Because we dance Border Morris which is the style of morris dance that originated in the Welsh borders. We don’t just wear black: we sew rag ‘tatters’ onto our black jackets and are really quite colourful! And we wear pheasant feathers in our hats.
Why do you have paint your faces?
Traditionally Border Morris was danced by labourers looking for a bit of extra cash, so in order to disguise themselves from their bosses they painted their faces with soot. We no longer paint our faces black but instead use various colours to match our rag jackets and patterns to make our faces more interesting.
Does that work?
No. When you are out taking a party of school children on a farm walk and one of the parents whom you have never met before says to you "oh I know you, you're one of the morris dancers" you know it doesn't.
What kind of events do you dance at?
Anything really - festivals, fetes, weddings, parties, fund raising events – or we just meet outside a pub to dance on a summer evening with other morris sides. (A group of morris dancers is known as a ‘side’ rather than a team.)
How can I book you for an event?
Can I join?
Yes. Anyone can join, male or female, old or young. As a dancer or a musician. We practice weekly but you don’t need to attend every practice.
How long does it take to learn?
It varies – everyone is different. But usually we aim to get a new dancer ready to ‘dance out’ within 2 or 3 months of starting, as soon as they have mastered a couple of dances. It also depends how regularly you are able to attend practices.
How many dances do you have in your repertoire?
We have about 12 dances that we perform regularly. The number of dancers required is different for our various dances ranging from 3 people to 8 people.