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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Liz the Squeak English Tradition, part two (142* d) RE: English Tradition, part two 11 Jun 00

It's a type of dancing, like Salsa, or Flamenco. A group of people (male or female, it doesn't matter a hoot which) do particular 'set' dances. That's where 6 or 8 people dance to and with each other. It's a bit like country dancing or barn dancing, but with fewer people.

The steps are not particular to morris, nor are the tunes, but the costume is. It's usually black or white trousers, white shirt and a waistcoat (vest) but can be anything you like. It is customary to have bells somewhere. For convenience these are on a bell pad, a pad of leather, not unlike a cat flap, that ties to the leg, just below the knee. Sticks can be used to emphasise beats or rythmns in the tune by knocking them together, big sticks like hickory pick handles (as used by most morris teams), little sticks or tiny sticks with bells on, doesn't matter except to the 'tradition' of the style of dance you are doing. In barn dancing these stick knocks are replaced by hand clapping.

To be a morris dancer you have to accept that you will have the urine extracted from you at great length, and not least by your supposed nearest and dearest!

And don't even get me on the baldricks!!

LTS - morris/sword dancer widow........ every other weekend between now and September!

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