A taste of traditional English dance comes to Halesworth

Morris dancers gather in Halesworth for a day of dance.PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Morris dancers gather in Halesworth for a day of dance.PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

The French have the can-can, the Spanish have the flamenco.

But the great English tradition of morris dancing was in full swing in Halesworth this weekend, as the town celebrated its second annual Day of Dance.

Hundreds of people lined the streets to watch 15 sides perform different styles of dancing at locations around the town during the free event, before coming together for an energetic mass dance finale.

It was hosted by Oxblood Molly, a side specialising in the Fenland tradition of Molly dancing and organiser Zoe-Anne Wadey, who lives in Halesworth, said the turnout was 'fantastic'.

'I was very pleased with how it went,' she said. 'The weather was much better than last year, the turnout was fantastic and sides which only had a few members last year brought full sides this year and there were more people in the town.

'It's important to have events like this and encourage people to join in, if we don't recruit younger people it will die out. We have to be proud of our traditions.'

Among the sides performing on Saturday were Danegeld Morris – a mixed North West Morris team based near Sutton Hoo in Suffolk.

Most Read

Alan Turner also took part with the side last year for the inaugural Day of Dance and said: 'It was just lovely, when you walk through Halesworth you could be 100 or even 200 years in the past if you just changed what people were wearing.

'The other main towns don't seem to have got a grasp of what a great thing this is to do.

'We enjoyed it so much, it's a local event for us and it really kicks the season off.'

Standing out from the crowd in their tatty purple jackets and hats adorned with large feathers, Pedants' Revolt entertained the crowds with their Border style of morris dancing.

John Dimascio said events like the Day of Dance were needed to support the custom as a part of English heritage.

'It's important to keep the English tradition alive,' he said.

'And we want to show people there is a dance style that's unique to England.'

Are you running an event in Halesworth? Email polly.grice@archant.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter