SPEND A DAY LEARNING A NEW SKILL. MINDFUL AND MIND FULL ( IN A GOOD WAY)
MOST BOXING DAYS find me at a country pub awaiting the arrival of the Morris Men. Every year as I watch their vigorous stick bashing and admire their feathered hats, tinkling bells and lively antics, I declare that I want to be a Morris dancer, too. So, when I heard that more women are taking it up than ever, and saw that Cecil Sharp House in London holds weekly classes, I went along to learn more. Tutor Andy Richards (right) patiently explained the basic steps of the Adderbury Morris, which is in the Cotswolds tradition, to a group of men and women of various ages and nationalities. Once the steps were almost mastered (Morris dancing is not as straightforward as it appears), we put them to good purpose in a number of different dances, some of which – joy! – involved sticks, accompanied by Andy on the pipe and tabor. More experienced dancers joined us later and, after helping us out in a couple of dances, took to the floor to perform the more technical Field Town dance. Seeing how it should be done was enough to persuade me to return. As one of the women dancers said, “Morris dancing is addictive. Once you get the hang of it, you won’t want to stop.”
Morris dancing classes are held every Tuesday at Cecil Sharp House, Camden (cecilsharphouse.org). For more about Adderbury Morris, including where to learn, visit adderburymorris.org.uk.