Dance displays 2018

Dance is a key part of the festival – On site, with ceilidhs of course, and dance displays by a host of dance sides, as well as children from local schools. Plus, on Saturday morning the main event is the procession along King Street in Southwell, much loved and looked forward to by many in town and festival-goers alike.

And on Sunday is the dance spectacular on the festival site with most of the festival dance sides performing on the outdoor dance stage.

Sides confirmed so far:


Anstey Morrismen

Based in the village of Anstey in Leicestershire the Anstey Morrismen perform dances from the Cotswold tradition and have gained an enviable reputation locally for their energetic stick dances. Their costume is based on that of a 19th Century “Navvie” or farm worker.


Bishops Morris

Bishop’s Morris is a mixed, community side of all ages based in Lincoln. They dance predominantly Longsword and Cotswold morris dances, some traditional and some which they have developed recently.


Golden Star

Based in Norwich Golden Star are a mixed Cotswold side. They can be recognised by their kit of red socks and gold, brown and red baldricks bearing the distinctive Golden Star emblem and worn over a white shirt. Enthusiastic and lively dancers who always entertain.


Kesteven Morris

Lincolnshire based Kesteven Morris are two teams in one; A men’s team, dancing mainly Cotswold and rapper and a Women’s team dancing Cotswold, North West and Molly.
Founded in 1976 by Trevor Mayfield and Ray Worman, (ex. Albion Morris and the fool that danced the Bacca Pipe Jig on Morris On).
Kesteven Morris ensure their high spirited performances are skilful, enthusiastic and entertaining while taking care never to compromise the spirit of a unique and powerful English Tradition


Lincoln Micklebarrow Morrismen

Southwell’s Micklebarrow Morris Men are named after the hill just outside Southwell. In January 2001 they joined with the Lincoln Morris Men to create ‘The Lincoln Micklebarrow Morris Men’. Their badge comprises Lincoln’s famous Imp, inside a Southwell Bramley Apple. Lincoln Micklebarrow dance Cotswold Morris.


Mortimers Morris

Based in Nottingham; Mortimer’s Morris was founded to promote excellence in practice, and continue to perform high-impact precision dances in the North West style. In eye-catching ribbon waistcoats, the dancers are ably accompanied by their black-hatted musicians. Their stylish renditions of zesty Euro-tunes, played on an unusual and diverse range of instruments, always attract attention.


Old Speckled Hen

Old Speckled hen are a mixed side based at Milton Heights near Abingdon and Didcot in Oxfordshire. Formed in 1992, and named after the locally brewed beer, Old Speckled Hen dance North West Morris Clog Morris. Recently described as a precise and flamboyant dance side.


Pateley Long Sword

Described as ‘Tradition with attitude!’ Pateley Longsword, was formed in 2004 by experienced dancers from other Morris traditions.
All their longsword dances are devised by themselves to try to bring a vitality and freshness to the tradition.


Powder Kegs Morris

Powder Kegs are based in Whaley Bridge in the Peak District. Their name comes from the ancient gunpowder mills nearby. Their rags coats are fire colours and their dances are explosive!!
They dance Border Morris. Lively, noisy, with bells, yells, and clashing sticks!


Rattlejag Morris

Take a dose of recently collected local material, mix it with the ideas of a modern dance team and you have Rattlejag. Rattlejag dance Plough Morris; a tradition based in Lincolnshire, Notts and East Yorkshire. In some dances rattles are used, others use brooms, sticks, ‘baccapipes’ or swords. Each member of the side uses a different colour paint and ribbons to give the whole group a multi-colour effect. Local dance tunes accompany their dances.


Slubbing Billy’s

Slubbing Billy’s are a mixed Morris Team, with a reputation for colourful costumes and lively, entertaining dances. The team was formed in 1986, and has a healthy age range, from enthusiatic teenagers to more experienced (mature!) members who have danced with the side since it started. Most of the members live in and around the Colne and Holme Valleys near Huddersfield. They all have different backgrounds, but share a love of tradition, good company and the occasional pint of decent beer.

The Witchmen

The Hell’s Angels of Morris Dancers with a ‘veritable orchestra’ of musicians the Witchmen are one of the country’s best known dance sides. The Witchmen dance Morris from the Darkside where pagan ritual meets modern entertainment. They have created dances which are exciting to watch and have both magic and menace.

Picture copyright Des Knock BSc ABIPP 2011


Poacher Morris

Poacher Morris are Lincoln’s finest and original mixed Border Morris Team, renown for their lively and energetic dances. Formed in 1995 and they take our name from the song ‘The Lincolnshire Poacher’ and perform the dances of the Welsh Border tradition in their own “wild and exuberant” style. As a Border side they carry on the tradition of disguise with their own distinctive colours. Black to represent the border tradition and yellow for the Lincolnshire “yellowbelly”, (the name for a person born and bred within the county!).


Hadrian Clog

Based in the Tyne Valley around Hexham, Hadrians Clog perform traditional clog and hard shoe dances from the North East of England and beyond. Their repertoire includes steps from the North East, Lancashire, Scotland and Canada… and they are always on the look out for new ones! They pride themselves on dancing all steps with energy and passing on the tradition to their younger dancers. We’re delighted to have them with us at Southwell for the first time!


Harlequin Morris

Harlequin Morris are a lively young dance side formed back in June 2013 by a small group of friends from around the country. Their aim is to learn and dance more difficult and challenging Cotswold Morris traditions in a polished manner.

Exciting, energetic and uplifting to watch it is always a pleasure to see them perform.


Rhubarb Tarts Molly Dancers

The Rhubarb Tarts hail from the famous Rhubarb Triangle in West Yorkshire. Always fun to watch the tarts have a unique take on the Molly Dancing tradition. .
They wear the colours of that noble culinary vegetable – green,pink,red,and yellow and make no excuses for their flamboyant and ridiculous costume.
They have a cast of characters- Martha Barrow, the right Reverend Rhubarb, a Cowman, as well as the delectable Tarts themselves.


Slapdash Appalachian

Slapdash perform traditional percussive clog dances from the Appalachian mountains of the USA. Most of these dances have undergone changes to survive in the unfamiliar landscape of the Lincolnshire Fens. And others have completely been made up in Pinchbeck. So what we have is the formative stage of what will one day be a traditional Lincolnshire dance form. The dancing is high-energy, noisy and fun to watch.


Koyuki and Yakshini Tribal Belly Dance

Yakshini of Koyuki Tribal are based in Nottingham and study Fat Chance Belly Dance, a form of American Tribal Style Belly Dance, which is performed by dancers all over the world. .
Often unnoticed because of the elaborate costumes, fancy steps, exciting music, and sheer beauty of women dancing together, are the formations and cues, which are the anchor of improvisational choreography as practised by dance groups like Yakshini.

Gate to Southwell Festival