I have been dancing Morris longer than any other Wrecker – which just means I’m quite old! I started dancing Cotswold when I was at University near Brighton, and was lucky to be taught by a Morris legend, John (AJ) Allen, who instilled in me a great respect for the tradition, and a desire to always dance well and put on a good show for the audience. I subsequently started sides (both Cotswold and Border) in the Oxford area, including Rogue Morris, which became one of the best-known women’s Border sides.
Rogue was disbanded in 2006, but the dances live on, taught by ex-members to sides in England and the Boston area of the US. Our current squire, Kevin, used to play for such a side, and is thinking of introducing one or two Rogue ideas to Wreckers. This demonstrates how Morris dances, tunes and traditions evolve and live on. This is one of the reasons I have danced Morris for so long – it really is a living tradition, which I love being a part of.
I joined Wreckers around six years ago when I moved to the South West. I was keen to get back to the Border tradition, and I’d come across Wreckers at festivals and been impressed with their energy and amazing music. I also continue to dance a version of Cotswold with my ‘other’ side, Rockhopper, which I have been a part of since its inception 20 years ago (and explains the presence of a penguin on my Wreckers hat!) I intend to carry on dancing for as long as my increasingly dodgy knees allow.