There has been a Polish folk dancing group in existence in Manchester since 1949. It is one of the oldest established groups in Great Britain.
It was started by expatriates, who were unable to return to Poland after the Second World War, due to the communist regime. They wanted to keep the culture and traditions of their homeland alive, through song and dance and taking part in operettas and dramatic productions.
In the fifties, the group regularly represented Manchester in competitions and festivals, appearing in the Free Trade Hall Manchester, at Belle Vue and at the Royal Albert Hall in London. In 1953, the group had the honour of taking part in events to celebrate the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Polonez Manchester has been able to enhance its repertoire to include suites from Biłgoraj, Lasowiak, Lublin, Kraków, Rzeszów as well as National Dances the Polonaise and Mazur. The current committee has had much success in organising trips and shows to showcase the group’s beautiful dances and stunning costumes to the widest possible audience. It endeavors to promote our beautiful country, language as well as rich culture to various community circles.
The group continues to appear at festivals organised by the Federation of Polish Folklore Groups in Great Britain and Wspólnota Polska in Rzeszów. In July 2019 the group was honoured to receive a special award from Wspólnota Polska – a Gold Medal for contributing to Polish culture for 70 years.