busy week of competitions for Talog members at the National Eisteddfod, held in North Wales at the beginning of August. There were numerous successes in most folk dance categories, and all in all over 35 members were able to take part. Competing at such a level requires a lot of time and effort and we are very grateful to everyone for their contribution. Everyone can now enjoy their well deserved summer break!

Day of Dance

Once again, the Day of Dance at the National Botanical Garden was a wonderful success, and the main courtyard was packed with traditional dancers from all across Wales and beyond. During the afternoon a group of Talog members joined Dawnswyr Caerdydd and Dawnswyr Tawerin to entertain the crowds at various locations in the garden. Despite the inclement weather it was a very enjoyable day – let’s hope we can meet up again next year!

Urdd Eisteddfod Cardiff

Congratulations to all our members who competed and coached groups and individuals at the National Urdd Eisteddfod in Cardiff Bay. The Urdd festival, which was held at the end of May, is one of Europe´s largest cultural youth festivals. Many members had a very successful week but we must mention Cerian Phillips in particular. Cerian won the Solo Folk Dance for Girls aged between 15 and 25, and as a result she has been given the honour of being able to compete for the Bryn Terfel Scholarship during October. Cerian follows in the footsteps of four other Talog members, including her brother Tudur, who competed for the scholarship last year. Best wishes Cerian, we look forward to seeing your performance on the Weston Theatre stage at Cardiff´s Millennium Centre on 10th October.

Cerdd Dant Festival 2008

This year’s journey to Rhyl was certainly a worth while one as Dawnswyr Talog won first prize in the Dance Group for Secondary Schools, the Stepping Group and the Open Dance Group. Congratulations to everybody who took part and a big thank you to all our musicians, instructors and loyal supporters. The only negative in an otherwise memorable weekend was the minimal television coverage. The popularity of shows such as ´Strictly Come Dancing´ prove that the public enjoy watching dance on television. Why then does S4C constantly push the dance competitions in our national festivals to the sidelines? We can only hope for better next year in Newport.

Volkskunstweek, Belgium 2008

It all started badly. There were eight cars leaving Britain for Sint-Niklaas in Flanders, on Saturday, 9th September, but only one car arrived at the destination on time, three cars arrived an hour late and the other four cars (after getting completely lost somewhere between Calais and Ypres thanks to Aled Rees and his borrowed Sat. Nav. system) not arriving until almost four hours later. Surely, things could only improve! Thankfully things did improve, very much so in fact, and by the end of our week long stay in the Sint-Niklaas area for the Volkskunstweek Festival we had met so many kind and generous people we were sad to leave.

The ‘Volkskunstweek’ was founded by Hugo Pieters in 1976 with the aim of bringing folklore to the people by organising performances in public parks, halls and market places. The festival takes place once every 2 years and this was Dawnswyr Talog’s third visit. Many of the host families could remember some of our members as children back in 1982 and 1996 and were delighted to find they were still dancing with the group as adults. Our fellow dancers at the festival this year was Speelschaar Ossaart, a local dance group from Flanders; Leksands Folkdanslag from Sweden and Udaberri Dantzeri Taldea from the Basque Country.

The ‘Volkskunstweek’ timetable was a very busy one, with up to three performances on some days. This called for a wide repertoire of dances including fair and court dances, two stepping dances and national prize winning solo dances by Cerian and Tudur. We also made use of the cute-factor by giving the eight children who had made the journey with us a chance to perform Jac-y-Do. Although the schedule was busy there was time to have fun, we enjoyed the highlights of the beautiful city of Bruges and were able to relax with our host-families. One of the week’s highlights came during the social evening on Thursday, 14th August, when each group was asked to perform a dance imitating one of the other groups. For one night only we became Dawnswyr Talog from Sweden, and both the audience and the Swedish dance group were laughing tears! Eirlys played the Swedish melodies perfectly, Mansel organised a performance of one of the Swede’s main dances by the boys and, as you can see from the picture below, Sian Elin transformed our costumes on a shoestring budget! It was a great idea by the organisers and was a wonderful way to bring the various dance groups together.

We could fill many a page with the week’s goings on, including Tudur’s missing clothes; Stuart’s role as super-sub and Dafi and Aeres’ van full of costumes, pushchairs - and good Belgian beer on the way home, to name but a few! However we must mention two things in particular, firstly the amazing generosity of our Flemish hosts and secondly the good company and never-ending patience of Kristof Kesteloot our guide for the week. Nothing was too much trouble for Kristof and his fellow countrymen and they were a model example of hospitality. Whilst thanking Kristof for all his hard work, Sioned our chairperson, expressed our pleasure at being able to take part in the ‘Volkskunstweek’ festival. We have taken home plenty of happy memories from our trip and will have many good friends in Flanders for years to come.
Click here for more images

National Eisteddfod, Cardiff

Congratulations to everyone who competed in the folk dancing competitions at the Cardiff National Eisteddfod in August. It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces on stage as soloists, trios and members of the stepping group and the dance group for under 25´s.

For a full list of results and a chance to see videos of selected performances visit:

We must also wish Tudur Phillips, one of our most notable dancers, best wishes as he competes for the Bryn Terfel Scholarship on 20th September. Tudur has won numerous prizes over the years, including the solo clog dance in both the Urdd and National Eisteddfod this year.

Good luck Tudur, we look forward to seeing the televised version of the performance later in September.

The Jacob Sheep Society

Our various bookings accross the country give us a chance to meet a variety of interesting people and Saturday, April 26th was no exception. Our audience were the members of the Jacob Sheep Society who were holding their Annual General Meeting at the Cliff Hotel near Cardigan.

Two of our members, Derrick and Brenda Howells, are experienced Jacob Sheep farmers and were keen to give their fellow society members a taste of Welsh traditional culture. Apart from the usual dancing and clogging they even persuaded us to sing! We can only hope that they enjoyed as much as we did.

Annual Dinner

Our annual dinner was held at the Penybont Inn, Llanfynydd, at the end of January, and as always it was a great chance to socialize, and have some light-hearted after-dinner entertainment thanks to Sioned and Elsbeth. Everyone was split into three teams to compete against each other in a number of dancing-related rounds. The winning team had an unfair advantage because Eirlys was on their side; she should really be in a team on her own as she knew too many of the answers! However the prize for the best competitor goes to Stuart, not Eirlys, because he managed to dance Cylch y Cymry despite having his ankle in plaster!

The dinner also gave us a chance to thank everyone for their hard work and look back at the past year. 2007 was filled with the usual twmpaths and concerts but amongst the highlights were a visit to the Cwlwm Celtaidd Festival; taking part in the Day of Dance (and Mavis and John’s wedding) at the National Botanic Garden; and taking part in a series of stepping workshops held in conjunction with the Cymdeithas Eisteddfodau Cymru Association.

As we look forward to 2008, we expect a very busy schedule as the invitations are coming in thick and fast! Thankfully we have a number of new members who will be able to assist with the entertaining. We welcome them warmly and any others who wish to join us at Talog Hall every Tuesday evening at 8pm.

National Eisteddfod, Flintshire

Congratulations to everyone who competed in the folk dancing competitions at the National Eisteddfod in Mold. Although we as a team could not compete due to the fact that Aron, our former chairman, was an official adjudicator it was wonderful to see so many familiar faces on stage as soloists, duets, trios and members of the Talwenog groups.

For a full list of results and a chance to see videos of the winning performances visit:

From the workshop to the stage

At Dawnswyr Talog we are always keen to spread the word about Welsh folk dancing, and a recent project held in conjunction with the Cymdeithas Eisteddfodau Cymru Association was too good an opportunity to miss. From January to June a small group of our members took part in a series of stepping workshops with the aim of promoting traditional dance competitions at three local eisteddfodau, namely Rhydlewis, Talgarreg and Newcastle Emlyn.

When the first workshop began back in January, up to fifty youngsters aged between ten and fifteen years old came along to learn or develop the traditional stepping skills. The school hall at Newcastle Emlyn came alive and the enthusiasm was priceless! Best of all, over half of that number continued to turn up for the monthly workshops and that each of the three eisteddfodau had at least six stepping duets or trios in their competition.

The feedback from the project has been overwhelmingly positive. The adjudicators, Elen and Eifion Thomas, were pleased to see such a high standard achieved by the groups in such a short space of time and the eisteddfod organisers welcomed the fact that they were able to hold a brand new competition with so many new eisteddfod competitors taking part. It is also hoped, by giving the youngsters a chance to join the activities of Clocswyr Cowin in September, that they will be able to build upon the stepping skills they have learnt over the past six months and perhaps, one day, become fully fledged members of Dawnswyr Talog!

We must thank Geraint Hughes, the Cymdeithas Eisteddfodau Cymru Association’s Development Officer for South Wales, for dealing with the organisational side of the project in such an efficient manner. However, our biggest thank you goes to all the youngsters that took part. Being able to see their development and enjoyment was wonderful and certainly gives the future of our traditional dance a brighter prospect.

AGM 2006

Our Annual General Meeting was held on Tuesday, September 26th. In addition to appointing the relevant officers there was an opportunity to reflect on the past year’s activities and look forward to the year ahead.

The officers for 2006/07 are as follows:

Chair: Sioned Page-Jones
Vice-chair: Aled Rees
Secretary: Catrin Rees
Treasurer: Aeres Davies
Instructors: Michelle Evans; Bobbie Evans; Aron Davies; Elsbeth Page; Gethin Page; Sioned Page-Jones; Aled Rees; Catrin Rees.
Child Protection Officer: Catrin Rees
Social Secretary: Vi Williams
Concert Officers: Aron Davies; Siwan Davies; Catrin Rees; Sioned Page-Jones
Competition Secretary: Elsbeth Page
Sales: Aled Rees
Publicity Officer: Nerys Defis
Collators: Eirith Evans; Elsbeth Page
Tour Organiser: Eifion Page

The Bryn Terfel Scholarship 2006

During the weekend of September 8-10th, Gethin Page, one of our foremost members, will be competing for the Bryn Terfel Scholarship at the Clwyd Theatre in Mold. Gethin is a familiar figure in the Welsh Folk Dancing world having won numerous prizes over the years, including the solo clog dance in both the Urdd and National Eisteddfod this year. He is also one of our coaches at Dawnswyr Talog and helped to coach over thirty of our members to victory in the Group Step Dance competition at the National Eisteddfod. We wish him the best of luck and look forward to seeing the televised version of his performance on Sunday, September 10th.

Summer News

If you were looking for a Dawnswyr Talog member during the first full week in August then you had to visit the National Eisteddfod field near Swansea with its proud pink pavilion! As you can see from the results below, it was a hectic yet successful week:

Girls Solo Step Dancing
1st Cerian Phillips

Boys Solo Step Dancing
1st Gethin Page
2nd Tudur Phillips
3rd Nathan Ifans

Stepping Duet, Trio or Quartet
2nd Grŵp Gethin, Tudur, Cerian
a Ffion

Folk Dance Party under 25 years
2nd Dawnswyr Talog

Welsh Folk Dance Challenge Trophy Competition
1st Dawnswyr Golat
2nd Dawnswyr Cowin

Group Step Dancing
1st Dawnswyr Talog

Lois Blake Memorial Competition
1st Dawnswyr Talog

Preparing for any competition requires both hard work and commitment and we are very thankful for all the help we receive from coaches, accompanists, wardrobe organisers and supporters alike. This year however we must thank one supporter in particular. Erin Eluned came all the way to Swansea to support Dawnswyr Talog although she was less than a week old! Congratulations to Sioned, Aled and both families on her birth – our newest member to date!

Dawnswyr Talog is able to raise its profile through competitions but we also enjoy participating in dancing exhibitions, concerts and twmpaths. Somehow or other, during the busy schedule of Eisteddfod week, we managed to perform for the Heritage Lottery Fund on three separate occasions and enjoy an evening of Supper, Dance and Song in aid of the Carmarthenshire Urdd Eisteddfod in 2007 at the Glamorgan Arms. Needless to say, the reminder of August is a time of rest for the dancers but remember, if you would like to book us for a social evening, twmpath or concert you are more than welcome to contact Catrin Rees our secretary on (01267) 237462.

A small group from Dawnswyr Talog will be visiting Lesneven, Carmarthen´s twin town, towards the end of August but for everyone else it is a time to relax. Our programme of activities will recommence with a treasure hunt on Friday, 8th September. The trail begins at Talog YMCA Hall from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. and will end with a bar meal at the Afon Duad Inn. Everybody is welcome, especially new members who can get to know everyone in a relaxed atmosphere. Dancing is a great way to keep fit so we look forward to seeing you!

A tribute to Ray

It is with great sadness that we pay tribute to one of our dearest members – Ray Evans, or Aunty Ray, Maesymeillion, Talog. Over the past few years she was unable to participate in Dawnswyr Talog’s activities as she would have wished due to her brave battle against cancer. However, for over twenty years she was a very faithful member, always willing to travel to any concert or twmpath as long as Mansel organised her lift and made sure she wasn’t at the front of the set!

Her locality was of the utmost importance to Ray, having lived her whole life in the Talog area. The huge gathering of family and friends at her funeral on Tuesday, April 18th was a testament to the closeness felt towards this kind, unassuming and down-to-earth lady. Another testament to the love felt towards her was the wonderful care she received from friends and family during her last few months. Without this care she would have been unable to stay at home, something that was naturally of the utmost importance to a person born and bred within the same neighbourhood. During his funeral service Minister Guto Prys ap Gwynfor thanked everyone who had cared for Ray, because by doing so they had given us all an example of people working together for the sake of others.

Although Ray was a quiet person she will be sadly missed in many places, not only amongst us as dancers but also within her chapel at Blaenycoed, within the families she worked for and of course, most of all, within her family at Maesymeillion. We send our condolences to Nefin, Gloria, Dorian, Andrew and the whole family on the loss of such a dear person.

With a smile we reminisce
The good times shared together,
But her gentle Ray will shine
Within our hearts forever.

2005 / 2006

This autumn and winter has been one of our busiest yet with the members travelling all over Wales to take part in various concerts and twmpaths. Amongst the venues were Lampeter; the National Botanic Gardens; Fishguard; Carmarthen’s Miri Myrddin Festival and Cemaes near Machynlleth.

On Saturday, November 12th we visited the Gŵyl Cerdd Dant in Fishguard. In a day packed with various competitions it was wonderful to be able to bring a few of the trophies home. Eirian and Lleucu won the improvised stepping competitions; the stepping group came second and the folk dancing group won the main competition. Thanks to everyone who taught the various groups and helped in so many other ways and congratulations to everybody on their success.

Apart from the dancing we also made opportunities to socialise - like every other worthwhile dance group! At the end of September the members enjoyed a Treasure Hunt followed by a bar meal and in January our Annual Dinner was held at the Falcon Hotel, Carmarthen. Some members also enjoyed a Grand Soiree organised by Bobbie.

A number of dancing exhibitions, festivals and eisteddfodau will keep us busy during the summer months. We have already been entertaining at Abergwili and Bancyfelin and we hope to be a part of the Gŵyl Ifan Festival. With many of our members in the teaching profession this is also a busy a time due to the Urdd Eisteddfod. Best wishes to everyone in Denbighshire, and especially Sioned as one of the dance adjudicators.

We must also congratulate Eirlys and Mansel, on being chosen as Honorary Presidents of the Carmarthenshire Urdd Eisteddfod in 2007. Their longstanding involvement with the Urdd and their endless work with the youth in their area make it a thoroughly deserved honour.

Summer Activities

August’s arrival sees our yearly pilgrimage to the National Eisteddfod, and 2005 was no exception. It was a busy yet enjoyable week of competing and socialising, and thankfully there were a few prizes to take home at the end! Congratulations to all the members who took part, especially the following on their success:

Girls Solo Step Dancing
1st Sioned Page
3rd Cerian Phillips

Boys Solo Step Dancing
1st Gethin Page
2nd Tudur Phillips

Stepping Duet, Trio or Quartet
1st Gethin, Tudur, Cerian and Nerys

Group Dance Party under 25 years
1st Dawnswyr Talog

Lois Blake Memorial Competition
2nd Dawnswyr Talog

Group Step Dancing
2nd Dawnswyr Talog

Preparing for any competition requires hard work and commitment and our support for the National Eisteddfod this year meant a lot of work for a lot of people. We must thank everyone who accompanied, coached and helped the competitors during the week – it would have been impossible without you! Unfortunately, by the time some folk dancing competitions arrived on stage there was hardly an audience in the pavilion to appreciate everyone’s hard work. Hopefully things will be improved by next year!

The dancers had a well earned rest for the remainder of August with only one concert at the end of the month in Lampeter, to mark the beginning of the town’s Pantyfedwen Eisteddfod. Our weekly practices re-start on September 6th where all members, new and ‘old’, are welcome! Everyone is also welcome to join our treasure hunt on Friday, 9th September. The trail begins at Talog YMCA Hall from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at a cost of £5 per car and will end with a bar meal. We look forward to seeing you!


Saturday, June 11th was a day of non-stop celebrations. The festivities began at the National Botanic Gardens where, along with local schoolchildren and dance teams from all over Wales, Talog members joined Dawnswyr Tawerin in a Day of Dance to mark their 30th anniversary. It was wonderful to see the garden brimming with dancers and it was an excellent way to promote our folk traditions and celebrate at the same time.

After a short respite the celebrations continued but this time it was Dawnswyr Talog’s 25th anniversary party at the White Hart Hotel, Llandeilo. As members we wanted to mark the occasion with a grand dinner and twmpath, and over 140 former members, friends and fellow dance enthusiasts joined us as we feasted and danced into the early hours. All in all it was a fantastic end to a memorable day.


We must congratulate the members who took part in the National Urdd Eisteddfod in Cardiff and also Aron, our chairman, as one of the folk dancing adjudicators. However, our loudest cheer goes to Mansel, on receiving the John and Ceridwen Hughes Medal for his work with young people in the Hafodwenog area. He thoroughly deserves this acclaim and we are immensely proud of his achievement.
If you would like to read more about Mansel´s prize log on to:

Pan-Celtic festival

Over the Easter holidays some members of Dawnswyr Talog ventured to the Pan-Celtic festival in Tralee. This was the first time the team have attended the festival but, after a very enjoyable weekend, we hope that it will not be the last. We left Carmarthen at midnight on Thursday the 31st of March, arriving at Tralee just in time for some members to participate in the lunchtime procession on Friday and for others to catch up with some much-needed rest. After a (late) lunch we returned to the Brandon Court Hotel to participate in the very successful Welsh evening.

Saturday brought an opportunity to see the town properly and to sample the Guinness before returning to change for the dance competitions. This was another enjoyable evening with many teams competing in various competitions. Dawnswyr Talog were successful in winning the Original Dance category, giving us another reason to remember this festival. We would like to congratulate ‘Tipyn o Bopeth’ and Dawnswyr Caernarfon on their success, and also to extend our congratulations to Bobbie Evans, the leader of ‘Tipyn o Bopeth’ and one of our members, on her role as president of the festival. We certainly had a good time, and look forward to attending the festival again.

Affrican Visitors

As a group we are always on the lookout for new opportunities - not only does this ensure the development of our folk tradition but it also keeps our younger members interested and challenged! On Saturday, February 19th, we were able to participate in a joint workshop with a group of African drummers and Caribbean performers, led by Amas Gbubemi, an arts consultant based in Swansea. Throughout the afternoon Talog Y.M.C.A. hall was buzzing with the rhythmical patterns of the drummers and cloggers. It was all one big, happy experiment with the emphasis on fusion.

Later on, after a relaxing meal, we returned to the hall for an informal social evening. In between our traditional Welsh folk dances we were able to appreciate various performances from our guests (who represented countries including Nigeria, Congo, South Africa and the Caribbean) and taste some traditional Nigerian cooking. It was a totally different but very, very rewarding day as we crossed all boundaries through our respective arts and cultures.

Gwyl Cerdd Dant 2004

This year’s festival in Llandudno will certainly be a memorable one for Dawnswyr Talog, from the youngest members to the (supposedly) most experienced. Our youth team were successful in the under 16 competition, coming second to Aberaeron school. Some of these dancers also participated with ‘Clocswyr Cowin’ in the clogging competition, winning another second prize. The first prize in this competition went to the girls from Talog, which will now give the boys something to think about! This year we ventured to take two teams to the open competition, namely Dawnswyr Talog and Dawnswyr Golat. Both teams were fortunate enough be seen on the stage, with ‘Golat’ awarded the first prize and ‘Talog’ the third, although the version performed by ‘Talog’ on stage was not quite the same as the dance seen in the prelims that afternoon. It was certainly a successful festival in terms of competition, and we look forward to next year in Fishguard.


Congratulations to Mrs. Bobi Evans, one of our most loyal members, on being honoured as President of the 2005 Pan Celtic Festival. Both Bobi and her husband Dafydd are excellent ambassadors for Welsh Folk Dancing. We look forward to visiting the festival next spring as a team, to show our support.

Venturing Overseas!

During the summer months Dawnswyr Talog practices have been full of excitement because, for the first time since 1998, we have been hard at work preparing for an overseas trip.
On Monday, August 16th, a coach load of over twenty dancers embarked on a ten day trip to North East Germany. Travelling via France, Belgium and the Netherlands, the destination was the quiet town of Ribnitz-Damgarten, in the seaside region of Mecklenburg-Vorpommen.

As the coach arrived in Ribnitz-Damgarten late on Wednesday afternoon the sun was smiling on the thatched roofed hostel that would be ‘home’ for the next few days. There was a chance to unwind and explore Ribnitz-Damgarten, a typical neat and organised East German town. On Thursday morning most of the dancers had a chance to relax but for Tudur and Nerys it was a nervous time as they waited for their A and AS Level results. Luckily the news from home was good and it was smiles and congratulations all around! In the afternoon a trip to the beach was in order to make the most of the fine weather, although it came as a bit of a shock to see that the local trend was towards nudism! However everyone from Talog chose to hide behind their trunks and bikinis!

During the Friday and Saturday, Talog Dancers gave three concerts. The first was at Anklan Town Festival, the second at a St. Fagan-style museum in Klockenbergen, and the last in a lovely seaside setting in the town of Zingst. Judging by the responses, everything went very well as we aimed to bring a taste of traditional Welsh entertainment to this beautiful part of Germany.

The ‘official’ part of the trip was now over but before returning home we made the most of our time. We enjoyed a visit to the city of Rostock; a few hours sightseeing in the beautiful town of Hamelin; and a stop at Ypres and the nearby First World War Cemetery, Artillery Wood, where the famous Welsh bard Hedd Wyn is buried. Everyone agreed it had been a fantastic few days and to show our appreciation both Eifion and Alan, out trusty coach drivers, were given a special gift for their hard work. Others that must be thanked include:

Eirlys for organising the dancing and for accompanying; Mansel and Aron for introducing the dancers; Dafi and Aeres for taking care of all the gifts and Vi (although she was not with us) for making sure all our clothes were spick-and-span before we left home!

The National Eisteddfod, 2004

As expected Tredegar House, Newport, was a perfect setting for this year’s National Eisteddfod held during the first week of August. Although Dawnswyr Talog were taking part in less competitions than usual due to our forthcoming trip to Germany, we could not fail to support the Eisteddfod in at least some of the competitions. Congratulations to all the members who took part, especially the following on their success. We must also thank everyone who accompanied, coached and helped the competitors during the week.

Boys Solo Step Dancing
1st Gethin Page
2nd Tudur Phillips

Girls Solo Step Dancing
1st Cerian Phillips

Boys Improvised Step Dancing
1st Gethin Page
2nd Tudur Phillips

Girls Improvised Step Dancing
1st Cerian Phillips

Group Step Dancing
1st Dawnswyr Talog

Group Dance Party under 25 years
2nd Dawnswyr Talog

Stepping Duet, Trio or Quartet
2nd Gethin a Tudur

Despite the dancers’ success at the Eisteddfod the highlight for us as Dawnswyr Talog was seeing Eirlys Phillips receive the Sir T.H. Parry-Williams Memorial Medal. Eirlys is one of the founders of Dawnswyr Talog and, along with her husband Mansel, has played a key role in the development of folk dancing both locally and nationally. She received the Medal not only for her years of voluntary work with folk dancing but also for her support and inspiration to the Urdd and Aelwyd Hafodwenog in particular, the Young Farmers and her local Chapel in Bryn Iwan. A special ceremony was held in the Eisteddfod Pavilion on Wednesday, August 4th to honour Eirlys. It was such a pleasure to see Eirlys’ hard work being officially recognised and as dancers we can only say “congratulations and thank you very much”.

Saint David´s Day

Saint David’s Day was celebrated at a charity concert held at the Mwldan Theatre, Cardigan. Performing to a capacity audience in the newly refurbished theatre was an excellent way to celebrate our nationality and traditions. During the following weeks in March, many members were busy with the Urdd Eisteddfod. Best wishes to everyone competing in Anglesey, as competitors and instructors.

On Friday, April 16th the dancers held a social evening at Cwm Duad village hall. The audience enjoyed a variety of folk dances and clogging interspersed by a twmpath and a stepping master class held by Gethin Page. However the highlight for the dancers was a feast of cakes during halftime!

As always, we have a busy summer ahead. The diary is brimming with a variety of activities including social evenings, concerts, competitions and a trip to Germany. This is the group’s first full tour since August 1998 and there is naturally a lot of excitement. It will surely be a holiday to remember!

Annual Dinner

2004 began in full swing with our Annual Dinner held at the Boar’s Head Hotel, Carmarthen on January 24th. Both members and friends, over forty in total, enjoyed a feast followed by some light entertainment organised by Aron, our chairman. It was surprising how rowdy some members became over such competitions as ‘Who’s who?’ and ‘Improvise a dance’! Thank you to Vi and everyone who helped organise the evening, it gave us a fantastic start to the year’s activities.