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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Sue the Borderer Strictly Come Folk Dancing? (71* d) RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing? 13 Jun 07


Hi Folkiedave
I've just had this thread pointed out to me. I'm interested in how strongly you feel that what we are doing as Herbaceous Border is damaging to the image of morris.

I, too, dance with a 'proper side' which practices hard all winter and aims to get the balance right between dancing really well, enjoying ourselves and entertaining the public. (Can't find the previous thread on this topic.)

People come to 'the morris' by different routes. Mine was by first getting involved with Herbaceous Border - and quite a number of other people do too.

Recently a morris dancer in full kit came up to me at a Festival and said "I must thank you! I've been dancing a while and I've kept trying to get my partner to come along to a practice night or a workshop and he always refused. Then, last year when we saw Herbaceous on the street he came and had a go. He enjoyed it so much he's joined the side and dances regularly." (Enter partner stage right, also in full morris kit.)
Sorry - it sounds like a slushy magazine story, but I promise you it's true.

Other typical comments include "I've been watching the dancing all weekend (or even 'for years') and it's brilliant to get the chance to have a go." This may be followed by "I've only done one dance and I'm shattered. You folks dance all day - you must be fit! I promise I'll never take the p*ss out of morris dancers again."

There may well be a few people in the crowd whose negative image of morris dancing is reinforced by what we are doing, but I think the majority can tell the difference between the skilled, slick display side and the simple basic dances that we do as part of an on-the-street workshop. What the two have in common is that they are both done with enjoyment, energy and enthusiasm...... which is catching!


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