Newton Bushel Morris dance Cotswold Morris. This comprises dances from an area mostly in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire (oh and Australia). While country dancing involves dancing around a maypole, Cotswold Morris Dancing generally involves dancing round a pub. In fact bells are worn below the knees to warn the landlord that we're on our way.
Normally danced with wavers (handkerchiefs) but we sometimes dispense with them and dance with large brown sticky things we call sticks. These are made of tree wood and are phallic symbols. Look out for the dancer with the broken stick and bleeding knuckles who generally has to buy the next round.
The dances use up 6 dancers except those that take 8 and the one from Australia that takes 4. Some dances only use up 1 dancer and this is a solo jig except when it uses 2 dancers, then it is called a duel.
The dancer should be light of foot and dance on the balls of the feet. As we consume more ale, the lighter we think we dance and the harder it is to pinpoint where those balls are. There are two basic morris steps; the "single step" being a step hop on alternate feet and the more complex "double step" being a left, right, left, hop, right, left, right, hop. Most morris dancers take four years to master the single step and never cope with the double step.
When watching us, look out for the high leaps known as capers and some intricate moves such as the hey (where we invariably collide with each other) and the galley (a peculiar twist of the free leg and a collapse of the supporting one). Listen out for the instructions called by the foreman because none of the dancers do.
For a more sober treatise on everything Morris click here: http://www.morrisdancing.org/