Pendle dance group asks newcomers to put a kick in their step and try out morris dancing

A local dance team is throwing its doors open to the public on Monday as it invites people to put a kick in their step and try their hand at morris dancing.

​The dancers and musicians of Malkin Morris
​The dancers and musicians of Malkin Morris

The dancers and musicians of Malkin Morris are all set to welcome visitors to their free sampler session at Roughlee Village Centre at 7pm on Monday January 10th.

The women’s team and band, The Roughlee Ruffians, meet for dance and music practice each week and can be seen kicking up a storm in the streets of Lancashire villages and towns throughout the year.

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Now, the team is hoping to give wannabe street performers the opportunity to join the dance – and increase its membership.

“It would be a great New Year’s resolution for 2022 – get fit, make new friends and learn some performance skills at the same time,” said co-squire Gin Crewe. “Morris dancing’s a great tradition, and one that anybody can take part in. It has a pretty long history, too – it’s first mentioned in about 1450 – and has been very popular in Lancashire since Victorian times.

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    “Morris dancing is super fun, great for fitness and coordination, and can be performed by people of all ages and skills. You don’t need any prior experience, either, although I know there are a fair few ex-morris dancers out there who we’d be delighted to welcome.”

    Gin said Malkin was looking at a busy year ahead.

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    “This is going to be a really exciting and busy year. We have so much on already, which is brilliant, particularly taking the last couple of years into consideration when a lot of events had to be cancelled because of Covid.

    “We have a big bash coming off In Liverpool in April, we’ve been invited to a folk festival in Rochdale and are considering organising our own day of dance in July - and that’s just for starters. It should be a super year of music and dance and we’re all very much looking forward to it.”

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    In the meantime, she added, the team hopes to see plenty of new faces at Roughlee on Monday evening.

    “We’d love to see as many people as possible,” she said. “Everybody will be made welcome. Just come along and give it a shot. You’ll enjoy it.”