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jonm Morris joins the Dodo? (185* d) RE: Morris joins the Dodo? 05 Jan 09

There are fewer young people in the morris now than there were when I was in my teens and twenties. They are now concentrated in mixed teams in the main, hence the Ring's problem being more severe than the Fed's.

The "bump" in average age has definitely moved upwards in the last 30 years since I started dancing. My guess is that in the Ring it has moved up by 30, in mixed teams by probably more than 15.

A lot of the younger dancers are members of a variety of teams, as I was back then (and still am, both Ring and Fed) so they turn up more often. They also tend to be more Internet literate.

If I think back to the two teams I was a regular with on leaving university 20 years ago, I was their youngest member then and would still be now! The same is pretty much true of the teams I dance with now, give or take my lad, who's 12.

My view is that single-sex morris is dying faster than mixed, however, it would be unwise not to recognise the Ring as the upholder of a lot of the tradition and history of the morris in terms of its archive material and membership of long-lived clubs.

Morris is long overdue for a cull, though. Too many sides who perform poorly. My generalisation would be that poor performance from a male team takes the form of too many beerguts and too little altitude; there are also a large number of mixed teams who regard a shoddy attitude to the quality of the dancing and their treatment of the audience as the norm.

Not having seen the segment yet, I shall be disappointed if the BBC regard one primary teacher with a class of nine-year-olds as a balanced argument for the future of the morris being secure, though.

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