Morris dancing is form of traditional English dance dating back at least 500 years. Today morris dancing is practised by ‘sides’ across the country and is regularly seen at village fetes and fairs, or at village pubs throughout the summer months. It is a social activity performed by men and women, the young and the more mature. It involves a degree of skill and stamina, and encourages an appreciation of traditional English culture. Music, too, features prominently and sides include accomplished musicians, playing melodeon, fiddle, accordion, concertina and other instruments.
The dances performed by the Uttoxeter Morris are mainly in the Cotswold tradition – that is, dances recorded in the villages of Bampton, Fieldtown, Adderbury, Headington, Ilmington and others – but with others from nearby Lichfield. They are performed with sticks or hankies by six or eight dancers, or occasionally as jigs danced by one or two fit individuals. Dances can be graceful or lively, but invariably require a degree of skill and lots of stamina.