Muddy River Morris held its first practice at Wheelock College in Boston in 1975 during a time of resurgent enthusiasm for folk dancing. Muddy River women were among the first to challenge the notion that only men should dance Morris! More than thirty-five years later, two original team members remain. Nearly 100 women have danced with the team while they lived, studied and/or worked in the Boston area. The composition of the team is dynamic with many comings and goings but the group continues to be a community of women of all ages and diverse backgrounds. A vibrant group of younger dancers who are high schools students, college students and recent college grads have joined most recently bringing new energy and excitement to our dancing.
Morris dancing is a form of folk dance originating in the Cotswold region in England. It is considered to be a ritual dance, originally performed exclusively by men, presumably as a fertility rite in an agrarian society. The tradition goes back at least to Shakespeare’s time. It nearly died out but was rediscovered and re-introduced in the early 20th century. Today Morris dancing is done throughout England and “the former colonies” by both men and women. Individuals of all ages are drawn to the dance, the music, and the welcoming community.