Winster Morris Dancers hold workshop and exhibition

Winster Morris Men dancing at a carnival last year.
Winster Morris Men dancing at a carnival last year.

Winster Morris Dancers are inviting the public to learn to dance as part of a celebration to mark 40 years since the team was re-established.

An open day will be held in the village on Saturday, April 28, during which there will be a Morris workshop in the main hall of the Burton Institute from 2pm to 4pm.

There will also be an exhibition of Winster Morris archives in the hall’s Jubilee Room from 12 noon.

Winster Morris have their own dances and their own music dating from the original formation of the side in the 1800s. This was historically documented by Cecil Sharp when he visited Winster in 1908 and provided a chapter on Winster in his books for the English Folk Music Society.

The team prospered in the 19th century, in the 30s and the 50s but world wars and other reasons resulted in it falling into abeyance.

It was revived in 1978 and has run for the past 40 years, the longest continual existence of the team since it formed.

The team still has original dances and music and has added further dances which are always based on local history and tradition.

Originally a men’s team, today it is a mixed side and dances at events mainly in Derbyshire.

Most years its schedule of performances includes a trip to Europe to meet and staywith other folk dance teams. This year the Winster dancers will be in the French town of Onzain in the Loire valley during the the weekend of June 16 and 17.

Other key dates this year are Winster Carnival on June 30th and the team’s day of dance on September 8 when there will be visiting sides from the Cotswolds.