Friday 8th to Sunday 10th June sees the annual Wimborne Folk Festival. A colourful spectacle of traditional folk dance and music was first held in August 1980 as a one day event. It was such a success that it became a local point for the largest gathering of dance teams and musicians in the south of England.
For the old town of Wimborne Minster, held in the shadow of the 12th Century Minster Church of St Cuthberga it is considered by many to be the major event of the year.
Concert Artists Headliners at the Allendale Centre are: Friday Night - Rua Macmillan Trio, Saturday Night - Cara and Jez Lowe & the Bad Pennies, Sunday Night - Lunasa
There are Ceilidh Bands and their callers and concerts with both contemporary and traditional English and Celtic music. On Saturday and Sunday there is wonderful Children’s Entertainment, lunchtime Open Stages and Morning Workshops.
The Festival attracts thousands of visitors from all over the UK and abroad. Around and about the town are Market Stalls and Childrens' Entertainers.
- For details and updates of performances visit: www.wimbornefolkfestival.co.uk
As well as music, Folk Dancers and Morris Dancers will be performing throughout the town, From traditional whites with bells to weird and wonderful, the highly dramatic and colourful!
Here is a list of dance teams that will be performing at the festival:-
Alive and Kicking Appalachian.
Alive & Kicking are based in Exeter, Devon. The group was formed in 1989 and perform music and dance from the Appalachian Mountain region of the United States. Based on the traditional steps of Appalachian clogging, Alive & Kicking have developed their own distinctive and exciting style of Appalachian clog dance, using dances choreographed by members of the team.
Alton Morris can be seen dancing out through the Summer months with a couple of Autumn events and usually something around Christmas and the New Year. We dance at events in Alton and the local area and enjoy pub evenings across Hampshire and parts of Surrey. We also like to attend events a little further afield such as festivals and dance weekends organised in other parts of the country.
Anonymous Morris are a young Border Morris side based in Poole. We’re a mixed side, that means that we welcome both men and women as members. We’re also open to all ethnic groups, sexual orientations and religions. Although we’re aimed primarily at the 16-30 age group, we accept dancers and musicians outside this age range as long as they can keep up with our energetic dance style.
Bloodstone Border Morris.
Founded on the Isle of Wight in the summer of 2009, we are a mixed team made up of ruffians, wenches and vagabonds from across the island. We dance out at a number of Pagan events and festivals throughout the year, including Folkstation, the Renaissance festival, the Hastings Green Man Festival, bike rallies, garden parties and shows, and even a handfasting ceremony.
Boghoppers and Bushbeaters Morris.
Boghoppers & Bushbeaters Morris aims to entertain the public whilst promoting and sustaining a traditional form of English dance, and having fun. We are a mixed group of Morris dancers and musicians, dancing mainly in the North-West style. We dance at local folk festivals and other events, such as May Day Fayres.
We are a Mixed Morris Side with a wide age range, based in North Devon and performing both Traditional and more recent dances in the boisterous 'Border' style. The 'Border' tradition comes from the Welsh Border counties. We wear raggy jackets in the Devon colours of green, black and white and disguise our faces with blacking so we will not be recognised by the Authorities (in the olden days, that is!)
Bourne Bumpers Ladies Morris.
Bourne Bumpers are a ladies Morris dancing group that have been around for over 30 years, and we are looking for new dancers to keep the side going for another 30 years, Traditional English Morris dancing, don't knock it till you try it.
Bourne River Morris Men.
Formed in 1967, and based around Bournemouth in Dorset, we are a men's Cotswold Morris dance team. We are members of The Morris Ring and perform dances originally collected from a number of villages in Cotswold area, hence the description of 'Cotswold Morris'. We welcome new members to the team and teach newcomers during the winter practice season -- Thursday nights at the Moose International Hall, 16 Wycliffe Road, Winton, Bournemouth. BH9 1JP (on the corner of Wycliffe Rd. and Cranmer Rd.).
Chequered Flag Appalachian.
Chequered Flag are a Portsmouth based Appalachian Clog Team, easily spotted in their striking black and white kit. Formed in 1990. their emphasis has always been on enjoyment, while aiming to present dynamic and varied performances and a reputation for exciting choreography, precise stepping and excellent workshops. Influences are from various traditions as well as the Appalachian style, including Canadian stepdance, Highland dance, Irish stepdance, and English clog.
The side was formed from a group of friends who love Morris Dancing. We practice in the new hall that is part of the 1st Lyndhurst Scouts' newly completed home in Lyndhurst. Deorfrith is a word - two words actually - that may be found in the works of Geoffrey Chaucer (1340-1400). The first part, 'deor', means an animal, commonly a deer. The second part, 'frith', essentially refers to peace, security or sanctuary. So, put simply, 'deorfrith' means 'deer preserve or sanctuary'.
Devils Jump Step Clog.
Devil's Jumps practice and perform step clog dances; a form of traditional dance that originates from where ever clogs were worn, particularly in the Lancashire mills. Some dances come complete, having been collected as steps in a prescribed sequence. For others we take traditional steps and choreograph our own dances. Step clog is performed in wooden soled clogs where a rhythm is beaten out by tapping various parts of the clog against the floor; the other clog or somebody else’s clog.
Dorset Buttons Ladies North West Clog
The Ladies Morris Side was formed in 1978 and is based in Wareham in Dorset. They dance in the Northwest tradition and wear the wooden clogs that were everyday footwear at the time the dances were first performed. The team name originates from the handmade buttons that were widely made in Dorset until the invention of the button-making machine in the 1860’s. The team's colourful dresses and vibrant dancing have become well known throughout the country.
Dorset Buttons Rapper.
The Men’s Rapper Sword Dance team was formed in 1991 and performs dances that originate from the mining villages of Northumberland. They came third in the Open Class DERT competition in 2008. Their intricate weaving swords together with their accompanying characters of ‘Tommy’ and ‘Betsy’ are a spectacle not to be missed. The Rapper Side always welcomes new members. Their practice season commences in September.
Ferndown Jubilee Morris
Fleet Ladies first performed in public in 1985, dancing in the Cotswold style; traditions performed were from Bampton-in-the-Bush and Stanton Harcourt. Other traditions have been added over the years including Adderbury, Badby, Ducklington, Lichfield, Fieldtown and, this year, Upton-upon-Severn. We were the winners of the Morris dance section of the Portsmouth Festival on no fewer than three occasions, also winning the Jig competition on one occasion.
Footnotes is a Chippenham based dance group that introduces this lively style of Appalachian tap dance to all ages. We are a friendly crowd whose aim has always been to dance & perform for fun. Now we have developed into an exciting team performing dances based on the Appalachian & Flatfooting traditions of North America displaying dances brought over from the States as well as choreographing our own routines.
Hobos Morris formed over 10 years ago - a great band plus female border dancers, based in Poole, Dorset. Our first season coincided with the 50th Anniversary of D-Day. Major-General Percy Hobart of the 79th Armoured Division, produced and commanded the unusual tanks needed for the beach landings, affectionately known as Hobos Funnies! Their regimental colours were red, black and mustard, and emblem the Raging Bull. The name provided us with our colours, badges and a bit of history. Perfect.
Holly Copse Molly.
A style of morris dancing originating in East Anglia: imagine Morris dancing without bells, sticks and hankies, add lots of shouting, attitude, bright clothes and that’s Molly! We are a friendly bunch less than a year old and welcome new dancers and musicians, beginners and experienced. We practice in winter at Townsend Community Centre, Bournemouth, Thursday evenings, 8pm until 10pm starting 17th Sept. In summer we dance out at festivals, pubs, fetes and such like.
Holt Morris Men.
Holt Morris are a traditional Cotswold Morris side based in Holt Wiltshire. Established in 1989 the team have been going strong over 22 years and have established a countrywide and international reputation for fun, frivolity and a unique dance tyle. However, the years are beginning to take their toll and we would welcome some new blood into the side. All that is required is a keen sense of humour, a penchant for a good ale and a willingness to learn to dance the Holt way!
Hunters Moon Border Morris.
Hunters Moon are a Morris side from Eastbourne who dance in the 'Border' tradition; that is they perform dances in the style traditional to the counties of Worcestershire, Shropshire and Herefordshire. They first performed at the Eastbourne Lammas Fayre in 2001. Although formed in 2001, Hunters Moon has aeons of experience in dance and music, but perhaps most importantly, all members have a love of folk tradition and values.
Sleaford in 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). Morris dancing is the ideal way to keep fit and enjoy aerobic exercise as well as having great fun whilst keeping this important English tradition alive.
Knockhundred was created more than 25 years ago by people who lived in and around the Sussex town of Midhurst. Since then, people from all over the southeast have joined us and the current membership comes from as far apart as Portsmouth and Fareham on the south coast to Guildford in the north. Neither age nor sex is a barrier to dancing with Knockhundred; one of the side has just celebrated his 70th birthday: our youngest has just celebrated her 18th.
Macaulay Scottish Dancers.
We are called "The Macaulay Dancers" as we meet in St. John's Church Hall, Macaulay Road. (A good Scottish name with its own clan and tartan). The children come straight from school on a Thursday and spend the first hour learning tricky steps and footwork, figures and formations and dancing simple dances. From this class, pupils are selected to another class on Tuesday evenings and it is this class which provides our Display Teams.
Our style is Border Morris, which has been called the most primitive Morris, and forms of it were probably danced long before Cotswold Morris with its white hankies, complicated footwork and white kits. Maenads, or wild women from whom we get our name, were dancers, shamans and fighters who came from the island of Thrace. We aren't Greek, but our energetic dancing, flowing skirts and long green tatters combine to predict the enjoyment we get from dance.
Girls from Morris Mynahs took part in a street event, Dinosaurs Not Allowed, held as part of the Cultural Olympiad’s Count Me In programme. Schools and clubs from around the south east were involved but the Morris Mynahs were dubbed the official flyers of the event as they had to travel across water to get there. The girls, aged between nine and 12, are pupils at Summerfields Primary School and Downside Middle School, Isle of Wight.
Our intent is to illustrate some of the old English stories through dance, music, verse and the occasional song, and to enjoy ourselves whilst doing it.
The dances are in the Border style of Morris dancing. Border Morris originated in the Welsh border areas; the origins are lost in the mists of time as with all Morris. We have carried on the living tradition by adopting and adapting dances we have seen and tying them together with a story.
New Esperance are a women's morris dancing team based in London who perform Cotswold dances in the Bledington, Fieldtown, Ilmington and Esperance traditions. We practise weekly in Borough, central London, with regular dance performances during the summer months. The Esperance Club, a social club for working-class London women, started Morris dancing in 1896. It’s still a women-only dance team, though these days it’s called New Esperance.
New Forest Meddlars.
The New Forest Meddlars is a mixed Morris dance side, formed in 1990 and based in Lyndhurst in the New Forest. We dance mainly in the Cotswold and Border traditions, but vary our performances with new dances, some collected and some we devise ourselves. Cotswold dances are usually for six dancers, arranged in two lines of three. Each dancer is dressed in white shirt and white trousers, although black breeches with long socks are common, together with black shoes.
Old Palace Clog.
Old Palace Clog is a women's traditional north-west clog dance group which started up in the 1980s, so we're quite traditional.
We practise every Thursday from 8:00pm to 10:00pm in the autumn and winter. During spring and summer we often dance out on Thursday evenings as well as at the weekend at local hostelries and events and also at various Folk Festivals.
Old Speckled Hen.
We are a mixed side based at Milton Heights near Abingdon and Didcot, but we have people coming from Wantage to Wallingford and Abingdon to Newbury. We dance at local pubs, fetes and festivals throughout the Summer and practice every Thursday evening from September – April at Milton Heights Community Centre, Didcot. Interested in dancing? Or playing music? Or just want to watch us dance again? Come along for a taste of Old Speckled Hen at our local pub and find out why we do it!
One Step Beyond.
Appalachian stepping originated in the isolated settlements of the Appalachian Mountains of the United States of America. Sometimes referred to as ‘clogging’…its roots can be traced back to the music and dance of the early settlers who came from the British Isles and other areas of Europe. Think………18th century ‘global dance fusion’!! From the Old World to the New…and back again!
We are a Side (group) of Morris dancing men and women based in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire. Our dances are traditional Cotswold Morris dances with some we have produced based on traditional Cotswold lines. We dance at local events throughout the year as well as dancing at local pubs on Wednesday evenings and Sunday lunchtimes. We also perform at Folk Festivals and Morris events all over England and occasionally overseas.
The Quayside Cloggies.
The Quayside Cloggies were formed in 1985. It is a ladies only dance side although both male and female musicians are welcome. The practice season starts in mid-September and lasts until mid-June. After that we dance-out weekends and evenings. We practise on Mondays 7.45pm until 10pm at St Luke's Church Hall, Winton, Bournemouth. Our main activity is Morris Dancing.
Ragged and Old Morris.
Ragged and Old is a Morris dance side based near Stroud, Gloucestershire, performing newly created dances in the Cotswold style. Cotswold Morris is a diverse dance form which can be slow and stately or fast and furious using a variety of sticks and handkerchiefs. The accompanying music is played mostly on melodeon augmented by flutes, whistles, recorders, accordions, guitars and drums.
Ridgeway Step Clog.
Ridgeway Step Clog is a group of step-clog dancers, performing together since 1998. Using traditional, mainly English clog steps as a base, the group puts together its own innovative movements and rhythm, producing dances which are unique to Ridgeway. We are based in Oxfordshire and our name comes from the ancient highway that runs close to the village where we practise. As a group we have performed at several Folk and Dance festivals around England.
Ring of Eight.
The Ring of Eight are based in Dorset and have, since their inception, sought to project the colour and elegance of our English dancing heritage. Originally formed in 1981 to display at the Christchurch Folk Festival, the group has gone from strength to strength performing at Wimborne & Swanage Folk Festivals, Lulworth Castle, Sherborne Castle Country Fayre, plus Fetes and private functions.
Royal Oak Morris.
Royal Oak Morris are based in the village Eydon in Northamptonshire. Royal Oak formed as a new side in 1985 to dance at the village fete. More information can be found under the history of Morris Dancing. The side mainly dance dances from the Cotswold villages with a particular focus on the village of Badby, our closest village where a traditional Morris team is known to have existed, and whose dances were recorded.
Sarum Morris is a mixed Cotswold Morris side, both men and women dancers and musicians. The dances are from the Cotswold villages of Bampton, Ilmington and Oddington, as performed and collected over 100 years ago. During the spring and summer we dance out at folk festivals, country fairs, village fetes, local pubs, Morris ale weekends and days of dance in and around Salisbury and a little further a field in Southern England.
Sidmouth Steppers Ladies North West Morris was formed in 1998 following the 45th Sidmouth International Folk Festival. Most of the dances that the Sidmouth Steppers perform originated in the North of England and were performed by mill workers at holiday festivals and in processions. Music for the dances is traditionally quite loud. Usually it is led by melodeons but accompanying instruments may range through stringed, brass, wind and percussion instruments.
Spank The Planks.
Spank The Planks was formed in 1988 and is based in Bournemouth, Dorset. We specialise in Appalachian clog dancing which is a form of American folk dancing that originated in the Appalachian Mountains. The local people developed their own musical sound, playing mainly fiddles and banjos and complimenting the music with a percussive dancing style that used shuffles, taps and scuffs to keep time. The dancing was exciting - very fast and very loud - particularly exhilarating as it was usually done on wooden floors and verandahs.
Steps in Time.
Steps in Time are a junior folk dance side based in North Dorset, mostly made up of girls between the ages of 4 and 14, although more boys have joined the group. We perform mainly traditional English/Dorset folk dances from the 17th & 18th century and some medieval & Welsh dances; these include step, garland and ribbon. We also perform mummers plays including, St. George and the Dragon.
Sweet rapper were formed in October 2004 so are now in their 8th year dancing out. They come from as far apart as Dorchester, Salisbury and Poole and practice in the Fordingbridge area. Rapper dancing began in the coal mining villages of Northern England, probably in the 1800's. Dances are performed by 5 people who hold a rapper in each hand forming an unbroken chain.
Whitethorn Ladies North West Morris.
Whitethorn Morris are a ladies north west morris side from Harrow. The side was formed in 1977 and dance in characteristic red, white and blue kits. The dances are predominantly from Lancashire and Cheshire and the north west of England, performed in the style of north west London in inimitable Whitethorn fashion. Whitethorn has performed at many festivals countrywide, including Sidmouth, Wimborne, Whitby, Chippenham, and Sheringham Festivals.
Wickham Morris first performed in 1980 and have gone from strength to strength in recent years. We dance in the Cotswold and Border styles. The Cotswold dances come from the villages of Stanton Harcourt, Bampton and Adderbury, plus others that we have invented in similar styles. The Cotswold dance style is with hankies and/or sticks and usually in a 6 man set. The Border dances originate from the villages on the England-Wales border.
The Wild Hunt Bedlam Morris.
The team was formed in September 1991, meeting appropriately in the shadow of hill known as Bedlam's Bank at Merstham, Surrey. We are a mixed team with both men and women dancers and musicians.
Our dances are aimed at drama and spectacle more than technique, so it's easy to get involved and the more dancers the better the performance. The team aims to perform about twice a month from April to December, at all types of event from local venues to large folk festivals.
Wild Thyme Border Morris.
Sue White and her fellow dancers and musicians encourage everyone to join in and dance with or play in the band. An email newsletter is sent round with details of meetings. Open to all ages. Sue is based in Devon but Wild Thyme Border Morris appear all over the country.
Wimborne First School Morris.
Wimborne First School provides opportunities for pupils to learn about and celebrate their own culture in dance at their School Morris Dance Club. Look out for them at the festival.
Yetminster Irish Dancers.
The Yetminster Irish Dancers were formed in 1972 by teacher Pam Common. Thirty-seven years later the class is still going strong every Saturday morning under the instuction of Pam's youngest daughter, Sharon Sandom. The group has expanded into two classes with the Gillingham branch running on Thursdays. We collectively have over 70 class members and over the past year alone the team have performed at many venues.
Gugge 2000 was formed over 10 years ago in November 1998, by Dave Brewer (still our Musical Director) & other former members of bands from the Bournemouth area. They wanted to make people listen, tap their feet and join in. Inspired by the Guggenmusik bands they had seen on a trip to Fasnacht carnival in Lucerne and the subsequent visit of Swiss band ‘Qua Quager’, from Triengen, to Bournemouth the group decided that it was GUGGENMUSIK that they would unleash on unsuspecting British audiences!