Morris dancing is a form of Folk Dance traditional in England which dates back at least as far as 15th century. There now are a few predominant styles of Morris dancing, each named after its region of origin. Most Morris sides specialise in one of these styles:
Cotswold Morris: originating from an area mostly in Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire.
North West (or Clog) Morris: a style that developed out of the mills in the North-West of England.
Border Morris from the English-Welsh border region.
Long Sword dance from Yorkshire and Teesdale.
Rapper Sword from Northumberland and Durham.
Molly dance from Cambridgeshire. Traditionally danced on Plough Monday.
Although reputedly Morris was traditionally danced by men, records show that women have been involved in Morris dancing since Shakespeare’s time and there are womens’ sides as well as mens’ sides in our association.
Some Morris dancers used to wear black face paint, but moved away from this a good while ago. Hence you’ll now see them wearing many different colours, designs and masks too. The feathers are pheasant.
However, Morris isn’t the only folk dance style represented in EFA. We also have display groups that specialise in other international folk dance styles and mixed styles. There are folk dance groups in and around the county that specialise in Irish dance, Flamenco, Appalachian, even Egyptian and Eastern dance.
Dance groups need dancers and musicians, so if you feel energetic enough and would like to join one of these groups why not contact the organiser or secretary of the group (known as the “bagman” in Morris parlance).