Recorded as far back as the 15th century (or possibly earlier), morris dance is a form of English folk dance usually accompanied by traditional folk music.
It is based on rhythmic stepping and the execution of choreographed figures by a group of dancers. Implements such as sticks, swords, handkerchiefs and bells may also be wielded by the dancers.
The form of dance that Stroud Morris Dancers perform is known as Cotswold Morris. These dances were originally associated with Spring or Whitsuntide. They were called "Cotswold" by the early collectors because they were discovered mostly in the South-Midlands/Cotswold region. Dances were recorded as far apart as Abingdon, Brackley and Chipping Camden, with most around Oxford, Stow-on-the-Wold and Witney. It is very likely that this form of morris was originally more widespread and its survival in the Cotswolds was probably due to the region's comparative isolation.
Traditionally, morris dance is performed by men. Many fiercely traditional sides still refuse to allow women to dance with them. However, both mixed and ladies' sides have sprung up all over the country, and are an important and vibrant addition to the tradition.
Click here to find out more about the history of Stroud Morris Dancers.
Like what you see and fancy having a go?
Our official dancing season runs from May to September, but as you can see from our Programme page, we don't sit on our laurels! We recruit and practice all year round, so if you're interested in joining, you can get more information by emailing us: firstname.lastname@example.org
We offer a fabulous opportunity for women of all ages to dust off their dancing shoes and have a go at our national dance. We promise fun, friendship and frolicks! No obligation to join, just come along and have a go.
Click here to see where you can find us.