What is Morris Dancing?
Did you know that in the past:
- Morris dancing was performed by the fittest young men in the village
- Only the best dancers would be allowed to perform in public - there was intense competition to win a place
- The public marvelled at the power and fitness of the dancers
- Villages had their own traditional steps and would guard them jealously
- Dances with the same name existed in different villages but had different steps and their own version of the music
- Many of the tunes were based on popular songs or tunes of the day, examples are Jenny Lind, Princess Royal and many more
- The reason you often see Morris sides with older members these days is because they joined as young men and liked it so much that they kept on dancing as they got older
Misunderstandings regarding Morris
- Women aren't allowed to dance. Not true, there are many mixed and all-women sides. There are also all male sides that carry on the old tradition and Whitchurch Morris Men just happen to be in that category.
- Morris is for old blokes. Totally untrue as Morris is at its best when danced by young, fit dancers. Unfortunately, young men often don't seem to see it that way. They don't know what they are missing. After all, we were all young once.
- We don't want younger men to join. Actually, the opposite is true. The future of the tradition depends on younger dancers. We would love to pass on the tradition so it is up to you.
- Morris is a soft dance for wimps. Some of the dances are subtle but that doesn't make them easy. There are also lots of aggressive stick dances. Like all hobbies, you get out what you put in!
- Morris Dancing is just an excuse for a drink. Well, it is not unknown but it isn't really the main reason. Loads of hobbies and interests end up in a pub so we aren't any different. It is not mandatory!
Wanted! New members. Yes, that could mean you.
Now is a great time to get involved. If you care about keeping the old traditions alive and you are free on Tuesday evenings, why not come along and give it a try. It is fun, honest, and you get some exercise - great for the heart and lungs. Just remember that we are a traditional Morris side so men only.
Get in touch if you want to know more, or turn up at Wilstone Village Hall at 8pm on Tuesdays between October and May and get a taster - we would love to see you.