The Morris is usually danced by men dressed in white waving sticks or handkerchiefs. Often they wear bells on their ankles and individual sides are distinguished by slight differences in attire. But also one dancer is often dressed differently from his companions...
Although originally only men danced nowadays there are mixed sides and all-female sides. Sometimes they are younger than you might expect and don't even wear white.
But they can all jump up in the air!
North-West Clog Dancing
From the industrial North-West of England where people used to wear clogs on their feet. Clog dancers often augment the clogs with bells. Quite large sides exist and everyone dresses in "team colours".
I didn't care much for this type of dancing at one time but I find it is growing on me - very rapidly!
Border Morris Dancing
This is Molly Dancing's western cousin, coming from the borders of England and Wales. Like Molly Dancing it faded away without too much being written down. And like the Molly Dancers the Border Morris sides have turned this to their advantage by interpreting what little is known in ways which suit their personalities.
"Wild" and "colourful" are the two adjectives which sum up most of the dancing I've seen. "Enthusiastic" and "extrovert" would do as well!
Linked Sword Dancing
From the North of England, mostly Yorkshire. Teams of men weave intricate patterns holding on to either end of strips of steel known as "swords". At the end of the dance the swords are woven into a star-shaped knot. The easiest way to explain it is to show you a short video.
And of course there's....
Which we talked about earlier - both the colourfully attired Gog Magog Molly and the more traditional Mepal Morris Men. You couldn't accuse either of being fashion concious or trendy but how about these dancers from the Pig Dyke Molly?
Now aren't they something else?
(I realise that I still haven't introduced you to the glum and sinister men and women seen in "If You Go Down To The Fens Today". Next time I promise!)