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Rutland Morris drops its ‘men’ and opens up to women





A group which revived an English tradition 50 years ago is now open to women.

Rutland Morris Men formed in 1974 and this month members decided unanimously to drop the ‘men’ from the name.

With women able to join alongside men for the first time, the group is holding a free ‘Have a Go’ introductory workshop from 10am to 1.30pm on Sunday (January 21) in Ashwell Village Hall.

Rutland Morris members voted to drop the 'men' from their name and open up membership to all. Photo: Rutland Morris
Rutland Morris members voted to drop the 'men' from their name and open up membership to all. Photo: Rutland Morris

The event is open to anyone aged 11 or over, and includes a light lunch, with family and friends invited to watch a fun display at 1pm.

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On its social media, the group acknowledges morris dancing isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, despite the change, writing following the decision to allow women: “From this day forward we welcome everyone to join us. That is, all who want to join us.”

Squire (leader) of the group, Dave Casewell, said: “The workshop is planned as a simple, light-hearted introduction to a couple of dances, giving participants a little time to understand some of the traditions of morris dancing, begin to learn some basic steps, and to use sticks.”

One of the first photos of the group, taken at Rutland Water. Photo: rutlandmorris.org.uk
One of the first photos of the group, taken at Rutland Water. Photo: rutlandmorris.org.uk
Rutland Morris entertained at the Stamford Wassail this month. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Rutland Morris entertained at the Stamford Wassail this month. Photo: Chris Lowndes

Those wishing to continue to learn more can then attend practices on Monday evenings, and eventually dance with the group at events in and around Rutland.

This year Rutland Morris has already attended Stamford’s wassailing event in the community orchard near Christ Church Close, and the Whittlesey Straw Bear Festival.

To book a place at the workshop, email Dave at squire@morrismen.org.uk phone 01572 821566, or text 0770 365 2780.

Dave added that people shouldn’t be afraid of coming along but instead embrace the opportunity for exercise, fun and the chance to make friends in 2024.

In 1983 Rutland Morris danced in every village in the county over one weekend. This was stop 46. Photo: rutlandmorris.org.uk
In 1983 Rutland Morris danced in every village in the county over one weekend. This was stop 46. Photo: rutlandmorris.org.uk
A recent picture of Rutland Morris. Photo: Rutland Morris
A recent picture of Rutland Morris. Photo: Rutland Morris

The workshop is free due to support given by the charity Arts for Rutland.



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