This week, I am pressing pause on my dance PhD research and heading off to the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts. While I am looking forward to Mumford and Sons, U2 and Beyonce, I am also excited about immersing myself in other aspects of the festival, including dance, circus, cabaret, comedy, theatre, poetry and even bingo.

Dance performance has become more and more apparent at UK summer festivals, and below are some of the best dance finds of the 2011 season.

Latitude 2011
14th-17th July 2011
Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk

Latitude festival celebrates the performing arts and prides itself in being ‘more than just a festival’. This year, Sadler’s Wells hosts its own programme on the Waterfront Stage, which includes FELA, Rambert Dance Company, Zoo Nation, Tommi Kitti, the English National Ballet and more

Guilfest
15th-17th July 2011
Stoke Park, Guildford

Guilfest is the University’s local festival, and will feature a Ceroc dance tent and barn dancing.

The Big Chill
4th-7th August
Eastnor Castle, Ledbury, Herefordshire

The Big Chill offers an all-round experience for 30,000 people including a wide variety of music and performance, art, spaces for kids, comedy, dance and film. For a full line-up, check out the Big Chill Arts trail.

Bestival 2011
8th-11th September 2011
Robin Hill Country Park, Isle of Wight

Founded in 1995, Bestival is the last festival of the season, and has a fancy dress theme every year (this year it’s Rock Stars, Pop stars and Divas). In 2011, the ‘Time for Tease’ tent offers a delightful selection of burlesque and cabaret, while the Come Dancing tent teaches styles from the Lindy Hop and Viennese Waltz to Hip Hop, Tango and Breakdance.

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