“You should try everything once—except Morris dancing and incest,” Sir Thomas Beecham.
Muddy River Morris was born in Boston, Massachusetts 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, close to 100 women have danced with this team. Today a handful of original dancers have been joined by a vibrant group of younger dancers who are high schools students, college students and recent college grads— women of all ages are drawn to the dance, the music, and the welcoming community. The team not only includes different generations but women with diverse interests, backgrounds, and professions including teachers, programmers, artists, nurses, and therapists.
Watch: Muddy River- A Community of its Own
Morris dancers wear bells at their knees, ribbons on their arms, and often wave hankies or clash sticks. Muddy River dancers can always be identified at festivals by their purple vests and green socks! The unicorn is our team’s symbol and mascot, is worn on the back of each vest and magically turns up “live” at some of our performances.
Our dances are done to live music. The tunes are mainly traditional in origin although our musician is somewhat playful and may mix in more modern tunes spontaneously. Generally a specific dance goes with a particular tune.
Clubs are referred to as “teams” although there is nothing competitive about the Morris world. Morris dancing is done to celebrate the seasons, for the camaraderie, and for fun.
Interesting tidbits about Muddy River’s origins can be found in a 2005 article by Cynthia Whear.
Historical references and quotes used throughout this site were shamelessly borrowed from a paper written by Libby Chamberlin, a former Muddy River dancer.