What is Morris Dancing

There are many theories about the history of Morris dancing but whatever your viewpoint there is evidence that it has been around in England for many centuries often linked to seasonal celebrations such as the return of Spring and new growth, or at the return of the sun following the Winter solstice. The Morris dances of the Cotswolds, which we perform, are springtime dances. The wearing of brightly-coloured clothing, bells and waving of handkerchiefs celebrate the return of new growth or to ward off evil spirits.

Stick dances represent mock battles , and this again may be derived from a symbolic battle between Winter and Spring, Good and Evil, or Life and Death.  It is not known when dancing became a part of these annual celebrations but clear references to dancing can be traced to the Middle Ages and by the 16th century the Morris was recognisably beginning to assume the form in which it has come down to us today.

Additional information can be found on the Morris Federation, Morris Ring, or EFDSS website.