Morris Dancing in Taunton Deane
Each year we run a programme of both winter and summer dancing with a mix of practice evenings during the colder months and dance tour nights when it warms up. We also dance out around Christmas, New Years and January Wassail together with dancing up the sun on Mid Summer's morning.
And when we're done with winter dancing we practise summer dancing ready for a big Easter tour on Easter Monday each year.
We'll be dancing two traditional styles of summer dancing in 2022 - Ducklington and Ilmington - and we've also been dancing a third which is of our creation called the Taunton Deane Style.
Our summer dance tour starts in Taunton at Easter and finishes at the end of August at the Sidmouth Folk Festival.
We have new members every year trying out Morris Dancing. It's easy to pick up and great for fitness. Our tours are very sociable and laid back and a great way to explore the areas around Taunton Deane.
We invite you to come along to a taster session any Tuesday for free and should you wish to join, membership is just £25.00 a year. Find out more and get involved.
- All ages, levels and experiences are welcome at TDMM. You require no previous experience to join and every year the whole side learns new dances and re-visits old favourites together.
- You don't have to buy kit such as bells or baldrics. You only need a white shirt and white trousers, which dancers usually source themselves mainly to ensure they fit!
- Annual membership is £25.00 simply to make sure we can cover the cost of hiring our practice venue in the winter months. Our collections and event fees over the summer pay for our kit and we make charitable donations as well.
From September to April we practise weekly to prepare new summer dances (white kit) as well as to perfect our winter dances (black tattered jackets). These winter dances (Border Morris) are colourful and exciting, and dead easy to pick up. We practise for about a month before dancing out on Border Day around Taunton when we collect money for our chosen charity.
We also dance Border Morris on New Year's day and then again for the annual cider wassail season in January during which we all usually consume plenty of apple cake.
We are accompanied by a full band of musicians on our tours playing melodeon, fiddle, pipe and tabor. After dancing out we very often end up in a pub nearby playing spontaneous sessions long into morning.
Our musicians memorise all the music they play and some both play and dance.
A bit of history
The earliest record of 'morrysh daunsers' was in 1448 in London and the first reference in Somerset was at Glastonbury in 1580, after which it was suppressed by the Puritans. Where it survived (e.g. Midlands and North), various collectors began to record morris dancing 100 years ago and over 250 dances are available to us today. We enjoy this revival of traditional English dancing - so can you. Come and join us!'