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Morris Dancing

Long before we entertained ourselves with
'twerking' and 'G-funk', we were a country of Morris
Dancers and their adoring fans. As one of England's
oldest traditions, Morris Dancing dates back to the
15th century or perhaps even before then.

We met couple Robin & Pauline, along with
musician and dancer Mike from The Gloucestershire
Morris Men. The group was formed in the 1930s and
continue to dance all over the county. They talked us
through the history, customs and traditions of Morris
Dancing in the Cotswolds.

Q&A with the Gloucestershire Morris Men

White Stuff: What’s a typical day like for a Morris Dancer?
GMM: Well, it depends on the time of year, so in the
winter we’ll practice once a week, but through the summer
we’ll be touring and teaching at workshops, festivals
and out in the community.

WS: There seems to be a definite link between Morris
Dancing & Ale drinking, in fact most celebrations seem
to start or end (usually both) in a pub.
Can you confirm or deny this?

GMM: We can confirm, yes.

WS: Are there any significant days on your social calendar?
GMM: May Day is a big day for us, as it marks the start
and Pride and Prejudice to name a few. The honey-
of the season and processions of dancers tour all across
the country on this day.

WS: What instrument is played during the dances?
GMM: Traditionally music played to a ‘set’ came in the form
of a pipe and tabor or a fiddle, nowadays the most common

WS: Will Morris Dancing continue to live on forever?
GMM: We hope so! It is popular with young women
but we’d like to recruit more young men to join us and
keep the tradition alive.
www.glosmorrismen.org

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