Dance

Holmfirth Festival of Folk prides itself on the number and variety of dance sides which attend the Festival each year. Saturday afternoon's procession is a spectacle not to be missed and the different sides can be seen performing around the town across the weekend. There are also opportunities to try something new at one of our dance workshops or to join in at the ever popular ceilidhs.

Dance sides confirmed for the 2022 Festival
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Alford Morris was founded in 1977 as a Ring side, Alford is now a mixed side, dancing Cotswold dances including Adderbury, Field Town, Bampton, Bledington and, when the numbers are right, Lichfield. The Mother Side is the Grimsby Morris side, which continues to be a great ally. Colours are black knee britches and waistcoats, green and yellow baldricks and bell flashes, straw hats and white socks with variations.

Bollin Morris Based at the Spread Eagle in Lymm, Cheshire, Bollin Morris perform traditional dances from the counties that border Wales. First formed in 1976.

Bradshaw Mummers are a traditional mumming side, formed in 1972. They are a Halifax based and perform traditional and self written mumming plays up and down the country. “With relevance to our locality we are required to hide our faces in some form or other, traditionally black was the easiest colour to use, having being obtained from soot”. This year they bring the ‘Grass Green’ play to Holmfirth.

Feet First Appalachian Cloggers dance team are based in Chesterfield, and are the longest running Appalachian dance team in Britain. They choreograph their own dances using traditional steps and music from the Appalachian mountains.
Feet First perform with entertainment and “pizzazz”.

Fiddle ‘n’ Feet appalachian dance team was formed approximately 20 years ago. They are based in Shipley, West Yorkshire. Their style of dancing originates from the American Appalachian Mountains and they use tap shoes and dance on boards. They are accompanied by our musicians who play old time and bluegrass tunes.

Fidlers Fancy Morris are a North West side from Stockport. The original Fidlers team was founded in the late 1880’s by a Stockport fish merchant, Charles Burgess Fidler, to provide recreation and entertainment for Stopfordians and collect money for local charities. The present team, formed in 1977, perform traditional dances from around the North West of England, accompanied by accordion and percussion.

Four Hundred Roses formed in 2005, are a unique group of tribal fusion dancers from Yorkshire and Lancashire. A fusion of Arabic, Gypsy, Indian and other styles merged with UK folk dance, they sway and swish as you may not have seen before. Accompanied by their band of musicians, The Thorns, they dance to old Morris tunes. Expect the unexpected.

Foxs Morris started in 1999 and wear mainly red and green as these were the colours of the school uniform at the time They practice at Cookley School in Worcestershire with members coming from all around the area. Foxs Morris perform dances in the ‘Border’ Morris style. This is apt given the proximity to the border with Wales and many dances come from Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire. Each year we also hold our own festival called Foxtrot.

Hathor Belly Dance Troupe was formed in 2001, mainly performing Raqs sharqi style, the classical style of belly dance,  and is based on the traditional Ghawazi and other folk styles. Over the years they have danced at Civil Ceremonies,  birthdays, wedding anniversaries, care homes, corporate and local community events, patrons evenings, open days and numerous charity events.Troupe Leader,  Ann Wear, runs classes from beginner to intermediate/advanced levels in Huddersfield. Contact annwear@annwear.co.uk for info.

Hebden Bridge Hill Millies are a women’s Cotswold Morris side based in the quirky Pennine mill town of Hebden Bridge. The team try to reflect their home town in their outfits channelling their inner mill worker but with a sprinkle of Norah  Batty. So they are delighted to be back dancing again in Holmfirth. Formed in  2004, they perform a range of different village traditions using both sticks and hankies – although to be more exact they are yellow dusters.

Milltown Cloggies are based in  Dukinfield, Greater Manchester and have been dancing both locally and across the country since 1989. They dance in the north west style, wearing clogs and many dances originate in the mill towns of Lancashire and North Cheshire, hence our name. Our eclectic band provides the lively music. They dance “because we enjoy dancing (we still have five of our founder members in our side) and we hope that people enjoy watching us”.

Mortimer’s Morris is a lively women’s side based in Nottingham, who perform  Morris dances from the North West tradition with enthusiasm and style. Mortimer’s Band contributes an unusual sound with tunes from across Europe. With a distinctive kit and band, they promote excellence in practice and carry North West Morris forward for future generations to enjoy.

Persephone Women’s Morris was formed in 1978 and practice in the village of Hunsworth near Cleckheaton. They dance in the Northwest tradition in a  lively style using sticks, garlands, slings and bobbins, with a mixture of traditional dances from the northwest of England. The kit is a black top with a striking green and yellow diagonal sash and a flared black skirt trimmed with green and yellow.  We wear black tights and black clogs with bells. Their band also wears black.

Poacher Morris are a mixed Border  Morris Team from Lincoln. Formed in 1995,  we take our name from the song ‘The  Lincolnshire Poacher’ and perform dances of the Welsh Border tradition and those in a similar style of their own devising. As a  Border side they carry on the tradition of disguise with our own distinctive colours. Black to represent the border tradition and yellow for Lincolnshire.

Saddleworth Morris Men perform their own North West Morris dances,written and developed by the side over the years and each dance is named after Saddleworth villages. A member of Saddleworth receives two bell for each clog at the start of each season, longer-standing members have vast clusters of bells on each clog. The side organises the Saddleworth Rushcart every August.

Sheffield City Morris formed in 1975 to bring an entertaining spectacle to our urban environment and they have maintained the tradition ever since. They have a strong vocal and instrumental expertise and have travelled the world to display our dancing. Their unique style and green trousers make them easy to spot, so do go and have a chat. They have recently started a women’s side to complement the men. 

​Slubbing Billy’s are a mixed North West Morris side with a distinctive purple kit. Most of the members live in and around the Colne and Holme Valleys near Huddersfield. They share a love of tradition, good company and the occasional pint of decent beer! They are always on the lookout for new dancers and musicians, experience is not necessary, so do please feel free to make contact during the festival! 

​Son de America are a group of enthusiastic people living in Sheffield who love dancing, music and sharing Latin American folk culture. They are based at Sheffield University and are a mixture of students and non-students, Latin Americans and non-Latin  Americans, women and men of all ages.

​Thieving Magpie is a mixed border morris side formed in 2006 from Marsden in the Pennine Hills of Yorkshire. They like waving big sticks around and yelling. The collective noun for Magpies, is a “murder”,  but they haven’t murdered anybody. Yet. Come and see them. Their motto is “No hankies or flowers. Leave nowt but wood,  blood and feathers”.

​Wakefield Morris was founded in 1980 and performs a style of Morris dancing
known as “North West” morris, originating in Lancashire in the late 19th century. Some
of the dances that Wakefield Morris perform were traditionally used in such processions in the early 20th century, but over time the team has also written dances of its own, collectively known as The Horbury Suite.

​Yorkshire Chandelier are based in Sheffield, and have been performing a repertoire of mainly North West dances at festivals, fayres and pubs since 1975. After the challenges and restrictions of the recent pandemic, the team relished donning their brown clogs and green and yellow kit to dance at the 2021 Holmfirth Festival of Folk Day of Dance.