What is Morris Dancing?
Morris Dancing is England's traditional folk dance. It is usually performed by a team of six dancers wearing bells, and using handkerchiefs or sticks. Some think that it dates from pre-Christian times, celebrating the cycles of the year, especially the Mayday resurrection; others think may relate to ‘moorish’ dances brought back to England at the time of the Crusades. In modern times, Morris was revived around 1900, through the collecting work of Cecil Sharp and others, and yet again in the 1970s.
There are two major dance traditions we continue: Cotswold Morris from the areas to the west of Oxford, in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, and the more rustic Border Morris from the English–Welsh border country.