What is Morris Dancing?
Morris dance is a form of English folk dance usually accompanied by music. It is based on rhythmic stepping and the execution of choreographed figures by a group of dancers, usually wearing bell pads on their shins. Implements such as sticks, swords and handkerchiefs may also be wielded by the dancers. There are predominately six styles of Morris dancing, and different dances or traditions within each style named after their region of origin.
- North West Morris: developed in the mills of the northwest of England in the 19th and early 20th centuries. North West Morris dancers wear clogs and twirl twisted cotton rope, called Mollies or Slings, or wave painted sticks, with bells and ribbons at one or both ends.
- Cotswold Morris: this is from an area mostly in Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire. Normally danced with handkerchiefs or sticks to accompany the hand movements. Dances are usually for 6 or 8 dancers, but solo and duo dances (known as single or double jigs) also occur.
- Border Morris: from the English-Welsh border is a simpler, looser, more vigorous style, traditionally danced with blackened faces.
- Longsword dancing: from Yorkshire and south Durham is danced with long, rigid metal or wooden swords for, usually, 6 or 8 dancers.
- Rapper: from Northumberland and Co. Durham, danced with short flexible sprung steel swords, usually for 5 dancers.
- Molly Dancing from Cambridgeshire. Traditionally danced on Plough Monday, they were Feast dances that were danced to collect money during harsh winters. One of the dancers would be dressed as a woman, hence the name.
Information from Wikipedia