Pre-Festival Warm-Up Night in Weymouth Harbour Pubs 29th May

Wessex Folk Festival

Weymouth Harbour  30th and 31st May 2020

Morris Dancing

There will be a Morris Music Session at the Sailors Return which is below the town bridge  8pm on Friday 31st May evening. The session will be hosted by Pete from Wessex Morris. Morris dancers and musicians often gather in a pub after dancing to play tunes and sing songs they enjoy, not necessarily morris tunes. The session will be 'pre' morris before the festival begins. So, if you are in Weymouth on Friday May 31st bring along  tunes and songs to join in or come to listen.

Sailors Return DT4 8AD

Use the map to find The Sailors Return DT4 8AD, indicated by the dropper. 

Dragonfly of Totnes

Jungle Shoes at Dragonfly Totnes. Jungle Shoes at Dragonfly Totnes– a selection of beautiful shoes in fabrics and colours as unique as you are! 

Possibly imported from Northern Europe (Moorish Dancing) Morris Dancing has become a quintessentially English tradition, with much of its iconography rooted in history. Since the Middle Ages, men have celebrated and ushered in the Spring to the rhythmic sound of drums and hand-held musical instruments. Some dances re-enact battle scenes with sticks replacing swords. In the year 1600 the Shakespearean actor William Kemp morris danced from London to Norwich. There are many different styles of Morris Dancing, for example it is thought black painted faces are from the Welsh Border while dancers from the North West often wear clogs. 

Wessex Folk Festival plays host to many sides of Morris Dancers who put on their entertaining (and sometimes a little scary) displays along Weymouth Harbour all day on Saturday and Sunday. See left for the teams who will be entertaining you at the 2015 festival. (This page will be updated on a regular basis)

Video by kind permission of Dark Dorset

For Morris Dancing related enquiries please contact Chris on the contact form below

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Appearing at the 2019 Wessex Folk Festival 

(timetable information available to view at the festival site)

Anonymous Morris is a friendly all-age energetic mixed Border Morris side, with a repertoire including original dances. Performing in purple tatters, we hail from the good town of Poole and locations around.

Beetlecrusher Clog

is a clog and step dance group. We were established in 1982, to perform at folk festivals in the UK and abroad.  You will also find us with other dance sides outside pubs, on village greens or in village halls all over the country.

We perform clog routines from England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, with stepping or step dances from the Isle of Man, Quebec and Cape Breton.

Blackrock School of Dance
We are a Traditional Irish Dance Group based in Yeovil. Any abilities welcome, very friendly atmosphere. Our Dancers are both girls and boys ranging from 3-19. We practise on Saturday mornings from 10-13.30.We take part in a variety of different shows and folk festivals through out the year. 
Contact details : [email protected] or Ellie 07786862386. 

The Bourne River Morris Men

Formed in November 1967, and in 2017 celebrating our 50th year, Bourne River Morris Men are a men's side dancing in the Cotswold style of Morris.  We are members of The Morris Ring and perform dances originally collected in the early 1900's from a number of villages in the Cotswolds area of England. We are based in and around Bournemouth in Dorset, and in the summer months we visit and perform at a number of local hostelries (especially those purveyors of good ales) most Thursday evenings and many weekend events. During the winter months, despite rumours to the contrary, we do not hibernate - instead we practice indoors each Thursday starting at 7.30pm and would welcome any new members whether novice or experienced dancer (and of course musicians).   Many of us also transform into Stourvale Mummers ( in the pre-Christmas period to perform a traditional folk play from Sixpenny Handley.

Cornucopia is an Appalachian Dance Group performing to a variety of American, Irish and British Folk music.  They are based in Grove, Oxfordshire.  The dance becomes part of the music as the sound of the dancer's feet creates a driving rhythmic background to the old-time American tunes.  They were filmed with Ellie Harrison for Country Tracks in 2010 at The King Alfred's Head in Wantage and perform at a number of Folk Festivals throughout the summer.  

You can look up their program here:
And videos, photos and music can be found here:

Dorset Buttons Rapper 
was formed about 27 years ago. A few of our founder members attended a rapper workshop at Sidmouth Folk Festival and on return started a Rapper dance side. As many of their wives and partners were dancing with Dorset Button Morris NW ladies side the then new rapper side became Dorset Button Rapper. We are fairly unique in that we dance rapper wearing clogs. 
We have danced in many European countries and the USA. More locally we regularly dance at Chippenham, Wimborne, Wessex, Swanage and Poole folk festivals and Bampton Morris day of dance. Dorset Button Rapper are now in their 27th year. We strive to keep this tradition going in Dorset and welcome new members. Rapper sword dancing is a NE tradition and was originally danced by coal miners.  
We can also be seen dancing outside many Dorset Pubs during the summer. 
As can be seen from the pictures we are a mature side and we welcome new dancers. Contact Tony on [email protected]

Dr Turberville’s Morris is a mixed (Women and Men) Morris Dance side from the Somerton area.

We dance English Cotswold Morris dances from some of the villages and some of our own devising. We also dance some Border Morris dances, including some from Dartmoor, Shropshire and a few other areas.

During the Summer months we can be seen dancing most Tuesday evenings somewhere in South Somerset and North and West Dorset, sometimes even Devon, often at friendly local pubs, and we are liable to appear at events such as fêtes and fairs, where we can be recognised by our costume of white, with green and maroon baldrics and ribbons. We can also be seen at Folk Festivals and Morris gatherings elsewhere in the UK and (very occasionally!) even further afield.

During the Winter months we practise our existing dances, learn new dances, and teach new members at our base at Lydford on Fosse near Somerton in Somerset.

New Members always welcome to play music or dance.

Web  Facebook DrTurbervilles   Email [email protected]

Twitter/Instagram @DrTurbervilles

Enigma Morris

Enigma are a border morris side from South Petherton in Somerset formed in 2014 & loving it! 

Practices are on Monday evenings 8-10pm from September – April, at South Petherton Methodist Hall.  We always welcome new members, both dancers & musicians. 

Contact [email protected]

Festus Derriman 

are a Federation mixed Cotswold side based at the Old Village Hall Upwey, nr Weymouth. Upwey is the village represented in Hardy's "The Trumpest Major" where the farmer Festus Derriman features. FD's spring colours and joyful interpretation of dances have made us and integral part of many local fayres and village fetes.

Frome Valley Morris 
This is our 40th year of dancing in Dorset
We are Frome Valley Morris, so called because we originally practiced by the banks of the mighty Frome. We have moved and now can be found in the Old Town Hall in Weymouth and this is our 40th year of dancing in Dorset. In addition to our Cotswold traditions of dancing we are learning some new steps in triple time, which we think would have been danced before 1850. We are calling them Bockhampton. We also dance a couple of stave dances,  originally danced in North Dorset and kept alive in the Royal Manor of Portland.
Recently Radio 2 described Morris done well as "electric". We agree and aspire to do just that. We are looking for people to join us to create a spark and keep a tradition alive in this part of Dorset.
Full Moon Morris
We are a mixed Cotswold Morris dancing side loosely based around South Wales, although our members come from as far afield as the far west of Swansea, the Forest of Dean and even Devon and Norfolk... Full Moon Morris started early in 1997, when six men and women who danced with various local sides in South Wales wanted to "get out more". Initially we learnt three dances to perform when we accompanied Shoostring Appalachian Dancers to the South West of Ireland at Easter 1997. Our first musician joined us at that point, practising the tunes outside our rented cottage on the first day of the trip.   And the name...? Contrary to popular belief, our name is not derived from certain habits of our male members. In fact we take our name from a small hamlet near to Cross Keys in the South Wales valleys. There's not much to see of the hamlet now, but the Full Moon name lives on in a roundabout on the nearby A467 dual carriageway!

Glastonbury Border Morris are an all inclusive side of eclectic characters, ranging in age all the way up to dancers in their 70's! They have been going for nearly 4 years now, but have only had a real core group for the last 2 years. Although they are a relatively new side, that doesn't stop them being full of passion and enthusiasm, and are part of nearly every local celebration in the Glastonbury area. 

Grimspound Border Morris are a mixed side dancing in the border style and practise on Thursday evenings in Bovey Tracey.  We were formed in 1994 and over the years the side has written many of its dances to reflect the beauty and traditions of the area in which we dance. In fact we are named after an ancient hut circle to be found on wild Dartmoor. Some people say that our dancing is a bit 'wild'. We are characterised by dances that are energetic with some vigorous sticking at times. Our mission is to enjoy our dancing and hope that those watching will also enjoy it and want to join us. So enjoy!

Hobos Morris

Hobos Morris is a female border morris side, formed in 1993 and based in Poole, Dorset.

Our first season, in 1994, 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 Normandy beach landings - affectionately known as Hobos Funnies! Their regimental colours were red, black and mustard, and their emblem the Raging Bull. The name provided us with our colours, badges and a bit of history. Perfect.

Holly Copse Molly are a mixed side from Bournemouth, Dorset. Just 10 years old, we pen our own dances as well as borrowing dances from other sides, some from Ouse Washes and Rhubarb Tarts. Our kit can be versatile and practical depending on the weather, basically anything goes in black yellow and magenta. We practice on Thursdays in Bournemouth 8-10pm and welcome any newcomers, anytime. Why not? 07989 242588

Newton Bushel Morris

The much acclaimed Newton Bushel Morris are a mixed traditional Cotswold side formed in 1972. We dance around the Torquay, Newton Abbot and South East Dartmoor areas of Devon. Following the usual Morris pattern we dance out on Thursday nights between May and September and practice during the winter months in Kingskerswell. Add in the usual mix of festivals, weddings and charity gigs and you have the busy side that is Newton Bushel!

 No Mean Feet

maintain a lively traditional style, with brightly coloured costumes and hard soled shoes with taps which emphasize the percussive element of Appalachian dance.  We perform individual freestyling as well as precision team routines — accompanied by “Old Time” live music.

Northgate Rapper 

Northgate Rapper are Bath’s finest, and only, male sword dancing team. Founded in 1991, they continue to ignore the magistrate’s rulings and perform high energy rapper dances in any pubs that will let them in. Locally famous and regionally renowned, they’ve recently appeared at Sidmouth Folk Week, and both Bath and Bristol’s Folk Festivals. Expect mild peril, tappety feet, intense concentration and dynamic performances.

Northgate Rapper practice on a Tuesday night at The Curfew in Bath. Check them out online at or find them on Facebook and Twitter.

OBJ Morris
OBJ was formed a long time ago by people who just wanted to enjoy morris dancing.  We still do.
We're based in sunny Bracknell and we do Border Morris tolerably well. 
If you're passing, say hello, or if you're a musician, come and join in with a tune.

Rag Morris

Is really a somewhat eccentric rainbow disguised as a troupe of Morris dancers. Set up in 1981 and associated with the University of Bristol, we’re a mixed side performing dances from Cotswold and Welsh Border traditions with our own inimitable mix of vigour, creativity and dubious singing. 

(picture: Dorsetbays)

Red Stags are a Southampton based, mixed side, who dance in their own style of border morris. Having been founded as the university side in 1968, they are this year celebrating their 50th Birthday. They can be found dancing at festivals and events across Southern England (and sometimes Wales).

Kit consists of a red and black rag coat with yellow flecks and music is provided by squeeze box, fiddle, recorder and percussion.

If you think you might be interested in joining the side please email [email protected]

Sääseümin from Turi in Estonia
Making a rare appearance in Dorset, this folk group from Turi, a Douzelage partner town with Sherborne, is proud to introduce a taste of Estonian culture to the Folk Festival. Brought together by a love and respect for their folklore and traditions, Sääseümin, the name reflecting the complexity and peculiarity of the Estonian language, is made up of young people with a shared enthusiasm for folk song and dance. With regular appearances in festivals both locally and nationally, enjoy a hint of what being Estonian is all about as they share some of their unique folk heritage in song and dance reflecting the folklore, magic and legend of their ancient and rich history.

Sarum Morris 

Sarum Morris was formed in 1982. We are named after Sarum the Roman settlement which, through the centuries, has grown and evolved into the present day beautiful City of Salisbury.

Sarum Morris is a mixed Cotswold Morris side comprising of both men and women dancers and musicians. The dances that we perform are from the Cotswold villages of Bampton, in Oxfordshire, Ilmington in Warwickshire and Oddington in Gloucestershire, 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 

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.
Clogs are worn for the dances as these were traditionally worn by the mill workers.  Accessories used in the dances are bobbins and perns from the spinning mills, decorated sticks, garlands and handkerchiefs.
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.

SomerStep is group of musicians and step dancers based near Crewkerne in Somerset, who aim to encourage social dancing and step dancing at informal occasions.
We have musicians with an impressive repertoire of Dorset and Somerset traditional tunes. We have individual dancers who dance the steps of Dartmoor steppers Bob Cann and Les Rice and freestyle to southern English jigs, polkas and hornpipes.
As a group, we dance reels and step dances such as the Dorset four-hand reel, Cornish four-hand reel, and Wiltshire six handed Reel, where possible using traditional steps collected during the mid-late 20 th Century.
As the evening progresses, we like to engage the audience and dance some of the social dances collected in the New Forest, such as the Step Dance, Jackie Robinson and Bonnets So Blue. We are currently researching Somerset dance traditions such as East Coker Ribbon dances and Mendip Stepping

Sweet Rapper – Ladies Rapper side

Formed in November 2004 from members of various morris sides we started practise with borrowed swords and help from Dorset Button Rapper. We studied videos, watched other rapper sides and attended a couple of workshops, hence our rather unique style.

Our musician, Katrina, wrote our music and plays for us on the fiddle.

Over the years we have lost and gained members and we are always looking for new recruits.

We practise fortnightly during the winter on a Tuesday evening in the Fordingbridge area.

Should anyone be interested in joining us please contact Ursula on [email protected] .

Tatter and Tails

We are a mixed Border Morris team with attitude. We are a team that's up for a laugh, with lots of energy, lots of dancing and lots of drinking!.

Treacle Eater Clog 

Treacle Eater Clog was formed in 1983. Our dances have their roots in the industrial north-west of England, where dancers wearing brightly coloured costumes and, often, decorated clogs, were (and still are) a feature of carnivals and similar processions.

Our name comes from the folly in Barwick Park, just South of Yeovil, called Jack the Treacle Eater.  Jack is reputed to have been a messenger employed at the house, who ran errands, even as far as London, sustained on black treacle.

Wessex Morris Men
Dancing out from April to September, we give energetic and entertaining displays in the towns and villages of Dorset and Somerset and at major shows and events. And we make at least one overseas trip each year. 
We enjoy our dancing and Wessex are a friendly, sociable, energetic team. Morris provides us with exercise, fun and a great social life. We always welcome men who want to learn Morris dancing.
Our practice sessions are held Mondays, September to April, 8pm-10pm, at Pulham village hall in Dorset, postcode DT2 7DZ. 

West Somerset Morris
In 2018 the West Somerset Morris Men(1965) and the West Somerset Border Morris(2015) amalgamated to a mixed side as West Somerset Morris.
With 18 dancers and 5 musicians we dance Cotswold and Border in the area bounded by Taunton, Bridgwater, Dulverton and Porlock.
See our programme on

Whitethorn Morris

was formed in 1977 and is based in Harrow, Middlesex. The side performs dances from the north west of England. The kit is a vibrant red, blue and white combination with hand made wooden clogs. Whitethorn has performed at many folk festivals and events countrywide, including Sidmouth, Whitby, Wimborne, Chippenham and in 2000 danced at the Millennium Dome. Overseas visits have been made to Europeade at Quimper in Brittany and at Prague Folklore Days Festival in the Czech Republic. In 2017 we celebrated our 40th birthday with a Day of Dance attended by 15 other sides.

White Horse Morris is a mixed side based in South Wiltshire. Founded in 1951 as White Horse Morris Men from the 1950s until 2011 the side remained a male Cotswold side and developed a reputation for its excellent dancing. In 2011, with an appetite for change, the side became mixed, and introduced several Border dances to complement our original repertoire of Cotswold dances from Adderbury, Bampton, Bledington, Brackley, Lichfield, Fieldtown sometimes accompanied by our beast, Hob Nob.

We are named after the White Horse of Westbury, cut into the chalk hills above where we started and practice in Wylye every Wednesday at 7.30 from September until April.

Wild Oats
Will Oats perform mostly border dances and have written many of their own, or adapted  dances learnt at festivals. We were formed in 2003 as the local morris side did not accept women as dancers at that time. We aim to be a mixed side, all ages, we have a 9 year old dancer. We do have a website which is currently being updated and are on You Tube a couple of times when dancing up May Hill on May Day. Contact us for more details.

Wreckers Border Morris are a mixed side from the valley of the Tamar, the border between Cornwall and the U.K. We are a friendly and gregarious bunch who aim to have fun and put on a good show for everyone. We dance in Black and Gold, the traditional colours of the Cornish Kings. Unlike many border sides we don't black up our faces - we have no need to hide - we are proud of our Cornish roots and the tradition we maintain. We also travel further afield to festivals (Sidmouth, Chippenham, Lyme Regis, Upton on Severn, Ossett, to name a few); and the side has also performed in the USA and Germany. Some of our dances are traditional, but many of these have evolved over time, and new dances are being developed and written all the time. We now have upwards of 40 dances in our repertoire, making it something of a challenge to remember them all! Our motto says it all "Dance Like It Matters"

Wyld Morris are a mixed Morris side of dancers and musicians dancing mostly in the Cotswold tradition.  The side was born in the autumn of 2010 out of a love of the Morris and the lack of a local side that would accept a woman dancer!

If you think you might like to join us as a dancer or musician, we would love to hear from you.  We meet on Wednesday evenings at Monkton Wyld Court, near Charmouth at 7.30pm.  We are learning as we go so you don't need any experience - just an enthusiasm to keep alive our traditional music and dance.