Who are Leeds Morris Men

Leeds Morris Men are a Morris dancing side from Leeds in West Yorkshire.
We generally perform dances from the Cotswold tradition though we have been known to perform dances from sword and Welsh border traditions.
The club has been in existence for over 60 years – check out our history.
We dance out at pubs in and around Leeds during the summer months and also attend various festivals and Morris dancing weekends across the country.
2010 saw our “diamond jubilee” and to mark it the club produced a commemorative booklet.

Kit

The Leeds Morris Men kit consists of black shoes, white socks, white shirt and trousers with a baldric in Leeds University colours of white, burgundy and green.
Most members wear a burgundy waistcoat and many wear a straw hat decorated with ribbons, and fresh or artificial flowers. The waistcoat carries an embroidered badge showing the Leeds owl from the city’s coat of arms.
The baldric is burgundy with a white Yorkshire rose on the front and white and green ribbons on the back.
The bell-pads are covered with white, maroon and green ribbon. Armlets in club colours are worn at the elbows.
We generally dance either with white handkerchiefs or sticks of varying lengths depending on the dance.

Dances

In the early days, Leeds Morris Men danced Longsword and Rapper as well as Cotswold Morris, but in recent decades the club has focused almost exclusively on the dances of the Cotswolds learning and performing dances from the villages of Leafield (Fieldtown), Sherborne, Bledington, Ilmington, Adderbury and Bucknell.
Other traditions we have performed include Ascott-under-Wychwood, Badby, Bampton,Bidford,Brackley, Ducklington, Headington, Hinton, Oddington, Stanton Harcourt and Wheatley. Over the years the side has taken the view that the distinguishing characteristics of the traditions become blurred if too many are attempted at once. We therefore usually dance between two and four traditions at any one time, changing about half of them each year.
We appoint a foreman to teach each tradition we study who then makes a detailed investigation of the available sources while preparing to teach the dances. Foremen usually produce detailed notes covering the provenance and sources for the dances. Members of other clubs interested in seeing these notes are invited to email contact@leedsmorris.org.uk.
This year we are dancing Ilmington and also dances from the Ruardean and Redbrook tradition. These latter traditions were danced exclusively by the Royal Forest of Dean Morris but we have been given permission to learn and perform them. We are also dancing a small selection of Welsh Border dances from the town of Pershore in Worcestershire.

Practices