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Morris dancing was thriving in William Shakespeare's Day. Indeed it goes back to the early 1400s. Throughout the UK, Morris dancing takes slightly differnt forms, having evolved over the centuries by incorporating local dancing traditions. It seems to have had Moorish origins.

 

This unique English folk dancing is usually accompanied by music. Rhythmic steps, sticks, swords, beards, hats, garters & handkerchiefs are all part of this riotous , fun-filled , eccentric English tradition. Some reckon that the Morris dancing traditions go back to pagan times & celebrates the fertility of nature.

 

There are a great many Morris dancing sides throughout the UK. If you are visiting the Lakes , do try see the following North country & Lake District Morris dancing.

 

Britannia Coconut Morris Dancers perform in Bacup, Lancashire, on Easter Saturday where their exotic garb & unique Morris Dancing causes quite a stir.

 

The Mersey Morris Men perform their traditional dancing in the Lancashire villages of Leafield & Bucknell. These Morris Men perform dancing from three very distinct English traditions :- Cotswold Morris dancing, Rapper - sword dancing from the North East using flexible two-handled swords and Molly which is East Anglia Morris dancing.


Fylde Coast Cloggers are a ladies clog morris teamfrom Lytham, Lancashire , performing both traditional North West Morris dances , garland & unique clog dances. Clogs go back to the time when hard working people needed shoes that lasted a lifetime, hence often made of wood.

 

Based In Wigton, Cumbria the Solway Morris Men perform traditional Morris dancing outside pubs & inns throughout the Lake District. They dance in the summer & practise during the winter months. They also perform Mummers plays throughout the year, attend folk festivals, carnivals & seasonal events.

 

Crook Morris, based at Kendal, perform traditional English dances in the summer at local pubs throughout the Lakes. They dance traditional English morris dances from the Cotswolds and the Welsh Borders with a strong band of musicians including concertina, melodeon, drum, fiddle, banjo, accordion, guitar, saxophone and flute. The Crook Morris are decked out in white collarless shirts, black breeches, one green sock and one burgundy sock, black shoes, bell pads of the dancer's choosing, green and burgundy baldrick with crook motif, and straw hat with flowers. It is a sight not to be missed.

 

The Belfagan Womens Morris is an all-female Morris side. They follow mostly the North West Morris traditions, and some of their dances are named after places in their area, like Keswick, Wigton, Eaglesfield or the Cumberland Crown. They also have their own Morris dance, named, with great originality, Belfagan, as well as a new dance created especially fortheir 21st birthday, called Cockermouth. They hope one day that they will it!

This unique female morris side is based Cockermouth which is a lively Cumbrian market town. From there they branch out to pubs throughout the Lake District, regaling customers with the age old dancing skills of the Morris Women.

 

 

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